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seen Oct 5 '13 at 12:07

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.

Henry David Thoreau

Note: I am on a long break from GL&U. I may drop in to fix up some old answer of mine or to respond to a request for clarification.


Mar
28
revised How do you translate German wordplay into English?
edited tags
Mar
28
awarded  Critic
Mar
27
comment How do you translate German wordplay into English?
My own idea -- and I'm not satisfied with it -- was to riff on the old Samsonite commercial (the one with the gorilla trying to break the suitcase). But instead of an ape, we take a brute in a Soviet uniform coat wearing the bearskin army cap (with the red star on the front) and have him try to break the PET bottle with his (powerful) hands. At the end, he spits out nyekaputniy! in disgust (a variation on the famous nyekulturniy). The photo on the billboard captures that moment. Not so hot? I agree... that's why I said I wasn't satisfied.
Mar
27
comment How do you translate German wordplay into English?
"indestructible" is not bad, except that (1) it isn't a neologism and (2) it's not literally true; I guess you've never rolled a full 1.5 liter Coca-Cola bottle in front of the wheels of a city bus LOL...
Mar
27
revised How do you translate German wordplay into English?
added a q of my own
Mar
27
awarded  Commentator
Mar
27
comment How do you translate German wordplay into English?
(cont'd.) than the original. The sound of it is just right. When Donny and the "made men" grunt "fuhgeddaboudid", they are reassuring each other of their (minors, avert your eyes) "bigswingingdickness". And as "piss die Wand an, Mann", this resonates down through the ages, all the way to the Book of Kings, in a way that "fuhgeddaboudid" cannot.
Mar
27
comment How do you translate German wordplay into English?
I should add that there are counterexamples. The most outstanding achievement, perhaps, is Hans Wollschläger's German translation (or re-creation) of James Joyce's Ulysses. Of course, Wollschläger took liberties... but he had to. One example from popular culture where the translator(s) did a good job, in my opinion, is the Hollywood movie Donny Brasco (starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino). I saw it in German first and was curious what "Hey Mann, piss die Wand an, Mann" had been originally. Turns out it was "Hey man, fuhgeddaboudid.") In this case, I liked the translation better (cont'd.)
Mar
27
comment How do you translate German wordplay into English?
@Em1 Schon wahr... aber momentan wollte ich die Spannung ganz gerne noch erhalten :)
Mar
27
answered How do you translate German wordplay into English?
Mar
27
comment How to say “Thank you for teaching me that word” in German?
Perhaps I misunderstand you, but "mich" in "Vater, lehre mich..." is the accusative case, not the dative. (Dative would be "mir".)
Mar
18
awarded  Editor
Mar
18
revised How do synchronous interpreters handle long German split verb sentences?
more realistic figure (and in practice, it can even get scrunched down to 3.5)
Mar
16
comment Is there a colloquial/slang equivalent of “'them's fight'n words” in German?
O.K., I'm out. OP won't tell us how he intends to use the translation -- as a dropped-in German phrase in a talk that is otherwise in English (with the opportunity for playacting), as text on a Powerpoint slide, or whatever -- and that makes it difficult to give pertinent advice. Not fun.
Mar
15
comment Is there a colloquial/slang equivalent of “'them's fight'n words” in German?
Randall is still playing his cards close to his chest but assuming I guessed his plans right, can we take an informal poll to ask whether people think he can pull it off? (You may want to read the "Berliner" Wikipedia article, linked above, first.) I'm new to stackexchange so if this comment is against the rules, delete away :)
Mar
15
awarded  Analytical
Mar
15
comment Is there a colloquial/slang equivalent of “'them's fight'n words” in German?
@F. Randall Farmer: I'm still intrigued as to how you plan to use that German phrase in your talk. Will it be sprung for surprise effect, akin to JFK's Ich bin ein Berliner in 1963? I would suggest a modification: instead of Ansehen? Hier hast du Ansehen!, say Ansehen? Ich geb' dir was zum Ansehen! while at the same time shaking your clenched fist. Oh, you want a back-translation, too? Geez... alright. It's a play on words, okay? Ansehen is both a noun (= reputation) and a gerund (= looking at): Ima giveya reputation/s.th. to look at!
Mar
15
answered How do synchronous interpreters handle long German split verb sentences?
Mar
14
comment “Am Flughafen” oder “Im Flughafen”?
Mit "am Flughafen" hätte ich in diesem Fall kein Problem. Sowohl zu "im" als auch "am" ließen sich Argumente (und Gegenargumente) vortragen. Für mein Ohr klingen beide Varianten gleich gut. Auch hier könnte man sich für mehr Präzision entscheiden, z.B. "... Großdemonstration in Terminal 1 des Flughafens" und hätte somit die im/am-Entscheidung elegant umschifft (oder überflogen).
Mar
14
answered “Am Flughafen” oder “Im Flughafen”?