JewishGen German Research Division Coordinator
On Saturday, 9 June, your Moderator approved a message for posting to
our list that should have been rejected.
The message contained a citation of the Leo on line dictionary and it
was inspired by an earlier question about the meaning of the term
The writer went on at some length about "a wonderful site [that] might
also help others on the list". After calling the Leo site
"wonderful", however, the writer explained that Leo failed to
translate "Wanderbucher" (u umlaut).
The text of this message was almost certainly garbled when GerSIG
subscribers received it because the writer failed to eliminate several
foreign language accent marks contained therein.
Our list rules, posted at our website and sent to every new subscriber
with a plea to save them for future reference, explain that our list
server often garbles text including accent marks.
For that reason you should not use the umlaut, esszet and other accents
that not part of the English language when you write email to us.
JewishGen orders list Moderators to reject emails that violate this rule.
I did not reject the message about the Leo dictionary even though it
contained umlauts and the resulting garbled text. I allowed the
message because I prepended a warning that you should not use umlauts.
I thought that the note of warning, together with the garbled text in
the message would be a useful reminder of this rule together with an
illustration of the reason for the rule.
I could also have rejected that message because it contained a
citation of an Internet tool that has been cited many times before in
our list and which is included in the group of free translation tools
at the GerSIG website.
Instead of rejecting the message for that reason I prepended another
Moderator note reminding readers of the many free translation tools amd
dictionaries that are listed and evaluated at our website.
I apologize to readers who were bothered by the garbled text in that
message and by the redundant citation of the Leo Dictionary. I also apologize
for not separating my MOD NOTE more distinctly >from the writer's own text.
I further apologize to JewishGen for allowing this message into our
Forum in spite of its rule violations.
Another apology is due - one >from Fritz Neubauer who wrote a later
message in which he attributed *** my *** citation of the translation
tool list at our website to the person who sent the post about the Leo
Dictionary. It was I - your Moderator - who cited the translation
tools, not the writer of the email to which my citation was prepended.
Regarding the effort to translate the term "Wanderbucher" (u umlaut)
that appeared in some documents >from 1769 - 1873 ----
There was quite a bit of comment in reply to the question about this term.
Experienced researchers have pointed out many times in this Forum that
the meaning of words often depends on the context in which those words
Context means the place and time that the word was used and the full text
in which it appeared.
Every page of any play by Shakespeare includes at least one word that
now has a different meaning than it did when Shakespeare wrote it.
You don't have to go back that far for examples of the evolution of language.
"Green" used to mean just a color, "gay" a cheerful mood, and "web" a
thing spiders made to catch dinner. Imagine how confusing it would be
for a non-English speaker who used an old dictionary to translate these words
as used in an article >from this week's "Time" Magazine.
Every translation tool has limitations. Most words can mean more than
one thing. Our Forum has rules that should be followed by listmembers and
by Moderators. End of story.
GerSIG Moderator 1 Suburban NYC GerSigMod@Gmail.com