rotisko

English translation: hunk of junk

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Finnish term or phrase:rotisko
English translation:hunk of junk
Entered by: Owen owenfw

01:01 Sep 18, 2011
Finnish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Finnish term or phrase: rotisko
"Olipahan vain yksi rotisko eteisen nurkassa johon kaikki vastasivat."

Describing an old rotary dial phone. I know the dictionary definition of rotisko, but everything I can think of to use in the translation is an adjectival phrase, and I'd really like to have a cleaner solution--a single noun if possible. Any thoughts?
Owen owenfw
Local time: 14:32
We only had this rotary junk in the corridor...
Explanation:
or maybe, we only had one of these ancient rotary phones ...

Or, maybe you don't need to say rotary... maybe just an ancient contraption?

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Note added at 8 hrs (2011-09-18 09:40:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On reflection, I think "contraption" is the right word to use, conveying the feel of "rotisko".

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Note added at 1 day6 hrs (2011-09-19 07:35:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Owen, I understand where you're coming from, and hunk of junk rhymes nicely. Here in the UK though HUNK really has the meaning of a large piece of bread or cheese or male with a good physique... I suppose your choice really depends on the overall use of expressions in the text you are translating.
Selected response from:

Hannele Marttila
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
Grading comment
Thanks again, Hannele. Although I didn't use your exact suggestion, yours was ultimately the most helpful.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +1We only had this rotary junk in the corridor...
Hannele Marttila
3jalopy
Vladyslav Golovaty
3contrivance, relic
urbom
3Lemon
aleski
2flivver
Timo Lehtilä


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
jalopy


Explanation:
if no, than clunker or rattletrap, why not?

Vladyslav Golovaty
Ukraine
Local time: 23:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
Notes to answerer
Asker: Those terms are more appropriate for cars. Thanks, though.

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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
contrivance, relic


Explanation:
"rotary-dial relic" has a nice rhythm and alliteration to it...

Dunno who the speaker is, so "contrivance" may be the wrong register.

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Yeah, I should have said: the speaker is a teenager. Certainly doesn't mean she can't use unusual words. I'm liking relic--I'll try it out in the text and see how it feels.

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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
flivver


Explanation:
This has the same basic meaning as 'rotisko', but I don't know how much it is acceptable for an English native to use it for any other things than cars and aeroplanes.


Timo Lehtilä
Finland
Local time: 23:32
Native speaker of: Finnish
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: That seems a bit dated--I didn't say so, but the narrative seems to be set in the late 80's, and the narrator was a teenager at the time.

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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
We only had this rotary junk in the corridor...


Explanation:
or maybe, we only had one of these ancient rotary phones ...

Or, maybe you don't need to say rotary... maybe just an ancient contraption?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2011-09-18 09:40:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On reflection, I think "contraption" is the right word to use, conveying the feel of "rotisko".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day6 hrs (2011-09-19 07:35:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Owen, I understand where you're coming from, and hunk of junk rhymes nicely. Here in the UK though HUNK really has the meaning of a large piece of bread or cheese or male with a good physique... I suppose your choice really depends on the overall use of expressions in the text you are translating.

Hannele Marttila
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
Native speaker of: Native in FinnishFinnish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7
Grading comment
Thanks again, Hannele. Although I didn't use your exact suggestion, yours was ultimately the most helpful.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Contraption is a good possibility (it was one of the first things I though of myself). I've been trying to use it less lately in my work though--it's started to lose any flavor it once had for me. It's a little amazing (odd?) how many words Finnish has that basically mean contraption. I guess that goes for a lot of concepts. In my own English dialect we do use contraption, but it has some very specific connotations for me, and at least at first didn't feel like a very good fit here. Thinking about your suggestions just now did give me another idea that may be a perfect fit: hunk of junk.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Melina Kajander
4 hrs
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31 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Lemon


Explanation:
...although probably not as descriptive, and appropriate in that, as the aforementioned clunker and rattletrap.

lemon: "a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory" (Dictionary.com)

Example sentence(s):
  • ...while cheekily nodding at worries that the Beetle itself was a lemon.

    Reference: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lemon
    Reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11963364
aleski
Native speaker of: Native in FinnishFinnish
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