Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary by Tom West

I am pleased to announce that Tom West has published the Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary he has been working on.
You can find details and sample pages on Tom’s website. While you’re there, take a look at his blog (I’ve never succeeded in entering the feed for this in Feedly).
The dictionary can only be ordered from the USA at the moment, at createspace, but this may change in future.

The dictionary is a kind of three-column glossary, but with some explanations in the English column. The first column is either German or French. There is a useful introduction with remarks about the problems of researching Swiss legal lanague.

German-English legal translators sometimes have to research terms from Austria, Switzerland (several cantons) and Liechtenstein – I have translated German stuff from Alto Adige but not yet from Belgium. There are fewer reference materials available for these than for Germany. French translators must have the same problem. I know one translator who poses queries on mailing lists and whenever he or she doesn’t understand the text describes it as Swiss, which suggests the kinds of problems we face.

Mortgagor, mortgagee and £1m damages claim

It is indeed a tough one, keeping mortgagor and mortgagee apart. I can remember times when I went through the whole of a text in my translation memory program to be quite sure I had got the parties right, especially since there are sometimes errors in the German original.

But I have doubts about the prospects of Nigerian lawyers who are suing the University of Oxford (not OUP?) for errors in mini dictionaries, as reported to The Guardian (Nigeria). Lawyers demand £1 million damages in dictionary error:

It would be interesting to know how this pans out. Yes, some Nigerian lawyers have issued a notice of intention to sue the University of Oxford, over an alleged wrong definition of words “Mortgagee and Mortgagor” in their Oxford mini reference dictionary and Oxford English mini-dictionary, unless they are willing to part with £ 1 million.

The lawyers, Messrs Ogedi Ogu, and Emmanuel Ofoegbu in a notice of intention to sue dated November 9, 2016, addressed to the Registrar, University of Oxford, London, are demanding the sum of £ 1 million for the losses they suffered in their transactions, when they relied on the said wrong definition of the words.

They said the Oxford English mini dictionary and the Oxford mini reference dictionary defined the word “Mortgagee” to mean a borrower and the word “Mortgagor to mean a lender.

According to them, the dictionary definitions are wrongful and misleading as in a Mortgage transaction, the word “Mortgagee” connotes a lender while a “Mortgagor signifies a borrower.

As a result, the lawyers are demanding that the University of Oxford pays to them the money for the wrong definitions of words, which they relied upon to their own detriment.

In addition, they demand that the University of Oxford and Oxford University press, issue a world wide notice of the errors complained of within seven days from the receipt of the said notice.

Via Frédéric Houbert and Tom West.

Dietl/Lorenz EN>DE published

I noticed that the new English-German volume of the Dietl/Lorenz law dictionary has appeared. Professor Egon Lorenz is still in charge. The German-English volume is announced for 2017.

Dietl/Lorenz: Wörterbuch Recht, Wirtschaft & Politik Band 1: Englisch-Deutsch

LATER NOTE: More details in an email from Hans Kotzur of Kater Verlag:

es freut mich, diese Neuauflage anbieten zu können, an der seit einigen Jahren gearbeitet wird.
Der Lexikograf Dr. Kettler tritt in die Fußspuren seiner Vorgänger und hat den Umfang des ‘Dietl/Lorenz’ auf 100.000 Begriffe ausgeweitet.
Neben der Zuordnung der Terme zu den jeweiligen Geschlechtern wurde die neue deutsche Rechtschreibung nachgeführt und jeder Begriffe lexikologisch überarbeitet.
Eine Neuauflage rechtfertigt man vor allem durch inhaltliche Erneuerung und Ergänzungen. So wurden der Rechtsentwicklung Rechnung getragen und neue technische Begriffe eingeführt.
Dies betrifft zum Beispiel den Bereich IT / Computer, Compliance, und viele andere mehr.
Der Wortschatz zum Thema Banken und deren Produkte wurde erweitert. Stichwort: Basel III.
Die Vertiefung der Wirtschaftsbeziehungen mit den Vereinigten Saaten von Amerika durch die Auflösung der Deutschland AG mit der Einflussnahme der Beteiligungsgesellschaften und Fonds (vulgo Heuschrecken) fand Niederschlag.
Die Neuordnung der deutschen Immobilienlandschaft durch Veräußerung der immensen Bestände an Immobilienverwaltungsgesellschaften fand entsprechend Raum im Wörterbuch.
Nicht zuletzt die Veränderungen im Rechtsgefüge, die durch EU-Bürgschaften, IWF-Garantien und supranationale dem parlamentarischen Recht nicht unterworfene Körperschaften geprägt werden, wurden nachvollzogen.
Ceta und TTIP werfen Schatten voraus, auf die ein Wörterbuch wie der Dietl / Lorenz reagieren muss.
Bleibt noch ein umfangreiches Abkürzungsverzeichnis mit ca 6.000 Einträgen und die Ausweisung britischer sowie amerikanischer Schreibweise um das Invest in dieses Meisterwerk der englisch/ deutschen Wörterbücher zu begründen.

