Talking Law Dictionary DE and EN

Dieses früher besprochene Wörterbuch ist wahrscheinlich erschienen.

It looks as if the Talking Law Dictionary may have appeared. I mentioned it earlier.

Here are pictures of all the speakers. Do they get to speak one word at a time?

bq. Sprecher: Prof. Dr. Jutta Limbach, Präsidentin des Goethe Institutes, vormals Präsidentin des BVerfG; Prof. Dr. Günther Hirsch, Präsident des BGH; Prof. Dr. Udo di Fabio, Richter am BVerfG; Prof. Dr. Hoffman-Riem, Richter am BVerfG; Lord Hope of Craighead, Richter am House of Lords; Lord Rodger of Earlferry, Richter am House of Lords; Lord Slynn of Hadley, Richter am House of Lords; Prof. Dr. David A.O. Edward, Richter am EuGH; Prof. Dr. Ninon Colneric, Richterin am EuGH; Lady Justice Mary Arden, Richterin am Court of Appeal; Lord Justice Konrad Schiemann, Richter am Court of Appeal; Dame Rosalyn Higgins, Richterin am Internationalen Gerichtshof in Den Haag; Justice Stephen Breyer, Richter am United States Supreme Court; Professor Thomas Buergenthal, Richer am IGH; Dr. Andrew Cannon, Supervising Magistrate, Magistrate Court Adelaide (Australia); Dr. Peter Jann, Richter am EuGH; Fidelma O’Kelly Macken, Richterin am EuGH; Eckart Hien, Präsident des BVerwG; Prof. Dr. KlausTolksdorf, Richter am BGH

It appears they are also selling the book by Heidinger and Hubalek (I thought it was a CD-ROM at first, but it isn’t). Any legal translator who doesn’t know the book should take a look at it, but it’s not quite free of Germanisms (Austriacisms?). It’s Anglo-Amerikanische Rechtssprache (sold under a different title that sounds like a dictionary in the USA).

copyscape – finding copies of your website

This came from Google Alert and was quoted on the Forensic Linguistics Mailing List:

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Try it now Posted in law | 8 Replies

Chrismukkah looms


This card comes from MixedBlessing, who do cards to suit more than one religion (hence the term Chrismukkah). I got this from Wordlab, where there is an entry on the topic.

Meanwhile, the legal expert at is worried about Frosty the Snowman replacing Christian Christmas carols being the thin edge of the wedge.

bq. Many Arizona public elementary schools’ winter concerts do not have children singing about angels Bethlehem, or the little Lord Jesus this year. Instead, it’s “Frosty the Snowman,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” …

bq. “Once you start doing that where do you stop?” the legal counsel asks. “Do you start correcting children inside your school when they say ‘Merry Christmas’ to one another?” He goes on to wonder whether school officials might actually consider stopping kids mid-greeting to tell them, “No, this is the Winter Holiday season. We don’t say Christmas in this school.”

This is perhaps the separation of church and state of which they (used to) speak.

Entry on machine translation for weblogs/Automatische Übersetzung für Weblogs

In Andrew Joscelynes Weblog Blogos, zu Sprachtechnologien, ist ein Eintrag auf Englisch über den Gebrauch von Übersetzungssystemen bei Weblogs.

Andrew Joscelyne has an entry in Blogos on possibilities for machine translation in weblogs. One suggestion is Tim Oren’s idea of an open-source community project developing a new form of MT (I found this summary). Another is the UNL (universal networking language) project which (at a very brief glance) looks like a kind of interlingua system and sounds as if it might require too much time, to say nothing of money in view of the fact it’s been patented.

There is also a reference to the Free Dictionaries project. As Andrew says, binding dictionaries with a multitude of meanings into an MT system is a problem because of the need for disambiguation. If an online dictionary has ten suggestions for one word, I just choose the one I need, but this is that wonderful thing the Germans sometimes call humane Übersetzung (sounds a bit like humane killing).

Anyway it’s clear that Andrew’s entry, though written in English, is of special interest to non-English speaking web writers, so they should all babelfish it promptly.

