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Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind

English translation: Our stumbling block is that we are too easily content with ourselves

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21:30 May 17, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Seneca quote
German term or phrase: Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind
This is a quote from the Spanish playwright Seneca which I need to translate into English
xxxMog
Local time: 18:40
English translation:Our stumbling block is that we are too easily content with ourselves
Explanation:
and another option for you!

The beginning ('The main obstacle is that we...') seemed odd to me in English.
I think you'd normally say 'the main obstacle to (happiness, success etc)', not just leave it hanging on its own. So I used a different phrase.
Selected response from:

Stefan Tobler
Local time: 18:40
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1Our stumbling block is that we are too easily content with ourselvesStefan Tobler
4 +1The main stumbling block is that we become smug too quicklyMary Wilburn
4 +1The main obstacle is that we are content/satisfied with ourselves too soonsilfilla
4that is the chief obstacle, that we are too soon content with ourselvesxxx------
4The biggest hurdle is that we are too readily self-satisfied
Ker
3the main obstacle is that we become pleased with ourselves too quicklyKieran McCann
3the main obstacle is our rapid self-satisfaction
swisstell
3the main area of concern is that we get satisfied with ourselves too soon......
Raghunathan


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind (Seneca)
The main obstacle is that we are content/satisfied with ourselves too soon


Explanation:
;-)

obviously a draft ...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 mins (2005-05-17 21:36:26 GMT)
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BTW, Seneca is not a Spanish playwright but rather a Roman playwright, orator, and philosopher ...

http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc50.html

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2005-05-17 21:38:10 GMT)
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instead of *obstacle*, you could also use *impediment* or *hindrance*

silfilla
Local time: 13:40
Works in field
PRO pts in category: 23

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ulrike Kraemer: I like this one best.
9 hrs
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32 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind (Seneca)
The biggest hurdle is that we are too readily self-satisfied


Explanation:
just another suggestion for you to consider :-)

Ker
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind (Seneca)
that is the chief obstacle, that we are too soon content with ourselves


Explanation:
Letters to Lucilius
Sen.epist.59,11-12

Seneca Lucilio suo salutem

****Illud praecipue impedit, quod cito nobis placemus***: si invenimus, qui nos bonos viros dicat, qui prudentes, qui sanctos, agnoscimus. Non sumus modica laudatione contenti: quidquid in nos adulatio sine pudore congessit, tamquam debitum prendimus. Optimos nos esse, sapientissimos adfirmantibus adsentimur, cum sciamus illos saepe multa mentiri; adeoque indulgemus nobis, ut laudari velimus in id, cui contraria cum maxime facimus. Mitisimum ille se in ipsis suppliciis audit, in rapinis liberalissimum et in ebrietatibus ac libidinibus temperantissimum. Sequitur itaque, ut ideo mutari nolimus, quia nos optimos esse credimus. Alexander cum iam in India vagaretur et gentes ne finitimis quidem satis notas bello vastaret, in obsidione cuiusdam urbis, dum circumit muros et inbellicissima moenium quaerit, sagitta ictus diu persedere et incepta agere perseveravit. Deinde cum represso sanguine sicci vulneris dolor cresceret et crus suspensum equo paulatim obtorpuisset, coactus absistere, "Omnes", inquit, "iurant esse me Iovis filium, sed vulnus hoc hominem esse me clamat." Idem nos faciamus! Dicamus: "Vos quidem dicitis me prudentem esse, ego autem video, quam multa inutilia concupiscam, nocitura optem. Ne hoc quidem intellego, quod animalibus satietas monstrat, quis cibo debeat esse, quis potioni modus: quantum capiam, adhuc nescio."
quod cito nobis placemus

xxx------
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 5
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind (Seneca)
the main obstacle is our rapid self-satisfaction


Explanation:
another variation to the theme

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 19:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 20
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the main area of concern is that we get satisfied with ourselves too soon......


Explanation:
just a variation......

Raghunathan
Local time: 23:10
Native speaker of: Tamil
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
The main stumbling block is that we become smug too quickly


Explanation:
I think that "zu schnell" implies action -- or change -- that "sind" does not express.






Mary Wilburn
United States
Local time: 13:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxFrancis Lee: "main stumbling block is our tendency to become ..."
4 hrs
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Our stumbling block is that we are too easily content with ourselves


Explanation:
and another option for you!

The beginning ('The main obstacle is that we...') seemed odd to me in English.
I think you'd normally say 'the main obstacle to (happiness, success etc)', not just leave it hanging on its own. So I used a different phrase.

Stefan Tobler
Local time: 18:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxFrancis Lee: "easily" find ich gut hier
1 hr
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the main obstacle is that we become pleased with ourselves too quickly


Explanation:
I think zufrieden/content/satisfied are misleading translations. As the original which Janfri has kindly provided shows, the point is that we are *not* easily satisfied with ordinary praise ('non sumus modica laudatione contenti').

On the contrary, we rapidly develop an appetite for praise in the superlative terms of the next couple of sentences, and this is Seneca's meaning: we are too quick to form a high opinion of ourselves.

Kieran McCann
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:40
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 15
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Changes made by editors
May 17, 2005 - Changes made by Marcus Malabad:
Term askedDas Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind (Seneca) » Das Haupthindernis ist, dass wir zu schnell mit uns zufrieden sind
Field (write-in)(none) » Seneca quote


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