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sonst scheißen sie ja viel zu weich

English translation: otherwise they end up with diarrhoea

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:sonst scheißen sie ja viel zu weich
English translation:otherwise they end up with diarrhoea
Entered by: Tim Jenkins
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02:10 Mar 16, 2007
German to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Historical Trail Audio
German term or phrase: sonst scheißen sie ja viel zu weich
"Die Gärten sind etwa 5 Hektar groß. Dort wird gemäht. Die Kühe bekommen in der Früh und am Abend ein wenig Heu. Im Herbst bekommen sie ein wenig mehr. Sie gehen dadurch lieber in den Stall und für den Magen ist es auch besser.

Am Anfang ist es wichtig ein wenig Heu zuzufüttern, ***sonst scheißen sie ja viel zu weich***. Das Jungvieh kommt mit der Äsung auf den Almen aus. Bei der Milchkuh geht es ohne Zufüttern nicht. Sonst ist die Leistung nicht zu halten."

In this case, the problem isn't one of meaning, but register. The German is quite vulgar here, but I'm a little hesitant to be as vulgar in English. Somehow, I think that people wandering along an historical trail, perhaps with children in tow, might be a little shocked to hear something like "otherwise their shit would be too soft". At the moment, I'm going with "dung", which is a step above "shit" or "crap" but still reasonably earthy. Would this be OK, or is it not quite faithful enough to the source text? TIA for your assistance.
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 02:25
otherwise they end up with diarrhoea
Explanation:
.....and forget all the problems with translating Scheiße!
Selected response from:

Tim Jenkins
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:25
Grading comment
At the end of the day, I think a neutral term like this is the best option. The problem with "cowpats" or "cowpies" is that they are not used universally across the English-speaking world (In New Zealand for instance, we talk of cowpats but not cowpies - I'd never heard the term cowpies before!). But many thanks Tim, but thanks also to the others who helped out with this, ahem, Scheißproblem. Appreciate everyone's help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1otherwise they end up with diarrhoea
Tim Jenkins
4cowpat
Craig Meulen
3the cow poop's gonna be too squashy
Anne Schulz
3or else the cowpies will turn out too mushy
Johanna Timm, PhD
3 -1having the shits
Nicole Schnell


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
or else the cowpies will turn out too mushy


Explanation:
"cowpies" is what my own kids call them - descriptive, but not vulgar, IMO

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 07:25
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 78
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the cow poop's gonna be too squashy


Explanation:
?

Anne Schulz
Germany
Local time: 16:25
Does not meet criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
having the shits


Explanation:
From a ranchers' forum, CattleToday.com:

(Interestingly enough: about feeding extra hay when the animals are out in the pasture)

"I would not pasture off sedan to horses. Sedan is a cousin if you will to Fescue. Fescue is very high in nitrates and minerals and can cause founder in some cases. Moreover Fescue is bad on the horses throat, intestines, colon, and everything because it is a rough grass. If the Sedan is still green don’t even let that thought cross your mind again. Unless you stick a round bale of prairie hay or Bermuda out there and make be nice sure they always have access to it so that will keep them “dry” and from getting the shits. I don’t know it sounds a little risky to me. One of our neighbors pastures off some of his horses to Winter Wheat which is not smart. He has had 1 horse founder and the be nice Coffin Bone in the hoof rotated approx 28 degrees and he has to trim once a week now for a while anyway."

______________________

I don't think this will be to vulgar. Ranchers' / farmers' speak is rough.



    Reference: http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:tlMh6Iq0KEAJ:www.cattlet...
Nicole Schnell
United States
Local time: 07:25
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 64

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Craig Meulen: too vulgar for the asker's context, your context is different - ranchers among themselves // well, the doctors listening will understand you :-)
1 hr
  -> How about soft stool? :-)))))
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
cowpat


Explanation:
It's important to feed them a little hay, otherwise their cowpats are way too soft.


"cowpats" are the way my parents talked to me about this in British English when I was a child.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2007-03-16 11:59:44 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

... otherwise their cowpats come out way too soft.

Craig Meulen
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:25
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 day3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
otherwise they end up with diarrhoea


Explanation:
.....and forget all the problems with translating Scheiße!

Tim Jenkins
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:25
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
At the end of the day, I think a neutral term like this is the best option. The problem with "cowpats" or "cowpies" is that they are not used universally across the English-speaking world (In New Zealand for instance, we talk of cowpats but not cowpies - I'd never heard the term cowpies before!). But many thanks Tim, but thanks also to the others who helped out with this, ahem, Scheißproblem. Appreciate everyone's help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anne Schulz
1 day10 hrs
  -> thanks Anne ;-)
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