Wayne Schiess at Legalwriting.net
thinks legal English should use more verbs.
This example shows one problem translators from German into English have:
Now spot the two nominalizations in this sentence:
The defendant made a referral to Emily Graves, a financial planner, so Ms. Graves could provide the plaintiff with advice.
The two nominalizations, along with their helpers, are made a referral and provide . . . advice. By using verbs, we lose the helpers, enliven the text, and focus on actions:
The defendant referred the plaintiff to Emily Graves, a financial planner, so Ms. Graves could advise the plaintiff.
So when you write, spot the nouns that could be verbs and, when you can, return them to their livelier form.
Referral becomes referred the plaintiff. English needs the direct object, plaintiff.
But sometimes it isn’t clear to the translator from the German text what the direct object should be. And even if it is clear, it may take a while for the translator to work it out.
In fact, we sometimes have to replace refer X by make a referral just in order to avoid interpreting.
So the list of similar phrases given by Schiess to avoid might be useful to a translator not to avoid.
Does legal German use even more nouns than legal English? I sometimes think so. At all events, I usually vary some o the nouns with verbs. But sometimes I use the noun because it just sounds so – lawyerlike, to quote the New Yorker cartoon.