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English translation: You must be too stupid to be able connect up lights.

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20:01 Apr 2, 2002
German to English translations [PRO]
German term or phrase: sentence
"Man wäre wohl zu blöd Lampen anzuschliessen"

Again, I would appreciate your suggestions. I can't seem to get this to fit into the context without changing it considerably.
This was said to a customer when he was consulting about problems he was having connecting the ambulance 'light bar'. He was was obviously not very impressed :-).
Thank you!
xxxAnneM
Local time: 01:45
English translation:You must be too stupid to be able connect up lights.
Explanation:
This is one rendition. Here are more:

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Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:28 (GMT)
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I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

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Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:30 (GMT)
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I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

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Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:34 (GMT)
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I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

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Note added at 2002-04-02 23:31:19 (GMT)
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It appears that someone is too dumb to hook up a set of lights.

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Note added at 2002-04-02 23:33:02 (GMT)
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You appear to be too dim (or dimwitted) to hook up lights.
Selected response from:

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 17:45
Grading comment
Thank you everyone!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4You must be too stupid to be able connect up lights.
Dr. Fred Thomson
5 +1Too dumb to turn on the lights!xxxbrute
4 +1Somebody seems too dim to hook up the lights
Steven Sidore
5I really don't think that the customer is referring to the company rep, so . . .Michael Sebold
5I guess they were too stupid to have hooked up the lights.
Dr. Fred Thomson
5someone obviously lacks the intelligence to connect a lampBeate Lutzebaeck
4One would have to be stupid, not to be able to connect lights.xxxRNolder
4(It) seems like somebody was too stupid to hook up (the) lights
Anja Brito
4(It seems) as if one were too stupid to connect up lights
Sueg
4It must have been too easy to turn on the lightsIlse Flick
4 -2One would obviously be too daft to connect up a lampKlaus Dorn


  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
You must be too stupid to be able connect up lights.


Explanation:
This is one rendition. Here are more:

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:28 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:30 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-02 20:09:34 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I guess you\'re not smart enough to hook up a light.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-02 23:31:19 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It appears that someone is too dumb to hook up a set of lights.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-04-02 23:33:02 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You appear to be too dim (or dimwitted) to hook up lights.

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 17:45
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 5861
Grading comment
Thank you everyone!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Manuela Schilling: "to" is missing - "to be able to"
12 mins
  -> OK . Thnaks

agree  Martina Ley
20 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  John Kinory: You are 2 lights short of a fitting, maybe? :-)
45 mins
  -> Right: Or perhaps

neutral  Steven Sidore: This is slightly too direct, given the pains that the speaker went through to 'man' it
1 hr
  -> The trouble is that we don't have this option in English. Maybe: I guess you're too stupid ..

agree  gangels: Too dumb to connect the lights (or lamps)0
4 hrs

neutral  Michael Sebold: Unless I'm missing it completely, I don't think that the customer is implying that the company rep is too stupid to connect the lights, rather he is commenting on the seeming complexity of the task.
4 hrs

agree  Barbara Schulten, MSc (OXON), DPSI
13 hrs

disagree  Codrut Tudor: yous houl use the preposition"to" after "be able"
13 hrs
  -> Of course.
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
It must have been too easy to turn on the lights


Explanation:
fecicious reversal of insult

An idea

Ilse Flick
Local time: 18:45
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 55
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47 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
someone obviously lacks the intelligence to connect a lamp


Explanation:
This translation reflects the fact that the salesperson does not directly address the customer, telling him he's stupid. As in the German sentence, it is inferred that the "someone" is the customer, without being too blunt about it. Variations on the theme include: "too stupid", "lacks the brains", "too dumb", etc, but the "someone obviously" bit is important to get the impersonal structure of the German across (which was obviously chosen on purpose ...)

Beate Lutzebaeck
New Zealand
Local time: 11:45
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2079
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -2
One would obviously be too daft to connect up a lamp


Explanation:
One (man) would (waere) obviously (wohl) be (waere) too daft (zu bloed) to connect up (anzuschliessen) a lamp (eine Lampe).

Has it all, doesn't it?

Klaus Dorn
Local time: 02:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 1514

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Steven Sidore: this is the stilted approach that should be avoided.
23 mins

disagree  Chris Rowson: "daft" is archaic (60s). The meaning is (was) not quite equivalent with "blöd", more a mild form of "verrückt".
9 hrs
  -> Do you live in East-London? You can hear "you daft cow" many times a day. I'm not old enough to speak "archaic" English!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Somebody seems too dim to hook up the lights


Explanation:
A slight play on words

Steven Sidore
Germany
Local time: 01:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 289

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxbrute: TRY: "SOMEONE TOO DIM, TO TURN ON THE BRIGHTS"!
18 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
(It) seems like somebody was too stupid to hook up (the) lights


Explanation:
I think that the "man waere wohl..." would best be translated as "it seems like somebody/someone was..."

Anja Brito
Canada
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 60
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
I really don't think that the customer is referring to the company rep, so . . .


Explanation:
"Even a genuis (an "Einstein") couldn't connect these lamps!"
"You'd have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to connect these lamps."

That's the sense of it as I read it.

Or, if he's referring more directly to himself:
"You'd think I was too stupid to connect lamps!" (although this last one would be a bit of an unfortunate set-up for a quick retort)

HTH

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Note added at 2002-04-03 01:03:19 (GMT)
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Well, let me register a great big OOOPS!

My dyslexic brain first read it to mean that the customer was speaking. So, let me see . . .

\"You\'d think you have to be a genuis (rocket scientist, Einstein, etc.) to be able to connect lamps!\"

These might be a little more appropriate than my first offering . . .

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Note added at 2002-04-03 01:11:44 (GMT)
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Or:
\"SOMEBODY is obviously not swift enough to screw in a light bulb!\"
A play on the infamous \"How many XXXXX does it take to screw in a light bulb\" joke - with drawn out emphasis on \"somebody.\"


Michael Sebold
Canada
Local time: 19:45
PRO pts in pair: 283
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
(It seems) as if one were too stupid to connect up lights


Explanation:
Man is generally to be translated with 'one' and I could only get that wäre in with 'as if'

Sueg
Austria
Local time: 01:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 136
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
One would have to be stupid, not to be able to connect lights.


Explanation:
native

xxxRNolder
Local time: 19:45
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 163
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
I guess they were too stupid to have hooked up the lights.


Explanation:
If one assumes that the speaker is referring to those who sold the lights and not to the customer, then this would be a reasonable translation. "They" refers to those who made or sold the lights.

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 17:45
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 5861
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Too dumb to turn on the lights!


Explanation:
Common US idiom!

xxxbrute
PRO pts in pair: 255

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  gangels
1 hr
  -> Thanx, Klaus!
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