|LEGAL TRANSLATION CONFERENCE|
Translating German Criminal Law into English
Through analysis of texts, such as Strafbefehl, Anklageschrift, and Urteil, we will consider the basic vocabulary of criminal proceedings in the courtroom, penalties, and procedure. We will also consider the sources of German criminal law and some differences in substantive law, including the definitions of specific criminal offenses and the determination of criminal liability. The translation of criminal law is often neglected in publications. Where can we start our research? There will be opportunities to work out and discuss approaches to terminological difficulties that are suggested by the audience.
The language of taxes and social insurance sits uncomfortably at the interface among tax law, labor law, and accounting. While one might initially assume such terms are limited to accounting documents, many terms also arise in contracts and prospectuses. Dictionaries can often mislead the American legal translator regarding such matters. Certain British-derived terms have become so deeply embedded that American translators sometimes have to use them even though they know their use will mislead the readers. Nevertheless, in many cases there are alternatives that will be much more meaningful for American clients. The speaker will discuss some of these-the actual legal definitions of certain taxes and other levies as well as finding the most meaningful North American equivalent. The emphasis of this presentation will be legal language, rather than the language of accounting or current social issues.
Swiss Legal German
Despite the enormous number of German-language legal documents from Switzerland that translators are called upon to translate into English every year, the dictionaries on the market include only a fraction of the terms that are unique to Swiss legal German. This presentation will demonstrate the translation of a set of bylaws from a Swiss company into English, focusing on the differences between Swiss legal German and the terms used in Germany. The presentation will also consider Swiss terms from other legal contexts and suggest resources for solving the conundrums that they present.
Recurring Problems in German>English Legal Translation
Legal translators are constantly dealing with areas of law that require research. Bilingual dictionaries cannot be relied upon and monolingual dictionaries do not explain the differences between the legal systems. An English term that works in one context may not work in another. How many types of problems encountered in legal translation can translators prepare for in advance? This presentation concentrates on the recurring problems and the problems that translators can foresee and plan for (i.e., names of courts and institutions, names of statutes, abbreviations, Latin expressions, etc.). We may not find one solution that always works but we can, in advance, put ourselves in a position to quickly decide how to proceed when the next text is in front of us.
Translating German Contracts
The recent reform of the German Schuldrecht offers a timely opportunity to examine German contracts and the rather extensive differences in assumptions behind German and U.S. contractual relationships. This presentation will explore the general structure and terminology of German contracts with a particular emphasis on practical strategies and common pitfalls in translating contracts into English. The material is based on a well-received presentation (with Lois Feuerle) from the ATA Annual Conference held in Atlanta in November 2002.