YouReadMe blog aggregator/Blogaggregator

Transblawg too is on the blog list at YouReadMe, and so are some German weblogs:

bq. We’re lazy. There are just too many blogs out there. No mortal can read them all. And let’s face it, only a handful of the millions of blog posts each day are really worth reading.
So we created YouReadMe and let the computer do the reading for us. It reads tens of thousands of blogs multiple times throughout the day and finds the really important posts: the ones linked to the most by other bloggers. Now we can read the “hot” posts, see what people are saying about them, and have a much more complete view of what’s going on in the blogosphere.
YouReadMe is the first public project released by XB Labs, but you shouldn’t click on that link because there’s nothing there (yet). We will be adding a range of new and exciting features in the weeks to come, so keep checking back. And we welcome any thoughts you may have on how to make the site more useful. Send any comments, suggestions, or criticisms to

(Via netbib.weblog)

Yet another quiz

Actually I’m rather ignorant about the lives of the Romantic poets, but I suspect with a modicum of knowledge this test becomes rather transparent.

William Blake
You are William Blake! Wow. I’m impressed. Not
only are you a self-made artist and poet, but
you’ve suddenly become a very trendy guy to
like. It’s not that we doubt that you have all
your marbles, it’s just that we’re not quite
sure what you did with them to come up with
those terrifying theological visions. The
people of your time were nowhere near as
forgiving as that, and all your neighbors
thought you were a grade-A nut job. But we
love you, so rest happy.

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via Cobwebs of Petty Inquisitiveness, aka Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Book on footballspeak/Fußballsprache englisch

John Leigh and David Woodhouse, Football Lexicon, ISBN 057122797X
(note that at there is a hardback version slightly cheaper than a paperback).

On foreign players:

bq. Can they perform “week in week out”? Will they deliver on a “Wednesday night in Rochdale” or a “Tuesday night in Grimsby”? (“the location is usually northern, the date invariably midweek”).
Commentators also enjoy greeting “a particularly robust tackle which leaves a debutant (usually a fancy foreign player)…with the cheerfully ironic words: ‘Welcome to the Premiership Juan Sebastian”.

On feet:

bq. Left feet can be educated, cultured or trusty. “Right feet are never favoured in the same way. Are the owners of such left feet more thoughtful or are the feet themselves somehow endowed with these attributes?”

(Via The Language Legend, via kalebeul).

German education system / Deutsches Bildungssystem

Das Bildungswesen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2002 – PDF-Datei(en) von der Kultusministerkonferenz.

Grundstruktur des Bildungswesens in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Diagramm). Stand: Dezember 2002. Bonn 2003

The Education System in the Federal Republic of Germany 2002 – PDF file(s) from the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Basic structure of the educational system in the Federal Republic of Germany (Diagram). As at December 2002. Bonn 2003

The English terms are accompanied by the German terms in brackets. I noticed that there was a lot of reference to Fachhochschulen, using the German term in italics, but at one point the dubious but ‘official’ university of applied sciences was put in brackets after it. Terms must be taken with caution, but at least there are many attempts. Handwerksordnung I would say is not Handicrafts Code (Bastelarbeitsgesetzbuch? – well, OK, handicrafts is not that bad) but perhaps Crafts Act. I see Berufsakademien have become professional academies, which is better than universities of cooperative education, although the latter may be a later term, which would be unfortunate.

Here’s a sample:

bq. Apart from Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium, almost all Länder have Gesamtschulen (comprehensive schools), albeit in some Länder in only very limited numbers as a special type of school. Several Länder introduced types of school, with particular names which differ from one Land to another, in which, however, the traditional courses available at the Hauptschule and the Realschule are brought under one organisational umbrella – these include
Mittelschule, Sekundarschule, Regelschule, Erweiterte Realschule, Verbundene Haupt- und Realschule, Integrierte Haupt- und Realschule and Regionale Schule. Grades 5 and 6 at all secondary schools can be organised as a phase of orientation (Orientierungsstufe/Förderstufe) with the choice of school career being left open until the end of grade 6. In 2002 in some Länder the orientation stage is a separate organisational unit independent of the standard school types. In this case the secondary schools subsequently attended will begin with the 7th grade.
The various types of school will be described in more detail in chapter 5.3.1. as part of the description of secondary education.

