Trains and birds in Fürth/Adler-Nachbau und Fasan in Fürth

zonebattler has an allotment not far from Fürth railway station, with a view of a large number of railway lines, when he occasionally posts informed photos of various obscure locomotives.

On Saturday he was able to take several shots of the latest reconstruction of the Adler, the first train in Germany in 1835 (the last one was destroyed in a fire a couple of years ago). He even has a video of it going back to Nuremberg (scroll down). And some close-ups in a later entry.

Almost more exciting is the shot of a large pheasant he startled a week before. I haven’t yet seen these in the town centre either.

Translating ‘Anhang’ and ‘Anlage’

Anhang is a great German word. A bit like Anlage in technical texts, it can be used in all sorts of contexts, where the English might vary. Actually, Anlage is an alternative to Anhang in legal texts too. This is more about English usage than German usage, though.

The English equivalents are multiple and confusing.

1. enclosure: something enclosed in a letter, usually. It implies an envelope, in which you can enclose something.
At the end of a business letter, after your signature, you can write Enclosure(s)

2. exhibit: the Anlage to a document filed at court. And also, I gather, often in contracts in the USA, and at least also in statutory declarations in England.

There is an objection to this in a recent comment from a German lawyer, who says that only the document itself and not the Anlagen is evidence (ein Beweisstück) in German law.
I counter this by saying that there are two meanings of exhibit, in which Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law agrees with me: a) evidence b) a document labeled with an identifying mark (as a number or letter) and appended to a writing (as a brief) to which it is relevant. Gifis and OED don’t agree, but Black’s does:

exhibit 1. a document, record, or other tangible object formally introduced as evidence in court.
2. A document attached to and made part of a pleading, motion, contract, or other instrument.

I’ve actually been checking a discussion on the legaltranslators list at Yahoo Groups, and a translator in the USA had a huge file of US contracts collected over the years – and every one used the term exhibit. This was new to me, but see quote from Black’s above.

At all events, in my experience a pleading (Schriftsatz) is not evidence in English law, and a contract certainly is not evidence at the date it is signed, so the question doesn’t arise.

3. attachment: this refers to anything you attach to email, including a document, an image, an MP3 file or any other file. It should only be used in email, but I imagine its use is growing.

There are a couple of narrow usages that are also fairly clear:

4. In Austria, samt Anhang (s. A.), referring to a sum of money, means something like with supplementary charges

5. In financial statements, Anhang can be translated Notes to financial statements.

After this, we get into the murky waters of differences between British and American English and what to do with contracts and statutes.

Some available terms are schedule, annex(e), appendix, rider, supplement. (Apparently South Africa and some other places use annexure).

6. appendix is a great neutral term for those working for both Britain and the USA. It’s widely understood, perhaps from its use in books, and is acceptable in both countries. I’m not the only translator who uses this as ‘neutral’. I encountered one other who uses appendix all the time, except for very technical appendixes (appendices, if you like) to contracts, which he calls technical specifications.

Unlike appendix, annex(e) and schedule are terms most often used in legalese, and therefore tempting to use. I only say the minimum about these two important terms below, but may expand later.

7. schedule – it seems more British to me than annexe. It is commonly used in statutes as well as contracts.

8. annex(e), without the e seems more common to me in US English. Garner’s Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage disagrees, saying it appears more frequently in BrE than AmE, and in both more frequently in legal than nonlegal writing. But Garner doesn’t mention schedule at all, at least not under S.

Singular ‘they’ in legal English/Geschlechtsneutralität in der englischen Rechtssprache

Mark Liberman at Language Log links to a good summary by the Canadian Department of Justice on the use of they as a singular in legal usage.

The use of the singular “they” is becoming more common not only in spoken but in written English and can prove to be useful to drafters in a legislative context to eliminate gender-specific language and heavy or awkward repetition of nouns.

1. Consider using the third-person pronouns “they”, “their”, “them”, “themselves” or “theirs” to refer to a singular indefinite noun, to avoid the unnatural language that results from repeating the noun.

