2

I just prepare a talk on - among other things - canary traps.

What would be an appropriate translation of "canary trap", as I think "Kanarienvogelfalle" seems not to express what I want in German?

2
  • 1
    You probably wouldn't want to use tha bird at all in a German translation - I fear it would be confused with the canary in a coal mine, which is an entirely different thing. What could probably be used is "Leimrute" or "Köder" if you give a short explanation.
    – tofro
    Apr 28 at 14:53
  • It's not a widely known term, but a Google search shows that "Kanarienvogelfalle" is actualy used in that sense.
    – HalvarF
    Apr 28 at 16:05
3

I didn't know the terms before. But for me, the English Wikipedia entry Canary trap and the German Wikipedia entry Plagiatsfalle seem to describe the same concept.

4
  • 2
    ... and that article mentions the term "Kanarienvogelfalle".
    – HalvarF
    Apr 28 at 15:49
  • 1
    @HalvarF Maybe it should be mentioned that the term Kanarienvogelfalle was added on August 8, 2018 without references and with the parenthesis aus dem Englischen canary trap, possibly being an ad-hoc translation, thus it doesn't tell us much about the question if the term Kanarienvogelfalle is established. Apr 28 at 21:11
  • @amadeusamadeus: agreed. I also found the word on dict.cc and some comp sci scripts, but these could even be derivative of the Wikipedia entry.
    – HalvarF
    Apr 28 at 22:04
  • 2
    The idiom "sing like a canary" for divulging secrets to unauthorized third party is a well-established English idiom, which the technical term "canary trap" is based on. The German idiom would be just "singen" without mentioning a specific bird, or "auspacken". I have never seen / heard / read "Kanarienvogel" used outside of cheaply-translated English-language gangster movies or pulp novels. May 1 at 7:39
0

This site and this site actually mention the term Kanarienfalle (as short form for Kanarienvogel), so it seems not to be a completely unknown term. Depending on the expertise, without any context this would probably understood as a trap for this specific bird. However, if you mention the idea behind this, people should get that it's relatet to the principle of living deadly gas detectors.

However, it is not unusual to use English technical terms without translation in German presentations.

4
  • The second of the linked examples uses "kanarische Falle" (as if referring to the islands) in addition to "Kanarienfalle". This smells like an automated translation to me, so not necessarily "natural language use". The concept doesn't seem to be that well known outside of its field, so I would stick with the seemingly well established English term. Apr 28 at 12:23
  • It is not related to gas detection, it is related to people telling things they should not. But the meaning would also not be obvious to an English speaker, unless they already know.
    – RalfFriedl
    Apr 29 at 8:51
  • @ralffriedl for me it makes perfect sense with the gas analogy. You distribute your different canaries (documents) throughout your mine, and see which one will highlight the gas (data) leak. Apr 29 at 17:59
  • 1
    I think the canary is the person who leaks the information, not the document. Related to "singing" for talking to the police. A trap is to catch something, and you want to catch the person. You don't want to catch the canary gas detector, it is already in a cage.
    – RalfFriedl
    Apr 30 at 9:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.