Angeboten wird der Wortschatz als Buch Englisch / Deutsch. Artikelnummer: 4000 Preis: 169.- Euro
Warenkorb: https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-recht-jura/Dietl—Lorenz–Woerterbuch-fuer-Recht–Wirtschaft-und-Politik-Band-I-Englisch—Deutsch-EN-DE.html
KaterScan: https://www.kater-verlag.de/images/inhalt/i4000.jpg
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In Kürze wird der Wortschatz als Download Deutsch / Englisch und Englisch / Deutsch angeboten werden. Artikelnummer für Vorbestellungen 4290 Preis: 315.- Euro
https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-recht-jura/Dietl—Lorenz–Woerterbuch-fuer-Recht–Wirtschaft-und-Politik-DE-EN–EN-DE-DOWNLOAD.html
KaterScan: https://www.kater-verlag.de/images/inhalt/i4290.jpg
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Vorbesitzer der CD-Version erhalten ein Update gegen Nachweis unter Artikelnummer: 4310 für Vorbestellungen Preis: 129.- Euro
https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-recht-jura/Dietl—Lorenz–Woerterbuch-fuer-Recht–Wirtschaft-und-Politik-DE-EN–EN-DE–Update-DOWNLOAD.html
KaterScan: https://www.kater-verlag.de/images/inhalt/i4310.jpg
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Kunden der IDS-Mietlösung von Acolada kommen bereits heute in den Genuss der elektronischen Version des Dietl/ Lorenz. Artikelnummer: 4296
https://www.kater-verlag.de/fachwoerterbuecher-recht-jura/Dietl—Lorenz–Woerterbuch-fuer-Recht–Wirtschaft-und-Politik-DE-EN–EN-DE-ONLINE.html

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Für das Jahr 2017 erwarten wir die vollständig überarbeitete Buchauflage Deutsch/ Englisch.

Linguee or Reverso

I mentioned the Linguee site when it first appeared. For the German>English combination, probably the first choice for the creators, it will give you quotes from bilingual websites. It has changed a bit over the years. The best change for me was the addition to the first page of URLs of the sites referenced.

Because, and this is the big problem, most bilingual DE/EN websites are probably German sites and the English on them may be non-native. It may be useful for terminology nonetheless.

Linguee is apparently very widely used. I use it much more than I ever thought I would, but I look most often at the .eu sites and usually ignore the .de ones.

Nikki Graham has the combination Spanish>English and she doesn’t find Linguee much use but likes Reverso: Time to Reverso your use of Linguee?

Reverso has a user-friendly, easy-to-read layout and a number of useful sections. I mainly tend to use just the dictionary (based on the 2005 edition of Collins for my es-en pair) and context parts of the site, although it offers translation (MT), conjugation, grammar and spellcheck sections as well. You can even download the Reverso app free onto your mobile phone to access its features on the go.
…They are right when they claim that professional translators will find the specialized entries in their dictionary very helpful, because I certainly do!

I’ve only had a quick look at Reverso, but it does not have the obscure or new German terms I usually look up. For instance Technikgeschoss came up in an architectural description recently – not actually uncommon nor unfamiliar to me, but Linguee immediately gives you several possibilities which you could then research further.

If I did not know the term service floor or plant room, I might open a dictionary on my shelves but I see it has been untouched for years. I would probably consult the Langenscheidt dictionaries online as a member of the BDÜ and Langenscheidt Technik would say:

Technikgeschoss n • service floor; mechanical equipment floor; plant room level; mechanical floor pract

Reverso does have both a dictionary (Collins) and a collaborative dictionary, but I suppose that the terms in the latter are limited to those in the former, so there is rather a lack of specialized terminology. But I have only looked at it very briefly and not in connection with a specific translation.

