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!).

15 thoughts on “Translation weblogs/Übersetzerblogs

  1. Margaret,

    Thanks so much for your little blurb about me here! I just found it, and I’m flattered. And I’ve been reading your blog. Great tips and information on your site. I just added the link to my own.


    • I only translate into my own language, but when it comes to specialist translation, including law, I would not say it’s impossible to go the other way. You need someone who understands the law and the terminology. And I certainly know a couple of German translators who prefer to translate contracts DE>EN because German contracts are so much easier than English!

    • Actually, I am getting interested in this after all. I know we don’t agree on this, but here are some remarks on the last section about those lacunae. But whatever quibbles one may have, I think the translation will do the job, won’t it? Of course we are, or at least I am, more interested in pettifogging disagreements with it.

      Btw, I have no objection to the heading. Another acceptable heading for me would be ‘Agreement’. I don’t think the heading matters so much.

      Now, down to 13.4 ‘Wholly or in part’ has been added although it is not in the German (it often is, and I usually write ‘in whole or in part’). I see no difference between Regelungsl

  2. I agree with all of your points, save the title, made re the translation.

    Pettifogging our disagreements may be, until a translator gets sued for what originally appeared to be a triviality e.g. claiming a provision is so found (possible interpretation: adjudged by a court) ineffective when it was nugatory ab initio, namely inoperative from or even before the start.

    Also, it

  3. I didn’t want to disagree with details because the document is directed at the entire world, not at readers accustomed to a specific variant of the English language, or at readers from a specific jurisdiction. There may be legal systems where the translation is perfect. I speculate that the author has some sort of “global English” in mind because he does not refer to a specific version of the language.

    As a practical matter, I would have a client see a qualified translator when receiving such a dual-language document. With the appropriate caveats, however, the document seems useful in that it conveys a general idea of what the client is asked to sign.

    From a drafter’s perspective, I would think that the author — after completing the translation — could return to the original and adjust it to the translation, so that items intentionally omitted in the translation will be properly reflected in the original. As the author of both versions, he enjoys more flexibility, after all, than a translator who is bound by an original.

    • Well, I’m a bit torn between posting the translation without comment, as it’s of interest to readers, and considering how I would have done it differently. I then thought it was worth mentioning the style: when it comes to legalese, German lawyers writing English tend to be more Catholic than the Popee. (Of course, US contracts may well be more formal than English ones). I think that a bit of discussion of style is of interest, although it may be irrelevant to the meaning.

  4. I don’t want to appear pushing you, but I would really appreciate seeing your version – and so be able to compare two versions of the same text.

    So, if your time permits…

    • To be honest, I don’t feel like doing that. It would take quite a while, and I shouldn’t think the result would be different enough from the other translation to be really exciting. I might post a sentence or two to show what I mean by different styles, but style is not so very important in legal translation.
      If I did want to retranslate the whole thing, there would be the problem of copyright. People say there isn’t really copyright in contracts, but this contract is prepared in two languages, both to be presented together.

  5. You diplomatically skipped the mistranslation or ‘change of emphasis’ in the very first line. The General Meeting etc. reserves the right. It is NOT incumbent upon it, namely it has no duty enforceable in law, to determine such allocation.

    • Fancy me overlooking that!

      I haven’t read the whole thing carefully, but I don’t think there’s much of that kind of thing.

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