Re: [LEAPSECS] BBC - Leap second talks are postponed

From: Poul-Henning Kamp <>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:58:10 +0100

In message <>, "Clive D.W. Feather
" writes:
>Rob Seaman said:
>> Perhaps folks can comment on international usage broader than my
>> parochial fixation on the United States?
>The current legislation would appear to be Directive 2000/84/EC. The
>English text reads, in part:

Ahh, yes. Another fine example of the madness in writing legislation
in a dozen different languages.

The Swedish version talkes about GMT, which is stupid because UTC
is the basis for the swedish time (with a timezone offset of course).

The Danish version talks about UTC, which is cute since in Denmark
legal time is still mean solar time at the Copenhagen Observatory,
(Our parliament havn't gotten around to fixing this detail yet.
They've had well over a century to do so.)

Which particular term is used in a EU document in a case like this,
is determined from an internal glossary in the particular language
translation-pool in the EP/PE administration in Luxembourg.

Pressumably, lawyers and translators from the relevant countries
(some language-pools are shared between countries) have studied the
subject hard and come up with the correct translation for the local
climate of every conceiveable term.

In the case of a lawsuit in the european court it is the tacitly
assumption that the french language version controls. Not many
people know this.

For anything bad you USAnians have to say about Washington, be glad
that they do all their business in only one language.


Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
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Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.
Received on Mon Nov 21 2005 - 02:08:59 PST

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