Translation problem/Recht haben und Recht bekommen ist zweierlei

On the Omniglot blog, today’s problem is how to translate:

Recht haben und Recht bekommen sind zwei verschiedene Dinge (ist/sind zweierlei)

It means: Being in the right and getting justice are two different things.

It isn’t very easy to translate it elegantly. Lukas seems to be doing best so far (5 entries at time of posting).

5 thoughts on “Translation problem/Recht haben und Recht bekommen ist zweierlei

  1. It’s such a pretty pair that it’s a shame that as you say it’s not used in the power sector (I used to work for a large energy system builder). One reason I suspect is that the words sound too similar, but the potential was certainly there: “A leaky joint is difficult of detection by any other means, as there is no emission of water from it in the usual way ; and as the only immediate consequence of a leaky joint is the immission of air, …” (A practical treatise on warming buildings by hot water etc etc, 1837)

  2. I come across this myself quite a bit, and I’m afraid there’s really nothing you can do. The problem is not just the dichotomy between something imitated and something received, but also that Immissionen is often used to mean “noise pollution”, so emissions does not work well in that case.

    “Immissions” in English (which is only discernible from “emissions” in writing, not when spoken

    • I have used ‘air pollution and noise’ in the past. In this case no noise was involved, so ‘environmental impact’ was OK. As you say, and it’s always like this in legal translation, it depends very much on the text and the user how you can translate.
      Yes, I had not thought aobut the similar sound (see trebots’ comment too). I imagine I would think ‘immission’ was a misspelling of ’emission’ if I were ignorant of the German.

  3. There is another use of the German term “Immissionen” in connection with real property, which Dietl/Lorenz translates as “nuisance” with the German description “Einwirkungen vom Nachbargrundst

    • Without doing any research, ‘imponderable’ sounds odd to me and doesn’t convey anything except something negative.
      I would not use ‘nuisance’, because nuisance is a tort and that may not be the case. Again, there may be situations where ‘inconvenience’ works.

      I agree with Craig that it has to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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