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Versitality of the German language

Versitality of the German language

Versitality of the German language

(OP)
I know I'm probably annoying German speaking members but I'm honestly amazed at some of the words and expressions that are used.

Recent find is Eierlegende Wollmilchsau.

I have no idea how much common use this term enjoys but I love its directness.

I'm led to believe it means to describe something that can do everything well. When translated to English it says: "egg-laying wool-milk-sow"

Very cool

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Quote:


eierlegende Wollmilchsau f (genitive eierlegender Wollmilchsau, plural eierlegende Wollmilchsäue)

(idiomatic, colloquial, often disapprovingly) An all-in-one device or person which has (or claims to have) only positive attributes and which can (or attempts to) do the work of several specialized tools.

from that definition I would say it is the equivalent of our "Jack of all trades (master of none)"

A Maintenance contract is essential, not a Luxury.
Do things on the cheap & it will cost you dear

RE: Versitality of the German language

It is actually e.g. the kind of software a customer wants but that does not exist.
Or it is what the sales force of a sw company claims as capabilities of their software when in reality 3/4 of those capabilities are optional modules that can be developed thus to fit the customer's needs (and still lack the other dozen modules).

The eierlegende Wollmilchsau is one thing that can do everything but that does not exist.

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
@MakeItSo,

So more the equivelent of the English euphemism(s) - Pipe Dream or VapourWare?

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Because it references eierlegende Wollmilchsau I'll bet this thread sets the record for number of copy and pastes used.

Sam

RE: Versitality of the German language

I've always been amazed with the cleverness of the German word (Holdsemfromfloppen) which translates Bra or Brassiere or even Büstenhalter

Sam

RE: Versitality of the German language

And I like the German word "jasammakesmelaffaloud". wink

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Versitality of the German language

I've done some research on various translators' forums and found that the term is nigh impossible to translate.
The closest one seems to me "all-singing, all-dancing (all-rounder) device". There is also "jack-of-all-trades device" but that does not quite fit because a jack of all trades is master in none, but a eierlegende Wolmilchsau ist a master in everything!
With it, you not only have a cake AND eat it - the cake is not a lie either (and does not go sour and auto-refills)!
tongue

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Reminds me of:

Quote (Joke (Really))

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c." Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik emthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by " v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Aspiring to mediocrity since 1957

RE: Versitality of the German language

different parts of Germany have also their special words
Near Stuttgart (big circle around it ) the word Dackel (wienerdog) is used as an insult, to increase that the word Halbdackel (Half Wienerdog) is used and as last resort the word Grasdackel (grass wienerdog) is used.
doesn't make a lot of sense when translated but gets the job done when you are there smile

Joe W.

FHandw, ACSS (SME), ACIS (SME)

http://convergednetworks.ca


“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

RE: Versitality of the German language

MakeItSo has explained it very well. It's a term you may use for both aspects:

a) For advertising a very versatile product. Sample usage "Our system is the egg-laying wool-milk-sow of ERP."

but also

b) as the impossible product. Sample usage would "Let's be realistic, we don't want to develop the egg-laying wool-milk-sow."

It's not what you say about a person or developer, though, as in "He's a Jack of all trades".

Of course it's a metaphore for an all-in-one fable animal producing all the essential animal products.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Versitality of the German language

A couple of you e-mailed me that Google Translate couldn't translate "jasammakesmelaffaloud"; perhaps hyphens and some caps would help: Ja-Sam-Makes-Me-Laff-Aloud.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
Really Santa? Do you know if the same thing happened with Holds-em-from-floppen

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

It wasn't hard for me to get the jokes, Santa's word invention was harder to take apart. Never heard both of them, but I admit they sound a bit german. Santas more like south german dialect, bavarian.

By the way, there is a famous test word for speaking bavarian dialect - Oachkatzlschwoaf - which in standard german would be Eichkatzenschweif, if you "translate" it word by word. It's squirrels tail, but that's less important, it has some typical bavarian phonemes in it.

You can hear a sample at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd...
And it looks like this: http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Datei:Eichh%C3%B6rnc...


In standard german the animal is not called Eichkatze, but Eichhörnchen and you would perhaps say Schweif but rather Schwanz, so it's an Eichhörnchenschwanz, but that wouldn't sound typical bavarian at all.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Quote (kwbMitel)

Versitality of the German language

I'd usually spell this as Versatility ..., but perhaps I'm missing some inner meaning?

RE: Versitality of the German language

Thanks OlafDoschke

Slightly off subject but you've reminded me how much I loved the Ochsenschwanzsuppe (ox tail soup)they served at the small dining area in the Kaiserslautern (Germany): Hauptbahnhof.

The best I ever had!

http://germanfood.about.com/od/soupsandstews/r/oxt...


RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
At DansDadUK - Crap, I usually catch those things as I'm very bad at that and double check most spellings.

Oh well

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

When I was stationed in Germany, whenever anyone made the characteristic BRRRAAAAPP! sound from their behind area, the call would be "Haben sie geschtunken in deine unterhosen?", only part of which is actual German words, I now find out.

Not too sure about "Ausgeseichnet", meaning "Out of Sight!" or "Outstanding!" either.

Chris

Someday I'll know what I'm donig...damn!

RE: Versitality of the German language

Hmm. Strange.
When someone made a "BRRRAAAAPP" sound anywhere other than in a restroom, the typical call would rather be "Sau!" (swine) bigcheeks
P.S: "Ausgezeichnet" means "excellent", it can also mean "acclaimed" or "awarded" (prize/medal/"product of the year").

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
@Olaf - re:By the way, there is a famous test word for speaking bavarian dialect - Oachkatzlschwoaf - which in standard german would be Eichkatzenschweif, if you "translate" it word by word. It's squirrels tail, but that's less important, it has some typical bavarian phonemes in it.

Interestingly, I came a across a video recently that depicted some Germans having issues with pronounciation of the English version of Squirrel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejuK8_12Fmg&fea...

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

I have no speakers here, but I'll watch it later. Thanks for that.

It is a hard word, but it's easier, if you first say "square", and then move towards "girl" from there.
The hardest is to say "months", because of th followed by s. Most germans will end up with pronouncing it "munz", th alone is difficult enough, but you can practice it.

And by the way @mscallisto, I like Ochsenschwanzsuppe myself, never made it myself, though. It's very spicy in the sense of tangy, not hot.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Versitality of the German language

For trivia geeks out there, a word to test a person's accent (and by extension their nationality, or culture of origin) is called a Shibboleth. The Wikipedia article makes for an interesting read.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Dang it all. It is "link" here, and "url" at dbforums. Can you not edit posts here?

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
[link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibboleth]Shibboleth[/link]

will appear as

Shibboleth

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
And no, you cannot edit, I use the preview option a lot to ensure it looks right before submission

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Yelworcm,

I adjusted the link for you.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Versitality of the German language

(OP)
Ah, Santa to the rescue. I was not aware of your power. Noted.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Versitality of the German language

Thanks, Mufasa.

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