KudoZ home » English » Poetry & Literature

the lean meanness of the German command

English translation: lean and mean = pared down to the bare essentials/carrying no spare fat

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.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:the lean meanness of the German command
English translation:lean and mean = pared down to the bare essentials/carrying no spare fat
Entered by: Bianca Fogarasi
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

12:36 Aug 9, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / război
English term or phrase: the lean meanness of the German command
"Speed was essential for the Germans. The enemy must not be given a chance to recover. A victorious army can overlook fatigue - and both officers and men of Kluck's army were very tired indeed. ***The lean meanness*** of the German command was beginning to create unnecessary stress. With too few in charge forced for too long to work twenty-hour days, details were falling between the cracks. "In war as in business," the military historian Dennis E. Showalter points out, "there is a certain advantage to redundancy." Moreover, in the absence of rail lines - destroyed by the retreating French and Belgians - and reliable motor transport, supplying men with food and ammunition was a problem, and only became more so as distances increased. Communications, too, were strained. Once in French territory, army commands could not depend on the telephone. Moltke, far away in Coblenz and then, after August 29, in Luxembourg City, mainly used the wireless to communicate with the Western armies - though messages were delayed by congestion at the other end (and by the time needed to decode them) or interfered with by a French station on the Eiffel Tower. Schlieffen's thirty-nine days after mobilization would come none too soon."

Hello everybody! I'd like to ask you to help me with a rephrasing or explanation of what "lean meanness" means in my context cause I've got several interpretations & I can't decide myself.. :-( So, feel free to give me a long detailed explanation :)), I'd really like to get over with the puzzle.

Truly thankful!
Bianca Fogarasi
lean and mean = pared down to the bare essentials/carrying no spare fat
Explanation:
here it means that the German army was only a small compact team, which meant that there were only a few people to do whatever had to be done. A bit like "running a tight ship".
Because they did not have a large number of people to share the workload, they were each stretched to their limits and overstressed. This in turn led to errors, details being missed, etc.

lean meanness is a substantive play on words on the adjctival phrase "lean and mean", which is often used in a business or management context
Selected response from:

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 08:00
Grading comment
Many thanks, that did help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +7lean and mean = pared down to the bare essentials/carrying no spare fatxxxCMJ_Trans


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
the lean meanness of the german command
lean and mean = pared down to the bare essentials/carrying no spare fat


Explanation:
here it means that the German army was only a small compact team, which meant that there were only a few people to do whatever had to be done. A bit like "running a tight ship".
Because they did not have a large number of people to share the workload, they were each stretched to their limits and overstressed. This in turn led to errors, details being missed, etc.

lean meanness is a substantive play on words on the adjctival phrase "lean and mean", which is often used in a business or management context

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 08:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52
Grading comment
Many thanks, that did help!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Peter Shortall: Yes, excessive (in this case) streamlining
25 mins

agree  Alexander Demyanov
26 mins

agree  Caryl Swift
41 mins

agree  Alison Jenner
1 hr

agree  Suzan Hamer
1 hr

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 hr

agree  Can Altinbay
3 hrs
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