Autobahn church day/Autobahnkirchentag


Sunday July 30 is Autobahn Church Day, according to the Süddeutsche. German Wikipedia has a map and Deutsche Welle has an English article on these churches.

The first autobahn church was built in 1958, I gather. There are now 21 or 31 of them, depending on who you believe. I’ve been meaning to look at one for the blog for some time now, but every time I see that sign Autobahnkirche, some wicked impulse tells me to drive on. Die Süddeutsche spoke to Pfarrer Klamt at St. Christophorus, Himmelkron (see no. 39 on this diagram of the A9):

Eigentlich hätte er ja gerne was Naturwissenschaftliches studiert. Doch dafür seien seine Schulnoten zu schlecht gewesen. Nun zelebriert Theologe Klamt Gottesdienste für Fernfahrer, Autobahnpolizisten und Rotkreuzhelfer. Er nimmt Durchreisenden die Beichte ab, segnet Fortbewegungsmittel und legt im Foyer Schlüsselanhänger und Autoputzschwämme zum Verkauf aus.

Draft Coroners Bill

I wrote on June 7 that the Coroner Reform Draft Bill was to be published in parallel versions, one of which was to be in plain English.

That bill was published on June 12, and here is a page linking to it and other materials.

It has now been pointed out to me that this is not really a parallel plain English version, but merely extremely extensive notes. But I wasn’t the only person fooled! Here’s an example relating to treasure (the new name for treasure trove, Schatzfund):

bq. This publication is set out so that the Bill is as easy to understand as possible. It
begins with an overview of the contents followed by a list of the Bill’s measures.
The Bill’s clauses and schedules are down the left hand side of the page, with an explanation of the purposes of the clauses on the right hand side.

bq. Act:
35 Investigations in relation to treasure
(1) The Coroner for Treasure must conduct an investigation in relation to an object in respect of which notification is given under section 8(1) or 8A(1) of the Treasure Act 1996 (c. 24) (but this is subject to section 38).

bq. Explanation:
Clause 35: Investigations in relation to treasure
This clause sets out the circumstances in which the Coroner for Treasure must conduct an investigation in relation to treasure, and the purpose of such an investigation. Currently, responsibility for inquiring into treasure finds falls to the coroner in whose area the find is made. In the reformed system, the duty to investigate treasure finds for the whole of England and Wales belongs to a single coroner, the Coroner for Treasure, who will be able to draw on Assistant Coroners for Treasure as required. The workload is not expected to require more than one full-time post-holder.
The Coroner for Treasure is required by subsection (1) to conduct an investigation into objects which have been notified to him under the Treasure Act 1996 and under subsection (2) he has a discretion to conduct an investigation into objects which have not been notified to him but which he suspects to be treasure under that Act.

I wonder if the problem arose in the Times article I originally quoted: it referred first to an ‘easy-to-understand interpretation’ and secondly to a ‘simultaneous translation’. Perhaps I should look at the debates to see what was really meant.

Thanks to Political Umpire at Fora

Becoming an Austrian citizen/Österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft

Anna Netrebko wird Österreicherin

Was, kein Test?

bq. Anders als die meisten Bewerber für einen österreichischen Pass muss der Star keinen Staatsbürgerschaftstest ablegen.

Staatsbürgerschaftstest Fragen Wien.

10. Wo können Mütter in Notsituationen neugeborene Babys anonym abgeben?
Im Neugeborenen-Nest in der Rudolfsstiftung
Im Babynest Glanzing im Wilhelminenspital (Flötzersteig)
In der Kinderkrippe im AKH
11. Welcher Brunnen erinnert noch heute an die Eröffnung der 1. Hochquellenwasserleitung?
Der „schöne Brunnen“ in Schönbrunn

Buying a flat in London/Wohnungskauf in London auf Deutsch

Das bekannte Weblog von Konstantin Binder London Leben hatte bisher seit Januar 2006 vierzehn Folgen zum Kauf einer Wohnung in London (die er wahrscheinlich noch nicht hat). Detailliert, informativ, gut recherchiert, kurzweilig und unter anderem vom rechtlichen Standpunkt nützlich. Auch die anderen Beiträge.

Mit etwas Glueck habe ich in sechs Monaten eine Wohnung und der geneigte Leser einen detaillierten Ratgeber zum Thema Wohnungskauf in London. Das kann bisweilen, fuer ueberzeugte Mietmenschen z.B., etwas droege wirken. Ich bitte da schon mal um Nachsicht. Der normale Blogbetrieb wird in keinster Weise beintraechtigt werden.
Was wird besprochen? Das volle Brett: Finanzielles, rechtliche Bestimmungen, mortgage, Anwaelte, stamp duty, Nebenkosten, leasehold, Kaufvertrag, Versicherung, einfach alles, was man wissen und beachten muss.

German weblog on living in London, with detailed entries on buying a flat in London.

In contrast, Keys Corner on Why German property hasn’t risen in value.

Queen’s Counsel article

In The Big Question: Should we abolish Queen’s Counsel? the Independent gives a lot of information on the phenomenon. Fiona Woolf, the new president of the Law Society (which represents solicitors) has suggested replacing the QC qualification with qualifications for specialist lawyers – rather like the German Fachanwalt.

bq. The rank of Queen’s Counsel dates back over 400 years. The very first person to attain the rank was Francis Bacon, appointed by Elizabeth I in 1594 as a political manoeuvre to prevent him acting against the Crown.

