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English-German Translation of

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von Windfall (GB), 2013-06-04, 15:33  like dislike  Spam?  
The dict translates Härtefall as "hardship case", but hardship actually refers to lack of money or things difficult to endure in English, whereas Wikipedia says this refers to special cases: Wikipedia(DE): H%C3%A4rtefall. Is this a mistranslation? Härtefall
The translations appear to come from the ever unreliable Mr Honey and LEO and Linguee
Does anyone know a definition of either the English or the German where this is an acceptable translation?
Antwort:  #710278
von ddr (AT), 2013-06-04, 16:11  like dislike  Spam?  
I don't quite understand the differentation in Duden, but maybe the first meaning applies strictly to administration and law, and the second, colloquial one  is used more generally  and imprecise.
I'd use Härtefall especially in social, financial or law contexts. But HärteFALL  alway applies to particular outstanding cases anyway.
von Windfall (GB), 2013-06-04, 16:19  like dislike  Spam?  
I think it probably translates best as "special case". To British ears (used to the university hardship fund which gave money to people in financial need because their circumstances have changed) "hardship case" sounds like it means cases relating to people who have fallen on hard times (LEO's translation of Sozialfall may be equivalent to this). I get the impression that this translation exists because it sounds like it ought to be what the German means rather than because it's a genuinely correct translation. At the very least I'm  sure it can't be used as a translation in all uses of Härtefall, my question is whether it is ever an appropriate translation.
I have heard it used to mean that,  #710286
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2013-06-04, 16:40  like dislike  Spam?  
in discussions about school trips - families who might need financial aid to allow the children to go on the trip.
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2013-06-04, 16:50  like dislike  Spam?  
So it is OK? I've just seen it used in a list of exam regulations, and I'm pretty sure they don't mean financial hardship here, but more special cases (where the normal rules would result in an injustice). Perhaps that would be a good entry: special case [where applying the normal rules would result in an injustice] (I'm not sure exactly what Duden means by soziale Belastung otherwise I'd add that in too)
maybe: a borderline case  #710291
von RedRufus (DE), Last modified: 2013-06-04, 17:24  like dislike  Spam?  
it can refer to the case in question and it can mean the person subject to a strict application of the regulations etc. thus resulting in an injustice (z.B. Der Fall ist Härtefall  -  Er ( = Person X) ist ein Härtefall
von Windfall (GB), 2013-06-04, 17:40  like dislike  Spam?  
I don't think "borderline case" is right - that's cases which fall on the borderline between two possibilities
yes, I know - but you obviously can't violate any regulations in a clear-cut case but ...  #710299
von RedRufus (DE), 2013-06-04, 17:50  like dislike  Spam?  
...  in an borderline case you can bend the rules slightly / just tip the balance  to avoid an injustice
von Windfall (GB), 2013-06-04, 18:02  like dislike  Spam?  
Perhaps I'm getting my cultures confused. In the UK you often are able to decide not to follow regulations (especially regulations that are not enshrined in law) if they would cause an injustice. Heck, we have a whole section of our legal system devoted to sorting out injustices caused by the rest of how the legal system works: Wikipedia(EN): Court_of_equity
A borderline case in the UK is typically one that requires a decision about which side of the border it should go. It's somewhere where you gather more info (for instance someone whose score in their finals at university was borderline might be asked to sit a viva to determine which grade they deserved. It's nothing to do with injustice. Wikipedia makes it sound like an exception can be made in cases where the regulations would create an injustice.
Hardship case  #710342
von Catesse (AU), 2013-06-05, 04:45  like dislike  Spam?  
This is not the same as "borderline case". I am not sure whether I can explain the difference. In a borderline case, there is a continuum, shades of grey.  For example, if you are mixing blue and green colours, at what point is it bluish-green or greenish-blue? Or with a student whose mark is one below the accepted pass mark: is the marker's opinion sufficiently accurate for it to be said that this student has failed?
"Hardship case" indicates that there is some problem with a person's circumstances. Usually financial, but there could be medical or other reason. It can be a clear-cut case of hardship or not hardship, or it could be a borderline case of hardship.
(E.g.: One of my cousins was killed in a traffic accident the day before his son was due to sit for part of his matriculation examination. Son did not apply for deferment - and I don't know whether he needed to apply for a conceded pass on the grounds of special circumstances.)

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