Seelachssalat ohne Lachs

English translation: Rock salmon without the salmon/Crab sticks without the crab

07:40 Oct 8, 2015
German to English translations [PRO]
Cooking / Culinary / Newspaper Headline
German term or phrase: Seelachssalat ohne Lachs
Headline of a food-related newspaper article. Here is the part of the article that has inspired the headline:

"Was der Bauer nicht kennt, frisst er nicht, sagt der Redensart. Der große Teil der Bevölkerung hingegen, der seine Lebensmittel im Supermarkt kauft, nimmt ahnungslos eine Menge Unerwünschtes zu sich: Kalbsleberwurst etwa darf bis zu einem Anteil von vierundvierzig Prozent aus Schweinefleisch bestehen, ***Seelachssalat kommt sogar ohne Lachs aus und wird aus Pollack hergestellt***, einer günstigen Dorschart, die eingefärbt wird, um den Verbraucher im Glauben zu lassen, besten Fisch auf dem Teller zu haben."

The word "Seelachs" means, well, pollack, while "Lachs" is simply salmon. Pollack and salmon don't sound anything alike. It's impossible to make the kind of pun with them that is being made in the German. I have absolutely no clue what to do with this. TIA for any inspiration you can provide.
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 16:38
English translation:Rock salmon without the salmon/Crab sticks without the crab
Explanation:
The headline is not a pun.

The German word Seelachs, literally sea salmon, is an attempt by the fishing industry to make pollack sound more fancy. It's not translatable (at least not without a lot of explanation), so if the article is for publication I would suggest replacing it with something that does work in English.

In the UK, fish and chip shops sell "rock salmon", which is not salmon but a euphemism for various species of small shark. I think this would be a good equivalent - you'd obviously have to specify "in the UK" if you're writing for an international readership.

Alternatively, you could refer to crab sticks, which are imitation crabmeat made from pulverised white fish.


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Note added at 45 mins (2015-10-08 08:26:38 GMT)
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Another alternative is to forget the reference to "salat", which just complicates things, and say "In Germany Seelachs, which means sea salmon, is not salmon but the rather less glamorous pollack".
Selected response from:

philgoddard
United States
Grading comment
In the end, I opted for "crab sticks without the crab" and completely rewrote the sentence that contained the "Seelachs/Lachs" references. That appears to have been accepted by the client - or at least, I haven't heard any complaints about it. Although the "rock salmon" reference might have been closer to the original text, I decided that it was maybe too specifically British, and that "crab sticks" was the safer and more international option, as Lonnie said. So many thanks for your help with translating this very "fishy" piece of writing! Much appreciated.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +5Rock salmon without the salmon/Crab sticks without the crab
philgoddard
3 +1Food without/foregoes thought
Ramey Rieger
3"Seelachssalat" without Salmon
beermatt
2faux salmon salad
gangels


Discussion entries: 22





  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Food without/foregoes thought


Explanation:
Yes, the pun is hard to capture, but there are some fantastic people out there, so let's get things started...

Eat 'em and weep
The secret ingredient

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Note added at 12 mins (2015-10-08 07:52:54 GMT)
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What are you eating?
Chickenfishlettuce (hihi)
Meatless meat, fishless fish




Ramey Rieger
Germany
Local time: 04:38
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Dorothy Schaps: Great ideas for the title - I got a bit distracted with the actual text when I posted my discussion entry! ;)
21 mins
  -> Yes, there's a billion talentless poets out there exercising poetic license.
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32 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
"Seelachssalat" without Salmon


Explanation:
Ok, (according to me) this is a matter of playing about with words, and also with a lot of explanations.

So:
"Seelachssalat (direct translation: "Sea Salmon Salad"), i.e intending to indicate to the consumer that there is some actual salmon contained in the "salad") in fact contains no salmon at all but is made from...

Take it as you like it...


beermatt
Local time: 04:38
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Lonnie Legg: Rather cumbersome, but if the specific German market practice is what counts (otherwise see phil's)...
1 hr
  -> Hmm... no more cumbersome than philgoddard's "rock salmon without the salmon". Here I'm trying to retain the idea that it's a German thing about a German product. I'd welcome better suggestions!
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
Rock salmon without the salmon/Crab sticks without the crab


Explanation:
The headline is not a pun.

The German word Seelachs, literally sea salmon, is an attempt by the fishing industry to make pollack sound more fancy. It's not translatable (at least not without a lot of explanation), so if the article is for publication I would suggest replacing it with something that does work in English.

In the UK, fish and chip shops sell "rock salmon", which is not salmon but a euphemism for various species of small shark. I think this would be a good equivalent - you'd obviously have to specify "in the UK" if you're writing for an international readership.

Alternatively, you could refer to crab sticks, which are imitation crabmeat made from pulverised white fish.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 45 mins (2015-10-08 08:26:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another alternative is to forget the reference to "salat", which just complicates things, and say "In Germany Seelachs, which means sea salmon, is not salmon but the rather less glamorous pollack".


    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_salmon
    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_stick
philgoddard
United States
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
In the end, I opted for "crab sticks without the crab" and completely rewrote the sentence that contained the "Seelachs/Lachs" references. That appears to have been accepted by the client - or at least, I haven't heard any complaints about it. Although the "rock salmon" reference might have been closer to the original text, I decided that it was maybe too specifically British, and that "crab sticks" was the safer and more international option, as Lonnie said. So many thanks for your help with translating this very "fishy" piece of writing! Much appreciated.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  beermatt: yeah, this "rock salmon" idea goes along the lines of fooling people into the idea that there's som "SALMON" = some "up-market" fish involved -- although "aqua-culture" grown "real" salmon is often crappy in keeping, quality and taste!!!
13 mins

agree  Lonnie Legg: Rewrite, if the client goes along, with "rock salmon" for a UK-readership (yanks will be clueless); or more international: "crab sticks".
52 mins

agree  Edgar Bettridge: crab sticks work - I think the headling is a pun though....
1 hr
  -> Thanks for agreeing. But why do you think it's a pun? I'm open to persuasion :-)

agree  Eckhard Boehle
1 hr

agree  Ramey Rieger: Hi Phil! Maybe it's a correct translation, but it doesn't work for me as a title. It would help to know for which audience the translation is intended.// Yes, I was off for a while. Rock salmon sans salmon, at least at little catchy, don't you think?
2 hrs
  -> The asker says British English.
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1 day 4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
faux salmon salad


Explanation:
the "faux" simply makes it go down easier with true gourmets than the unpalatable "false or fake". Another possibility is "imitation salmon salad", which probably would be used in the US

gangels
Local time: 20:38
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 13
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