In the recent comments on Zahn and Dietl, I was reminded that I use scarcely any paper dictionaries nowadays. I wonder if the online versions, especially Acolada ones with a subscription, will do better at adding new terminology.

Anyway, neither Linguee nor any dictionary solve a translator’s problems – they just provide a basis for further research.

LATER NOTE: in discussion on Twitter (I tweet as Transblawg but rarely engage), Anne de Freyman says she only uses the big Collins (unabridge?) FR>EN as the Reverso version is too small – which was my impression. However, I haven’t been using the Collins Unabridged DE>EN as much as I used to. I find the Collins online thesaurus good. Anne wrote that she uses Evernote Premium to create a custom search engine, in effect, accessible on all devices, and including whole websites and glossaries. An interesting possibility, although I could collect hundreds of sites before finding one of my new terms in one.

Zahn Dictionary Bank- und Börsenwesen Deutsch-Englisch available in Acolada

Zahn’s excellent dictionary of banking and stock trading DE>EN, which has made the shortlist of paper dictionaries within reach of my desk, is now available – actually in both directions, I gather – in a digital edition compatible with other Acolada dictionaries. Here’s the page about the download. Apparently there used to be a digital edition but that stopped ten years ago.
More information plus a sample at Kater Verlag.

It seems there is a 7th ed DE>EN in print and a 6th edition EN>DE, both 2015 (I have the 6th ed. DE>EN, 2011).
Entspricht den Print-Ausgaben Deutsch-Englisch: 7. Auflage 2015 und Englisch-Deutsch: 6. Auflage 2015

Christiane Hearne: Wörterbuch der Druckluft- und Filtertechnik DE-EN, EN-DE

I knew Christiane Hearne as a contributor to the foreign languages forum on CompuServe, FLEFO, and to the small list run by loyal dregs after FLEFO’s demise. I even visited her
This dictionary is a posthumous one, published by her daughter, I gather from the Kater Verlag newsletter. At Kater Verlag on the page for Wörterbuch der Druckluft- und Filtertechnik you can click on ‘Kater-Scan’ and see some pages of it.

Here’s the Springer page:

Dieses Wörterbuch in Deutsch – Englisch und Englisch – Deutsch umfasst annähernd 12000 Fachbegriffe aus der industriellen Druckluft- und Filtertechnik. Es enthält zahlreiche Begriffserläuterungen je nach fachlichem Kontext sowie viele Anwendungsbeispiele in Form von kompletten Sätzen ausformuliert.

Die Autorin

Christiane Hearne arbeitete seit 1987 als selbstständige staatlich geprüfte Übersetzerin und Dolmetscherin. Ihr Fachgebiet waren technische Übersetzungen für Firmen aus der Baubranche und dem Ingenieurwesen sowie die Übersetzung technischer Fachbücher.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Stichwörter » Abdampfrückstand – Befüllmenge – Druckbehälter – Druckleitung – Druckluftanlage – Einleitungsgrenzwert – Filteranlage – Filteranordnung – Filterbaugruppe – Hilfspumpe – Kondensataufbereitung – Niveauschwimmer – Schwimmerschalter – gewässerbelastend – Ölabscheider

Book on legal lexicography announced

This book doesn’t come out till November 2014 and already it has favourable reviews!

Legal lexicography or jurilexicography is the most neglected aspect of the discipline of jurilinguistics, despite its great relevance for translators, academics and comparative lawyers. This volume seeks to bridge this gap in legal literature by bringing together contributions from ten jurisdictions from leading experts in the field. The work addresses aspects of legal lexicography, both monolingual and bilingual, in its various manifestations in both civilian and common law systems. It thus compares epistemic approaches in a subject that is inextricably bound up with specific legal systems and specific languages. Topics covered include the history of French legal lexicography, ordinary language as defined by the courts, the use of law dictionaries by the judiciary, legal lexicography and translation, and a proposed multilingual dictionary for the EU citizen. While the majority of contributions are in English, the volume includes three written in French.
The collection will be a valuable resource for both scholars and practitioners engaging with language in the mechanism of the law.

