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Absicht vs. Vorsatz

English translation: specific intent vs. intent

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Absicht vs. Vorsatz
English translation:specific intent vs. intent
Entered by: Alison Schwitzgebel
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

12:04 Sep 8, 2006
German to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general) / Liability
German term or phrase: Absicht vs. Vorsatz
Sorry to put two terms together, but I seem to be coming up with the same translation for them both and wondered if the legal experts amongst you could tell me the difference between these two terms.

Context:

Vorsatz: Zumindest billigend in Kauf nehmen, daß durch Handeln ein bestimmtes Ereignis eintritt.

Absicht: Zielgerichtetes Wollen und Handeln in Bezug auf ein Ereignis.

Many thanks!
Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:07
intent vs. foreknowledge
Explanation:
Not a lawyer, but this is my layman's understanding of the difference, based on the explanations you provided.

Many US laws include a provision for liability if the person "knew or should have known" the consequences of his act.

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Note added at 21 mins (2006-09-08 12:25:20 GMT)
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Another possibility: intent vs. premeditation

Selected response from:

Darin Fitzpatrick
United States
Grading comment
Thanks Darin - I'm going to opt for your second suggestion. The adjective "vorsätzlich" comes up later on in my text and using "premeditated" fits in well
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4specific intent / intentMargaret Marks
5Intent vs PremeditationJoern Gaedcke
4Intention / malice aforethoughtDavid Moore
4first degree intent vs. intent
Michael Kucharski
3intent / with intent
Camilla Seifert
3intent vs. foreknowledge
Darin Fitzpatrick
3intention vs. intent
Christine Lam


  

Answers


14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
intention vs. intent


Explanation:
for starters

Christine Lam
Local time: 02:07
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 52
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15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
intent / with intent


Explanation:
The very subtle difference seems to be that something done with Absicht is done intentionally or on purpose. Something done with Vorsatz is done WITH INTENT (found "with intent" in my dictionary as a legal term). Implying that the Vorsatz has a more negative implication almost in terms of "premeditated" which is primarily used for criminal activity. Maybe this - within the context of your text - will bring some light on the subject.

Camilla Seifert
South Africa
Local time: 08:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 96
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
intent vs. foreknowledge


Explanation:
Not a lawyer, but this is my layman's understanding of the difference, based on the explanations you provided.

Many US laws include a provision for liability if the person "knew or should have known" the consequences of his act.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 21 mins (2006-09-08 12:25:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another possibility: intent vs. premeditation



Darin Fitzpatrick
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thanks Darin - I'm going to opt for your second suggestion. The adjective "vorsätzlich" comes up later on in my text and using "premeditated" fits in well

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Margaret Marks: May I recommend that this doesn't go into the glossary? Intent/Vorsatz can be on the spur of the moment, whereas premeditation implies planning. Obviously if your text is not too legal it may be OK here, but not normally.
3 days3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
first degree intent vs. intent


Explanation:
"Absicht" is one form of intent. (first degree intent)
"Vorsatz" is a broader term and includes (first degree intent, second degree intent OR direct intent and constructive intent = dolus eventualis)


    Reference: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorsatz
Michael Kucharski
Local time: 08:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 124

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  xxxFrancis Lee: We've all heard of first-degree murder, but intent? CL4? Sorry, but IMO this looks more like a guess.
30 mins
  -> I think you are right. What do you think about "direct" and "indirect" intent?
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Intention / malice aforethought


Explanation:
For me, intention is not necessarily evil, but "Vorsatz" has a definite connotation of evil to it.

David Moore
Local time: 08:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 324

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Kim Metzger: Any legal references to back up your personal feelings?
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
specific intent / intent


Explanation:
Intent and intention are synonyms - you can use either. Intention is slightly less pompous. Intent may be more common in legal English, though.

I would write Vorsatz : intent, Absicht : specific / concrete intent

You may want to write for Vorsatz '(ordinary) intention', to set it off, but that isn't necessary.

These are both kinds of intent(ion). There are just a few offences that require specific intent. For instance, theft: you can't steal something without knowing that it belongs to someone else and intending to remove it from that person permanently. But you could commit bodily harm by knowingly taking the risk that you may hurt someone by your actions, even though your main intention may be something else, e.g. driving down the Autobahn at 250 kph and failing to slow down for someone else.

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Note added at 5 hrs (2006-09-08 17:29:07 GMT)
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I did a little diagram here:
http://www.margaret-marks.com/Transblawg/archives/001834.htm...
showing that there are three things here: indirect intent, direct intent and specific intent. However, the superordinate term for direct and indirect intent (i.e. Vorsatz) is intent.

Margaret Marks
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 256

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  TonyTK: Well, who could argue with that? Although I would have preferred a few pictures in your diagram.
18 hrs

agree  xxxAdrian MM.: though I see no general intent for the 2nd one. Maybe you wanted to avoid the arbitrary Eng. law classification of specific- and gen. intent crimes..
22 hrs

agree  Paul Skidmore: sounds correct to me
1 day2 hrs

agree  Kim Metzger: Thanks for the clarification.
1219 days
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Intent vs Premeditation


Explanation:
'Vorsatz' - I want that outcome; pre-meditate 'meditate in advance' (on the outcome)
'malice aforetought' - 'malice' is 'intention to do evil' etc. That is the DESIRED outcome is NEGATIVE. "Vorsatz' does not necessarily include that. Therefore 'premeditation is better.

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Note added at 13 hrs (2006-09-09 01:48:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

'Absicht' / 'Intent' have generally not been 'thought through' in advance. 'Premeditation' and 'Malice aforethought' generally have been thought through.
'Foreknowledge' has too much a taste of certainty of the outcome.

Joern Gaedcke
Singapore
Local time: 14:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 38
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