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leitmotif

English translation: main subject/theme

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22:10 Jan 19, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: leitmotif
I'm looking for a word/ phrase commonly used.
'central thread'?
I's about having one, when e.g. making a film.
US and UK versions welcome.
TIA
Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 08:02
English translation:main subject/theme
Explanation:
This is what it means, but I don´t know if there is another specific term for it. Good luck anyway.
Selected response from:

whoever
Spain
Local time: 08:02
Grading comment
I took 'main theme', although probably a bit too sophisticated again, but it fits nicely.
Thanks everybody for your prompt replies and - yet again - contribution to my knowledge of English.
Cheers!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6recurring theme
jerrie
5 +4leitmotifMartin Perazzo
5 +1story line
Leah Aharoni
3 +2the image of ... gets repeated through the film. This piece of music/scene/shot gets repeated.
chica nueva
5plotMartin Perazzo
5motif, underlying themeFuad Yahya
3 +1main subject/themewhoever
4signature tune; repeating themePippin Michelli
4central idea
Сергей Лузан
3unifying themeChris Rowson


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
motif, underlying theme


Explanation:
If you mean a recurrent element, then I would suggest "motif."

If you mean a dominant idea, I would suggest "underlying theme."

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
recurring theme


Explanation:
dominant / lead / central recurring theme



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-19 22:16:36 (GMT)
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You could just use leitmotif / leitmotiv, instead of finding a replacement.


    Reference: http://www.tutorgig.com/encyclopedia/getdefn.jsp?keywords=le...
jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: with both your "translation" and suggestion that it is left as is (depending on target)
4 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Steven Capsuto
26 mins

agree  Kim Metzger: Or recurrent theme.
46 mins

agree  chopra_2002
3 hrs

agree  Gabriel Aramburo Siegert
3 hrs

agree  Luiza M. Charles de Oliveira
16 hrs
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
leitmotif


Explanation:
What's wrong with leitmotif? It's a perfectly valid, well-understood word.

Martin

Martin Perazzo
Spain
Local time: 08:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ines Garcia Botana
22 mins

agree  Krisztina Lelik
12 hrs

agree  Luiza M. Charles de Oliveira
16 hrs

agree  Angela C.: This is a literary term and should be left in German, where it comes from (Leitmotiv). It means the central idea of the story, book, movie, etc. I learnt this in literature.
8 days
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
main subject/theme


Explanation:
This is what it means, but I don´t know if there is another specific term for it. Good luck anyway.

whoever
Spain
Local time: 08:02
PRO pts in pair: 4
Grading comment
I took 'main theme', although probably a bit too sophisticated again, but it fits nicely.
Thanks everybody for your prompt replies and - yet again - contribution to my knowledge of English.
Cheers!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  chica nueva: This seems good. Or you just say "The film's about two people in America who...." Then describe the genre eg it's a love story, comedy, western, action movie, etc.
1 hr
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
plot


Explanation:
If it's for real simpletons, then kill "leitmotif" and go for plot. I also like theme or motif (probably "theme" better, 'cause "motif" might throw some of the simpletons for a loop!).

Martin Perazzo
Spain
Local time: 08:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 8
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
the image of ... gets repeated through the film. This piece of music/scene/shot gets repeated.


Explanation:
the image of ... gets repeated through the film. This piece of music/scene/shot gets repeated.

chica nueva
Local time: 18:02
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 83

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: The film's about - the movie's about (as you suggested above) would work for country folk.
9 mins

agree  Tony M: Yes, I think this answer more than the others conveys the important idea; it's NOT merely "what the film's about", but the essential feature is the RECURRENT nature of this image/theme/whatever
8 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
signature tune; repeating theme


Explanation:
In music, a leitmotif indicates a particular person, situation or sentiment (COD), and could be replaced with the idea of a signature tune.

But your question suggests that the term is really being used to indicate a repeating theme. That is probably not a correct use of the word, but it is a common one.

Pippin Michelli
Local time: 01:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 19
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
unifying theme


Explanation:
... is one possibility. I do agree that "letimotiv" is a well-established English word, but perhaps the circles that would use it are more restricted in England than they are in Germany.

Chris Rowson
Local time: 08:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 243
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
story line


Explanation:
If theu are REALLY simple, I think this is the term they would use. repeating story line

Leah Aharoni
Local time: 09:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 1

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  chica nueva: story line is good; it's a standard synonym for 'plot' and it's what people say.
1 hr
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
central idea


Explanation:
if you want to keep it simple. Hope it helps. Good luck, tygru!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-20 10:16:30 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------


Searched English pages for movie \"central idea\". Results 1 - 10 of about 4,460. Search took 0.35 seconds.


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Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:02
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 49
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