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Translating Etgar Keret - חתיכת כלום

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by triptonizer, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. triptonizer Senior Member

    Ghent - Belgium
    Nederlands - België
    Hi there, I'm having difficulties translating this sentence from a short story by Etgar Keret.

    The difficulty is with the second part of the sentence, I added the first for context:

    לדמיין את המוות כמו טיול נחמד כזה למקום חדש, ולא סתם איזה חתיכת כלום אפל שנושף לך על הצוואר

    To imagine death as a journey etc. , and not simply as

    חתיכת כלום - a chunk, piece of nothing?
    אפל - as in afel, dark: a piece of dark nothingness (??)
    שנושף לך על הצוואר - that breathes you down the neck, hangs over your head?

    Could be that I'm completely off the track here, thanks for your input.
     
  2. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    ...and not just some piece of dark nothing(ness) that breathes down (the back of) your neck.

    Seems best to me. סתם is notoriously difficult to translate, and I'd prefer another word to "piece" but other than that, it makes perfect sense.
     
  3. triptonizer Senior Member

    Ghent - Belgium
    Nederlands - België
    So I was on the right track after all. Thank you!
     
  4. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Baloo to one of the monkeys:

    היי אתה, חתיכת כלום עם פרצוף עקום! = why you, flat-nosed, little-eyed, flaky creep!
     
  5. triptonizer Senior Member

    Ghent - Belgium
    Nederlands - België
    Baloo rules!

    :)
     

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