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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A QUESTION OF TRANSLATION

As you know, I have been binge-watching a Turkish soap opera called Resurrection:Ertugrul, which features English subtitles.  In the episode I am now watching, one of the evil characters is represented as saying to the equally evil counselor to a rather naive Emir, "Only the weak nebbishes threaten, Commander Nasir."

Can anyone tell me the colloquial Turkish for "nebbish"?

8 comments:

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Google indicates that "zavalli" is the Turkish word translated as "nebbish" (other synonyms include: miserable, pitiable/piteous/pitiful, wretched, poor thing).

Jackson Cyril said...

Google gives me this "nebbish: noun (North American) informal: a person, especially a man, who is regarded as pitifully ineffectual, timid, or submissive.

Warren Goldfarb said...

My Yiddish dictionary gives a German-ish spelling of "nebech" as "the poor thing, alas! what a pity!", and of "nebechdik" as "pitiful, miserable, pathetic; but I don't understand where the word can come from except from the Hebrew. Maimonides's great work is the "Moreh Nebuchim", the Guide for the Perplexed. The orthography, however, is very different, so I am myself somewhat perplexed.


mesnenor said...

Are you suggesting that Maimonides' work could have been translated as "The Guide for the Nebbishes"? That puts it in a new light indeed.

Warren Goldfarb said...

Yes, indeed. From Part III, chapter 49: "My son,if that monster meets you,drag it to the house of study It will melt if it is of iron; it will break in pieces if it is of stone..." The author of this saying thus exhorts his son to go to the house of study when his organ of generation is in an irritated state. By reading, disputing, asking, and listening to questions, the irritation will certainly cease.

David Auerbach said...

So, Warren, the house of study is like a cold shower or, alternatively, like a .... (I hesitate to type a vulgarity)

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Gavagai?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I like that one, Andrew! A blast from the past.