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RE: [Czechlist] Term - Eng - Jurisdiction

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  • Jirka Bolech
    Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject. We ve basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one. ... within 15 minutes or
    Message 1 of 12 , May 3, 2008
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      Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject. We've
      basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one.

      > These happen to be the cases selected because they could be resolved
      within 15 minutes or a half hour.

      To pay justice (in exchange ;-)) to the Czech Republic's courts, they do
      deal with some cases efficiently, for example if you fail to have a valid
      fare ticket using city transport and refuse to pay the fine if cought by the
      wardens (or whatever you would call these guys who on a random basis check
      the passsangers for having paid the fare). There's normally no standing for
      that, only a kind of buraeucratic procedure. The same for failing to pay
      your insurance policy; policy contracts leave no space for defence.

      I also admit that the cases in those three particular YouTube shots were
      rather simple and the defendants rather simple too (although the middle one
      [as listed] was just unlucky to upset the judge). What I can't imagine being
      in this country is the way the judges shown there speak to the defendants.
      Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the only real difference is we don't yet have TV
      shows like that over here...

      Jirka Bolech
    • James Kirchner
      ... The fact that it doesn t deal with syntax or linguistic terminology doesn t mean it s not useful to translators. I m finding more and more that people s
      Message 2 of 12 , May 5, 2008
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        On May 4, 2008, at 2:32 AM, Jirka Bolech wrote:

        > Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject.
        > We've
        > basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one.

        The fact that it doesn't deal with syntax or linguistic terminology
        doesn't mean it's not useful to translators. I'm finding more and
        more that people's problems with translation are often due to an
        inability to visualize what's behind the words, and absorbing more
        knowledge about legal systems, technical processes or social behavior
        helps people make the jump from words on a page to actual
        understanding and sensible translation.

        It's possible to know every word on a page, and not understand
        anything. As I've mentioned before on the list, I demonstrate this
        with my ESL classes. I give them this paragraph, which contains no
        words that they don't know:

        "It was the day of the big party. Jennifer wondered if Tom would like
        a kite. She went to her room and shook her piggy bank. There was no

        Then I ask them these questions:

        1. What kind of party is it?
        2. How old are Tom and Jennifer?
        3. Why is there no sound?

        A woman recently arrived from Lebanon says:

        1. "The party is a wedding."
        2. "I don't know how old Tom and Jennifer are, but they're definitely
        not children."
        3. "There's no sound because the guests haven't arrived yet."

        A man from Macedonia says:

        3. "There's no sound because the wind isn't blowing on the beach, and
        they can't fly the kites."

        A woman from Vietnam -- the best student in the class -- says:

        "I think this paragraph has no meaning!"

        The Chinese woman agrees.

        Most of the people who misunderstand the paragraph -- whose meaning is
        obvious to Americans -- come from countries with no tradition of
        children's birthday parties or of children having their own money.

        The same thing can happen to translators, even though they have
        relatively sophisticated language knowledge. I've done many a repair
        job on translations that were botched because the first translator
        couldn't picture the situation. I got one that had a Bohemian glass
        producer delivering large quantities of glass to St. John twice a
        year. Of course, by medieval times, St. John had been dead for
        centuries, but the original translator apparently had no clue about
        scheduling things according to the Catholic liturgical calendar (such
        as on the feast of St. John), rather than according to numerical dates.

        I've seen a Czech interpreter translate an explanation of how vacant
        housing in an American city is rehabilitated as if the US city were
        reenacting the 1948 communist seizure of the Czech bourgeoisie's
        houses and their breaking them up into apartments. The city was
        actually selling abandoned houses to people at a discount. The Czech
        interpreter lacked the mental schema for abandoned housing and its
        disposal, because this doesn't really exist in Europe.

        The same day, I saw an American banker talk about a volunteer
        organization of bankers that met a couple of times a week to research
        and apply for improvement grants for the city. It was all totally for
        free, but the then mayor of Brno talked to me later and had understood
        it as a scheme for flowing the grant money through the banks so that
        the banks could take a piece of it. This was not stated, and it
        wasn't happening, but because His Honor the Mayor lacked the right
        cultural schema in his mind, he completely misunderstood what was
        being told to him, even in his own language.

        So this cultural stuff is important.


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