Swearing a translation / Bestätigungsvermerk

Sworn and/or certified translators in Germany are governed by the law of the individual Länder. In Bavaria, according to the Dolmetschergesetz, the form of words we place under a translation is prescribed.

bq. Als in Bayern öffentlich bestellter (bestellte) und allgemein beeidigter (beeidigte) Dolmetscher (Übersetzer, Dolmetscherin, Übersetzerin) für die … Sprache bestätige ich: Vorstehende Übersetzung der mir im … (Original, beglaubigter Abschrift, Fotokopie, usw.) vorgelegten, in … Sprache abgefassten Urkunde ist richtig und vollständig.

The wording has changed slightly over the years.

Apparently (I heard in Munich) the BDÜ was promoting a particular English translation of this wording a few years ago. It presumed a translation was headed (Auszugsweise) Beglaubigte Übersetzung (although many reject the term beglaubigen for a mere humble translator, as discussed ad nauseam elsewhere). Here it is:

bq. Certified Translation (in Excerpts)
In my capacity of a translator and interpreter for the English language duly registered and commissioned by and sworn to the State of Bavaria I hereby certify that the foregoing translation is a true and complete translation of …. whereof the original/a copy/a fax copy has been submitted to me.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunder set my hand and seal at …

I wonder if anyone uses this wording?

Seeing red / Dietl Lorenz CD-ROM

The new Dietl-Lorenz German – English CD-ROM is now out. It’s still under the Acolada interface. (Creifelds has its own interface and is really clunky).

Unfortunately, I can’t find a way to change the red colour that Beck Verlag seems to have taken as its trademark.


I emailed Acolada (the link is given with the CD), and they sent me a small file to reduce the colour in part.


Advent calendar / Adventskalendar

When I was about to pick up my update of the Dietl Lorenz CD-ROM at Büttner in Nuremberg, even before I asked for it, I was given this Luchterhand advent calendar with jelly (gummy) sweets in it.


They seemed to be hard to hang up in the bookshop, so anyone else thinking of going to a German law bookshop might considering scrounging one too.

I wanted to advertise a book by Luchterhand so I looked on my bookshelves and all I found at a glance was Jakoby/Kruse, Handbuch für Rechtsanwaltsgehilfen, and they don’t publish that any longer. Well, never mind, I will eat their sweeties anyway.


You say tomayto and I say tomato

At the legal translation seminar in Munich I learnt that people at the European Patent Office don’t mind whether they or I write trade mark or trademark. (I had learnt that trade mark is British and trademark is American – perhaps I’m too much affected by the neue deutsche Getrenntschreibung).

I also gathered that everybody always says patent as in cat (I will call that ‘short’), rather than paytent (I will call that ‘long’ – does the IPKAT, as a cat, do that too?). This is worrying, as I always use the long pronunciation, but persons close to the patent office only say that for patent-leather shoes.

Longman’s Pronunciation Dictionary (first edition) says the standard BrE pronunciation is the long one, and the standard AmE pronunciation is the short one. It also says that when the short A is used in BrE it is mainly restricted to technical use (which is the use I’m concerned with), and when the long A is used in AmE it is only in the sense of ‘open, obvious’ (as in the latent / patent contrast).

Collins English Dictionary has an equally long note to the same effect. It does say that even in the technical sense, the long A pronunciation is commoner in BrE. So am I not alone?

Internet libel in comments/Beleidigung im Internet (Weblog-Kommentare)

There should be a question after that. Steve at language hat has had a letter from a firm of solicitors – one must conclude that they are in the UK, and he is in the USA. He has been asked to remove a comment, publish an apology and full retraction, and pay damages. What advice would one give if advice could be given online? He would give further details in email.

Steve bei language hat hat einen Brief von Anwälten im Vereinigten Königreich bekommen. Er soll aus seinem Blog ein Kommentar entfernen, soll eine Entschuldigung in einer mit den Anwälten abgestimmten Wortlaut veröffentlichen und Schadensersatz bezahlen. Details gibt er per E-Mail.

Real Estate Dictionary/Wörterbuch der Immobilienwirtschaft

I picked this up a couple of weeks ago:
Schulte, Lee, Paul (eds.) plus Gier, Evans, Wörterbuch Immobilienwirtschaft / Real Estate Dictionary EN>DE DE >EN, 2. Ausgabe, Immobilienzeitung, ISBN 3 9805824 8 5

(There are other ISBNs too – it seems to have undergone some changes and be about to go through some more, since it appeared in March 2005. Cheap at 69 euros (there is an even smaller version too).

Now it’s on the Kater Verlag site, so I don’t have to post a page or two. I’m not sure what section it’s in, but here’s the direct link. To see the scanned pages, you have to look at Entscheidungshilfe (see icon with magnifying class beneath the description of the contents).

I’m hoping this dictionary will be helpful with vocabulary describing buildings, some of which can’t be found in architectural dictionaries. I haven’t had a chance to test it properly yet. On the plus side I think he has a number of terms that bilingual law dictionaries ought to have but don’t. Notice on that scanned page that one alternative for Wohnungseigentum is commonhold – that latest Dietl couldn’t manage that. That’s an advantage of a dictionary prepared by people directly involved in a relatively narrow field.

Like all law dictionaries, people using it need to bring some knowledge with them. Sometimes definitions are given, but often there are several target words with no explanation of how they differ.

For example:

Kataster: land register; cadastre; plat book (US)
Katasteramt: land registry; cadastral office
Katasterkarte: index map; cadastral map (or plan)

The distinction between land register and cadaster is understandable. I suspect they overlap in some jurisdictions. Collins English Dictionary says:

cadaster or cadastre: an official register showing details of ownership, boundaries, and value of real property in a district, made for taxation purposes.

In Germany the (Liegenschafts)Kataster is more like a very precise map together with a descriptive part, although it does show the situation, size and use of plots, I think. The Grundbuch uses it as a basis.

A few other things that struck me:

Einfamilienhaus (detached) single-family house
(I would have thought it was just a house)

search: Suche, Durchsuchung
search criterion Suchkriterium
searches Law Einsichtnahme in das Grundbuch

But that meaning does not only exist in the plural.

commonhold (GB) Teileigentum; seit 2003 eine neue Form von Teileigentum ( Wohneigentum) in England and Wales; ein commonhold ist Teil eines freehold land (als commonhold land bei der Land Registry eingetragen); als commonhold wird auch das Prinzip verstanden, freehold properties in Teileigentum aufzuteilen
commonhold flat: Eigentumswohnung

curtilage: eingezäuntes bebautes Grundstück
messuage: Law Anwesen; Wohnhaus inklusive Nebengebäuden und Gartenland

Curtilage and messuage were suggested to me by a colleague – they are commonly encountered in conveyances, but for example Dietl has only messuage, not curtilage (one of the things I’d check Romain for first).

In summary, I think this dictionary is well worth its price. Some of the entries may necessitate further research, but that’s the case with most dictionaries.