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Fourth ProZ.com Translation Contest

German to English


Source text:

Tim befindet sich momentan in einer Entwicklungsstufe, an die ich mich später sicher am liebsten erinnere - weil sie vorbei ist. Nennen wir sie die "Pupsi-Phase“, die Bestandteil des sich hinziehenden Prozesses des Spracherwerbs eines jeden Kinds zu sein scheint. Jeder Berliner Rapper ist gegen meinen Sohn ein Schöngeist.

Morgens, wenn Tim über meine Beine zu mir ins Bett trampelt, ruft er freudig: „Halloooo Pupsbacke.“ Ich bin aber keine Pupsbacke, sondern ein Vater. Und das sage ich ihm auch. Unnötig zu erwähnen, dass er auch für seine Mutter eine ganz besondere Wortschöpfung parat hat... Die meisten seiner Wortschöpfungen gründeln in Körperöffnungen und Ausscheidungsvorgängen. Das ist nicht schön.

Warum kann er nicht Kosenamen erfinden, die man gerne hört? Warum bin ich nicht einfach „Blumenpapa“? Das sei normal, sagte die Kindergärtnerin, als ich sie darauf ansprach. Ist mir egal, also beschloss ich dem Verhalten meines Sohnes mutig entgegenzutreten und notfalls Strafen für Schimpfwörter zu verhängen.

Leider fehlt es mir dafür jedoch an Autorität. Im Bestrafen bin ich nicht besonders gut. Abgesehen davon hat mir mal eine Psychologin erklärt, dass kleine Kinder mit Strafen überhaupt nichts anfangen können. Es bringt nichts, und das Einhalten von Sanktionen ist für Eltern schwieriger als für Kinder, besonders wenn es um Fernsehverbote geht. Möchte man die zum Beispiel am Sonntagmorgen um acht einhalten? Nein? Na bitte. Ich nahm mir also vor, mit Augenmaß vorzugehen.

Entry #1748 - Points: 37 - WINNER!
Kathinka van de Griendt
Stephen Sadie
Tim is currently at a stage of his development which I shall probably enjoy remembering later - because it is over. Let's call it the "farty phase", which appears to be part and parcel of every child’s drawn out process of language acquisition. Every rapper in Berlin is an aesthete when compared to my son.

In the mornings, when Tim tramples over my legs into my bed, he joyfully shouts "Helloooo fart face"! But I am not a fart face, I am his father. And I make that quite clear to him. Needless Show full text

Maurice Claypole
Congratulations to you, Kathinka and Stephen, on your win!
Entry #1475 - Points: 32
Maurice Claypole
Tim is currently going through a phase which I will probably like to look back on – once it’s over. Let’s call it the ‘poo phase’, one that seems to be part of the gradual process of language acquisition which all kids go through. My son makes an urban rapper sound eloquent.

Every morning when Tim scrambles over my legs to join me in my bed, he greets me with a jolly “Hi there, poo face.” But I’m not a poo face, I’m his dad. As I keep telling him. Needless to say, he has Show full text

Rowan Morrell
I like the "softly, softly approach" bit right at the end! Although what's wrong with the literal kindergarten? "Play school" makes me think of the TV programme for some reason. But I also like the "urban rapper" translation. I too think that English-language readers might not relate to Berlin rappers in the same way that German readers would, so there needs to be a "cultural translation" here.
Michele Johnson
I chose this as best for a number of reasons. The "urban rapper" is a brilliant generalization - I think anything that maintains the reference to Berlin is a bit too Germany-focused. Although I had to look up the exact origins of the "softly, softly" approach, I pretty much understood what it meant. However this reference to the tv show and/or song (and/or phrase) has the danger of not being understood by people outside of the UK. You got the overall tone just right - some people may not be aware that the source text is taken from an ongoing, humorous, informal, very chatty parenting column in a German weekly news magazine (is it Stern or Spiegel? I subscribe to them both but am embarrassed to say I can't remember which).
Entry #1516 - Points: 24
Rowan Morrell
Tim is currently going through a stage in his development that I'll no doubt look back on later with gladness in my heart - gladness it's over, that is. Let's call it the "potty-mouth phase", a part of the drawn-out process of learning to talk that every child seems to go through. My son could make the most foul-mouthed rapper look like a choirboy.

