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manual coffee grinder and coffee beans

Ersatzkaffee – can drinking substitutes win the game?

A report by TastyWebDesign.com

With coffee being so wildly popular these days, is a coffee substitute a winner or a loser? Anyone who has watched enough World Cup matches has seen a substitute come on the field and decide the match with fresh energy, or else disappoint when they can’t do what the missing star player did. A coffee bean isn’t a football so why even talk of substitutes, why not some other better word? And why do people drink coffee anyway?

Why coffee?

comic book zap text

The Stimulant Effect

People enjoy the rich roasted taste of coffee and many cherish the stimulating effect of the caffeine it contains, a drug which zaps away fatigue and sleepiness and speeds things up. Regular coffee drinking can lead to caffeine addiction, meaning without this stimulant at regular intervals the coffee lover feels tired, with poor concentration, irritability, and even headaches – which are quickly cured by a fresh cup.  Coffee breaks become not just a pleasurable social ritual but a required recharge, part of the grind of daily life.  So why would anyone want or need to drink something else instead?  To replace a drink or a drug, or both?  Or just to respond to the endless cycle of headlines about coffee being good or bad for you? Read more

The Madhouse Effect book jacket

The Madhouse Effect out now – the book Trump doesn’t want you to read

Madhouse Effect book jacketFollowing US President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in the midst of a heatwave and the ball-kicking fest of the World Cup, the laughter and tears are flowing with the timely release of the revised 2018 edition of The Madhouse Effect. This work, a lively synthesis of science and cartoons, rips the mask off the climate change deniers, having been updated with new content for the era of the Trump regime.

The Madhouse Effect: How climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics, and driving us crazy features an outstandingly authoritative text by award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and contains cartoons by prize-winning USA political cartoonist Tom Toles. It is ideally suited for both the layman and general reader struggling to see through the haze of misinformation on these vital issues. In an article titled Burning Down The House, the Washington Monthly named this “The book Donald Trump does not want you to read.”
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Kings of Kallstadt

Klimaknallkopf of Kallstadt

In einem 2016 von der Deutschen Welle veröffentlichten Artikel unter der Überschrift Donald Trump’s German roots hieß es: The ancestors of the “anti-immigrant” crusader Donald Trump come from a small village in western Germany. The documentary film “Kings of Kallstadt” explores the modest roots of the family’s real estate empire.

Kings of Kallstadt

Quelle: Welt, Foto: Projekt Gold / Barnsteiner Film

In einem Welt-Artikel vom August 2015 stand zu lesen, dass man dem “schrillen Milliardär” in Kallstadt, dem Heimatdorf von Trumps Großeltern, auch nach seinen umstrittenen Auftritten die Stange hält. Als eine Art ‘Entschuldigung’ für Trumps Auftreten galt: “Er macht halt Brulljes “, und es war durchaus auch von einer Art Bewunderung die Rede: “Der hot was druff “. Read more

German vintage camera

German film cameras

Report from HE Translations marketing representative Mike GaylerGerman vintage camera

First let me say that I am no expert in this field – I have a modest collection of analogue cameras, most of which are European, manufactured during the period 1955 – 1975. They are generally the sort of camera that a family man (and it usually was the man) would have taken on holiday and to weddings, or a camera that would have been proudly sported by the enthusiastic, albeit cash-poor, amateur photographer.

There’s a list of technical resources at the end of this piece; if I’ve used something from your site and not listed it, then please let me know and I’ll edit and credit you. Otherwise all errors are mine. Read more

Nur wundern Plakat

Nicht ärgern, nur wundern

Nur wundern PlakatThe German motto “Nicht ärgern, nur wundern” is extremely useful and calming. In many situations it can avoid the need for Baldwin’s Nervous Pills. As long as we don’t start to worry about how to translate it into English! 😂

Personal note: The drawing was produced in 1944 by Herbert’s uncle, Bruno Gutfleisch, who sadly passed away in 1971. It hangs in Herbert’s office and helps him keep calm (and indeed carry on) in stressful translation situations 😇

Extrembügeln

Extreme Ironing / Extrembügeln

As evidenced by the photo (August 2014), our visitors from Germany took their ironing duties quite seriously, in the knowledge that Extreme Ironing was in fact invented in Leicester, and further encouraged by the fact that there was a German Extreme Ironing Section at the www.extremeironing.me website.

Extreme ironing has not yet translated into a professional sport sponsored by manufacturers of irons or ironing boards, although the German language once again demonstrates efficiency by condensing the translation of extreme ironing down to just one word, albeit a compound word.

Weitere Infos zum Extrembügeln gibt es hier.

Extrembügeln

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Vorerst ausschließen?

