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Muttermilch der Zivilisation

English translation: suckle

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11:10 Aug 30, 2006
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Biology (-tech,-chem,micro-) / title for chapter and other uses
German term or phrase: Muttermilch der Zivilisation
The chapter deals with the oldest known biotechnologies -- brewing and winemaking. To illustrate what it is about, here is a sentence.

Nicht Wasser löschte also den Durst unserer Altvorderen,
sondern Bier, Wein und Essig. Sie waren
sozusagen die „Muttermilch der Zivilisation“. Die
älteste Biotechnologie der Welt war nahrhaft, anregend
und auch sicher – ein revolutionärer Fortschritt,
der sich einfach durchsetzen musste.

I feel "mother's milk of civilization" sounds strange. The author is not happy with my alternatives which are: 1. nurturing civilization
2. lifeblood of civilization
3. Nursing civilization on beer and wine

The contrast milk - symbol of innocence and alcohol - symbol of debauchery is lost. Any suggestions? BTW, American English wanted!
Renate FitzRoy
Local time: 00:05
English translation:suckle
Explanation:
Sie waren sozusagen die 'Muttermilch der Zivilisation'
They 'suckled' civilisation, so to speak.
Civilisation was 'suckled' on them, so to speak.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2006-08-30 17:28:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK. Must try harder.

Title:
How civilization was ‘suckled’
Context:
…beer, wine and vinegar. This is what civilization was ‘suckled’ on.

Prospects for the climate treaty look, if George Bush has indeed won the US presidency, less than promising. Mr Bush, who was suckled on oil, will block its implementation by any means possible.
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2000/11/09/ban-fossil-fuels/
Don Soledad was born in the Philippines, but was suckled on the rich and diverse musical milk of San Francisco that has fed so many great musicians.
http://www.donsoledadmusic.com/welcome.php
There was nothing of courage in what I did. It was always just a lark for me. ... I was suckled on amyl acetate and reared on celluloid.
http://www.terramedia.co.uk/quotations/Quotes_H.htm

Your client does not appear to trust your judgement. Your client obviously understands the English language better than any of us here. Your client should be asked to supply his/her own image to be inserted by you at relevant points in the text.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2006-08-30 17:46:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Re your own three suggestions:
nurture = raise, foster, rear; not the same as ‘nourish’
lifeblood = vital fluid performing a different function (also wrong colour)
nurse = no reference to illness
Selected response from:

Lancashireman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Grading comment
Thank you, Andrew, you certainly put in quite a bit of effort. (Liked your links, too!) I 'll probably just send the author and his American editor a list of choices, and then après moi le déluge!
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +2suckleLancashireman
3 +1mother's milk / reared/teethed/imbibed onxxxFrancis Lee
3midwife of civilization
Brie Vernier
3civilization's elixir of life
Lori Dendy-Molz


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
midwife of civilization


Explanation:
I ran across this just last night in quite another matter: http://beeradvocate.com/news/stories_read/673

Google seems quite fond of it. Perhaps the German version (which Google does not seem to favor much) was someone's feeble attempt to mimic this.

Brie Vernier
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Cetacea: Food (or rather drink...) acting as a midwife?? Seems to me to be another proof of the unreliability of googled sources... // I have, I just don't consider this a particularly good example. There is such thing as being overly creative...
56 mins
  -> Ever heard of "creative imagery"?
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
mother's milk / reared/teethed/imbibed on


Explanation:
I'd say "mother's milk" is OK - in quotes as in the German (in which it hardly sounds any less strange)
Otherwise:

- These were the stuffs (?) that civilization was reared/teethed/imbibed on
("imbibed" wound't have occured to me had I not seen in the PONS/Oxford, and I'm not that keen on it)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 31 mins (2006-08-30 11:42:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"As a baby boomer, I teethed on TV"
http://blogs.albawaba.com/secretrapture/34874/2006/04/16/355...
(my God, that's some link - has civilization really progressed? Bring back the mead ...)

xxxFrancis Lee
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Cetacea: Something like: "These made up the "mother's milk" civilization was reared on." I wouldn't use "teething" with drinks (not chewy enough). // @Andrew: Not everyone agrees with your definition, e.g. http://www.powerflour.org/
1 hr
  -> Thanks. Good point!

neutral  Lancashireman: ‘Reared on’ refers to the diet after the infant has been weaned off mother’s milk. ‘Teethed on mother’s milk’ sounds great, though.
1 hr
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
civilization's elixir of life


Explanation:
...and now with the correct spelling :-)

Lori Dendy-Molz
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
suckle


Explanation:
Sie waren sozusagen die 'Muttermilch der Zivilisation'
They 'suckled' civilisation, so to speak.
Civilisation was 'suckled' on them, so to speak.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2006-08-30 17:28:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK. Must try harder.

Title:
How civilization was ‘suckled’
Context:
…beer, wine and vinegar. This is what civilization was ‘suckled’ on.

Prospects for the climate treaty look, if George Bush has indeed won the US presidency, less than promising. Mr Bush, who was suckled on oil, will block its implementation by any means possible.
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2000/11/09/ban-fossil-fuels/
Don Soledad was born in the Philippines, but was suckled on the rich and diverse musical milk of San Francisco that has fed so many great musicians.
http://www.donsoledadmusic.com/welcome.php
There was nothing of courage in what I did. It was always just a lark for me. ... I was suckled on amyl acetate and reared on celluloid.
http://www.terramedia.co.uk/quotations/Quotes_H.htm

Your client does not appear to trust your judgement. Your client obviously understands the English language better than any of us here. Your client should be asked to supply his/her own image to be inserted by you at relevant points in the text.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2006-08-30 17:46:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Re your own three suggestions:
nurture = raise, foster, rear; not the same as ‘nourish’
lifeblood = vital fluid performing a different function (also wrong colour)
nurse = no reference to illness



    Reference: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=suckle
Lancashireman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 30
Grading comment
Thank you, Andrew, you certainly put in quite a bit of effort. (Liked your links, too!) I 'll probably just send the author and his American editor a list of choices, and then après moi le déluge!
Notes to answerer
Asker: nursing in American English=breastfeeding


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxFrancis Lee: Nice Bush link. And perfectly fair point about the customer ;-) / Yu cheeky monkey; I'll have you know I'm a lot slimmer than my picture would suggest.
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Fran. (Sorry about the neutral but it looked like the Great White Whale was just about to set a bandwagon rolling.) // Not you but http://www.proz.com/pro/14266

agree  Cetacea: Okay, so you've convinced me of "suckle". But I should still give you a "neutral" only as well, since the Great White whale was/is a sperm whale, and that's a humpback whale on my shot.. ;-)
9 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Aug 30, 2006 - Changes made by Renate FitzRoy:
Language pairEnglish to German » German to English


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