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Stehzeug

English translation: stationary

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13:47 Aug 10, 2010
German to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Transport / Transportation / Shipping
German term or phrase: Stehzeug
Context:

Das Elektrofahrzeug hat es schwer, schon jetzt akzeptiert zu werden, obwohl in Deutschland die durchschnittlich zurückgelegte Strecke im Automobil pro Tag deutlich unter 50 Kilometern liegt. Pointiert gesagt: Eigentlich ist ein typisches Fahrzeug ein „Stehzeug“; es wird meistens weniger als ein bis zwei Stunden am Tag bewegt.
Source: http://www.dfg.de/download/pdf/dfg_magazin/wissenschaft_oeff...

This play on words that seems rather tricky to adapt to English, given that "vehicle" and "car" are far less descriptive than "Fahrzeug". The best idea that has sprung to mind so far is "autostatic" as opposed to "automobile", but since British English is called for, it would seem rather stilted to suddenly refer to "automobiles".
David Williams
Germany
Local time: 16:11
English translation:stationary
Explanation:
In general, and contrary to their (intended) purpose, cars/vehicles are stationary rather than mobile most of the time.

I believe the play on words in the German version is very difficult if not impossible to convey, hence my suggestion.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 27 mins (2010-08-10 14:14:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I wouldn't use "autostatic" vs. "automobile" (you said that British English was required).
Selected response from:

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 16:11
Grading comment
Many thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
2 +3stationary
Steffen Walter
4standing car
Hermann
4it's a "park", not a "ride"
British Diana
4in park mode most of the time
Sarah Bessioud
3 +1anything but mobilepolyglot45
3"stator car"Colin Rowe


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +3
„Stehzeug“
stationary


Explanation:
In general, and contrary to their (intended) purpose, cars/vehicles are stationary rather than mobile most of the time.

I believe the play on words in the German version is very difficult if not impossible to convey, hence my suggestion.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 27 mins (2010-08-10 14:14:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I wouldn't use "autostatic" vs. "automobile" (you said that British English was required).

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 16:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 199
Grading comment
Many thanks!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Yes, thanks. It's often tricky to translate plays on words, but what do you think of my proposal above?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  jccantrell: My thought, too.
17 mins

agree  Armorel Young: and mine - I'd avoid attempts to be clever (especially as the word automobile just means that it "goes by itself", not that it has to be doing this all the time - which would be perpetuum mobile, something different entirely)
1 hr

agree  Goldcoaster
1 day23 mins
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
„Stehzeug“
anything but mobile


Explanation:
most so-called automobiles are anything but mobile most of the time

polyglot45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 54

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  casper: very nicely put, I must say :-)
3 hrs
  -> thank you !
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
„Stehzeug“
in park mode most of the time


Explanation:
I think you're right in having doubts about automobiles, but why not use a description linked to cars? The point that's being made is not that the car is stationary (ie. stopped at traffic lights), but rather that it's not even used most of the time, which is why I feel "in park mode" or "parked up" fits the bill nicely.

Sarah Bessioud
Germany
Local time: 16:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 11
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
„Stehzeug“
"stator car"


Explanation:
A couple of ideas, trying to keep the play on words:

Not so much a "motor car" as a "stator car"!

or, for our American friends:

"auto-immobile"

Colin Rowe
Germany
Local time: 16:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 49
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
it's a "park", not a "ride"


Explanation:
Sorry Jeux de Mots I stole half of this (the parking element) from you.
David, if you really want a lighthearted play on words, how about this one.. I'm afraid you own idea won't work , for how many readers would realise that "static" means not moving? I had to think really hard myself to get your meaning. Most people think of "static" the noise or "static electricity" without knowing why it is so called.

For those not as familiar with British slang, a car is often referred to as a "ride".

British Diana
Germany
Local time: 16:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 3
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1 day16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
standing car


Explanation:
typical vehicle is a 'standing car'.

This is also closer to your original 'Stehfahrzeug'

Electric Cars, less cars, hynbrid cars ... still be a lot of cars just standing around, and a standing car is for many people an unnecessary investment. ...
www.lesscars.org/carpooling.php - Cached - Similar

Hermann
Local time: 15:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 34
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Changes made by editors
Aug 10, 2010 - Changes made by Astrid Elke Witte:
Term asked„Stehzeug“ » Stehzeug


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