This means that the first QCs really were QCs, not KCs!

bq. The Office of Fair Trading investigated the legal professions in 2001. It concluded that the rank of QC offered the consumer “questionable value” because it permitted barristers to double their earnings overnight. Some barristers are known to even tell their clerks to treble their earnings as soon as the “silk” letter drops through their letter box.

QCs are allowed to wear gowns made of silk. They aren’t always silk, though. The Wikipedia article has two pictures. One shows Cherie Blair in a full-bottomed wig – as it says, this is ceremonial dress, not everyday dress. The other shows Robert McCall KC in the standard outfit.

bq. [The QC] also replaces the black stuff gown of a junior barrister with a black silk gown, although cheaper variants are also worn, including gowns of the same cut but all wool, or in a silk-wool mix, or in artificial silk. The all wool gown is, strictly speaking, a mourning gown, and it is not permitted to wear this variant before the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords, or on ceremonial occasions (as to which, see below), except during a period of official mourning, which is rare. The female Queen’s Counsel wears the same silk gown, wig and bands as her male colleagues.

Apply here.

Flag-flying laws in UK/Fahne zeigen und Gesetze brechen

Apparently it’s illegal to fly a flag in England except on a proper flagpole, and I am the last to know. Guardian today, BBC earlier.

Possibly breaking the law in Upminster two weeks ago:


The Guardian:

bq. Under current planning regulations, it is illegal to fly any national flag without permission from the local council, unless it is hung on “a single vertical flagstaff”.
As part of a shake-up of planning rules connected to advertising, the government is issuing new advice to councils allowing any national flag to be flown without permission, however it is displayed.

Not giving it a rest, Fürth last Saturday:


Monopoly with credit cards/Monopoly mit Kreditkarte

Zur deutschen (österreichischen und schweizerischen) Version von Monopoly siehe Wikipedia.

bq. Interessant ist die Entwicklung der deutschen Monopoly-Version: Die erste deutsche Ausgabe, die in den 30er Jahren auf den Markt kam, enthielt als hochpreisige Straßennamen auch die Straße aus dem Berliner Nobelviertel Schwanenwerder. Dort wohnte auch Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels. Er ließ das Spiel 1936 offiziell wegen des jüdisch-spekulativen Charakters verbieten, jedoch ging es ihm wohl mehr um die schon erwähnte Insel Schwanenwerder als teuerste Straße. In der allgemeinen deutschen Monopolyversion von 1953 ging man diesen Problemen später einfach aus dem Wege, indem man fiktive Straßennamen verwendete. Mittlerweile ist auch wieder die Originalversion mit den Berliner Straßennamen aus den dreißiger Jahren erhältlich. Im Gegensatz zum Schweizer Monopoly sind nur Straßennamen, jedoch keine Städte aufgeführt.

Apparently Hasbro is bringing out a version of Monopoly with a toy credit card and reader instead of paper money (Sky News, via Gizmodo). Some commenters on Gizmodo are adamant that they won’t play any version without the streets of Atlantic City – a problem that doesn’t worry those of us who learnt the game in Britain. AC doesn’t feature on the Monopoly pub crawl route.


bq. Monopoly Here and Now Electronic Banking costs around £24.99, compared to £12.99 for the standard “cash” version.

I’m not sure how new this is, as an electronic banking version appeared in 2005, even in Germany, together with an updated Berlin version.

But apparently there are many versions of Monopoly now. Wikipedia has useful information, including on the online version, and links to other language versions.

What worries me more is the impression I get that Mr. Potato Head, one of my favourite toys when I was a child (I must have been one of the earliest users), is now – for PC reasons? – played without real potatoes. It was invented in 1952, and a plastic body was added in 1964. What an impoverished world we live in.

bq. In 1974 the main potato part of the toy doubled in size and the size of its accessories were similarly increased. This was done mainly due to new toy child safety regulations that were introduced by the U.S. government. Hasbro also replaced the holes with flat slats, which made it impossible for users to put the face pieces and other body parts the wrong way around. In the 1980s Hasbro reduced their range of accessories for Mr. Potato Head to one set of parts. They did however reintroduce round holes in the main potato body, and once again parts were able to go onto the toy the wrong way around.

I should think so too. Where’s the fun if you can’t put the body pieces in the wrong way round?

Imperial College translation memory survey

I take the liberty of reposting this email from an ITI list:

Imperial College London is currently conducting the TM Survey 2006, which is a survey on perceptions and usage of Translation Memory tools. It is addressed to all translation professionals (translators, terminologists, project managers, translation company owners, subtitlers, etc.) and its aim is to discover ways of improving these tools through users’ input. We would be grateful if you would be happy to distribute the link of the survey to your members or publish it where you think appropriate, so that we can get as many responses as possible. We hope that with your help we will be able to produce some very interesting findings for the translation (technology) industry.

bq. Link to the survey:
The survey will close on 31st August 2006.

LATER NOTE: this looks like one Ph.D. student’s work, although I may be wrong. Translators are constantly being asked about TM by students doing projects on it!
The survey doesn’t make it clear if multiple answers are required, and if you say you do use TM and go into detail on it, you still get asked later why you don’t use it.