Kangaroo spotted in Austria

Bumper stickers and T-shirts say ‘No kangaroos in Austria’, but here you can see a lone kangaroo considering whether to cross a snowy road in Carinthia (shortly before being sedated and returned to its owner – Austrians who own kangaroos have to sign a declaration of secrecy).

Via Aktenvermerk

Sie sind Deutschland (Einbürgerung die Zweite)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has taken 20 of the Hessen questions and made them multiple-choice. Of course, some were familiar now, but I still found them tricky.

bq. 20 Punkte
Glückwunsch! Sie sind auf jeden Fall Deutschland! Bei soviel Kenntnissen von Land und Werten klappt´s ganz sicher mit der Einbürgerung.

That’s easy for them to say, but in Bavaria they don’t want us British people. Or rather, we should be allowed to have dual nationality (a reciprocal arrangement) but that’s only the situation on paper or in other parts of Germany.

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog

I think this may be a mixture of Chaucer and Molesworth.

Sir –
Ich wishe for adyce in the matter of fashion and armes. Ys it verrily a mistake to wear a lilyflour in my helm? (Ich have a shylde of golde.)
Thopas

Mon Sire Thopas,
By seinte Jerome, finallye someone who kan spelle! Messire Thopas, yow seem a man fair and gent, and Y sholde muchel relish for to tellen yowre tale. Ich shalle have myne peple calle yowre peple. As for the lilye? It dependeth how whethir yow wolde ben ‘easte coaste’ or ‘weste coaste.’
Le Vostre G

(Via Cobwebs of Petty Inquisitiveness)

Muret-Sanders DE>EN 1902 on DVD-ROM

For anyone dealing with older German texts, the 1902 Muret-Sanders is very useful. I repost this from a small mailing list on non-contemporary German:

We have just released a 600dpi high-resolution version of the
brilliant 1902 edition of the Muret-Sanders. 2,458 pages of the
German to English Grosse Ausgabe now on DVD-ROM with 2.9Gb of page
data. Visit this site for full-screen images of the new DVD version:
http://home.iprimus.com.au/msd1/muretscreenshot1.htm
Or go to www.dvdictionary.com for more info. Priced for a limited time at only $64.95 through RegSoft.com or Paypal (membership not required).
Thank you,
Martin Dudaniec
www.dvdictionary.com

The dictionary can be searched, and there is an additional free program, GE Trans, that makes this easier.

Real-time translation/Echtzeitübersetzung

The terms real-time translation and live translation have both come up in the past few days.

About Translation links to TranslationBooth, which offers rapid low-cost translations online.

Riccardo’s source was PRWeb:
bq. Online translation company, TranslationBooth.com, has released the first Quick Translation service available on the web. The company claims that through the use of cutting edge technology it can return human translations in a fraction of the time that traditional translation services require.

On March 14, I heard from a similar project, LiveTranslation.

Both sites seem to be advertising a product that is better than Babelfish but can be obtained with minimum effort and fast.

Phillip Perks of LiveTranslation wrote:

bq. Translation jobs are automatically allocated based on language ability and the subject matter is usually simple business communications or web content. If you are logged in, then the site will give an audio alert to let you know a job is waiting. If no suitable translators are logged in then an email alert is sent and the job is allocated on a first come basis.

I am thinking of starting a service to deliver translation in less than real time, for instance yesterday. That’s what a lot of clients would like.

Naturalization quiz/Einbürgerungsquiz

Spiegel Online presents (in German, and with a good photo of Roland Koch) the questions you have to answer in Hessen if you want to become a German citizen.

They are quite difficult. I would find it hard to be precise on some, e.g. who assembled in the Paulskirche. I wondered what ‘drei deutsche Mittelgebirge’ were, but then I realized I have never understood what Mittelgebirge meant – presumably everything except the Alps. Here’s an attempt at some:

16. Wenn jemand den Holocaust als Mythos oder Märchen bezeichnet: Was sagen Sie dazu?

– Sie versuchen mich reinzulegen, bevor ich überhaupt eingebürgert bin – den Holocaust zu leugnen ist strafbar!