Legal Lexicography. A Comparative Perspective. ed. by Máirtin Mac Aodha, Council of the European Union.

Contents: Foreword, Lionel Smith; Introduction; A view of French legal lexicography – tradition and change from a doctrinal genre to the modern era, Pierre-Nicolas Barenot; The Early Modern English law lexicon, Ian Lancashire and Janet Damianopoulos; Legal lexicography: a view from the front lines, Bryan A. Garner; The challenges of compiling a legal dictionary, Daniel Greenberg; Bilingual legal dictionaries: comparison without precision?, Coen J.P. van Laer; Pour des dictionnaires juridiques multilingues du citoyen de l’Union européenne, Pierre Lerat; Principes terminologiques pour la constitution d’une base de données pour la traduction juridique, Thierry Grass; Translation and the law dictionary, Marta Chroma; Multinational legal terminology in a paper dictionary?, Peter Sandrini; Database of legal terms for communicative and knowledge information tools, Sandro Nielsen; Defining ordinary words for mundane objects: legal lexicography, ordinary language and the word vehicle, Christopher Hutton; Establishing meaning in a bilingual and bijural context: dictionary use at the Supreme Court of Canada, Mathieu Devinat; La phraséologie chez des jurilexicographes: les exemples linguistiques dans la deuxième édition du Dictionnaire de droit privé et lexiques bilingues, Patrick Forget; Inconsistencies in the sources and use of Irish legal terminology, Malachy O’Rourke; The struggle for civic space between a minority legal language and a dominant legal language: the case of Māori and English, Māmari Stephens and Mary Boyce; Index.

This could be interesting, although it is a bit of a mixed bag. The editor at least is working on how to improve the law dictionary from the translator’s point of view. I recognize Sandro Nielsen’s name because he plays a big role in a Wikipedia entry on Legal Translation.

Via Juritraducteur

Grant and Cutler dictionaries/Rechtswörterbücher

I recently received an indirect query from someone studying legal translation in the UK who wants to buy a German-English law dictionary. There was a list of the dictionaries currently available at Foyles, into which Grant & Cutler has now been integrated (I remember Grant & Cutler near Embankment Station, before it moved closer to Oxford Street and now to Foyles). Here’s the link, but it may change in time.

Title: Author: Description:
Recht Fachwörterbuch Kompakt. Law concise dictionary.: German<>English Bugg, S. G. & Simon, H. Approx. 28.000 terms and more than 50.000 translations. With short German and English introductions to the German, British and American legal system.

Rechtsenglisch: Deutsch<>Englisches Rechtswörterbuch für jedermann Köbler, G. approx. 25.000 entries, 485 pages.
Dictionaries: Specialist & Technical: Legal. Published 2007. Price: £19.95

Wörterbuch Arbeit, Recht, Wirtschaft. Dictionary of Labour, Law and Business terms. Horstenkamp, C. Approx. 5,000 terms.
Dictionaries: Specialist & Technical: Legal. Published 2006. Price: £25.95

Wörterbuch Recht German<>English Bachem, W. & Hamblock, D. Approx. 56,000 terms.
Dictionaries: Specialist & Technical: Legal. Published 2008. Price: £42.99

If you click on the first entry, it says the book and CD ROM are temporarily out of print but cost £52. The paperback (I didn’t know about this) is available and costs £30.

In response, I was taken aback at the absence of Romain and Dietl, but on reflection think they may be unavailable and about to be published in new editions.

I’ve written about small law dictionaries before (here and here). I understand why the publishers like them: because they can sell them to German law students. But they are just not big enough to be much use. If the budget doesn’t run to more, I would advise against the Köbler, although I don’t know its latest edition. The editions I have seen have all been based on a standard and peculiar shortish word list, originally created in German and put into English or whatever other language is involved. Of the others, I slightly prefer the Bachem and I don’t find the extra material in the Langenscheidt much use, but if possible you should compare the two yourself.

