Swiss federal law in English / Schweizer Geldwäschereigesetz auf Englisch

Oliver Kunz of KunzOBlog reports that more English translations of Swiss law are to be published on the Swiss government website.

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) has appeared as a PDF file. That’s only the short name, fortunately (it reminds me of the German word Anti-Baby-Pille). The long name is Federal Act on Combating Money Laundering in the Financial Sector. The charming Swiss term for Geldwäsche is Geldwäscherei.

German name: Bundesgesetz vom 10. Oktober 1997 zur Bekämpfung der Geldwäscherei im Finanzsektor (Geldwäschereigesetz, GwG)

O.J. Simpson: If I did it

The family of Ron Goldman has published the O.J. Simpson book If I Did It, together with some additions (September 13 USA, September 30) Britain.

The If in the title is well concealed.

Selling the book is one way for the Goldman family to get some of the damages Simpson owes them. On the other hand, the book is apparently mainly interested in demolishing Nicole Brown Simpson’s character. More in The Independent.

Local authority translation services / Kommunale Übersetzungsdienstleistungen

Apparently it’s quite common for British local authorities to offer translation services to their inhabitants. Multilingual London gives links to some of them, and also to Multikulti, which ‘provides accessible, accurately translated advice and information in community languages’ (not German, in this case). Perhaps this is the context of the following text, which was quoted in the star letter to the ITI Bulletin for September-October 2007. The London Borough of Lewisham recently awarded a £450,000 contract for translation and interpretation services:

Award criteria: The most economically advantageous tender in terms of
1. Financial including price. Weighting: 40.
2. Ability to meet specification requirements. Weighting: 27.
3. Quality assurance and monitoring. Weighting: 12.
4. Working with smaller specialist firms. Weighting: 6.
5. Confidentiality arrangements. Weighting: 3.
6. Technical solution offered. Weighting: 3.
7. Previous experience and references. Weighting: 3.
8. Communications and training provision. Weighting:3.
9. Additional requirements. Weighting: 3.

Haro / Sark, “UK”

The OUP Blog (based in the USA) refers to ‘Sark, United Kingdom’. What’s more, this contribution comes from Ben Keene, described as the editor of the Oxford Atlas of the World.

I thought it was a given that the Channel Islands are not part of the UK. But not only Ben, but many other sites believe otherwise. Take Destination360, which has an interesting style of English and presents both views in one piece:

Although the UK Channel Islands are found off of the coast of Normandy, France, they are in actuality part of the United Kingdom. The UK Channel Islands include the large Guernsey Channel Island, as well as Alderney, Jersey UK and the smaller island of Sark. There are also a number of other smaller islands included in the UK Channel Islands, both inhabited and not inhabited.
The history of Guernsey Channel Island and the rest of the Channel Islands include William the Conqueror, who became the monarch of England in 1066 and was coroneted at Westminster Abbey. In the year 1204, England lost control of the Normandy mainland to the French, and since that time the Guernsey Channel Island and the rest of the Channel Islands have been governed separately from the rest of the United Kingdom, though still considered to be possessions of the United Kingdom. Interestingly, they are not considered to be part of the UK, but rather dependents. … Although Jersey UK is inhabited and has a functioning government, it is not represented in British parliament.

I have taught a lot of people that the Channel Islands are not part of the UK or EU, but are crown dependencies. But perhaps many of them have forgotten this. See the definition of the UK in Wikipedia:

The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, are not part of the UK but form a federacy with it.

The Independent had an article on Sark last year, titled Lost world: the last days of feudal Sark (yes, apparently it’s a democracy now). You can also read about Clameur de Haro there.

New cat at number ten/Neue Katze in Downing Street


Now that the Blairs have gone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is living in the flat above 10 Downing Street and a new cat, Sybil, has been introduced, as reported by the Daily Telegraph and other sources.

Reports are accompanied by stories of the much-missed Humphrey. This was new to me:

In June 1995 when Mr Major was in Downing Street, he went missing and was presumed dead, but returned after staff at a Westminster medical college read his obituary and realised the cat that had made his way into their building was, in fact, Humphrey.

Alastair Campbell’s diaries are quoted:

He remembers the “ludicrous situation of me and the Cabinet Secretary both having to spend a large part of our day dealing with it.
“The bloody thing was retired in Surrey, and a bit old now, and Robin B (Sir Robin Butler, the Cabinet Secretary) wanted us to be sure we would not be bringing any undue stress or attention on his new owner.”

Humphrey apparently died in March 2006, aged 18. His food and vet’s bills had been paid with a £100 annual stipend from the Cabinet Office budget.

Lorem ipsum

Lifehacker links to a Microsoft tip on how to enter automatic text in Word.

With the replace text as you type feature turned on, enter =rand() and press enter.

They got

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

I got

Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern. Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern. Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern. Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern. Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern

Whatever happened to Zwölf Boxkämpfer jagen Viktor quer über den großen Sylter Deich? (see Wikipedia).

Cloverleaf / Kleeblatt

A mysterious image has appeared on the ceiling of Fürth railway station.


This may be connected with the railway festival this coming weekend.

Bei diesem Höhepunkt der Jubiläumsfeierlichkeiten präsentieren sich historische Lokomotiven, moderne Triebfahrzeuge, Busse und Bahnen in einer Zusammensetzung, die einmalig und so wohl nie wieder zu sehen ist. Zum Beispiel können bei der Ausstellung, die an beiden Tagen von 9 bis 14 Uhr stattfindet, die Weltrekord-Lok von Siemens, die 1939 erbaute Dampflok TAG 7 oder die so genannten Botschafterlokomotiven aus Luxemburg (BB 36 02) und Österreich (93 1410) bewundert werden. Weitere Leckerbissen für alle Eisenbahnfans sind zum Beispiel die Dampflok 475 111 des „Iron Monument Club Pilsen“, die Diesellok V 200 135 der Museumseisenbahn Hamm oder der nicht betriebsfähige Nachbau des Adlers.

I find it rather poignant that an ICE is to be named Fürth. It would be more interesting if the ICEs had not given up stopping in Fürth a couple of years ago.

LL.M. in the USA

At German Joys, Andrew Hammel has an entry with useful links on doing an LL.M. in the USA. He refers in particular to a book in German on the topic by three German lawyers: Der LL.M.

It was written by three young German lawyers who have had experience with various programs. I haven’t had time to read it yet, but it seems pretty thorough. Subjects covered: how an LL.M compares with other postgraduate programs; how to select an LL.M program; deciding which country to go to, and arranging financing. In addition, there are “experience reports” from people who have attended LL.M programs in the UK, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S. A section in the middle provides examples of CVs, letters of recommendation, and application essays.