Pride-ish life

English translation: [see my suggestion]

09:33 Aug 19, 2019
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: Pride-ish life
I'm translating a short video clip from Persian into English, which is going to be uploaded to some social media platforms for the English-speaking audience. It's a 1-minute movie in which the head of a gang is giving his fellow thugs a pep talk.
At one point, he has a line which, roughly, literally translate to:

"You deserve better than a Pride-ish life. Benz and BMW isn't your dream, it's a (your) necessity."

Pride is a really crappy and yet widely owned car in Iran. Its poor build quality makes it a very unsafe car. It holds the top record in traffic accident fatalities.
It is a relatively cheap car generally owned by the low-middle class. You don't buy it because you like it. You buy it because you can't afford a better option.
This car is sort of seen by the Iranians as the symbol of a crappy life they are being submitted to. It's actually common to hear people denying Pride as a car: "it's a Pride, not a car".

With that background, I'm looking for a suitable equivalent that would have a similar connotation for the English-peaking audience. It doesn't have to be a car brand or model, however it's preferred if there is indeed such an infamous candidate that the target English audience can relate to, since the dialogue goes on to compare Benz and BMW as symbols of a better life.

Thanks everyone in advance for your time and help.
Hamid Parham
Iran
Local time: 06:54
English translation:[see my suggestion]
Explanation:
I don't think there's one brand that's universally associated with poor quality. So I suggest:

You deserve better. Your life should be a Lamborghini, not a lawnmower.

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Note added at 4 days (2019-08-23 15:52:36 GMT)
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In answer to your additional question, I don't recommend replacing "lawnmower" with "old banger" unless your text is for the British market. Your job is to keep the translation flowing, so that the viewer doesn't notice it. If you suddenly introduce an incongruity, you lose their attention.
Selected response from:

philgoddard
United States
Grading comment
I'll go with your answer. Thank you and everyone who participated.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +6Reliant 'Robin'
Tony M
4 +4[see my suggestion]
philgoddard
4 +3an old banger
B D Finch
3 -1A crap car as the "Pride" car is not for you
Daryo
4 -3Gorgeous
Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic


Discussion entries: 21





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -3
pride-ish life
Gorgeous


Explanation:
I understand the writer’s sentiment. As an immigrant who turned over a new leaf by coming to live in prosperous America, there’s a justifiable need to show off and show the before (poor life) and after (rich life) effects of his life-changing decision.

Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic
Croatia
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you for your answer. I'm afraid I have to agree with our colleagues. Ironically, there is no pride in owning a Pride at all!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: Totally wrong! You don't seem to have understood Asker's explanation, which shows us this is anything BUT "gorgeous"!
19 mins

disagree  Yvonne Gallagher: you didn't read the context
1 hr

disagree  AllegroTrans: clearly wrong
3 hrs
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
You deserve better than a Pride-ish life.
A crap car as the "Pride" car is not for you


Explanation:
A crap car as the "Pride" car is not for you, / is not what you have to make do with

This is happening in Iran, so I would be tempted not to "localise" the make of this car, but to leave the name (with all the underlying irony in this crap car being called "the pride") and add a kind of short "explanation" within the limits imposed by sub-titling.

You could also look at it this way: if you lose all "local references" is it a clip about Iran any longer?




Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SerbianSerbian, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: @Daryo Thank you for your answer. I understand your point about the loss of local color due to localization (domestication). I did actually brought up this point with the client in our first meeting and told them about the alternative foreignized translation method to preserve the local feeling of the movie, but they chose to go with a localized approach. Also, I forgot to mention in the context of my question that it is for a dubbing project, not subtitling. Sorry for that. I know it's an important detail.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  philgoddard: (a) This is bad English, and (b) you can't add explanations to subtitles. // No, because 'a crap car as the "Pride" car' is not something a native English speaker would say. You could say something like 'a car as crappy as the Pride'.
1 hr
  -> "This is bad English" - because it goes against your obsession with "making it short"?

neutral  AllegroTrans: Bad English
2 days 2 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
Pride
Reliant 'Robin'


Explanation:
Is probably the UK equivalent much-disparaged 'pretend' car

https://partsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/reliant...

I think it conveys exactly the sort of image you describe.

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Note added at 23 mins (2019-08-19 09:57:28 GMT)
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Though I wouldn't use it with '-ish' — I think you need to reformulate to avoid needing that, which doesn't really work well in this sense.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2019-08-19 11:52:38 GMT)
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The 'Wartburg' was a similarly mocked car in Germany, but would not say anything to most English readers.

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Note added at 9 hrs (2019-08-19 19:25:36 GMT)
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Oh yes, indeed, the East German 'Trabant' was simialrly much-maligned!

