Schwibbert in Luxembourg: time to learn Slovenian?

Angry to the point of being speechless, the IPKat finds yet another European Court of Justice that is not available in English. It's the Opinion of Advocate General Verica Trstenjak (right), published this morning on the Curia website, in Case C‑20/05 Pubblico Ministero v Karl Josef Wilhelm Schwibbert. The IPKat has been able to inform readers of the questions referred for a preliminary ruling and, with the help of his friend, he has been able to give a little background to the case. But now he is stuck, because he doesn't know how Mme Trstenjak has advised the court to rule. Since the good lady is from Slovenia, it is nice to see that the nine languages in which the Opinion is available include Slovenian (even though the original text of the Opinion is French). So, for those of you who are fluent in Slovene, the news is that
"Nacionalne določbe, ki predpisujejo označevanje z razlikovalnim znakom nacionalnega organa, pristojnega za zaščito avtorskih pravic, pomenijo tehnični predpis, ki ga je treba v skladu s členom 8 Direktive Evropskega parlamenta in Sveta 98/34 z dne 22. julija 1998 o določitvi postopka za zbiranje informacij na področju tehničnih standardov in tehničnih predpisov, sporočiti Komisiji Evropskih skupnosti. Sporočiti je treba vsako razširitev področja uporabe navedene obveznosti. Nacionalno sodišče mora odkloniti uporabo določbe, glede katere ta obveznost sporočanja ni bila izpolnjena".
Babel Fish tells him it means this, having translated it from the French original:
"National provisions imposing affixing of the distinctive sign of the national organization charged to collect the royalties create a technical rule having to be communicated at Commission of the European Communities, in accordance with Article 8 of directive 98/34 of the European Parliament and the Council, of June 22, 1998, envisaging a procedure of information in the field of the standards and regulations technical. It must be proceeded to a communication with each extension of the field of application of the aforementioned obligation. It falls to the national judge to refuse to apply a provision not satisfying to this obligation of communication".
The IPKat wouldn't wish to change a word of this immortal prose, for fear of infringing Babel Fish's moral right to the integrity of his translation, though he mewses from time to time as to who is the author of the translation: Babel Fish or (as he believes) himself?

Left: recently seen in Luxembourg - a hopeful candidate for the position of judge at the European Court of Justice puts the finishing touches to his interview technique

Merpel adds, don't email the IPKat and tell him he shouldn't be so lazy and should spend his time learning another language instead. He could speak 13 official European languages and still not be able to understand this Opinion.

How to learn languages here
The Five-Minute Linguist here
Translation bloopers here, here, here, here and here
Schwibbert in Luxembourg: time to learn Slovenian? <i>Schwibbert</i> in Luxembourg: time to learn Slovenian? Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, June 28, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. I'm not saying Slovenian translations are more important than English translations, but saying that "he could speak 13 official European languages and still not be able to understand this Opinion" is not true if he made a rational choice: the judgments are *always* available in French, so you could just learn French.

  2. I saw a CFI case the other day only in German and Italian, I am sure... Some appeal from OHIM last month.

    However, French would usually do the trick!

  3. Not so. Looking at one random recent decision, Case T-98/07 Hoffmann v Commission is available in German only. Over the years I've come across plenty others.


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