Das Leuchtbild der Banane

English translation: vision of bananas/the mirage of bananas

12:28 Apr 4, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Prose
German term or phrase: Das Leuchtbild der Banane
Hi,
May I ask a second question re Thomas Rosenloecher's 'Das Leuchtbild der Banane'?! As I said before, this story is a light-hearted look at the scarcity that East Germans all knew, incl. the Westpaket phenomenon and queues for bananas.

The title's Leuchtbild refers as far as I know to neon lights (Leuchtbildreklame), and so to all the dazzle of the West's goods. I think neon is too narrow to work well in an English title, so I'm thinking of a title like 'Dazzled by Bananas'. A little ridiculous, but so is the German title.

I'd appreciate reactions and suggestions, perhaps something else would work well. The only near synonym for neon lights I can think of off-hand is 'the bright lights'.

For context, the story starts like this:
Aufgewachsen bin ich im Leuchtbild der Banane. Allein schon, weil sie so selten vorkam, ...

Thanks for your help!
Stefan Tobler (X)
Local time: 01:11
English translation:vision of bananas/the mirage of bananas
Explanation:
In the GDR they could only dream of bananas - they were like a mirage
Selected response from:

BrigitteHilgner
Austria
Local time: 02:11
Grading comment
a 'mirage of bananas' is odd in English, but to me 'A Vision of Bananas' isn't bad at all for the story.
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +3explanation...not for points
Kathi Stock
3 +2Under the Waning Banana / Bananas Shining Bright
babbelbekkie
4iridescent shimmer of bananas
Inese Poga-Smith
3 +1Sternzeichen...
Caro Maucher
3 +1vision of bananas/the mirage of bananas
BrigitteHilgner
3see suggestions below
aykon
2 +1The Eternal Lure of the Banana
Francis Lee (X)
2 +1The Quest for the Holy Banana
Lancashireman
2the fluorescent image
------ (X)


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
explanation...not for points


Explanation:
Synonym für die Mangelgesellschaft in der ehemaligen DDR war die Banane. Sie war genauso selten zu haben oder nur für bestimmte Kreise stets erhältlich wie andere Waren, z.B. Autos (Wartezeit 20 Jahre und länger!) oder auch Zementsäcke, Baumaterialien, Ersatzteile, etc.

Der Kontext erinnert mich sehr an den Film "Goodbye Lenin" und "Sonnenallee".

Kathi Stock
United States
Local time: 19:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: yes-I can't see how this book can be understood unless one has a very good knowledge of life in the DDR
20 mins

agree  Tom Funke: "Yes, we have no bananas!" - American ditty from the flapper era
1 hr

neutral  Francis Lee (X): I think Stefan is well aware of the context // Tom: why not post that as a suggestion? Not bad at all!
5 hrs
  -> Francis, you missed my headline "explanation...not for points". Sometimes an explanation makes things understandable. Your comment sounds like if you mind...

agree  Lancashireman: Now there's an idea: "Goodbye Lenin: Hello Bananas!" or "Banana Boulevard"
5 hrs
  -> rolling on the floor laughing !!!

neutral  TransWolf: Bananas (and oranges) were available at Christmas for the whole population. // I stand corrected. Es war tatsächlich ein Ostberliner, der mir das erzählt hat!
19 hrs
  -> Aber nicht dort, wo ich gewohnt habe. In Berlin könnte ich mir das vorstellen, die Hauptstadt hatte einen Extra-Status
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
see suggestions below


Explanation:
oder
the neon sign of the banana
the banana neon sign
the bright banana
the shiny/shining banana
the luminescent/luminous/lucent banana


aykon
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Under the Waning Banana / Bananas Shining Bright


Explanation:
Just some more ideas... The first (Under the Waning Banana ) is related to the saying "born under a waning moon", and as waning=decreasing, maybe it could work, especially in view of the first sentence of the story.

babbelbekkie
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in AfrikaansAfrikaans, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mustafa Er (BSc MA): -
6 mins

agree  meopp: I like "Bananas Shining Bright"!
2 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
The Quest for the Holy Banana


