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Off topic: Translating from German: Pet hates
Thread poster: xxxIanW
xxxIanW
Local time: 04:44
German to English
+ ...
Aug 11, 2003

Ever had to use four different translations for the word “Angebot” in the same two-page text? Ever manage to come up with a surefire way to deal with the evergreen German “bündeln” in whatever shape or form it might be thrown at you? Ever looked up “vermitteln” in the dictionary to find which of four meanings might be most appropriate, only to discover seven more that you hadn’t thought of? And so on, and so on …

It’s hot, sticky and loveless out there, so let’s all let off a little steam. What are your pet hates when translating from German? And, while we’re at it, I’d love to hear about the bêtes noires in other languages, especially English, my own mother tongue.

All the best


Ian


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jerrie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:44
German to English
+ ...
Leistung / Genuss / Kultur Aug 11, 2003

Often test my patience when the temperature is in the 30's and I am nursing a hangover!

[Edited at 2003-08-11 08:58]


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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:44
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Invented words! Aug 11, 2003

[quote]Ian Winick wrote:
What are your pet hates when translating from German? And, while we’re at it, I’d love to hear about the bêtes noires in other languages, especially English, my own mother tonguequote]

Well, like Jerrie, I would have to say Leistung would be on my list. Also - and this is not really a pet hate... the German's love of creating new words by sticking old ones together to make the longest words they can possibly think of! I suspect there may be competitions organised to see who can make up the longest, most obscure new terms:-) None of which can be found in any dictionary, I may add:-);-)...

You mention other languages too - well, in Spanish I must admit two verbs I reckon should be eliminated from the language (only joking;-)) are 'plantear' (and all its variations) and 'destacar'. Always good for a laugh, they are:-))

Sheila

[Edited at 2003-08-11 09:08]


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 12:44
German to English
+ ...
Writer's pet words Aug 11, 2003

Sorry - see other post!
[Edited at 2003-08-11 09:08][/quote]

[Edited at 2003-08-11 11:10]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:44
Italian to English
We call these "MIRIAMs" on the IT > EN Yahoo group Aug 11, 2003

Hi Ian,

In Italian, there are lots of these "Moderately Irritating Recurring Idioms And Mannerisms" (or MIRIAMs, so called after Miriam Hurley, who first suggested keeping a shared list of possible translations).

You can find the current version at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/it-en/files/

Cheers,

Giles


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 12:44
German to English
+ ...
Writer's pet words Aug 11, 2003

Some writers seem to be using words with a meaning that is all their own idea (or maybe that's just me being paranoid again). Also,I find myself muttering "this guy's no Johann Wolfgang von", as I conclude that something which took ten words to say could have been said in three.
Constructions like "der glücklich mit einem Fußball spielende Junge" get on my nerves, especially if they are in a contract, when you are having enough trouble as it is rearranging the word order to the English pattern and wondering where you can split the sentence to stop the Word spellcheck telling you (as if you didn't know) that it is a "long sentence". I had naively thought all that had gone with Thomas Mann.
I find that it is hard deciding when to leave "auch" untranslated as it is often adding nothing to the meaning (but sometimes it has to be there). The English sensitivity to tautology does not seem to exist in German but I still feel guilty dropping those "extra" German words.

The words which are tricky for me are "Leistung" and "Anlage". Thanks for the opportunity to blow off a bit of steam!

[Edited at 2003-08-11 11:08]


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xxxIanW
Local time: 04:44
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A few more ... Aug 11, 2003

Just a few more inspired by the current gem of literature I'm working on.

The word "Einsatz" - ideally as a heading without any context - is probably my least favorite word, a real killer. And I've just come across a new word: "Fünfsitzigkeit" ...


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 04:44
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
All those words that end in "barkeit" Aug 11, 2003

The ugliest one in my current translation is "Beeinflussbarkeit"..... Gross buckets....

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AngieD  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:44
English
+ ...
Nice one Ian Aug 11, 2003

some of the -träger words (like
Wissensträger)
Leistung
Rahmenbedingungen
Konzept
...
the list goes on!
Angie


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:44
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Patent claims Aug 11, 2003

Not a specific word, but the translation of patent claims, where the whole claim has to be expressed as a single sentence, maybe half a page long, is difficult enough in any language, but particularly from German into English, where in English the verb would be near the beginning and in German you have to work way down through the claim, and maybe not find it till near (or at) the end.

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Krokodil
Germany
Local time: 04:44
German to English
+ ...
One or two (or four or five) more .... Aug 11, 2003

Here are a few of my "favourites":

nachvollziehen
konsequent
zielgerichtet
zukunftsorientiert
grundsätzlich

And, like Angie, I must go along with these "träger" constructions and Rahmenbedingungen!

I've got several more, but these immediately spring to mind ....

[Edited at 2003-08-12 08:34]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 04:44
German to English
Allow me if you will... Aug 11, 2003

I'm always wrestling with sentences that start with "Dabei".
My current text has a listing titled "Umsetzung". Grrr.

And how about these howlers: English words and phrases that are integrated into the German text but are totally alien from their original meanings? Like this one. A training course titled "Just-in-time Trainingsmodul." Turns out they meant you could train at your own pace.
Or "Die Balancing", etc. You know what I mean.


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:44
German to English
+ ...
sogenannte Dinge (so-called things) Aug 11, 2003

This is my (so-called) pet peeve:

This word "sogenannt" seems to be a filler. It goes on my nerves. If it is "sogenannt (so-called)" why not just go ahead and say it! Some people sprinkle this word through their writing at random, very irritating!


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Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:44
German to English
have to agree with Jack Aug 11, 2003

and add how every single "wesentlich" must be included (to an unlimited amount of times in one sentence) or dire consequences may ensue....

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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:44
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Besides "nachvollziehen" "-bar", "überschaubar" Aug 11, 2003

I love these words in German, but only there. "Dabei..." und "nur so kann..." are other constant headache-makers. So-called I always squelch (one way or another). Great thread idea.

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