Comments in Movable Type

I have started using a script, closecomments.php, to block any comments on posts older than thirty days old. At least, if I run the script every day, that will be the case, and otherwise it may be 31 or 32 days.

The script came from tubedogg at geeksblog.

I did this because I get comment spam and also trolls, and often they use one or two particular entries. I suppose that particular URL has been handed on.

There’s one entry I would have liked to leave open, and that is Macroglossum Stellatarum, which may come to life again when the moths return. I suppose there is no way of opening a single comment?

Difficulties in translating German judgments/Schwierigkeiten beim Übersetzen von deutschen Urteilen

Englische Urteile geben die Namen der Parteien an. Oft heißen die Fälle nach den Parteien. Deutsche Urteile geben die Namen nicht an. Manchmal fehlen auch die Namen der Richter und andere Personen- und Ortsnamen.

This is a piece of a judgment I’m supposed to be translating. Someone who did a summary of the case did at least know that ####### was D, or C, or British Virgin Islands. This time even the judges’ names are secret.

bq. Nach knapp 6-jährigen Ermittlungen im In- und Ausland mit mehr als 30 Durchsuchungsmaßnahmen bei Banken, Hauptvermittlern, Vermittlern und Anlegern sowie bei den Beklagten zu 2 und 3 in #######, nach insgesamt zehn Rechtshilfeersuchen an #######, #######, #######, ####### und ####### mit einem Fehlschlag der Rechtshilfebegehren an ####### und ####### – hat die Staatsanwaltschaft die Ermittlungen eingestellt, weil nicht mit der notwendigen Sicherheit der Nachweis geführt werden könne, dass der Beklagte zu 2 Gelder der Kapitalanleger zweckwidrig verwendet habe und dass der Beklagte zu 2 oder ausländische Gesellschafter der Beklagten zu 1 von vornherein beabsichtigt hätten, die von den Kapitalanlegern als Risikokapital zur Verfügung gestellten Gelder nicht ordnungsgemäß entsprechend den Prospektangaben in asiatischen Fonds und Firmenbeteiligungen anzulegen.

Stork arrives too early/Falscher Storch zieht in Fürth ein

According to Herbert Schlicht, the Fürth bird expert, the wrong stork has arrived at the nest in Gustavstraße (article in Fürther Nachrichten).

The pair of storks that have used the nest for some years now (and brought up 4 young in 2001) are not expected back for a week. According to Schlicht, storks aren’t stupid. Some of them only fly as far as Spain, Israel or Turkey and get back earliest. But the storks that come all the way for Africa are stronger and they fight the usurpers for the nest. Last year, for instance, the nest was so damaged after all the fighting that no eggs were hatched at all.

If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can just about see some white feathers slightly left of centre in the nest.


Prepositions in legal texts/Präpositionen in englischen Rechtstexten

Renee Perelmutter, in, recounts the story of Maksim Grek, a Greek translator who was found guilty in 1525 of deliberately corrupting Bible translations (hmm, guilty of, not guilty for…)

bq. When one reads these translations, the most visible evidence of Maksim’s non-Slavic origin is prepositions: from time to time Maxim uses a calque translation from Greek rather than the correct Russian preposition.

Prepositions were always a big problem in legal English for my German students. So I offer the following test sentences – solution (there may be more than one) to follow: Continue reading

Translators’ website on offer at E-Bay/Übersetzerwebsite zu kaufen bei E-Bay

It was pointed out on the pt mailing list at Yahoo Groups that a translators’ website is being offered on E-Bay for $11,900.

The site is called

There are a number of these websites now – see earlier entry. Their backbone is presumably the database for translators looking for work and the advertisements of companies looking for translators, but they often have photos and profiles of translators shown at random on the opening page, and discussion boards and terminology help boards for translators. To quote the ad:

bq. Just one example of the potential that this website has: Even if you would only earn 10 Dollars per translator per year, the brokerage website would pay for itself in less than one year. If you earn e.g. 20 Dollars per translator, your income will be at about 36,000 Dollars, etc.

bq. Your advantages:
Over 1800 registered translators will work for you or you can turn them into customers of your products or services
For each job you receive 9% of the translators’ pay

No offers yet!

When is a bucket a lavatory?/Wann ist ein Eimer eine Toilette?

According to Spiegel Online, via law blog, (not Law-Blog), the Landgericht Hamburg did not accept the complaint of a German holidaymaker in Sweden who was promised a Toilette and got a bucket he had to empty himself. It was a bucket with a toilet seat (Toilettenbrille – an interesting word for my readers abroad) and a number of plastic bags to empty it: what Spiegel Online calls ein Plumpsklo (I thought that was a hole in the ground, plumps being the sound made by something relatively heavy hitting water from a height – but maybe I am misinformed).

bq. Der Vermieter sei jedoch nicht verpflichtet gewesen, auf diesen Umstand hinzuweisen, befand das Gericht: “Mag die Toilette auch einfachster Art gewesen sein, durfte sie doch als Toilette bezeichnet werden.” Das Wort stelle nur “einen Oberbegriff” dar, unter den auch ein Plumpsklo fallen könne.

The word Toilette is merely a superordinate term, according to the court. I wonder what the terminologists would say about that?

Limited companies in Germany/ Eine Ltd. im Ausland gründen

Law-Blog discusses (in German) the pros and cons of Germans resident in Germany creating a limited company.

Law-Blog bespricht die Argument für und gegen die Gründung einer Auslands-Gesellschaft.

There was a decision of the European Court of Justice in September 2003, C 167/01, (English ) finding that companies properly founded in one member state should be recognized in full in every other state.

Before that , the German courts tended to find against those who founded companies abroad, on what seemed like moral reasons. The Austrian courts were much more up to date! has another article on the topic (originally via Handakte WebLAWg).