санитары леса

English translation: nature's pest control/ forest keepers

12:20 Jun 26, 2020
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Russian term or phrase: санитары леса
Давно хотел задать вопрос коллективному разуму :)

Есть такое выражение (исходно значение - "животные, уничтожающие вредных насекомых, грызунов, сорняки, падаль"), уже давно метафорически перешедшее на людей, уверенных, что они выполняют неприятную (с т.з. морали), но необходимую для общества работу.

Неоднократно не находил ему аналогов в английском. А ведь наверняка же есть! Что думаете?
Boris Shapiro
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:57
English translation:nature's pest control/ forest keepers
Explanation:
In regard to animals, this is called “natural pest control.” You could say that certain predators/scavengers act as “nature’s pest control.” I’m not sure how you’d tie people into as they’re just called pest controllers/pest control, but this refers to them doing so professionally. If they’re just doing it while working in their garden or something, then it might also be natural pest control as humans are also animals and are just doing this as part of improving their habitat. If you’re speaking more figuratively, you could try forest keepers, but that’s if you’re writing something like “certain predators act as forest keepers, naturally ridding it of termites, rodents, and other creatures harmful to the ecosystem.”

Here’s an article exploring this just:
https://www.thespruce.com/animals-aid-in-pest-control-265625...

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Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 13:54:37 GMT)
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Yeah, I think I missed your intention here. Do you mean like "nature destroyers"? Also, "human pest control" sounds like something that would kill humans or certain humans considered pests...

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Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:07:00 GMT)
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Hmm, I feel like those people are now called Nazis...Maybe, "nature's little purifiers" or "nature's little helpers". Now, I get what Misha was talking about in the chat. I'll think about it some more.

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Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:10:58 GMT)
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You know, I kind of like "nature's little Nazi's," as the term "Nazi" has expanded beyond its original meaning.

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Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:11:48 GMT)
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*nature's little Nazis (rouge apostrophe)

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Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:21:12 GMT)
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I didn't realize you're trying to call yourself this. I just keep missing and missing the point. Nature's little helpers works as long as you expand on the mission statement, but with the tramp camp example, it sounds like you're being Darwin's little helpers...Nature's Nazi (like grammar Nazi), nature's Brita (filter), sounds a lot like eugenics. Ok, sorry, I'm done.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:24:21 GMT)
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Oh, oh, nature's watchdogs or forest watchdogs!

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Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:24:54 GMT)
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And forest keepers is an actual thing: https://forestkeeper.org/mission

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Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:35:50 GMT)
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Oh ok, thank god! Yeah, the term is used often and environmental watchdogs are aplenty.

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Note added at 1 day 2 hrs (2020-06-27 14:44:52 GMT) Post-grading
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Thanks, Boris! Happy to help! I think we forgot guardians and candy strippers, but covered a lot of ground nevertheless. Pretty safe to say coming up with the equivalent is up to you, as it just doesn't seem to exist in English.
Selected response from:

Katya Kesten
United States
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Katya! This has been a most fruitful little brainstorming session. I particularly liked the 'human pest control' we sort of invented together, and 'nature's little helpers' (ditto for you and The Misha), with possible situational usage of 'watchdogs' with some kind of modifier, too.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +1nature's pest control/ forest keepers
Katya Kesten
3good predator
Mikhail Zavidin
2forest orderlies
Oleg Lozinskiy
2scavengers
mrrafe
Summary of reference entries provided
balancers
Turdimurod Rakhmanov

Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
scavengers


Explanation:
I don't know any perfect EN metaphor.

Scavengers can be animals or humans.

Animal or human Scavengers can eat dead plants and animals but not insects or rodents. Human scavengers can collect things instead of eating them. Most humans eat dead meat but it is not considered scavenging.

mrrafe
United States
Local time: 23:57
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: Alas, however straightforward, the literal translation lacks the transferred meaning I mentioned above.

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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
forest orderlies


Explanation:
Если нужен перевод этого понятия в его исходном значении.

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Note added at 20 мин (2020-06-26 12:41:47 GMT)
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Forest orderlies: birds, ants and wolves

Forest orderlies are animals that can clean their own habitat with their actions. And let their behavior be caused only by instincts developed over the long years of evolution, yet their role in the region’s ecosystem cannot be underestimated. But who are they?
https://who-knows.github.io/articles/C37883/index.html


Oleg Lozinskiy
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:57
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 56
Notes to answerer
Asker: Олег, спасибо, но слишком буквально. Вне контекста больниц orderly в значении "A man whose constant work it is to keep the streets clean" последний раз употреблялось где-нибудь XIX веке. Настолько древнее значение, что только OED его знает. А автор текста по ссылке (как и большинства копирующих это выражение) - наш с вами соотечественник, не носитель языка, увы.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  mrrafe: sylvan hygienists?
2 mins
  -> Thank you for another option.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
good predator


Explanation:
Или вы просто санитар леса?
Or are you just being a good predator? https://context.reverso.net/перевод/русский-английский/санит...

