Kafka question
Thread poster: motuihe

motuihe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Italian to English
Mar 7

Sorry not in German. Anyone know the expresssion "these travelling salesmen are like bugs"? Danke so much in advance

Source: See more
Sorry not in German. Anyone know the expresssion "these travelling salesmen are like bugs"? Danke so much in advance

Source: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=f1y_dX04yBgC&pg=PA255&lpg=PA255&dq=these%20travelling%20salesman%20are%20like%20bugs&source=bl&ots=-ruiOHFo83&sig=ACfU3U1K8p1kImZDIMLPp_NunvKulI4f4w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiK9OmBtfDgAhV06uAKHZO5BfAQ6AEwDnoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=these%20travelling%20salesman%20are%20like%20bugs&f=false


[Edited at 2019-03-07 16:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-03-07 17:06 GMT]
Collapse


 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:00
English to German
+ ...
No Mar 7

I never heard of it as a set, established expression or phrase.

 

motuihe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Mar 7

The source says he picked it up from Germany. Could it be possibly from another language czech? Or maybe just local to a certain area where they use this expression?

[Edited at 2019-03-07 17:26 GMT]


 

Dr. Lausberg de Morales  Identity Verified
Guatemala
Local time: 23:00
German to Spanish
+ ...
Schmeißfliegen Mar 7

In German we often use the Expression "Schmeißfliegen" for this concept. It Expresses that they come uninvitedly and stick to you and that you cannot easily get rid of them. Basically it is the concept of unwanted soliciting. Hope it helps.

 

Dr. Lausberg de Morales  Identity Verified
Guatemala
Local time: 23:00
German to Spanish
+ ...
Käfer Mar 7

And in the context of Kafka I think there is something with "Käfer" but I do not remember well what it is... Keep searching.

 

Katrin Braams  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:00
Member (2018)
English to German
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Die Verwandlung Mar 7

I guess it refers to Kafka‘s Verwandlung. Salesmen are called Handlungsreisende and there is a lot of talk about Ungeziefer.

Handlungsreisende sind wie Ungeziefer???

Perhaps google will know more.

[Edited at 2019-03-07 21:53 GMT]


 

ibz  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:00
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
See KudoZ questions Mar 8

Not Kafka said this but Adorno:
https://books.google.ch/books?id=kZ_nqNRVXIIC&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=adorno%20wanzen&source=bl&ots=UFn8H0BrsS&sig=ACfU3U3yb-7mtIHzQ_WYF1K0L2HPNjoLyw&hl=de&sa=X&ved=
... See more
Not Kafka said this but Adorno:
https://books.google.ch/books?id=kZ_nqNRVXIIC&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=adorno%20wanzen&source=bl&ots=UFn8H0BrsS&sig=ACfU3U3yb-7mtIHzQ_WYF1K0L2HPNjoLyw&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjVy9KY9_HgAhVDr6QKHXZjDqQQ6AEwB3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=adorno%20wanzen&f=false
«Diese Reisenden sind wie Wanzen.»
Collapse


 

VivianDarkbloom
United Kingdom
Thanks motuihe! Mar 8

I'm the original enquirer To clarify, as ibz pointed out, Adorno claims Kafka was literalising "a German expression" ("Those travelling salesmen are like bugs") in Verwandlung, suggesting it was a common figure of speech; I was just wondering if anyone is aware of such an expression really having existed. It doesn't sound like the kind of phrase that would enter into the realm of idiom, but who knows.

Even if it was e
... See more
I'm the original enquirer To clarify, as ibz pointed out, Adorno claims Kafka was literalising "a German expression" ("Those travelling salesmen are like bugs") in Verwandlung, suggesting it was a common figure of speech; I was just wondering if anyone is aware of such an expression really having existed. It doesn't sound like the kind of phrase that would enter into the realm of idiom, but who knows.

Even if it was ever in common usage, the chances are it would have dropped out of usage with the decline in travelling salesmen, so there may simply not be a record of it, but I'm curious to know if anyone's ever heard of it.

Thank you all for the replies so far!
Collapse


 

motuihe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Adorno Mar 9

Odd that a German philosopher says it is a German expression yet no other Germans seem to have heard it. Maybe it was used in a certain area last in the early part of last century and just fizzled out?

 

VivianDarkbloom
United Kingdom
Adorno Mar 9

Yes, I agree; it could well have died out. My suspicion is that it was more of a sentiment about travelling salesmen than an expression, and Adorno was being a bit "creative" with his phrasing to imply that the bug comparison was in common circulation in order to bolster his argument.

 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Heuschrecken? Mar 11

Leider lebte ich zu Kafkas Zeiten noch nicht. Ist ja unmöglich aus einer englischen Übersetzung zu schließen, was ursprünglich gemeint war. Heuschrecken = locust

 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


Kafka question

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search