Comparative Law, Self-Promotion, Translation

FAZ Reviews My Translation of Uwe Kischel’s ‘Comparative Law’

I recently had the honor of translating Comparative Law by Uwe Kischel for Oxford University Press. The book received glowing reviews in the German press, and, after being published earlier this year, also in the English-speaking press. The FAZ recently reviewed (g, paywall) my English translation, and had this to say (my translation):

The book does not read like a translation, but rather as if it had been originally written by a native English speaker who specializes in comparative law.

The reason is that Andrew Hammel, who was for a long period assistant professor for “common law” in Düsseldorf, took over the commendable work of the translating the book. Hammel is an American jurist, and specializes in legal translations. Working closely with Kischel, he translated this monumental volume into English in such a way that it reads as if it were originally written in English. This did not require Kischel’s book to be re-written, since it was, from the very beginning, aimed at an international audience. Thus, the description of European civil law, and especially German law, was quite detailed, which allows foreign jurists to understand German legal thinking.

I am delighted that the reviewer thought the book read as if it were originally written in English, which is my goal with every translation. The goal was easy to reach, since the original was written in such clear, elegant prose. Translating Comparative Law opened up new worlds of knowledge and understanding for me, and reading it will do the same for anyone even remotely interested in the field.

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