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Zentimeterarbeit

English translation: precision work

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13:55 Oct 24, 2007
German to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - Ships, Sailing, Maritime
German term or phrase: Zentimeterarbeit
This is a multinational corporate magazine. The company manufactures ship engines. The caption under a photograph of a cruise ship making its way down the Ems Canal to the North Sea reads:

Zentimeterarbeit: die "XXXXXX" (ship) auf ihrem Weg in die Nordseen.

"Slow progress"

"An inch at a time"

"Slow but steady"

Is that what is meant by this?
Sheila Owens
Local time: 14:33
English translation:precision work
Explanation:
I thought this meant that it was a matter of being on the centimeter precisely, something not usually thought of when a large ship is involved.

Pretty low confidence, though.
Selected response from:

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 06:33
Grading comment
WOW......I guess I have been outvoted here....in the end "Inching its way along etc." fitted the context - but I have been overwhelmed by the comments and responses and suggestions and so am awarding the points here for an excellent suggestion and for "proz" demonstrating just what it does so well.....translators helping translators.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
2 +13precision work
jccantrell
4 +2precision counts:
Edward L. Crosby III
4 +1inching its way down the EmsDavid Moore
3commentKen Cox


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +13
precision work


Explanation:
I thought this meant that it was a matter of being on the centimeter precisely, something not usually thought of when a large ship is involved.

Pretty low confidence, though.

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 06:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
WOW......I guess I have been outvoted here....in the end "Inching its way along etc." fitted the context - but I have been overwhelmed by the comments and responses and suggestions and so am awarding the points here for an excellent suggestion and for "proz" demonstrating just what it does so well.....translators helping translators.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: for the pedants, it's somewhat less exacting than Millimeterarbeit...
4 mins

agree  Amphyon
6 mins

agree  BrigitteHilgner: Quite - my spontaneous idea, too.
11 mins

agree  Nicole Schnell
11 mins

agree  Paul Cohen: Nice one. Panamax ships going through the Panama Canal only have a little over half a meter leeway on each side.
18 mins

agree  Sabine Akabayov, PhD
30 mins

agree  Michael Harris
56 mins

agree  Dr. Fred Thomson: The precision work apparently comes in with reference to the need to skillfully negotiate the canal.
1 hr

agree  David Moore
3 hrs

agree  Julia Lipeles
4 hrs

agree  Edward L. Crosby III: Agree with the core concept.
11 hrs

agree  xxxhazmatgerman: With Panamax carriers the Panamanian Canal Pilots use "precision work" together with the engine at the lock. @Cohen: we are really talking about cm not dm or larger here.
16 hrs

agree  Steffen Walter: Also with Paul and Fred - these ships are so large that there is only tiny leeway to negotiate the canal/river.
18 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
comment


Explanation:
The client is probably not going to be happy with any expression containing or implying 'slow' unless it somehow suggests painstaking accuracy.

Depending on your context, you could consider something like 'When every inch counts:'. I agree with jcc that the gist is exact, precision work, and piloting a cruise ship requires such work. The connection to the company's products is visually obvious.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-10-24 14:57:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Make that 'piloting a cruise ship along the Ems'

Ken Cox
Local time: 15:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 31
Notes to answerer
Asker: I have been overwhelmed by the responses/inspirational ideas/feedback/comments about this....in the end I went with David's "Inching its way along the Ems.....etc" which fitted nicely in the context. Many thanks - S


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Kcda: Follows logic that "every inch counts" is part of the whole gist. The exact "gist" as you also agree is "precision work".
2 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
inching its way down the Ems


Explanation:
is how I'd say it for a photographic caption in a magazine like this. Certianl it's "precision work" - you could even use that as a sub-title, but this is what the crew has to make sure.

The Ems by the way, is NOT a canal, and it has one of the major cruise-ship-building yards at Papenburg, which is 37 km upstream from the sea at Emden. Ships also have to negotiate the Ems Barrier, built to protect the flat land from flooding.

Clearances down the Ems from Papenburg really are critical, and all manner of special arrangements have to be made to move large ships out to sea.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2007-10-24 17:43:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here's a picture of the most recent ship to leave the Meyer Werft:

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/0,5538,24849,00.html

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2007-10-24 17:49:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And here are two more interesting sites: one mentioning one of the "special arrangements, and the second referring to the ship in the photograph above:

Eon schaltete erneut Leitung über Ems aus\n -
WDR.de - Panorama- [ Translate this page ]
Am Montagabend (06.11.06) hat Eon erneut Stromleitungen über der Ems abgeschaltet, damit ein Kreuzfahrtschiff mit hohen Aufbauten sicher darunter herfahren ...
www.wdr.de/themen/panorama/21/stromausfall/061106.jhtml -

NWZonline.de - Aktuelles - Spezial - Kreuzfahrtschiff Norwegian Gem-
Das neue Kreuzfahrtschiff „Norwegian Gem“ der Meyer Werft im niedersächsischen Papenburg hat am Wochenende die komplizierte Überführung über die schmale Ems ...
www.nwzonline.de/index_aktuelles_spezial_norwegiangem_artik... - 41k - Cached - Similar pages



David Moore
Local time: 15:33
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 60
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks David.....that's EXACTLY the ship I'm writing about. How spooky!!!! (Oh and thanx for the geographical note about the Ems! Guess I was thinking about the Weser-Ems canal or the Dortmund-Ems Canal)

Asker: David..in the end I used your "Inching its way along etc...." but respect your wish not to receive points so am awarding them elsewhere. Have been literally orwhelmed by the response/feedback/comments. Many thanks - S


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  seehand
14 hrs
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Zentimeterarbeit:
precision counts:


Explanation:
With a view to "Werbewirksamkeit", I'd agree with John but phrase the caption this way:

Precision counts: The XXXXX carefully makes its way...

Edward L. Crosby III
Local time: 06:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Edward - in the end I went with David's "Inching its way along....etc." which fitted well in the context. But I have been taken aback and utterly bowled over by the feedback/suggestions/comments et. Thank you SO much for your input - mch appreciated :) - S


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter: Yes, good idea :-)
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Steffen.

agree  Paul Cohen: Also a good possibility
10 hrs
  -> Thanks, Paul.
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