One of the most frequently discussed translation errors is that of Impressum. A search of this site will reveal many posts on it, perhaps leading to confusion. The main purpose of an Impressum is to make it possible to contact the website owner, so I think legal notice is better than disclaimer, even if there is a disclaimer in there too. But to translate it as imprint or masthead is rather ridiculous.

I’ve even discussed Impressumspflicht, and Peter Müller raised the subject too. But this related to substance, not vocabulary.

Now I see in Linguee that there is a sentence on data privacy that gives rich soil for translation errors:

Der Nutzung von im Rahmen der Impressumspflicht veröffentlichten Kontaktdaten durch Dritte zur Übersendung von nicht ausdrücklich angeforderter Werbung und Informationsmaterialien wird hiermit ausdrücklich widersprochen.

Here are some attempts (leaving out the names of the guilty):

We hereby expressly prohibit the use of the contact data published as part of our duty to publish an imprint …

The utilization of contact data published within the bounds of the imprint obligation by a third party for the consignment

The use of the contact details, published in the framework of the index obligations, by third parties for the transmission

The use of contact data which has been published due to general information requirements by third parties,

The use of published contact data within the limits of impring opbligation through third parties for the transfer of not explicitly requested advertising

The use of in the context of the imprint obligation published contact contacts through third the transmittal of not expressly

The use of contact data published in the context of the Impressumspflicht by third parties for the over-sending of advertising not requested

We hereby expressly object to the use by third parties of the contact data published within the scope of our statutory legal notice

The utilization from in the context of the “About us” liability announced contact information by third parties to send implicit

The use of the framework of the imprint obligation published contact data by third parties for the distribution of unwanted

My version would probably be something like ‘Under German/EU law, we have to to publish contact details on our website. We expressly refuse permission to third parties to use contact data revealed in this way to send advertising and information materials that have not been expressly requested.’

3 thoughts on “Impressumspflicht

  1. Very insightful commentary. The translation of “Impressum” has been a pet peeve of mine since my first day on the job. Your examples are both shameful to the originators and frightening to real translators. Some of them were obviously rendered by automated translation software (Google Translate lässt grüßen.) Others that seem to be the product of humans once more reveal how many so-called translators are nothing more than “oversetters”. They convert words from one language to another with no consideration for the message behind them.

    As for your translation, I think it could be tweaked a little. Besides deleting the extra “to” before “to publish”, I would find this version slightly more idiomatic. “German and EU law require us to publish contact information on our website. Individuals visiting this website are expressly prohibited from using our contact information to send us unsolicited advertising or informational materials.”

  2. Thank you. Yes, I was varying what I actually wrote (which is why I wrote ‘something like…’). ‘Unsolicited’ is good, of course.

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