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Thread: an off-layer

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    Senior Member Theseus's Avatar
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    an off-layer

    Heard on Woman's Hour this am. It is the Uganda term for a menopausal woman, who can no longer sit on her eggs. The women on the programme found it very amusing and kept on using it once they had heard it. To me it isn't all that amusing but I simply wondered how it might be translated into Greek.

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    Mod Almighty Palavra's Avatar
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    I don't quite understand what it means, to be honest, but I must say that I find the whole thing quite offensive. I don't understand why someone, other than a doctor, would need a word to describe a woman's reproductive abilities - or a man's, for that matter, even though that's not discussed here. I mean, I'm not even sure that there is a word to refer to menopausal women in Greek - other than "she's going through menopause".
    Last edited by Palavra; 20-01-2018 at 08:34 PM.
    The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge".
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    HandyMod drsiebenmal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theseus View Post
    To me it isn't all that amusing but I simply wondered how it might be translated into Greek.
    I wonder why should anyone care how such a not-at-all-amusing (others might say, simply, offensive) term might be translated into Greek.
    Wer die Wahrheit nicht weiß, der ist bloß ein Dummkopf. Aber wer sie weiß, und sie eine Lüge nennt, der ist ein Verbrecher!
    We base decisions on facts, not superstition, not what our ideology tells us but rather what we can observe

    δεῖ δὲ χρημάτων, καὶ ἄνευ τούτων οὐδὲν ἔστι γενέσθαι τῶν δεόντων
    Η Ελλάδα είναι Ευρώπη, η Ευρώπη είναι Ελλάδα!

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    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    I suppose it describes a woman who is off the laying of her eggs?
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Θα περάσει κι αυτό
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    In fact, I can't think of a colloquial term for a menopausal woman. (Not that "off-layer" is a real term, for now.) If we were asked to provide an equally silly term, say, to subtitle a film, I might come up with... αβγοκομμένη.

    To come to the literal meaning of the verb αβγοκόβω: add a mixture of beaten egg and lemon juice to a soup. Αβγολέμονο is this mixture. Here's one of the few cases where the Greek term is so much shorter than the English. How would you, Theseus, translate αβγοκομμένη σούπα?
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Θα περάσει κι αυτό
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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    Senior Member Theseus's Avatar
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    It seems I owe you all some apology.. The fact that the very popular programme concerned, Woman's Hour, occupies prime time radio & discusses all sorts of matters applicable to women in Britain--this week the menopause--means that all types of women from all cultures in Britain discuss all matters with all listeners. A woman from Uganda said that an 'off-layer' was the term used for the menopause in her country. The presenter & all those in the studio found it highly amusing & couldn't stop using it in a humorous way. Nickel is clearly spot on in his understanding of the term. At the time, I was doing some housework at the time & listening to whatever was on the radio.
    I didn't find it, as I've said, all that amusing nor offensive either. I have noticed on this occasion & on several others (man boobs, for example) that there are clear cultural differences between many on lexilogia & the UK's liberal attitude to all kinds of things, including humour. The boundaries between what is acceptable here & what is acceptable in Greece are very different. The fact that women in the UK find this amusing & fellow lexilogists do not clearly illustrates this cultural divide.
    If this topic causes such controversy, I would rather have it removed.

  7. #7
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    As a lexicographer, I don’t think there are boundaries to the lexical matters we choose to discuss. But then this is the country where a lexicographer had to remove popular terms from his dictionary because they offended part of the buying public.

    As a translator, I consider anything found in language to be a challenge to be tackled from various angles. If the forum doesn’t get a bigger share of more conventional terms found in our colleagues’ translation work, this cannot be something you should worry about, Theseus.

    I hope Palavra and the good doctor are not offended by your question — just afraid that others may be.

    My more practical question still remains: What’s the shortest way to translate αβγοκόβω and αβγοκομμένος?
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Θα περάσει κι αυτό
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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    Mod Almighty Palavra's Avatar
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    I believe that the fact that there is no such term in British English is, in itself, an indication that this is not something that English speakers thought to use, at any time, hence I can't see it as a difference in sense of humour. I would think that if British people in general thought it funny, they would already have had a similar mocking term for menopausal women.


    Still, the fact that I find this offensive is not an indication of how all Greeks would react. Some may agree with me, some may not. Let's all keep in mind though that the original term comes from a country where women do not enjoy as many privileges, and who therefore might view such topics in a different manner than women in western countries.

    If I had to translate it in Greek I would use something along the lines of «στέρφα», i.e. "barren" - which, however, continues to be very offensive for both sexes if addressed to someone.
    The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge".
    -Isaak Asimov

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    Senior Member Theseus's Avatar
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    To Nickel for αβγοκομμένη σούπα we say 'Greek chicken & lemon soup' & αβγοκόβω 'add egg-lemon sauce [to a meal].
    To Palavra, there are several unprintable terms for a menopausal woman (the term 'menopause' incidentally was coined by a Frenchman) but men talking among themselves refer to the symptoms-- 'hot flushes/flashes', 'granny beards', flaring up of tempers & 'she's at that time of life' & many others, like the taking of 'granny tranny pills'.
    I didn't expect such reactions to the question &, as I've said, I apologise. For me there was a mere linguistic interest (Words are our Oysters) so now I'll be content to clam up.

  10. #10
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theseus View Post
    To Nickel for αβγοκομμένη σούπα we say 'Greek chicken & lemon soup' & αβγοκόβω 'add egg-lemon sauce [to a meal].
    Thank you!
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Θα περάσει κι αυτό
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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