Wohlstandsgletscher

English translation: a tiny glacier of affluence/an affluent glacier

12:06 Apr 4, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Prose
German term or phrase: Wohlstandsgletscher
Hi, I'm translating a story by Thomas Rosenloecher, Das Leuchtbild der Banane, which is a light-hearted look at the 'Westpaket' (package from the West?) phenomenon that East Germans all knew.
When the package full of goodies has been unpacked, he says:
'Und auf dem Kuechentisch ein kleiner Wohlstandsgletscher lag.'
This is obviously his own metaphor, but I was wondering whether Gletscher in German sometimes has the sense of 'avalanche' in English? ie a more figurative meaning. I am tempted to translate it as 'an avalanche of luxury'. Whaddya think?
Stefan Tobler
Local time: 19:45
English translation:a tiny glacier of affluence/an affluent glacier
Explanation:
Ich finde, den Doppelsinn von affluent Wohlstand/Nebenfluss sollte man dankbar annehmen.
Selected response from:

xxx------
Grading comment
Thanks for all the comments everyone. You've reassured me that Gletscher sounds just as unusual in German as glacier does in English, so I'll go for this:
. . .and deposited a little glacier of affluence on the kitchen table.
Thank you Janfri, I like your point about affluence.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2glacier of luxury (eigentlich wealth)
muttersprachler
3 +2a tiny glacier of affluence/an affluent glacier
xxx------
4 +1mount of luxuries
aykon
3iceberg of affluence
Sarah Swift
2a thawing little fountain of luxuries
xxxFrancis Lee


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
a tiny glacier of affluence/an affluent glacier


Explanation:
Ich finde, den Doppelsinn von affluent Wohlstand/Nebenfluss sollte man dankbar annehmen.

xxx------
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 5
Grading comment
Thanks for all the comments everyone. You've reassured me that Gletscher sounds just as unusual in German as glacier does in English, so I'll go for this:
. . .and deposited a little glacier of affluence on the kitchen table.
Thank you Janfri, I like your point about affluence.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gabrielle Lyons: glacier of affluence sounds weird but works - like the original :)
3 hrs
  -> Thank you. :)

agree  MMUlr
19 hrs
  -> Danke!
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
glacier of luxury (eigentlich wealth)


Explanation:
Ganz recht, das ist keine bekannte Standard-Metapher, die ist selbstgezimmert.

Aber kein Gedanke an Lawine, es ist schon der glacier. Groß, majestätisch, kalt. Bewegung, wird nicht assoziert. Oder falls doch, dann eine sehr langsame.

Oder hatte der Autor Bilder im Sinn, wie große Teile eines Gletschers in Meer brechen und als Eisberge wegtreiben? Das kommt mir aber erst bei zweitem Nachdenken in den Sinn.

muttersprachler
Germany
Local time: 20:45
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MMUlr: Das Bild des glacier würde ich auch lassen - dass er auf dem Küchentisch sehr bald dahinschmilzt, folgt dann für den Leser automatisch daraus.
7 mins

neutral  xxxFrancis Lee: wie auch immer - "glacier" passt hier nicht
14 mins

agree  Mustafa Er (BSc MA): -
31 mins
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
mount of luxuries


Explanation:
sowas vielleicht

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Note added at 1 hr 4 mins (2005-04-04 13:10:31 GMT)
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Lawine wird im Deutschen auch figürlich eingesetzt, aber Gletscher nicht - soweit ich weiß


aykon
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kathi Stock: als ehemaliger Ossi kann ich da nur zustimmen. Als Wohlstandsgletscher ist der Luxusberg gemeint. Man findet auch heute noch im ostdeutschen Sprachgebrauch "aufrupfen wie ein Westpäckchen" weil man es nicht erwarten konnte, den Luxus in Besitz zu nehmen
11 mins

neutral  xxxFrancis Lee: wenn überhaupt, dann "mountain" // please trust the native - "mount" simply does not work // I have no idea why people repeatedly refer to LEO as if it were an authority
20 mins
  -> Look at any definition of mount. I agree, it s mostly used before the name of a mountain but it s also poetic for mountain. Look at the German sentence, it s not ordinary German either with the verb at the end.

neutral  Tom Funke: Simply sounds like a CARE package to me -- well remembered from the postwar 1940s, with analogous effects, and even more rare.
1 hr
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
iceberg of affluence


Explanation:
"And a little iceberg of abundance balanced on the kitchen table."
(or maybe "And a little iceberg of affluence wobbled on the kitchen table.") It's rather free, I know a glacier isn't the same thing as an iceberg, but mountain strikes me as a bit too ordinary and I can't work glacier into a metaphor.

Sarah Swift
Local time: 20:45
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
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54 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
a thawing little fountain of luxuries


Explanation:
my guess is - at best - as good as anyone else's, here

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Note added at 20 hrs 24 mins (2005-04-05 08:31:24 GMT)
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a little treasure trove of (earthly/material) delights

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Note added at 20 hrs 42 mins (2005-04-05 08:49:13 GMT)
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a heaven-sent ...(ditto)

xxxFrancis Lee
Local time: 20:45
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 80
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