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Den letzten beissen die Hunde.

English translation: to pull the short straw

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16:49 Mar 12, 2002
German to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / brochure about translating
German term or phrase: Den letzten beissen die Hunde.
I knwo what this measn but I need a neat translation for part of a brochure text about translating. The gist is that the translator has the tough job because he comes in at the end of a long process.
echristie
Ireland
Local time: 16:43
English translation:to pull the short straw
Explanation:
how would that fit?
Selected response from:

Rebekka Groß
Local time: 16:43
Grading comment
liked this because it was a well-know saying, and just similar. Dictionary translations aren't much good if nobody ever uses them. Thanks. ec
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4the devil takes the hindmost
Cilian O'Tuama
5 +1holding the bag . . .Michael Sebold
4 +2to be left holding the bagUlrike Lieder
4 +1to pull the short strawRebekka Groß
4Always the last to sink your teeth in?
Parrot


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Always the last to sink your teeth in?


Explanation:
The difficulty is going to have to be explained (deadlines, etc.)

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 17:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
the devil takes the hindmost


Explanation:
Langenscheidt

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Note added at 2002-03-12 16:59:49 (GMT)
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seems to get the point across

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 17:43
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 94

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mary Worby: That's what I found as well (with take instead of takes), but I'm not sure how common it is!
2 mins

agree  swisstell: looks to the point to me - although never heard in in daily use
5 mins

agree  xxxMackert: Yes, my reference (Der Große M-S)also has "take" instead of "takes"; it also gives "the devil take the last" as an alternative.
14 mins

agree  Jan Liebelt
4 hrs
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to pull the short straw


Explanation:
how would that fit?

Rebekka Groß
Local time: 16:43
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
liked this because it was a well-know saying, and just similar. Dictionary translations aren't much good if nobody ever uses them. Thanks. ec

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Mary Worby: Do we not 'draw' the short straw?
15 mins

agree  Sheila Hardie: yes, but I would say 'draw' the short straw too:)
48 mins
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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to be left holding the bag


Explanation:
It's maybe not quite as pithy as the German, but it conveys the message. It's the US expression used for someone who's at the very bottom of the food chain (this is the subject of many discussions concerning payment practices of translation agencies, btw).

In fact, when I saw your query, that's what I flashed on immediately. Maybe you can work it into your translation.

Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 08:43
Native speaker of: German

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Michael Sebold: See my add (after the fact) comments.
3 hrs

agree  xxxbrute
5 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
holding the bag . . .


Explanation:
I don't know if you'll see this, but Ulrike's translation is the best, given your brief explanation. To "draw the short straw" means that the individual who did so could have as easily drawn one of the long ones. Your explanatory sentence, however, indicates that the translator ALWAYS "gets the short end of the stick" (which might be another one to consider). What it really sounds like, is that, given that the translator is at the end of a long process, he or she will always "be left holding the bag" if something goes wrong. In other words, the translator tends to be blamed if something goes wrong. I don't know that the reference to the food-chain is strictly applicable, but it is certainly frequently the case, so Ulrike really does have the best suggestion IMHO.
HTH



Michael Sebold
Canada
Local time: 11:43

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Beth Kantus: seen enough Westerns in my day to know that last rider always gets the first bullet, but Ulrike's is definitely a more commonly known and understood expression
2 hrs
  -> Yup - now it'd be mighty kind o' that there other pilgrim to repost this here question, so that Miss Ulrike can collect her rightful share o' them tootin' points . . .
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Changes made by editors
Aug 16, 2016 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (write-in)brichure about translating » brochure about translating


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