Shooting star

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg after his eventual resignation:

Die Union stritt derweil über den Umgang mit ihrem ehemaligen Shootingstar.

Germans use the term shooting star to refer to a rising star rather than a falling one, so he has now become a ‘former shooting star’. See earlier entry of May 2007, quoting an interview with Hilary Hahn in which she was surprised at Gustavo Dudamel being described as ‘the shooting stare from Venezuela’.

I you do a Google search for Guttenberg “shooting star”, you get over 235,000 ghits. Although the number of those in Germany should be falling now.

7 thoughts on “Shooting star

  1. How typical of the Germans to screw up the use of an English term. Yet it’s appropriate: a shooting star burns brightly for a brief time and then is extinguished.

  2. This just in:

    ” I am curious about the term ‘meteoric rise’. Since meteors fall to the earth and do not rise back up from it, this term doesn

  3. I enjoyed reading your article, and I’ll look forward to reading the list of legal terms you would use.

    I would be interested to know your opinion of the translation of the BGB found on, where, for example, they use revocation for R

    • Thanks – but there isn’t a short answer to this.
      ‘The list of legal terms you would use’ – I didn’t mean that, I meant a sort of law dictionary containing the kind of information a translator into English needs. But this would be a huge project!

      I don’t really like revocation for contracts. We revoke offers, and wills, not contracts. But that’s not enough reason not to use it. I’m afraid at the moment I haven’t got time to analyse the whole BGB. But I would caution against using it as a source. The vocabulary is highly consistent – for example, I think they use the same terminology (verbs? nouns?) for real property and personal property, and that doesn’t work in English. If you translate the BGB you can either be equally consistent in English, and produce a strange document, or spend ten years and fill it with footnotes. These ‘official’ translations don’t have footnotes. This may be a topic for a new post (not much time at present).

      I think R

  4. Interesting article. Looking forward to the continuation as I have found (from the little bit of proofreading that I engage in from time to time) that not too many translators understand these different types of ending a contract and sometimes assume that they all mean the same thing (with, of course, all kinds of renditions in English).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.