Academic Journal of Modern Philology vol. 2 (2013)
Substantivische Komposita in den Erstauflagen des deutschen Familienrechts und deren polnische Entsprechungen
Nominal Compounds in Early Editions of German Family Law and Their Correspondents in Polish
In the literature concerning this subject three phases of development characterizing Polish law emerge. The first phase covers the inter-war period, when fi ve different legal codes were in effect across the Polish state. The second phase characterizes the time of the Polish Peoples Republic, and the third dates from the political changeover in 1989. The present article concerns civil law operating in the fi rst of the above-mentioned periods, specifically the German civil code in effect in the western parts of the Second Republic. Particular attention is given here to Volume IV of family law and to the nominal compounds occurring in it. Nominal compounds enjoy a privileged place in German word-formation. In the present article they are subjected to an analysis by comparing them to their Polish equivalents as used in official translations from the German civil codes of 1923 and 1933. First, the aims of translating the German civil code during the Second Republic are discussed. Next, the semantic relationships holding between and among the elements of German Compounds—whether modifying, appositive, or lexical paraphrase—are analyzed, and their equivalents in Polish are given, among which the most common turn out to be adjectives and adnominal genitives. The majority of the correspondents to German compounds in contemporary Polish turn out to be conventional phrases; only a small number are no-longer used calques from German. Among the latter are translations of German legal concepts with no obvious correspondent in Polish, such as laws covering civil rights (Ehrenrechte) or mortgages (Grundschulden).
Keywords: nominal compounds, language for special purposes, equivalence, complex terms, translation strategies.