The Party of the First Part / Weblog zur englischen Rechtssprache

Isabella Massardo at Taccuino di traduzione has unearthed the Party of the First Part website and weblog, by Alan Freedman.
The sites are advertising a book of the same name that has not yet been published. Unfortunately, William Safire has given his approval.

What does it mean?
Witnesseth? Aforesaid? Quash that subpoena ab initio? Ask POFP for a translation of your favorite drivel and/or check out our A – Z glossary of legal terms already defined by our panel of distinguished experts.

In addition to the glossary, there is a competition for the Golden Gobbledygook Award for bad legalese and a Hall of Shame.

I think the earlier entries – a few a year from 2002 on – were originally syndicated in newspapers.

Time will tell how useful this blog is, but it certainly has a lot of useful legal English in it.

One L

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog invited some lawyer-authors who went to law school to give advice to One Ls (several entries dated August 31).

Ron Liebman, Saira Rao, Jeffrey Toobin, Cameron Stracher, Jeremy Blachman, and Scott Turow. There is a description of their own writings for each of them.

Mixed bag / Aus Weblogs

Word Play is a new translation weblog by Hagit in Israel. It looks promising (by which I mean it looks as if it is going to discuss things about translation that interest me!).

Anatol Stefanowitsch in Bremer Sprachblog analyses and deflates the following Denglish statement by a Raiffeisenbank marketing director:

Im englischen Sprachgebrauch schafft die Redewendung „it depends on the point of view“ gedankliche Freiräume für Diskussionen und gegenseitiges Verständnis.

At Vorspeisenplatte, die Kaltmamsell is not one to run down British food, not only at Borough Market. But now she has encountered fried bread for the first time and gives a photograph – I think the bread in the photograph looks too oily and not brown enough. Most of the comments express horror. At least Hape says that bread done in oil in the oven was once eaten in Germany too.

The fried bread – dry toast is an alternative – is good for mopping up egg yolk or, especially, as a basis for fried or grilled tomatoes. Recovering from my first reaction of shame at ever having been involved in, indeed cooked, something so horrific, I ask myself why this is so different from a pile of pancakes and syrup in an American breakfast – I have a feeling they would get a better press.


LATER NOTE (see comments below): the following advertisement contains a mistake which has now been corrected. Apparently people are to be measured no matter what their nationality, origin or age is. Indeed, more information in Wikipedia on Konfektionsgröße and on the SizeGermany website did not support the wording of the advertisement. In addition, it is absolutely necessary for immigrants etc. to be included: this was done in the Netherlands and France in related projects.

SizeGermany is a project by the Hohensteiner Institut and Human Solutions GmbH to measure thousands of Germans and presumably improve clothes sizes. So I see from an ad by adidas factory outlet in the local rag. Pictures here.

You can apply to join in, but it says in the paper:

Länderspezifische Vermessung durch das Hohensteiner Institut und die Human Solutions GmbH. Teilnahme deshalb leider nur für deutschstämmige Probanden von 6 bis 65 Jahren.

I would have thought they would have taken German passports, but how do they test deutschstämmig?

SECOND LATER NOTE: (Still quoting the (German) comment by a representive of the Hohensteiner Institut) Children must be at least six, but there is no upper age limit – however, you must be able to stand up and sit down during the measuring process.

On top of that, when you are being measured you will be asked what part of Germany your parents come from, because certain assumptions need to be tested: it is believed that people in North Germany are taller than those in the south, and that people in towns are taller than those in the country, which would be important information for clothing retailers.

(Incidentally, the results of the test will only be available to the companies that commissioned it).

TV and employment law/Kündigung in Big-Brother-Art

In der BBC-Sendung The Apprentice (etwa: In der Lehre) bewerben sich sechzehn Lehrlinge um eine Arbeitsstelle bei Sir Alan Sugar. Jede Woche wird einer von ihnen aus der Sendung hinausgeworfen im Stil einer Kündigung (The Scotsman):

The Apprentice, shown on the BBC, sees 16 contestants compete for a £100,000-a-year post with the self-made millionaire, Sir Alan, one of Britain’s best-known businessmen. Each week, one contestant is thrown out of the contest by the Amstrad founder, who leans across his boardroom table, points a finger and declares: “You’re fired!”

Jetzt vermutet eine schottische Kanzlei, dass seit der Erstausstrahlung viele Arbeitgeber Sir Alan nachgeahmt haben, was mit dem Arbeitsrecht nicht im Einklang steht.

Mr Muir said: “Since The Apprentice came on TV, we’ve seen a massive rise in dismissals in which employers or bosses apparently emulate or copy Sir Alan Sugar’s methods. There is no doubt about it. It has resulted in a series of unfair dismissal applications to employment tribunals.”
Employment law requires certain procedures to be adhered to in dismissing an employee. An investigation in the first instance should be followed by a disciplinary hearing. If that hearing finds in favour of dismissal the employee should be given an opportunity to appeal.

(Via The Barrister Blog‘s excellent weekly review)

Saxon-Swabian dictionary/Sächsich-Schwäbisches Glossar

Now that the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is merging with the Sachsen Landesbank, the FTD has some language assistance. Article with glossary:

bq. # Ei for|bibbch, sächs.: erstaunter Ausruf; (schwäb.: Heidenai, Heiligs Blechle)
# Fehds, der, sächs.: Spaß; nicht zu verwechseln mit der amerikanischen Notenbank Fed
# Glu|fa|michl, der, schwäb.: Pfennigfuchser; (sächs.: Fännischfuggsr)
# gmähds Wies|le, ein, schwäb.: günstige Gelegenheit; Bsp.: “Die Sachsen LB war ein gmähds Wiesle”; (sächs.: Schnäbschn)

More Saxon at Sachsen Welt (dictionary).

(Via Sven Kaulfuß in Cyberbloc)

Translation delays/Sechsfacher Mord in Duisburg

RP Online had a story on August 24 headed Mafia-Akte lag sechs Wochen beim Übersetzer.

This turned out to mean that the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) had the file in Italian on June 29, a translation was ordered and it arrived on August 7.

It seems obvious that the journalists on RP Online have never translated anything for the German authorities.

At least they are shyly admitting that this was a Mafia killing. Previously it was always claimed there was no Mafia in Germany (funny that I had heard otherwise from Italian translators in Bavaria…)

ATICOM was on the case of RP Online promptly with a clarification by the President.

bq. Aus unserer täglichen Berufserfahrung können wir Ihnen nachweislich mitteilen, dass zwischen der Auftragsvergabe durch eine bearbeitenden Geschäftsstellen bis zum tatsächlichen Postversand an den Übersetzer in der Regel bis zu 2 Wochen vergehen können, weil die internen Postabläufe innerhalb einer Behörde manchmal lange Wege haben.

(Only two weeks?)