Via the website of BDÜ-Bayern (members’ area) and Sprachrohr, the periodical of the Rhineland-Palatinate section of the BDÜ, edited by the well-named Karin Marx.

The Luther of German comics

Erika Fuchs, who died this week at the age of 98, began translating Micky Mouse and Donald Duck comic strips in 1951.
She was famous, especially because:

bq. she didn’t translate to convey the original as minutely as possible, but to make the German fun to read, even if this meant changes
(perhaps that’s why, as Scott says, adult Germans are much more interested in Donald Duck than adult Americans)

bq. she gave the characters individual voices, unlike the original

bq. all Germans have heard of Entenhausen, but who has heard of Duckburg?

bq. like Luther, she extended the German language through her translations. She created the verb form used in emails and online messages:

bq. EN <G> DE <grins>
The verb is grinsen (to grin), the first person ich grinse, and the email form (called after her the Erikativ) is grins.
The form can be expanded: *schreiunddurchdiewohnungrenn* (scream and through the flat run)

Note: grins can be in asterisks or in angled brackets. How do I do angled brackets in html?

Papal coat of arms/Papstwappen


(Picture from here).

Pope Benedict XVI has included in his coat of arms all the elements of his Bavarian coat of arms as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.

Yahoo reports:

bq. Das dreigeteilte Schild zeigt links oben den «Freisinger Mohren», den Kopf eines gekrönten Äthiopiers, der seit 1316 als Wappen des alten Fürstbistums Freising bezeugt ist. Rechts oben zeigt das Papstwappen einen Bären mit einem Packsattel, der auf eine Legende des Bayern-Missionars und Bistums-Patrons Korbinian zurück geht. Auf einer Reise nach Rom soll ein Bär Korbinians Saumtier gerissen haben, worauf der Heilige sein Gepäck kurzerhand dem Bären aufgesattelt habe. Der Korbiniansbär symbolisiere als «Lastträger Gottes» auch die Bürde des Amtes, erklärte das Erzbistum.

Some newspapers don’t understand the German:

bq. A crowned Ethiopian, a bear and a mussel — all of which appear on the insignia of the diocese — also appear in the three-sectored insignia chosen by Benedict.

OK, the Ethiopian or Moor, Corbinian’s bear (not Korbinian’s, but gives a new meaning to the right to bear arms), and – just a minute – that’s a scallop shell, a Jakobsmuschel, not a Miesmuschel. (The Pope Blog has ‘mussel’ too).

Here’s the right stuff:

bq. The third element, the shell, has several symbolic meanings. First it refers to a famous legend about St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (354-430 AD). Once as he was walking along the seashore, meditating about the unfathomable mystery of the Holy Trinity, he met a boy who was using a shell to pour seawater into a little hole. When Augustine asked him what he was doing, he received the reply, “I am emptying the sea into this hole.” Thus the shell is a symbol for plunging into the unfathomable sea of the Godhead. It also has a connection, though, with the theologian Joseph Ratzinger and the beginning of his academic career. In 1953 he received a doctorate in theology under Professor Gottlieb Söhngen at the University of Munich by completing a dissertation on “The People of God and the House of God in Augustine’s Teaching about the Church.”
Furthermore, the shell also stands for “Jacob’s staff,” a pilgrim’s staff topped with a scallop shell, which in Church art was the symbol of the apostle James (in Latin, Jacobus).

