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Local euphemism of "Senior Citizen"
Thread poster: Stephen Rifkind

Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:56
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 14, 2007

Every government has found a nice term to describe those over 65 for purposes of discounts and taxes. Of course they cannot call them "old people" for the same reason nobody ever dies.

The U.S. version is "senior citizen" (Is a child a junior citizen"?)

The Israeli version is "Ezrah Vatik", with "vatik" generally being used for a employee who has worked someplace fpr a long time. I would jokingly translate it as "long standing citizen"

What are other official terms of people over 65?

Moderator: if this is in the wrong forum, please move it to the correct one.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
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Indian Version Apr 14, 2007

In India, the English version is: Senior Citizen and the Hindi version is varishTha naagrika (वरिष्ठ नागरिक)

And the age varies for different purposes... for some purposes its 60 and for others 65.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:56
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Literal translation? Apr 14, 2007

Is the Hindi version a literal translation of "senior citizen"?

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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Yes Apr 14, 2007

It is literal translation of the English term

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Deschant
Local time: 11:56
Third age Apr 14, 2007

Despite sounding suspiciously as a period of time of the LOTR history, it is the term used mainly in Spain to refer to the senior population. In fact, the Spanish "tercera edad" does not refer to an individual, it is rather a collective noun referring to the whole "aged" population. I wonder which the other two ages are...

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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Third age, fourth age Apr 14, 2007

In France :

The 40-something are "quadra" and the 50-something are "quinqua".

"Troisième âge" (3rd age) means people from about 60 when they retire.
You can also find "les seniors" to describe retired, healthy and active people, especially in ads and marketing.

"Quatrième âge" (4th age) is now used to describe people who are more than 80, suffering of heavy health problems and in need of special care. ( think Alzheimer and the like).

"Les anciens" or "nos aînés" is also in used for elderly people with a nuance of respect for their lives and achievements.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
An Oldie speaks Apr 14, 2007

rifkind wrote:

Every government has found a nice term to describe those over 65 for purposes of discounts and taxes. Of course they cannot call them "old people" for the same reason nobody ever dies.

The U.S. version is "senior citizen" (Is a child a junior citizen"?)

The Israeli version is "Ezrah Vatik", with "vatik" generally being used for a employee who has worked someplace fpr a long time. I would jokingly translate it as "long standing citizen"

What are other official terms of people over 65?

Moderator: if this is in the wrong forum, please move it to the correct one.


Why is it thought "necessary" to use a euphemism for those of us over a certain age? Why is it a joke (in the Western world at any rate) to be old? For example, if one happily says "I loved Elvis" or something like that, the reply is usually something like "Ooh! Showing your age!" Why shouldn't one show one's age? Is it something to be ashamed of?
A professional Grumpy Old Woman,
But cheerful, and enjoying it - how dare I?
Jenny.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:56
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No justification Apr 14, 2007

Dear Jenny:

I am middle aged (47) with young-old parents (80's) who are in some ways in better shape than I am. Governments as a rule never call a spade a spade. You are what you feel. The government will call you what is politically and culturally accepted.

So, in my eyes, you are a long-standing citizen who deserves respect, however you want it, including a discount in the city land tax.

Stephen Rifkind


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
It's not a joke but a mark of respect Apr 14, 2007

Hi Jenny,

Usually one gains wisdom and experience with age (though not everyone does that)

And Stephen is right when he says that one is usually as old as one feels. Just an incident... a couple of months ago, my father had to travel in train... and for some reason, he wanted to cancel one ticket and buy another one. He went to the Railways Booking Office. Saw the long queues and returned home without doing anything.

He asked me to accompany him as there's a shorter queue for women. I was busy. So he waited till late in the evening and then I went with him... stood in the queue... and looked up. Guess what?

The window was marked "Ladies and Senior Citizen". And of course, my father was there standing besides me... but didn't notice anything, in spite of the fact that there were quite a few old men standing in the queue.

When I pointed out to him... he just looked at me and said, "oh, I had forgotten that I'm a Senior Citizen now. I could have changed my ticket in the morning because there was no one in this queue."

It was so funny. Imagine, he traveled twice to this place (consuming petrol and energy) and waited for me (time) when he didn't need to.

I'm happy that he feels that way but I didn't like travelling and rushing like that when it could have been avoided.

So Jenny, don't worry... we respect you for your experience and well, just enjoy the perks

Regards,

Ritu


[Edited at 2007-04-14 12:07]


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:56
German to English
+ ...
Pensioner student (????) Apr 14, 2007

First of all the linguistic question: here in Germany the most common term is "Senioren" (mainly used in the plural or in compounds such as "Seniorenheim", but not so common in the singular)
There are also other terms such as Rentner (pensioner), "älterer Mitbürger" (older co-citizens).

