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Ohnmächtiger Gruß

English translation: yours in desperation

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Ohnmächtiger Gruß
English translation:yours in desperation
Entered by: SusieFoo
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11:04 Feb 10, 2009
German to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
German term or phrase: Ohnmächtiger Gruß
I ran across this phrase at the end of a letter just before the signature. There's really no context. It's just the closing at the end of the letter -- "Ohnmächtiger Gruß, Heinrich".

I've never seen the phrase before. When I searched online I found a total of three instances of the phrase anywhere.

1. http://www.radforum.de/warnung-vor-dem-forumsumzug-29127.htm...

2. http://www.swr.de/forum/read.php?8,32353

3. http://www.feminismuskritik.eu/Archiv/Eine altbekannte Biene...

They're all basically the same, a letter closing. The literal translation doesn't really make any sense to me and it seems like it's some sort of stock or idiomatic phrase (if a rare one). So I'm at a loss as to the meaning.

Perhaps somebody here has seen it. Thanks!
SusieFoo
yours in desperation
Explanation:
It's no mystery, this is the English equivalent

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Note added at 5 hrs (2009-02-10 16:55:52 GMT)
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It's how people sign a letter of 'outrage' or complaint eg on a political or social issue . Nobody is physically 'swooning' etc here, it is describing a feeling of powerlessness.
Selected response from:

Graham Timmins
Sweden
Local time: 09:46
Grading comment
Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1yours in desperation
Graham Timmins
3 +1Yours powerlesslyMarga Shaw
3yours, swooningly / yours, in a swoon
Helen Shiner
1 +1Yours helplesslycasper


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
yours, swooningly / yours, in a swoon


Explanation:
I have found quite a few instances of people signing off like this - I presume it refers to powerlessness in the face of something, or even being overcome romantically!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2009-02-10 11:15:44 GMT)
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This obviously comes from the 'petticoated' context:

Dear Susan,

I've just seen the Mary Beth Sanford pictures (PDQ summer Edition) for the first time. The "dominant mummy" holding the swooningly gorgeous white dress with the pink bows ... gosh, I wish I had someone like her to put me in my place! I am absolutely all aquiver gazing at her ... I'd be too busy kneeling before her in homage and utter adoration to be disobedient ... especially if she made me wear a pretty dress like that ...

That is a picture I shall treasure. Congratulations to Mary Beth for an utterly exquisite image.
Yours swooningly,
Isobel
http://www.petticoated.com/pdqwinter04/otherdocs/generalW04....

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2009-02-10 11:16:46 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Breaking my own rule of not invading the personal space of performers who have already given their time and talent, I managed to half-drunkenly introduce myself (and Mrs F) to Martin, hurl congratulations toward Alice and we both shook the hand of Bid. This may sound pathetic but after so many years of hero-worship we were like tongue-tied giddy schoolkids all the way home.

(I didn't manage to identify any forum-dwellers there - but then again how would I know what you look like? We did meet up with a couple of friendly "old days" fans that we recognised from the last SWell gig, and were at many of the old MSet gigs).

Yours swooningly,
Falhawk
http://s6.invisionfree.com/Scarlets_Well/ar/t120.htm

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 38 mins (2009-02-10 11:42:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, since this is a translation site, I thought you wanted a suitable translation. You have given several examples yourself, but, no, I have never seen this term used specifically, but people are creative with language, aren't they and there are many ways of signing off. Some people sign their Valentine cards "yours faithfully", for example, which clearly plays with its original meaning. I think you may be trying to complicate this. If the romantic note isn't right, how about 'yours, powerlessly' or 'yours, weak in the face of adversity', or something along those lines. Obviously I don't know the sentiment expressed in the letter.

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you for your thoughts. Just to be clear, you've seen something similar in English? But have you seen this phrase in German? (I must admit I've never seen this kind of closing in either language. I must not get the right kind of letters!) If your suggestion is right, I'd probably need to find something more neutral than swooning. Given that it's not a romantic context I wonder if it's not more like an expression of some sort of weakness or impotence associated with the greeting. But I don't really know what that would mean. That's why I'm wondering if there isn't something specific here that I'm missing.

Asker: No apology necessary. Maybe I was unclear. I was just wondering further if there was a specific idiomatic meaning.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: given the sort of context you have dredged up, 'yours submissively' might work nicely
32 mins
  -> Thanks, Ken - though I shudder to think what the context for that one might be!

disagree  Graham Timmins: You have found an extraordinary usage here (thanks for expanding my awareness of the possibilities within Mills &Boon English :)) but it does not suit the contexts of the other examples
5 hrs
  -> Since we do not know anything about the context, how can you judge whether it is appropriate or not. And i suggested more than one possibility! I was brave enough to post first when nothing was known, it should be noted.
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58 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Yours helplessly


Explanation:
...perhaps?

casper
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: might work; impossible to say with without more context!
4 mins
  -> Thank you, Ken
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Yours powerlessly


Explanation:

... be a possibllity

Marga Shaw
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:46
Native speaker of: German

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator): would suit different meanings (physical, spiritual etc.)
1 hr
  -> Thanks a lot!

neutral  Helen Shiner: Funny that - I had already proposed this as part of my answer, so in principle I agree but not really with the double posting, though you probably didn't read my post before posting yourself./Actually I specifically suggested 'yours, powerlessly'!
6 hrs
  -> ->As you already said, I did not read your post before posting myself, but I saw now that your answer actually was "yours, swooningly/yours, in a swoon" and that you presumed it refers to "powerlessness". I do not consider this to be such a big deal.
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
yours in desperation


Explanation:
It's no mystery, this is the English equivalent

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2009-02-10 16:55:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It's how people sign a letter of 'outrage' or complaint eg on a political or social issue . Nobody is physically 'swooning' etc here, it is describing a feeling of powerlessness.

Graham Timmins
Sweden
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks!
Notes to answerer
Asker: I added some context above. Your suggestion makes considerable sense to me within the unwritten context. The idea of separation and a kind of desperate contact, though not the topic of the letter at all, fits the overall situation. I had just never seen this phrase before. Thank you!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Helen Shiner: Did anyone say that anyone was physically swooning./I'm certainly not offended - just commenting on your comment. Its best to make them somewhere where the poster can more easily respond - ie as a comment under their own suggestion.
2 hrs
  -> sorry Helen, had no intention to offend you, I thought this was a purely linguistic discussion!

agree  Johanna Timm, PhD: glad it worked out for the asker:-)
12 hrs
  -> yes indeed!
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Nov 14, 2011 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (specific)Other » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters


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