KudoZ home » English » Geography

mole / breakwater

English translation: mole

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
16:40 Nov 6, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Geography / coastal features
English term or phrase: mole / breakwater
Hello friends.

I'm translating a regional marketing brochure for a coastal region and in one of the towns (Warnemünde, Germany) there's a feature simply known as the "Mole" (in German).

According to some references, 'mole' is also an English word, but I've never heard it, despite living at the coast a while in England. I would say "breakwater":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_(architecture)

This particular feature is well developed, because there is a walkway along it with a viewing point at the end where you can sit/stand and watch the ships entering and leaving the harbour.

What term would you use?
Craig Meulen
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:50
English translation:mole
Explanation:
As a British resident I am perfectly familiar with the word "mole" (used in this sense) and see no problem with using it. While "breakwater" is obviously a perfectly acceptable alternative, mole would in this case get my vote, because it accords with the German usage.

To me a mole is precisely what you describe - a broad wall, probably surrounding a harbour, which you can walk along the top of - so I would go for it!
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 09:50
Grading comment
Thanks Armorel, and all the agreers ...
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +8breakwatersteven1
3 +4mole
Armorel Young
4 +1mole / breakwater
Robin Levey
3Mole / WellenbrecherVittorio Ferretti


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +8
breakwater


Explanation:
"Mole" is a loan-word from French. It's perhaps somewhat less commonly used than "breakwater", perhaps because of the additional meanings 1) a small mammal and 2) a specific number of molecules.

Personally, I would use "breakwater", unless it was important to retain "mole" as part of the proper name.


    Reference: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=mole&searchmode=n...
    Reference: http://www.pepysdiary.com/archive/1663/01/12/
steven1
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Brie Vernier: mole is common in New Zealand, but I personally would say breakwater
24 mins

agree  charlie47
28 mins

agree  jccantrell: As mole is defined using breakwater, I would go with that. It would be much more understood in the USA and elsewhere. Isn't this also known as a 'jetty?'
1 hr

agree  Darya Kozak
1 hr

agree  Lily Waters
2 hrs

neutral  Tony M: 'mole' is perfectly common English, and if this has a walkway aong the top, I think it describes it better than a mere breakwater
2 hrs

agree  Cristina Chaplin
9 hrs

agree  Pham Huu Phuoc
15 hrs

agree  xxxBourth: British Standards Institute defines breakwater and deprecates mole. Personally, I first encountered the word when reading Grass's Blechtrommel. Had no idea what it was, other than out of context, despite having lived 20 yrs in NZ at the time!
342 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Mole / Wellenbrecher


Explanation:
Ein Damm übt die Funktion eines Wellenbrechers aus, aber ein Wellenbrecher kann auch ein Felsenriff sein.

Da ich eine Landratte bin, setze ich nur auf "Medium".

Gruß!

Vittorio Ferretti
Local time: 10:50
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
Notes to answerer
Asker: Danke Vittorio - diesmal war es aber in English (monolingual)!! Das deutsche Wort kenne ich schon ;-)

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
mole


Explanation:
As a British resident I am perfectly familiar with the word "mole" (used in this sense) and see no problem with using it. While "breakwater" is obviously a perfectly acceptable alternative, mole would in this case get my vote, because it accords with the German usage.

To me a mole is precisely what you describe - a broad wall, probably surrounding a harbour, which you can walk along the top of - so I would go for it!

Armorel Young
Local time: 09:50
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks Armorel, and all the agreers ...

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Wilson: a mole is a mammal, a type of skin blemish, ... and a breakwater
22 mins

agree  Tony M: Yes, me too! And the fact that it has a walkway along the top only serves to confirm it for me. cf. the Cobb at Lyme Regis in Dorset
1 hr

agree  orientalhorizon
7 hrs

agree  Cristina Chaplin
8 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
mole / breakwater


Explanation:
There's a picture here of the Warnemünde Mole (last picture on the page): http://wwwmosi.informatik.uni-rostock.de/cmsb08/more-informa...

This shows what we would call a 'mole' in UK English, that is a protective wall around a harbour, built from heavy materials (rocks, concrete etc.), wide enough to acommodate a path on top ('promenade'), and often having navigation signals (lighthouse, beacons etc.) at the end. A mole is high enough to remain above water level even with the highest tides.


If a mole is equipped with the wherewithall to tie up boats then it may also be regarded as a jetty. If it has cranes etc to handle goods shipped by boat, then a mole can also serve as a wharf - but it's primary purpose remains the same - to protect the harbour.

In the picture just above the mole, entitles 'Warnemünde beach' you can (just) see a breakwater - that is, a narrow fence-like structure projecting out to sea, often made of timber, that serves to break up the waves and thereby reduce erosion of the beach. A breakwater is usually not wide enough to accommodate a pedestrian path, and will often by below water leval at high tide.

Observations based on a mis-spent childhood at the beaches and harbours of the Essex (UK) coast.

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 05:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: My vote goes to 'mole'
37 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search