39. Einer Frau soll es nicht erlaubt sein, sich ohne Begleitung eines nahen männlichen Verwandten allein in der Öffentlichkeit aufzuhalten oder auf Reisen gehen zu dürfen: Wie ist Ihre Meinung dazu?

– Darf sie zumindest Ohrstöpsel benutzen?

40. Wer kann in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland einen Antrag auf Ehescheidung stellen?

– Nur Verheiratete.

45. Was ist der Grund für die gesetzliche Schulpflicht?

– Damit Deutschland bei dem PISA-Test besser abschneidet.

80. Nennen Sie drei deutsche Philosophen!

– Das könnte wieder gefährlich sein, wenn ich nicht die richtigen nenne.

83. Welcher Deutsche komponierte in seiner 9. Sinfonie am Schluss die berühmte “Ode an die Freude”? Nennen Sie zwei weitere deutsche Musiker bzw. Komponisten!

– Das sind drei Fragen, und außerdem könnte die erste eine Trickfrage sein.

94. Welche Personen gelten in Deutschland als Pioniere des Automobilbaus? Nennen Sie zwei Namen!

– Also mir fällt nur Henry Ford ein, das kann nicht stimmen, und das Kraft-Durch-Freude-Auto. Benz vielleicht?

95. Welcher deutsche Physiker hat mit seiner Entdeckung im Jahre 1895 die medizinische Diagnose bis zum heutigen Tag revolutioniert?

Herr R. Öntgen?

97. Welcher deutsche Arzt entdeckte die Erreger von Cholera und Tuberkulose?

– Keine Ahnung, ehrlich, aber ich würde den Namen sicher erkennen. Vielleicht gibt es Straßen, die nach ihm benannt sind?

98. Welche Farben hat die deutsche Bundesflagge und wie sind sie angeordnet?

– Hier auf diesem Bild sind die Farben, z. B. in Trinkhalmen (rechts oben):

DSCN5659w.jpg

99. Wie heißt der Nationalfeiertag der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und wann wird er begangen?

– Da habe ich wieder Schwierigkeiten. Es muss der 3. Oktober sein, aber gab es dann vor der Wiedervereinigung nichts?

100. Wie heißt die deutsche Nationalhymne und mit welchen Worten beginnt sie?

– Auferstanden … nein.

8. Nennen Sie drei Gründe, warum Sie deutscher Staatsbürger werden wollen!

Zum Glück habe ich dann über Lawblog die Spickerlösungen von Mathias gefunden. Besonders hübsch die Antwort dort zu Frage 8.

German Joys weblog comes to life

I have already mentioned Andrew Hammel’s German Joys weblog. Andrew Hammel teaches Anglo-American law (or is that ‘Anglo-American’ law) at Düsseldorf University. I see I said his weblog had awakened last October. Well, now it’s awakened even more. Oh, except that he’s just gone to Paris so it will be slow till March 31.

Among other things, there is an entry on whether German literary translators should go on strike.

Interpreting errors continued/u.a. Dolmetschen

Continuing the topic of incorrect interpreting (see earlier entry), Roger Shuy takes up the topic at Language Log.

bq. A few years ago I encountered this problem in a case in which English transcripts of Spanish speakers in undercover tape recordings were used as evidence. The prosecution provided only an English translation of the tapes. Even with my limited knowledge of Spanish I could tell that they were dead wrong in several crucial places. I pointed this out to the defense attorney who then commissioned a translation of his own. Not surprisingly, it showed that the government’s translation was badly in error. Naively perhaps, the judge then ruled that the two opposing translators should get together and try to agree on a single, accurate translation. This effort failed miserably, of course, and the judge finally ruled that both translations could be used at trial. His decision was hardly Solomonic but it was better than many of the usual judicial rulings about the use of foreign languages at trial.

It is a big problem that judges are unaware of language problems but don’t recognize this gap in their knowledge.
Shuy is a forensic linguist and it is great that he is on Language Log. I thought he’d posted before but his name is not listed as a regular contributor, unfortunately.