Tony M
France
Local time: 05:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 293
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you so much for your answer. I did some reading on Reliant Robin and although it sounds like a really good candidate with considerable similarities, there are a few things that don't add up. First, as Yvonne Gallagher and B D Finch pointed out and "Jeremy" confirms at the end of the Top Gear episode linked by "writeaway" in his comment, it might be a somewhat obscure reference for today's generation. You rightfully pointed that I didn't specify the exact locale of the target audience. This is because the client doesn't really have a specific English speaking locale in mind. I did point this out to them when I got the job trying to get a specific country or at least region out of them, however they answer is that they're not targeting a specific country. They're simply going to upload the dubbed movie to some of their social media platforms such as instagram and also distribute and promote it online. I know this is a rather broad audience, which makes finding an equivalent that works for and have the same effect on all of them is really challenging, if not impossible. However, it does tell us one thing: the audience is probably fairly young. Consequently, as pointed out by Tina Vonhof, one would be convinced to go for a generic equivalent rather than a car name or brand. I did note this in my question. However, since there are other car brands used to construct the original dialogue, I thought it would be perfect if there is an equivalent that would produce the same effect. This Robin has lots of similarities with our Pride. They're both cheap and plasticy, both unsafe, both can "fly" apparantly. But it seems like Robin would probably fail to produce the same effect on its target audience. There was another pointed I noticed while I was reading about Robin. "Reliant three-wheelers enjoy a special place in British culture, often as the butt of jokes..." says its Wikipedia page. That is not the case with Pride. It's actually quite the opposite: it's tragic! In fact, the gang head character in the movie is shouting in anger when performing this dialogue. He (the typical Iranian youth) is being submitted to a life which only has crappy things like Pride to offer, while leaving him no pride. The original audience don't laugh when they hear a "Pride-ish life". Rather they are reminded of the low bar which has been set for their dreams. Now I know this might not be how the things are for the peer target audience, and so there might not be a similar sort of repression that the translation could appeal to, not in the form of a car brand at least, but at this point I think I would settle for the next best thing.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  kmtext: Or possibly a Lada. They were much-maligned too.
5 mins
  -> Thanks, KMT!

agree  Guillermo Masio: I'd go for Dacia. It has a worse reputation.https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/features/best-wors...
29 mins
  -> Thanks, Guillermo! Oh, not really, and little known in e.g. GB.

agree  writeaway: Or unReliant Robin. There is nothing wrong with today's Dacias. Au contraire. Lada works and may be a more familiar name than the Reliant Robin /YES!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8
41 mins
  -> Thanks, W/A! I can't help thinking of Delboy and Rodney...

agree  Yvonne Gallagher: I'd go with Lada. Here are some jokes. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/once-butt-every-car-jo... Do people these days know a Robin?
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Yvonne! Oh dear, am I THAT old?!

neutral  B D Finch: Yes, you are THAT old. Very few people under 55 will have heard of Reliant Robins, unless their grandad had one.
3 hrs
  -> Gee thanks, B! :'(

agree  AllegroTrans
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, C!

neutral  Tina Vonhof: i would want something more generic, not a brand name.
4 hrs
  -> Yet the source text did use a brand name to conjure up the same notion...

neutral  philgoddard: This won't be understood outside the UK.
6 hrs
  -> Of course! But then the same might be said of any specific make of car used; Asker failed to state where his target audience are?

agree  Daryo: that's the idea, although according to some petrolheads the choice for that kind of model is not limited to the "Robin" // the East-German "Trabant" will do for most of Eastern Europe.
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Daryo!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
pride-ish life
an old banger


Explanation:
I don't know that there is any current make of car that would fit the bill, so I suggest using the generic term "old banger". No "-ish life", which is very un-English-sounding in this context. BMW seems to be less desirable than it used to be, judging from the following:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uks-most-least-reliabl...
"UK's most and least reliable cars revealed - and it's bad news for BMW
Peugeot, Skoda and Hyundai reigned supreme in a study of reliability in the auto-industryW

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Note added at 2 days 3 hrs (2019-08-21 13:30:21 GMT)
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The idea of having to drive an old banger certainly does produce the effect you want, but it is a specifically British expression (possibly also used in India). Rust bucket would do for both the UK and US, though (unlike "old banger") it doesn't suggest the car was rubbish even when new. I like philgoddard's idea of upgrading to Lamborghini for contrast, because they are exclusively associated with luxury sports cars.

Note that the shortened form of Mercedes Benz is "Mercedes", never "Benz" and a more casual version (more likely to be used by gang members) is "Merc". On the other hand, in some parts of the world (e.g. some Anglophone African countries) Mercedes are strongly associated with taxis because almost all the taxis are (or used to be) Mercedes cars.

May I suggest that you get your finished translation professionally proofread by a native speaker of English.

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Note added at 2 days 22 hrs (2019-08-22 08:33:06 GMT)
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Following AllegroTrans' comment that ""old banger" is a FRIGHTFULLY British term that might not work in the rest of the EN-spkg world", I thought that I'd check whether the term is used in India and these are a few of the ghits I came up with:

https://www.alamy.com › stock-photo › old-banger-car
Find the perfect old banger car stock photo. Huge collection, amazing choice, ... Old Ambassador car Mumbai Maharashtra India Asia. Image ID: ERYMGW (RM).

https://www.throttleadda.com › cars › top-5-old-banger-cars
Oct 3, 2015 - Top 5 old Banger Cars that really rocked the Indian markets.

https://indiatimespost.com › U.K
Jun 4, 2019 - The India Times Post · News ... MOTORISTS in the market for a new car could save at least £4,000 just by scrapping their old banger.

www.india.jeroendorrestein.com › india › Jeroens_new_hobby
Meaning, either you buy and restore an old banger, or you have something really ...

