Burton Constable Hall – Paul Clarke writes:

A select bunch of us met up at midday in beautiful sunshine and what, unfortunately, turned out to be quite a sharp breeze off the North Sea, to visit Burton Constable Hall and gardens, just to the east of Hull. Set in 330 acres of parkland, the Hall has a Capability Brown bridge built in the 1770s as a feature linking what had previously been Tudor fishponds – a theme continued to the present day as demonstrated by the numerous fishermen around the lake. We started with a quick picnic in the gardens before setting off on a walk around the lake and through some bluebell woods, chatting as translators will about customers good and bad, how to raise rates (always popular!), the teaching of languages and grammar (a Good Thing obviously) and what we do when we’re not riveted by the texts we translate.

Walking around the lake with the Capability Brown bridge in the distance.

The Hall itself has a wide variety of furnishings, including the most bonkers Chinese-themed light fittings some of us had ever seen, which wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Harry Potter film set.

Those of us still there at four o’clock met up in the restored stable block for some refreshment before setting off back home after what had been a very enjoyable visit to a corner of Yorkshire I’d never seen before.

From Bleak House to Marilyn Monroe – Miriam Bianco writes:

On 16th April 2016, Yorkshire Translators’ Network held its third legal workshop in York run by solicitor, David Hutchins on the topic of Company and Intellectual Property Law. A multitude of translators and newbies had gathered from across the region, and many interesting discussions – sparked by a motley range of questions and answers (and a few raised eyebrows) – were had, both during the workshop and in the café-bar afterwards.

Have you ever wondered about the differences between ‘void’ and ‘voidable contracts’? Or why the courts now talk of ‘claimants’ and not ‘plaintiffs’? Are a ‘sole trader’ and a ‘sole practitioner’ the same thing? Who was Right Honourable Lord Wolff … (and does he matter?) Heard of the Plain English campaign – thought you knew all about it…? How many types of ‘equity’ are there? Have you ever thought about the number of prosecutions for insider trading in the UK? (Well, why would you?)

If you’d like to know the answer to these and many other legal questions, this training was your chance. Alternatively or additionally, the anecdotes and stories sprinkled throughout the workshop were both funny and enlightening, giving much food for thought: from references to Enron to Dicken’s Bleak House, from Marilyn Monroe to Michael Douglas, from Ted Heath to Michael Gove.

The day provided a whirlwind tour of many of the important legal concepts and their applications in England. Legal terms were presented: there were affidavits and debentures, for example, injunctions and restraining orders, damages, indemnities and statements of truth, all used in legal English today. The complexities in this field are noteworthy: from apparently simple concepts of corporate personality and company constitutions to agency, floating charges and independent directors in company law to beneficial ownerships and the integrity right. The nuances of language were also plentiful, from disclosure, partnerships, preferences and WAGS, to Latinates: misfeasance.

There were reams of notes, typifying, of course, the Articles of Law, full of explanations and legalese. Documents on The Terminology of Companies, Company Law and other Business Structures, and Articles of Association, Property and Intellectual Property, and Patents were provided, some for reference, since, even at breakneck speed, there simply wasn’t enough time to go through all of them.  David did a brilliant job of navigating through them for the participants, with examples and translating the meaning of legal language into layman’s terms. Such insights prove invaluable for the legal translator seeking equivalence when there isn’t much and then finding solutions, the actual terms that will be used in the translation of different legal systems (from common law to civil codes) whether in Germany, Italy, France or elsewhere. A few faux amis were mentioned: magistrate, tribunal and jurisprudence.

For anyone new to this specialism, the workshop provided a fascinating introduction to law and business, and their current permutations in today’s political environment. For the experienced, the clarification on terminology and detailed explanations of what things mean and why, would have been undoubtedly useful too. For those avidly curious in-betweeners – explorers trying to find out and understand more about the language, wealth and power of the legal profession – this provided through a superb and entertaining introduction to the politics of law and business, or the law of politics and business. Suffice it to say that, for aspiring and established legal translators, this will remain a serious training option for their CPD.

Want to know more? Go to www.lexacomlegal.com for a range of courses.

Scales of Justice – Ruth Bartlett writes:

Our April outing was a mid-week trip to Bingley Little Theatre to see Scales of Justice, a courtroom drama, based on true events, about the struggle for justice of a recently naturalised German industrialist who is interned following the outbreak of World War I as a result of fraud committed by his local Member of Parliament.

The play was a perfect and timely fit for the YTI.  In it, Hans Muhler faces a monumental struggle to be accepted by his adoptive country and defined by his actions rather than by his country of birth.  Despite adopting the British nationality, marrying a British wife, identifying with British values and actively contributing to the war effort, he is viewed by his host nation primarily through the prism of his German nationality, something that is brought into sharp relief when war strikes.

This struggle to be accepted as an individual in the face of stereotypes and prejudice, particularly at a time of international crisis, will have resonated with the many of us who have made a life for ourselves overseas.  Moreover, the legal aspects of the drama whetted our appetites for the David Hitchens law course in York the following week.  We thoroughly enjoyed the play and this opportunity to take some time out for a mid-week bite to eat, a choc-ice and a chat with friends.

Thank you to Charlotte and Edwina for organising!