"Hiya, Fartface!" is Tim's cheerful greeting when he clambers into my bed each morning. But I'm not a "fartface". I'm a father. And I tell him Show full text

Hilary Davies Shelby
Really like this one - it flows well and is funny. I really liked the sentence "My son could make the most foul-mouthed rapper look like a choirboy", the translation of "Pupsi-Phase" as "potty-mouth phase" and of "stick to your guns" in the last paragraph.
Rowan Morrell
Many thanks, Hilary. :-) I was rather proud of that "rapper-choirboy" one myself. I wanted to get completely away from the Berlin reference, which I felt English-language readers wouldn't relate to (so it was a "cultural" translation there), and I really didn't like the literal "aesthete" translation (although a lot of entries, including the winning one, had that!). "Potty-mouth" was a kind of pun, because it means foul-mouthed, but also Tim is clearly at an age where he might have been having potty training (or perhaps recently "graduated" from it). Anyway, thanks again for your kind words.
Claire Titchmarsh (X)
Much as I liked the winning entry, I voted for this one mainly because of the choirboy part which is truly inspired and scans perfectly. It also has a nice relaxed register which suits the subject matter very well.
Stephen Sadie
I found the choirboy sentence absolutely superb and particularly enjoyed reading your rendering of the text, Rowan. I suppose we all deserved to win - probably the very best version would be a mixture of the best parts of all entries. Off-topic: I also found your winning French entry excellent.
Rowan Morrell
Thank you for your kind words, Claire and Stephen, and congratulations to you both on your respective wins.
Entry #1453 - Points: 16
Hilary Davies Shelby
Tim is currently going through a phase which I will probably love later – for the simple reason that it’s over. Let’s call it the "fart phase" – that stage which seems to be part and parcel of the protracted language-acquisition process every child goes through. Compared to my son, Berlin’s rappers look like amateurs.

Each morning in bed, as Tim stumbles over my legs on his way to greet me, he calls out joyously: “Hullo Fartface!” But I’m not a fartface; I’m a father. And Show full text

Rowan Morrell
I like this entry the best - perhaps because it's the one that most closely resembles my own. ;-)
Hilary Davies Shelby
Thank you, Rowan! Apparently we've got a bit of a mutual admiration society going on here! ;-)
Entry #1885 - Points: 11
Hadi Deeb (X)
Tim is currently in a developmental stage that will only become a fond memory once it’s over.  Let’s call it the "poopie" phase, ostensibly a component of every child’s long and wearisome language acquisition process.  Compared to my son, Berlin rappers are pure aesthetes.

Trampling his way over my sleepy legs each morning, he chirps: “Helloooooo, poopie–boopie!”  And I hasten to remind him that I am, in fact, not a “poopie-boopie,” but a dad.  Needless Show full text

Hilary Davies Shelby
This one sounds the least like a translation, and is both clever and humorous. What's not to love about phrases like "to rain on the cartoon parade" and "subjected to her own arsenal of monikers"? There are a couple of minor things that could be improved, but this one's style, flow and humor make it stand out as the best.
Hadi Deeb (X)
Thanks very much, Hilary, and I must return the compliment.
Entry #2146 - Points: 5
Right now Tim is going through one of those stages of development that I will later fondly remember – because it’s over. Let’s just call it the “fart phase”, that seems to be a part of every child's lengthy language acquisition process. Any rapper on the streets of Berlin is an aesthete compared to my son.
Tim clambers across my legs in bed in the morning, happily shouting “helloo, farty pants!” But I’m not “farty pants” – I’m his father, which I tell him. Not surprisingly Show full text

Entry #2281 - Points: 3
Tim is currently going through a developmental phase that I’ll sure be glad to reminisce about someday – because we’ve gotten it behind us. We’ll call it the “farty phase” – the part of the prolonged process of language acquisition that each child apparently goes through. For my son, every rapper in Berlin is a verbal connoisseur.

In the mornings as Tim scrambles over my legs to visit me in bed, he greets me with a cheerful: “Helloooo fart-face.” But I’m not a fart-face. Show full text

Hilary Davies Shelby
I liked this one - it reads really well - but there are a couple of very minor things that make it "less good" than the others. (They're all so good that it's the very small things that make the difference!). To me, the sentence "For my son, every rapper in Berlin is a verbal connoisseur" doesn't really make sense, and the "apparently" in the first paragraph sounds ambiguous - does each child "apparently" go through the language aquisition process, or through the "farty phase"? Also "forbidding TV" sounds slightly strange - perhaps "forbidding them from watching TV" would be better? I realise that I really am splitting hairs here - I was really undecided about this entry as it read so well.
Entry #1675 - Points: 1
Tim is currently in a stage of his development that I will remember with affection in the future only because it is over. Let's call it the "fart phase", and it seems to be an unavoidable step in the ongoing process of speech acquisition of every child. Compared to my son, every Berlin rapper is an orator.

In the morning, when Tim scrambles over my legs to reach me in bed, he cries gleefully: "Hallooo fart face." But I am not a fart face. I am a father. And I tell him this. Need I mention Show full text

Feedback - Fourth ProZ.com Translation Contest
This space is provided for feedback and suggestions about the contest in this particular language pair.
As we have already planned, this feature is now open to all members (full, community and student members).
Congratulations to all entries, particularly the winners!
Hadi Deeb's entry was my favorite...it reads so well! Sadly, this is not of my language pairs so I couldn't vote. In any case, well done, Hadi! ;)
Hadi Deeb (X)
Much appreciated, patyjs.
Eddie R. Notowidigdo
Congratulations to the winners of this part of the contest.

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