2. Do not use “they” to refer to a definite singular noun.

3. Ensure that the pronoun’s antecedent is clear.

There is a set of excellent examples showing how they can work well in quite specific cases, and other cases where it doesn’t.

It’s not just a question of avoiding gender-specific language – sometimes an indefinite noun includes he, she and it. For example, a person will sometimes cover artificial/legal persons. But there’s a difference between a Canadian legislative drafter with the support of the government website and a European translator into English.

I’ve often felt the need for this in translation of statutes, but in translation you have no chance of redrafting, so the result may be inelegant either way.

Google for translators/Google für Übersetzer 2

Here’s another example of an asterisk search in Google:

die zwingenden Vorgaben der Richtlinie

The problem is Vorgaben. I usually translate Vorgaben as requirements, but am not really happy with this.


the mandatory * of the directive

Here are some of the ghits:


I quite like provisions, although looking at all the examples in my current text, requirements might fit best after all.

Normally I would not search for a solution to Vorgaben in this way, but here I know this expression relates to EU law and there must be an English equivalent.

Of course, I could search the EU website, or I could download and install the huge EU translation memory recently provided. But the thing is, if the expression is contained in a judgment, I know that there will be a number of different translations, not necessarily all good. And I might just as well save the effort and use Google.

If you want more EU hits, add site:eu or site:europa/eu

Now comes the plaintiff/Amerikanische Schriftsätze

Now comes XYZ Corp., defendant, who moves the Court to exclude the opinions of Joe Blowhard, on grounds that ABC Corp. failed to disclose ….

the (new) legal writer considers how to do this differently and invites comments, of which there are unfortunately none yet at the time of writing.

What to do in German? In an earlier entry with more on this point, I quoted Romain: ‘es erscheint der Beklagte und lässt sich wie folgt auf die Klage ein’ – obviously this was the defendant. Anyway, one might not phrase this way, but this is the meaning, I am sure – X has entered an appearance and says as follows.

What to do in German has also been discussed on

Google for translators/Google für Übersetzer

Thank goodness for the asterisk search in Google:

den Vollzug eines Gesetzes aussetzen


suspend the * of a statute


running (of a statute of limitations)
tolling (of a statute of limitations)

Operation will suit me today.

No MacPope/Schottischer Papst würde verbannt

I am prepared to believe Times Online that the Pope may not (by law) be Scottish. (I got 80% on the Pope Trivia Test got questions 5 and 9 wrong).

Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560

Wikipedia, however, says the Act has fallen into disuse – certainly it has as far as it excludes the jurisdiction of the Pope in Scotland – and doubts a Scotsman who became pope would be punished. I am sure there would be an even greater jubilation in Scotland than there was in Germany on ‘Wir sind Papst’.

English on lawyers’ websites/”Englische” Homepage einer italienischen Kanzlei

RollOnFriday would like to direct attention to the lack of proofreading on the English site of Studio Michele Vaira, especially in the lawyers’ bios. It quotes the following:

“Enrolled into Gold Roll of the best students of Athenaeum, he taked part, like lover of the matter, the Chair of penal proceedings”

Here’s the Italian site.

Here’s the English site. Unfortunately it isn’t working at the moment, but bears the laconic addition ‘Home page is temporarily unavailable. Webmaster was murdered’.

I suppose it makes a change from blaming the translator.

Translation weblogs/Übersetzerblogs

I have added some new weblogs to the side bar (I usually follow RSS feeds with Google Reader, so I have actually got more blogs up my sleeve than I announce).

Thoughts on Translation by Corinne McKay and the yndigo blog by Glenn Cain are both directed at beginning translators, to whom they offer advice. Yndigo Translations is a translation company too, specializing in legal translations. Glenn Cain studied French, later studied translation at New York University, and worked on two year-long projects for Cravath, Swaine & Moore (Wikipedia says, to my surprise, that it is widely regarded as the most prestigious firm in the world – I see from the discussion tab that my reaction is shared by others in the UK!).