Explanation:
I seem to recall from Monty Python that the Grail sometimes appears in a shining vision to those who seek after it


Lancashireman
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 147

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Francis Lee (X): Why not?!
5 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
vision of bananas/the mirage of bananas


Explanation:
In the GDR they could only dream of bananas - they were like a mirage

BrigitteHilgner
Austria
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 53
Grading comment
a 'mirage of bananas' is odd in English, but to me 'A Vision of Bananas' isn't bad at all for the story.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: "A Vision of Bananas"// I sense that Francis is limbering up to deliver the coup de grace to us all.
23 mins
  -> Since he always disagrees with whatever I write, I couldn't care less!

neutral  Francis Lee (X): not suitable for a story title here // Dein Kommentar ist ziemlich unverschämt, lieber Strohhalm. But this is not a debate about who knew the GDR better. Please just accept the possibility that "mirage of bananas" may be deemed stylistically poor
4 hrs
  -> How do you know? How come you are able to judge East-German feelings?
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
iridescent shimmer of bananas


Explanation:
That's just one more suggestion. I have lived for some time in DDR, while there still was that wall, and I'd say that's what you long for, see there somewhere shiny and bright, and you are very aware that you won't get it. I mean, not just bananas, many other things as well. Very interesting thema. I am a writer besides. I would say I feel it that way. Regards,

Inese Poga-Smith
Canada
Local time: 20:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Latvian
PRO pts in category: 4
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
The Eternal Lure of the Banana


Explanation:
This is not really a serious suggestion, as its connotations will not - unlike the German - be immediately apparent to the readership in question. In fact, I'm not sure about references to "banana", as non-Germans will not (necessarily) be aware of its smybolic significance regards the GDR/Wende.
Perhaps you could create a completely different title?

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Note added at 7 hrs 31 mins (2005-04-04 19:59:22 GMT)
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or perhaps some play on \"Banana (Free) Republic\"?
perhaps not ...

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Note added at 17 hrs 1 min (2005-04-05 05:29:24 GMT)
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... where the only bananas were on the wallpaper.

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Note added at 18 hrs 23 mins (2005-04-05 06:51:55 GMT)
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A world/country bereft of bananas
(although this fails to address the West aspect)

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Note added at 19 hrs 48 mins (2005-04-05 08:16:54 GMT)
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\"Hungry/Yearning for Bananas\"
e.g. \"I grew up hungry for bananas ...\"

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Note added at 19 hrs 53 mins (2005-04-05 08:21:31 GMT)
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Dreaming of Bananas
Dreaming of a Banana Christmas

Francis Lee (X)
Local time: 02:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 80

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: "The Banana-free Republic" - Why not?
2 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Sternzeichen...


Explanation:
Für mich hat der Ausdruck etwas Astrologisches, insbesondere durch die folgende Formulierung 'Aufgewachsen bin ich *im* Leuchtbild der Banane'. Im Leuchtbild, nicht unter dem Leuchtbild oder mit dem LB. Im Leuchtbild, das klingt doch wie 'im Sternbild [wasauchimmer]'.
Und auch das Locken und die Unerreichbarkeit der Banane entspricht der, die üblicherweise den Sternen zugesprochen wird. Voll sehnsüchtigem Verlangen blickt man hinauf...

Leider hab ich keine funkelnde Idee, wie man das Sternbild-Konzept integrieren könnte, aber ich wollte Euch trotzdem dran teilhaben lassen. (c;

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Note added at 4 hrs 3 mins (2005-04-04 16:31:21 GMT)
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Maybe \'the sparkling crescent of the banana\'

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Note added at 21 hrs 42 mins (2005-04-05 10:10:30 GMT)
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Oder \'land of the rising banana\'...

Caro Maucher
Germany
Local time: 02:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: "Born under the Sign of the Banana"
2 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
Das Leuchtbild
the fluorescent image


Explanation:
Könnte vielleicht was bringen, hat was glamouröses.

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Note added at 22 hrs 23 mins (2005-04-05 10:51:56 GMT)
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Gerade dachte ich, dass Glamour das Schillern schon einschliesst. Warum nicht banana-glam?

------ (X)
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 5
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