Das Drama, das sich gestern Abend in Leicester abspielte, wirft auch linguistische Fragen auf. Laut Tagesschau schloss die Polizei “einen Terroranschlag vorerst aus“, was einem in Deutschland ansässigen HE Translations Teammitglied zu denken gab. Zitat:

Als Unbeteiligter an diesem tragischen Ereignis habe ich, bei allem ehrlichen Mitgefühl für die Opfer, dabei jedoch vor allem folgende Frage: Ist die oben genannte Pressefloskel eigentlich eine neu-deutsche Flachsinns-Redensart journalistischer Sprachprofis, oder gibt es dazu auch ein englisches Äquivalent? Oder sind es gar tatsächlich Polizisten, die offenbar weltweit eine seltsame Auffassung vom Ermitteln angenommen haben?
Denn: Seit wann schließen Ermittlungsbehörden Dinge vorerst aus?? Bin ich da irgendwie verwöhnt von unrealistischen Krimis, oder dürfen Behörden nicht erst dann etwas ausschließen, wenn sie sich sicher sind, dass es als Ursache nicht in Frage kommt??
Diese sprachliche Lauluft weht m.E. erst seit begrenzter Zeit durch allerlei Polizeimeldungen in der Presse (z.B. auch bei Verkehrsunfällen), dafür aber umso penetranter.

Der “schwachsinnige” Ausdruck vorerst ausschließen war uns bisher noch gar nicht so recht aufgefallen. Er scheint in der Tat auf deutschem Boden gewachsen zu sein, denn der entsprechende, offenbar mehr oder weniger offizielle englische Ausdrucksweise lautet:

Dass die Medien immer wieder negative Vorkommnisse in den Vordergrund stellen kann als recht deprimierend bzw. ärgerlich und wenig hilfreich angesehen werden. Dabei hätte es in den letzten Jahren so viel Positives aus Leicester zu berichten gegeben:

Engine House in Cornwall in the mist

Fret – but not to worry

Engine House in Cornwall in the mist

Today we undertook another little linguistic research jaunt as a result of the Cornish weather and its sea mists.

An old friend from Yorkshire, (sadly no longer with us), always used the term sea fret when he was talking about the rather eerie and somewhat depressing sea mist on the north coast of Cornwall.

We assumed it to be a northern term, which indeed seems to be the case, with Oxford dictionaries giving the noun fret’s fourth definition as a Northern English term for a “mist coming in off the sea; a sea fog”, mid-19th century of unknown origin.
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A fresh croissant

Das Luxusproblem

One of the key questions in Britain these days is: should croissants be curved or straight? Forget people on the breadline, the Brexit saga, the refugee crisis or Trump – in a move that can only be described as bold, Tesco decided to lift the burden of choice from customers by abandoning the traditional curved version. See Guardian article here. The French President was unavailable for comment.A fresh croissant

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the English term for this kind of situation is First World problem, defined as: a cause of frustration or dissatisfaction regarded as trivial, and arising only as a result of the economic and social privilege, access to technology, etc., associated with the First World. An alternative term is luxury problem. Although the OED editors have so far been reluctant to include this term, it is listed in the popular Urban Dictionary. Perhaps it found its way into English as a verbatim translation of the German term Luxusproblem, which the Duden defines as: Problem, das gegenüber anderen, gewichtigeren als unbedeutend angesehen wird. Another meaning, in case you are wondering, is: Problem, das im Vorhandensein mehrerer guter Lösungsmöglichkeiten in einer besonders günstigen Gesamtsituation besteht. Read more

Madhouse Effect book jacket

Translating the Madhouse Effect into German

Madhouse Effect book jacket

We are currently translating The Madhouse Effect, a popular and very readable illustrated book on climate change, by leading climate scientist Michael E Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles. The book, originally published in 2016, was motivated by the authors’ urgent desire to clear a fog of manufactured and self-interested climate scepticism around the greenhouse effect. The full original English language title is The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy. The German translation is a collaboration between Herbert Eppel and project initiator Matthias Hüttmann.

So  far the best working title for the German language translation has been Der Tollhaus-Effekt. The English word madhouse suggests a place of chaos, lunacy and foolishness, as well as clinical mental illness, but not fun or enjoyment. Tollhaus might suggest to an Anglophone a toll-taking station, such as in the book The Phantom Tollbooth, but the German adjective toll actually means “splendid” or “super!” The compound word Tollhaus can indeed describe a madhouse, both in the colloquial sense of a locus of lunacy, and in the technical sense of a mental hospital, but in the present day some businesses are using this word as a name for a themed safe play area or nightclub. That might sound a bit like the innocuous English term funhouse, so in this case the book’s cover illustration may ease the translator’s task by hinting at what sort of madness the book concerns. Read more