Mikhail Zavidin
Ukraine
Local time: 06:57
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: Интересно. Но я не смотрел "Элементарно". Там по контексту точно то имеется в виду?

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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
nature's pest control/ forest keepers


Explanation:
In regard to animals, this is called “natural pest control.” You could say that certain predators/scavengers act as “nature’s pest control.” I’m not sure how you’d tie people into as they’re just called pest controllers/pest control, but this refers to them doing so professionally. If they’re just doing it while working in their garden or something, then it might also be natural pest control as humans are also animals and are just doing this as part of improving their habitat. If you’re speaking more figuratively, you could try forest keepers, but that’s if you’re writing something like “certain predators act as forest keepers, naturally ridding it of termites, rodents, and other creatures harmful to the ecosystem.”

Here’s an article exploring this just:
https://www.thespruce.com/animals-aid-in-pest-control-265625...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 13:54:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yeah, I think I missed your intention here. Do you mean like "nature destroyers"? Also, "human pest control" sounds like something that would kill humans or certain humans considered pests...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:07:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Hmm, I feel like those people are now called Nazis...Maybe, "nature's little purifiers" or "nature's little helpers". Now, I get what Misha was talking about in the chat. I'll think about it some more.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:10:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You know, I kind of like "nature's little Nazi's," as the term "Nazi" has expanded beyond its original meaning.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2020-06-26 14:11:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

*nature's little Nazis (rouge apostrophe)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:21:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I didn't realize you're trying to call yourself this. I just keep missing and missing the point. Nature's little helpers works as long as you expand on the mission statement, but with the tramp camp example, it sounds like you're being Darwin's little helpers...Nature's Nazi (like grammar Nazi), nature's Brita (filter), sounds a lot like eugenics. Ok, sorry, I'm done.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:24:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh, oh, nature's watchdogs or forest watchdogs!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:24:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And forest keepers is an actual thing: https://forestkeeper.org/mission

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2020-06-26 14:35:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh ok, thank god! Yeah, the term is used often and environmental watchdogs are aplenty.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 2 hrs (2020-06-27 14:44:52 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Boris! Happy to help! I think we forgot guardians and candy strippers, but covered a lot of ground nevertheless. Pretty safe to say coming up with the equivalent is up to you, as it just doesn't seem to exist in English.

Katya Kesten
United States
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Katya! This has been a most fruitful little brainstorming session. I particularly liked the 'human pest control' we sort of invented together, and 'nature's little helpers' (ditto for you and The Misha), with possible situational usage of 'watchdogs' with some kind of modifier, too.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Ah, perhaps I was being uncharacteristically delicate. The thing is, more often than not, the 'pests' in question are of the bipedal variety. Perhaps 'human pest control' is just about blunt enough to fit the intended meaning!

Asker: That is, indeed, one of the possible intended meanings. Think juvenile punks setting a tramps' camp on fire.

Asker: Nah, I think calling oneself a Nazi is slightly counterintuitive to the whole 'we're the necessary evil' self-image. 'Nature's little helpers', on the other hand, can be spot on. All the more sinister.

Asker: I am definitely NO planning on calling myself any of this. But 'watchdogs' is very good, too! Kinda jives with a certain videogame I'm translating ATM. They have a faction of enemy collaborators there who track down people with superpowers, and its called Watchdogs.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mrrafe: I like custodians or keepers - it's a little poetic, and humorously ironic if they might be destroyers
33 mins
  -> Thanks mrrafe! Keepers/watchdogs/guardians, they all sound natural and work.
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Reference comments


3 hrs
Reference: balancers

Reference information:
I would say:
Balancers or wildlife (nature) managers

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Note added at 3 hrs (2020-06-26 16:14:59 GMT)
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Ecosystem balancers: https://books.google.kg/books?id=KS6BDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT156&lpg=P...

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Note added at 4 hrs (2020-06-26 16:24:16 GMT)
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The context is about the specific role of specific animals, general approach like "forest keeper or helpers" won't work here. It is too general. It doesn't specify the meaning"санитары леса" their ecosystem balancing function or role.

Turdimurod Rakhmanov
Kyrgyzstan
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in UzbekUzbek, Native in KirghizKirghiz
PRO pts in category: 16
Note to reference poster
Asker: Does it worry you that OED dates the latest example of such usage of 'balancer' 1795 A.D.?

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