Langenscheidt ALPMANN Dictionary of Law Concise Edition/Langenscheidt ALPMANN Fachwörterbuch Kompakt Recht

I’m not sure why this dictionary, which appeared in December, is called the ‘concise edition’ in English, as it’s the only edition. It is intended not for translators, but in particular for German law students who have legal English as part of their course and who must be a large market. (Hence the dictionaries by Köbler and Cornelsen).

The dictionary has DE>EN and EN>DE in one volume, and it also has about 200 pages of introductory material and, at the end, three legal documents. All this extra material is in German and English. The front matter consists of introductions to English, US and German law, all written by Germans and then translated into English. The legal documents are Articles of Association of a German AG, a consultancy agreement between a German and an English company (Pillenstraße is written Pillenstrasse in both English and German, oddly) and a confidentiality letter under English law between an English and a US company. It isn’t clear which are intended to be the original documents and which the translations.

One can always find some niggle or other in such a dictionary, but I can imagine students would carry it around in their rucksacks or bags for reference during the day. It can be bought as a book or as a book plus CD-ROM.

I wouldn’t begin to comment on the dictionary itself, but I wonder why it was necessary to translate the introductions to law into English. The section on US law is co-written by a German and an American lawyer, and it reads quite naturally. But the introduction to English law is written in German with explanations intended for Germans, and these are carried over into English. For instance, the section on procedural law, which for some reason does not mention the Civil Procedure Rules (and is not aware that the term Mareva injunction has been superseded by freezing injunction) but is all about the system of precedent, has the following:

bq. Lord Denning hatte dennoch großen Einfluss auf das (zivilrechtliche) Verfahrensrecht, da er die sog. Mareva injunction schuf, die dem Arrest und der einstweiligen Verfügung (injunction) entspricht.

bq. However, Lord Denning still had a major impact on procedrual law by creating the so-called mareva injunction, which is similar to arrest and injunction.

I think you can arrest ships in English, but using the German term Arrest (seizure) in English to explain to English users what the Mareva injunction means is not what translation is about.

This is just an example. If English law students are to use the dictionary, they won’t need this information anyway.

Alpmann Schmidt sagt:

Verstehen Sie Recht?
Mit dem neuen Langenscheidt Alpmann Fachwörterbuch Kompakt Recht in jedem Fall!

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Hochaktuell mit zahlreichen Fachgebietsangaben, Hinweisen zum amerikanischen und/oder britischen Sprachgebrauch, Abkürzungen und informativem Anhang
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ausführliche deutsch- und englischsprachige Einführungen in das englische, amerikanische und deutsche Rechtssystem
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Gebiete: Der Schwerpunkt liegt im Bereich des allgemeinen Zivil- und Vertragsrechts. Grundbegriffe aus den übrigen Rechtsgebieten: Familienrecht, Prozessrecht, Steuerrecht, Strafrecht etc.
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Das Fachwörterbuch ist bestimmt für Studenten fachrelevanter Fakultäten im In- und Ausland, für Rechtsreferendare und fachsprachlich interessierte Wissenschaftler, für tätige Juristen sowie für Lehrende und Fachjournalisten.

1 thought on “Langenscheidt ALPMANN Dictionary of Law Concise Edition/Langenscheidt ALPMANN Fachwörterbuch Kompakt Recht

  1. My experience as a former student is that such dictionaries only serve to illustrate the usage in both languages to non-native speakers. Hence the translation into English that sounds strange to native speakers.
    In fact, the only situation in which this would come in handy is when students complain to their teachers that this and that sentence cannot be marked wrong, as they have proof that “it’s in their dictionary”.

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