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Binoculars

Do we have a British Covid Stasi?

By HE Translations team member Mike Gayler

BinocularsDuring the Coronavirus crisis there have been a number of allegations that people in Britain are ‘behaving like the Stasi’ or that we have a ‘Covid Stasi’, but how do these claims stack up against the reality of Germany’s past, and how does it relate to Britain today?

The Stasi was the official state security organisation for the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany. The full name was Staatssicherheitsdienst, and is acknowledged to have been both pervasive and effective. Its main task was to perform surveillance on the citizens of the country in order to quell dissent, although it operated in foreign countries through espionage and covert operations.

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Hamster with hazelnuts

Happy hamsters squirrel away supermarket stocks

Hamster with hazelnutsHamsters have been emptying shop shelves across Germany and now seem set to cross borders as other countries take up the telling term Hamsterkauf. Wise advice to stock up on essentials before being confined to home by an anti-coronavirus diktat, combined with an angst attack in the face of a pandemic, has seen runs on toilet paper, pasta, flour and hand gel – snatching away all available wares. The German language term for this buying more than you need is Hamsterkauf, meaning literally hamster buying, or buying like a hamster. The tiny hamster with its puffy cheeks full of nuts is a lovable symbol for sensibly storing what you need for later, like its bigger cousin the squirrel, but neither actually pay for what they accumulate and have never been seen panic buying. Read more

Quarantäne

Covid-19 update from HE Translations

QuarantäneWe are pleased to report that HE Translations continues to operate as normal at this challenging and surreal time. After all, we have been practising home working for 25 years, as illustrated in a Leicester Mercury article back in 2009.

We are regularly in touch with our technical translation team members in various countries, and it is interesting to hear the experiences in different locations. On the whole, we are impressed by the way Leicester, the UK and indeed the world is coping with the unprecedented situation. That said, the long-term consequences are unfathomable, both economically and otherwise. Our sympathies to all those struggling in these difficult times, when many are losing so much. Let’s hope that when this is over some good may also come out of it, and that the path to sustainable living for all will be clearer. All in all, we remain cautiously optimistic.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss a potential translation project from or into German or a wide range of other languages including Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Swedish, please email us at Herb@HETranslations.uk or call our usual office number, +44 (0) 800 773 4054.

Best wishes to you and your families and friends.