The Horstenkamp was unknown to me so I bought a copy. It is out of print but can be got second-hand. I actually got a new copy, but I don’t think it’s that easy to find. This dictionary of labour, law and business terms was done by a colleague. It is actually a set of seven glossaries EN>DE and seven glossaries DE>EN. This disqualifies it for me even if it were bigger, as I don’t want to spend so much time leafing through it. True, there are two global indexes in the back, which somewhat helps. The areas are:
Labour – Arbeit
Business – Wirtschaft
Education/Training – Bildung/Ausbildung
European Union – Europäische Union
Law – Recht
Politics – Politik
Health and Safety – Arbeitssicherheit

The labour part looks OK, but in particular the EU and law sections are very small and it looks more like an interpreter’s private glossary. It also has things like
sich schuldig bekennen – plead guilty (looks like a reverse of an EN>DE entry)
vorsätzlich – wilful; premeditated (Vorsatz is intention, not premeditation)
Pflichtverteidiger – duty solicitor (again, was this generated from EN>DE?)
Gewohnheitsrecht – common law (should be custom)

DE>EN>DE law dictionary/Karin Linhart, Wörterbuch Recht

I summarized a number of small German-English law dictionaries some time ago. Here’s another one, by Karin Linhart: Wörterbuch Recht, Beck Verlag.

Now a review of this dictionary, in German, by Christine Haselwarter, has appeared in the ADÜ Nord Infoblatt, 2/2010, available online as a PDF at www.adue-nord.de.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think these small dictionaries are so useful for translators, because there are bigger ones available and there is a limit to the number one wants to consult. But they are an ideal size to be carried in a bag, for instance by law students.

This seems to me – on a cursory inspection – a good and reliable dictionary from US legal English into German. It has a number of Infokästchen – boxes on a grey background with extra information – very popular with students and with the review too. For instance, on contingency fees (only US), punitive damages, zealous lawyer (seems to be a US term), jurisdiction (US only) and many more. There are frequent references to US terms that are not translated into German, but cited and explained. In the DE>EN direction, there are fewer boxes.

There is extra material at the end, for example ten rules on how German lawyers should behave ‘im englisch-sprachigen Ausland’. Here I note that Karin Linhart is familiar with US law and South African law, but I don’t know how far her rules apply to all common-law countries. For example, there is no need to use euphemisms when looking for the loo in the UK – in fact, it might be counter-productive. I have my doubts about South Africa too, but I’ve never been there (‘Fragen Sie niemals nach der “Toilet”!).

So without doing a proper full review, I would just like to say I think this dictionary should be seen in an American context, and I think that’s what very many German law students want in any case.

There is another book by Karin Linhart, Englische Rechtssprache – Ein Studien- und Arbeitsbuch. I really must say I have no idea why the book is so huge – A4 with thick paper. The paper may be because one’s supposed to write the answers on it. The nice thing about this book is that it really is full of exercises, with fairly short introductions. It has suggested solutions in the back. Many books on English for lawyers, at least those written for lawyers, have pages and pages of reading and only short exercises, if any. For those who want the terminology first and learn vocabulary in this way, this is an attractive volume. There are many English-German lists and comments on vocabulary too. The book is based on Karin Linhart’s work with students at Würzburg University. (Incidentally, there is a small section on Office Language, quite useful I think, with terms like paperclip, stapler, ring binder, hole punch – this EN>DE list possibly explains the presence of some of the terms the ADÜ dictionary reviewer found superfluous).

LATER NOTE: Richard Schreiber has an entry on this dictionary at the Übersetzerportal.

Collocation dictionaries/Kollokationswörterbücher

There is a new edition of the BBI Combinatory Dictionary of English available, 24 euros for the paperback. Here is a PDF workbook which gives a good impression of the contents.

According to the John Benjamins Book Gazette, the new edition has 20% more material. It looks to me as if it has much more information on BE/AmE differences.

I had meanwhile gone over to the Oxford Collocations Dictionary. (amazon lets you look inside). That seems larger, and it has some pages summarizing differences which might be useful for foreign learners. In the middle, it also has some workbook pages it describes as ‘photocopiable’, which I suppose means free to use in class without copyright considerations.

Since I only use these books occasionally to get an idea for a verb combination, I appreciate the fact that I have found them both reliable and full.

The first edition used to be available online, but if anyone is looking for an online collocations dictionary (the search words that most frequently bring people to this site), Mark Davies’ page at Brigham Young University is the way to go.

As for German collocations, if you search for a word in DWDS, it will show you some collocations too.