Kraut-bashing in Britain

I missed this Comment in the Observer of November 28th:

bq. ‘Kraut-bashing’ young Brits are still fighting the war. It’s time to bury the hatchet, says Catherine Mayer

Catherine Mayer, I gather from the article [Later note: oh no, she’s an American], has anglicized her first name so the British can pronounce it. The experiences of Germans in Britain ring sadly true, although I think the refusal to have a German (Herbert Grönemeyer, not famous in Britain) playing in a private football team would be normal behaviour if reversed (a British person wanting to play on a team in Germany). Still, that kind of thing falls into a general pattern of experiences one might make.

bq. Britons rarely admit kinship with Germans, glossing over the embarrassment of a teutonic royal family.

This may be true in some circles, but it isn’t my experience.

I found this link in the weblog of Tanja Barbian, which I’ve mentioned before. It’s probably a collection for private use: the links are very brief and not really explained, so you always have to click on them before you find out if the page is something you’ve already seen or something you aren’t interested in.

Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down/Kekskritiken

The weblog nice cup of tea and a sit down is well enough known for its biscuit reviews, and there is even a book (if ordering from amazon in Germany, note the price varies between US and UK editions). Can a couple of translation references excuse a long quote of Alan Bromley’s review of the German Choco Leibniz review?

bq. The Bahlsen Choco Leibniz is a triumph of design and Germanic biscuit engineering. The slogan on the box – ‘More chocolate . . than a biscuit’ – probably lost something in the translation into English, but it’s true to its word in having the thickest, most exquisitely crafted slab of plain chocolate welded to a precision-made Rich Tea biscuit. I’d say the biscuit is a token gesture intended simply not to make the consumer feel guilty about eating so much chocolate. The biscuit does usefully help prevent getting chocolate over both fingers but is nevertheless quite secondary to the sensory pleasure of the eating experience.

bq. My only criticism is that there is no obvious way of eating one that is likely to annoy a loved one. I found it impossible to lever the chocolate from the biscuit using my bottom incisors; nibbling around the outside only serves to give you one very chocolately finger; and licking the chocolate off is, frankly, quite impossible for one so lacking in patience like myself.

bq. I like to think of my discovery in terms of having driven an Austin Maxi for the past 20 years and then being given an Audi A8. Bahlsen is to McVitie’s as Audi is to British Leyland. Je repose mon valise, as they say in France.

Review of the legal year / Juristische Anekdoten des Jahres

David Pannick is an academic one of whose specialities is collecting legal trivia. Anyone writing an after-dinner speech for lawyers might profit from his writings. Today’s Times Online (free registration) has his round-up of the legal year. Here he reports inter alia that Saddam Hussein wants to be represented by a British Queen’s Counsel and legal team.

bq. Judge of the Year was Justice Dean Mildren, of the Northern Territory Supreme Court in Australia, who said he was “absolutely staggered” that the serial burglar appearing in his court had previously been granted bail. He demanded to know: “Who is the idiot who did that?” Judge Mildren was later informed that the judge responsible was Judge Mildren.

There are references to non-English-speaking countries too:

bq. The Italian Supreme Court upheld a fine of €300 on a Trieste man for using offensive language by telling a parking warden: “You are nobody.”

Then there’s the legal cartoon of the year, by Leo Cullum in The New Yorker:

bq. One attorney tells another: “My client got twenty years, yet he paid me in full. It just shows the system works.”

You can order printouts of New Yorker legal and other cartoons here, at

E-Quill / Digitaler Füller und Papier

For those who still remember how to write with a pen on paper, offers a system where you send a handwritten page to an email address and it is there converted into electronic text.

The system seems specifically designed for time-costing, since it records exactly how long a lawyer spends writing. There is a press release and apparently evaluation kits are available, but the system remains mysterious to me.

bq. As end-to-end solutions providers, Covelus make digital pen and paper applications based on Anoto functionality – an open service software platform which allows users to write with pen and paper, whilst transferring this written information to any particular environment such as a back office database or web portal.

This is from Richard Susskind’s article on gizmos for lawyers at Times Online (Tuesday legal round-up – free registration required).