Nordiste mentioned the French usage:
"Troisième âge" (3rd age) means people from about 60 when they retire.


Ouch!

At 60 (blush) I am far from retirement (in fact I hope to become a student again and do the part-time MA in legal translation that RobinB recently informed us of), but in other quarters I am already regarded as a pensioner/senior citizen (I already receive a small pension for the few years I worked as a teacher a few decades ago, Stena car ferries call me a senior citizen but give no discount, and an American hotel chain calls me a senior citizen and offers a discount of 5 or 10 per cent).

Euphemisms aside, my role model as an old fogey is Caleb in the Bible, who was fit enough and bold enough at 85 to lead all the young'uns in the conquest of a city in the promised land.
And I am glad that we have several ProZ members who are treading this path before me and still working very actively as translators although they are well into their 70s (I think some have even passed 80 and are still active).


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
"Elderly person" for free travel in London Apr 14, 2007

Victor Dewsbery wrote:
At 60 (blush) I am far from retirement (in fact I hope to become a student again and do the part-time MA in legal translation that RobinB recently informed us of).

Well done Victor: I did the new MSc in tech. translation at London's Imperial College in my mid-50s, and I am glad I did it. Now I am over 60, the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone considers me to be an "elderly person" (a description that doesn't make me happy) and consequently I have a pass to travel free on the Underground and buses (which does make me happy!).
Oliver


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franksf
Chinese to English
Chinese Apr 14, 2007

嗜英

Note the following link:

"Everything is Changing! 錯過!- 簡在有些車上,有中文的翻譯是這麼說:聯邦法律規定,這些座位必須讓給嗜英或者殘障人士。 我打字輸入不了這個嗜字,這裡的嗜英是沒有那個口字旁的。 ...
davidhehq.spaces.live.com/feed.rss - 279k - Cached - Similar pages

"在旧金山的公共汽车上有贴着:

"FEDERAL LAW 49 CFR 37. 167 REQUIRES:THESE SEATS MUST BE VACATED FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED

"FEDERAL LAW 49 CFR 37. 167 REQUIRES FEDERAL LAW 49 CFR 37. 167 REQUIRES THESE SEATS MUST BE VACATED WHEN WHEERCHAIR USERS NEED THIS SPACE

"就是说联邦法律规定,这些座必须让给老人或者残障人士坐!

"在有些车上,有中文的翻译是这么说:联邦法律规定,这些座位必须让给嗜英或者残障人士。

"我打字输入不了这个嗜字,这里的嗜英是没有那个口字旁的。这也是一个很有趣的字,在国内字典好像没有收集,但是却在国外广为使用。

"呵呵,谁才是真的正统呢?"


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 03:56
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
There are several terms in Brazil Apr 14, 2007

I believe the one term everybody likes to use --especially local TV news when they show older people doing something "cool" like sports, arts, dancing...-- is "Melhor Idade," which literally translated into "The Best Age."

"Terceira Idade" or "Third Age" is also used in Brazil, but somehow senior citizens don't like using it because it gives you the idea that they are in the last stages of their lives. There's also "idoso," which is the word corresponding to "elderly person," but I haven't been hearing it very often. There's also the plain "velho" for "old person," but it's kind of insulting and we mostly use to make fun of our own parents.

When you're talking about a limited age group, we do use either ordinal numbers or slangs for age-related adjectives/nouns. So, someone who's in their 50's could be either a "qüinquagenário" (ordinal number, rarely used) or a "cinqüentão" (literally: "the big 50") and someone who's in their 60's could be a "sexagenário" or a "sessentão."

These are all media-related terms though, 'cause if you go to the bank, supermarket, or any governmental office, what you'll see is a sign that says "Aposentados" where retired people can form a line to avoid waiting any longer. Sometimes the sign may also include some reference to pregnant women or those with small infants and the disabled.

I believe this term is still a little misleading, because they only consider someone an "Aposentado" if their over 65... My dad retired when he was 42 because back in 1996 they still had a law that allowed people to retire if they had worked for more than 30 years of their lives. Now there's an age limit for men and women to retire and my 53-year-old dad does not get special treatment at any of these places! LOL

[Edited at 2007-04-14 16:11]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Elvis Apr 14, 2007

I not only remember Elvis, I remember well the time someone mentioned that name and I asked: "Who the hell is Elvis?"

So I guess I qualify; just having done my taxes I also appreciate some of the breaks I get.

I've heard "Golden Age" used also, plus the one about when "the gold of your hair and the white of your teeth change places".

Laugh if you want, but the fact is, it's better to be here than to have never arrived, and you'd best hope you do arrive!


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Juliana Starkman  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 06:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
vatik-in all the senses Apr 14, 2007

Ezrah vatik could also be translated as a "veteran citizen", which I like for its sense of having been through a lot..

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