One thing that I did notice is that Indian refs seem to show quite a bit of affection for old bangers.

Note that "FRIGHTFULLY British" would mean that it was upper-class British, which is certainly not the case. To make it clear that this is not just a term of affection for an old car, the term can be prefaced with "clapped out".

B D Finch
France
Local time: 05:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 196
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you so much for your answer and notes. The translation I have provided here is a rough literal one, which I thought would help better explain the context of the question. Of course "-ish" would sound odd. "Benz" and BMW are also literally translated. You see, those are actually popular in Iranian public eyes as flashy and dream cars. But of course you are on to the point about it, and I am considering replacing those as well, which wouldn't be much of a challenge, for prosperity could be an experience the depiction of which is more globally shared, while despair materializes in more isolated forms. However, you are right about the primary intention and message of the source. Although it has a deeper more of an ideologic message concealed in there. The equivalent, apart from having a similar characteristic, should invoke a similar effect. Does "old banger" invoke a similar effect, aside from implying similar connotations? Does it make the audience think about the condition they live in and what's not so great about it, does it provoke them a bit in preparation of the encouragement that is to follow? Overall though, I’ll have to do some further reading on your suggestion.

Asker: I was actually thinking about mixing phil's answer with yours. "Your life should be a Lamborgini, not 'an old banger'" Something along those lines maybe. Now I know you noted that “old banger” is specific to UK, but it just sounds better to me in the above sentence, compared to “a rust bucket”. Is “old banger” really that unknown to a US audience? Also, you mentioned that rust bucket "doesn't suggest the car was rubbish even when new". It doesn't matter as long as the translation gets the message across.

Asker: Following my suggestion for mixing phil's answer with yours, I think when we put "old banger" next to "a lamborghini" in the translation, it is pretty "clear that this is not just a term of affection for an old car". As for your suggestion to proofread the translation by a native English speaker, I'm afraid that's beyond the budget limit of the project.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Björn Vrooman: In the US, that'd be a piece of junk or a(n old) rust bucket. Maybe replace BMW with Porsche--if possible.
42 mins
  -> Thanks Björn

neutral  Tony M: The trouble here is that it doesn't necessarily need to be an old banger — it is a car that is undesirable even if brand spanking new.
48 mins
  -> Yes, but the primary meaning is about social status and if there is no equivalent brand of car to express that in English, then one has to find a different way of expressing the primary meaning.

agree  Tina Vonhof: A cheap piece of junk.
1 hr
  -> Thanks Tina

agree  Agneta Pallinder: Agree with using a generic expression - every "English speaking audience" has its own favourite candidate for "crap car".
1 hr
  -> Thanks Agneta

neutral  philgoddard: I think this is too British. I assume Hamid wants something that will be understood throughout the English-speaking world.
2 hrs
  -> Unfortunately, that might be impossible, given the very localised way these things are expressed.

neutral  AllegroTrans: Agree with TM's comment AND "old banger" is a FRIGHTFULLY British term that might not work in the rest of the EN-spkg world
4 hrs
  -> As I noted to TM, the primary meaning is about social status and if there is no equivalent brand of car to express that in English, then one has to find a different way of expressing the primary meaning.//See my note posted above re India.

disagree  Daryo: no, even brand new this "Pride" car was crap.
5 hrs
  -> See my comment to Tony above.

neutral  James A. Walsh: I considered posting 'old banger', but didn't in fear of all of the above!
8 hrs
  -> Don't let them scare you off!

agree  Yvonne Gallagher: I quite like Tina's "cheap piece of junk"
2 days 2 hrs
  -> Thanks Yvonne. I can't imagine anyone using the phrase "cheap piece of junk".
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
pride-ish life
[see my suggestion]


Explanation:
I don't think there's one brand that's universally associated with poor quality. So I suggest:

You deserve better. Your life should be a Lamborghini, not a lawnmower.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 days (2019-08-23 15:52:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In answer to your additional question, I don't recommend replacing "lawnmower" with "old banger" unless your text is for the British market. Your job is to keep the translation flowing, so that the viewer doesn't notice it. If you suddenly introduce an incongruity, you lose their attention.


philgoddard
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39
Grading comment
I'll go with your answer. Thank you and everyone who participated.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hmmm... Thank you so much for your answer. I agree with James. Your suggestion definitely got my interest. What if we replace "lawnmower" with "an old banger"? Will it still work for the broad audience?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: Cheers, Phil! Our sole aim is to help the Asker (y)
2 mins
  -> Thanks! That's very gracious when I've disagreed with your answer :-)

agree  AllegroTrans: this also works, well done
1 hr

agree  James A. Walsh: Best generic option here, in my opinion.
1 hr

agree  GILOU
11 hrs

agree  B D Finch: That's good. I like the alliteration.
16 hrs

disagree  Daryo: there is no need for "Lamborgini" - nothing wrong with just "Mercedes" - far better known and happens to be in the original version.
1 day 6 hrs
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