(Incidentally, see the lively discussion behind the scenes at Wikipedia on the article on the Pope).

i.A. / i.V. revisited

Via a Google search leading to my site I found two useful articles in German on the use of i.A. and i.V. on business letters on the website of Verlag für die deutsche Wirtschaft AG. Die Zeichnungsbefugnis im Auftrag also explains the old-fashioned use of f.d.R. (für die Richtigkeit) for secretaries not authorized to use i.A. Vorsicht Unterschriftenfalle – i.A. i.V. says i.V. is in Vollmacht. But it points out that practice varies.

Aber wie bei so vielen Dingen, ist die Unterschriftenregelung firmeninternen Regeln unterworfen und wird in den Unternehmen unterschiedlich gehandhabt. Gehen Sie deshalb auf Nummer sicher, und sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Vorgesetzten ab, zu welcher Unterschrift Sie berechtigt sind.

Like hitting a slightly rotting orange with a golf iron/Explodierende Kröten

The Times Online reports:

bq. AN OUTBREAK of exploding toads is perplexing the residents of Hamburg. The affected creatures seem to behave quite normally, croaking and languidly snapping up flies. Suddenly, after nightfall, they start to balloon to more than three times their normal size and can barely crawl before popping. Their entrails are expelled distances of up to one metre. …
Dogs and children have been warned away. The force of the explosions is impressive. “It’s like hitting a slightly rotten orange with a golf iron,” one Green activist explained yesterday.

The paper adds:

bq. Germans are particularly attached to toads and they have become, in some respects, a symbol of the Green movement.

One theory is that the toads have been attacked by crows. Those that survive blow themselves up and then explode because their skin has already been broken. Der Standard (Austria) reports:

bq. Eine ganz andere Erklärung hat Amtstierarzt Otto Horst vom Bezirksamt Altona. Er stützt sich auf das Gutachten eines Berliner Amphibienexperten, der angesichts der rätselhaften Kröten-Explosionen zur Hilfe gerufen worden war. Demnach wurden die Tiere Opfer von aggressiven Krähen, die es auf die schmackhafte Leber der Amphibien abgesehen hatten. “Sie sind über die Erdkröten hergefallen, haben sie von der Seite angepickt und die Leber herausgezogen”, erklärt Horst. Die Amphibien, die nicht sofort gestorben seien, hätten sich dann in Panik solange aufgebläht, bis die ohnehin aufgerissene Haut geplatzt sei.

Thanks to Abnu.


Wer hat diese E-Mail bekommen?

Has anyone else received this email? I have had it twice in four days. It is from a complete stranger, despite the use of my Christian name and the du. Apparently she has been a “freischaffende Künstlerin” for the past ten years:

bq. Hallo liebe Margaret,

bq. wie sieht bei dir die Auftragslage und die Bezahlung aus? Bist du auch so
gefrustet von den derzeitigen Dumpingpreisen?
Hast du eine gute Kundenaquise?
Ich leider nicht.
Deshalb schreibe ich dich an. Solltest du entgegen meiner schlechten
Auftragslage ein Überangebot an Aufträgen haben, würde ich mich freuen,
Aufgaben zu übernehmen.

bq. Ansonsten habe ich mich um eine Nebentätigkeit gekümmert, die sehr
vielversprechend ist, im Normalfall allerdings nichts mit Übersetzungen zu
tun hat. Dazu benötige ich allerdings noch gute Mitarbeiter, um dieses
Geschäft hauptberuflich ausüben zu können.

bq. Wärst du daran interessiert, mehr darüber zu erfahren, wenn diese Tätigkeit
zeitlich bei dir passt?
Dann ruf mich doch einfach mal an oder mail mir deine Tel. Nr., damit ich
dich anrufen kann.

Electronic journals for translators / Online-Zeitschriften für Übersetzer

On Alexander von Obert’s Übersetzer-Portal, there are descriptions of and links for online journals for translators and descriptions of some print-only ones.

Meist deutschsprachige Übersetzerzeitschriften – Links online bei Alexander von Obert. Auch Zeitschriften, die nur auf Papier erhältlich sind – wobei ich sagen muss, dass zumindest von Hieronymus frühere Ausgaben online zu finden sind (Archiv anklicken).