a shrinking pool

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modestmouse

Member
English - South West
Hello.

How would one say 'shrinking pool' in this context: "Modern language schools in universities are faced with a shrinking pool of prospective language students"

I have come up with: "Fachbereiche der Neuphilologie in Universitäten sehen sich <b>einem schrumpfenden Bestand</b> an voraussichtlichen Fremdsprachstudenten gegenüber"

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    I find a direct translation quite difficult!
    Instead you could say:
    Die Fachbereiche der Neuphilologie sind mit einem schwindenden Interesse am Studium moderner Sprachen konfrontiert.
     

    ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Robocop beat me to it, but I was going to suggest:

    Fachbereichen der Neuphilologie an Universitäten steht eine [stetig] schrumpfende Zahl von zukünftigen Fremdsprachstudenten gegenüber.

    [Note: I think it is wrong to use "Bestand", because it sounds like "stock" in English]

    @natives: please feel free to correct me if anything still doesn't sound right. ;)

    All the best,
    Abba
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I find a direct translation quite difficult!
    Instead you could say:
    Die Fachbereiche der Neuphilologie sind mit einem schwindenden Interesse am Studium moderner Sprachen konfrontiert.
    Wo sind moderne Sphrachen im Originalsatz?
    "Modern language schools" verstehe ich nicht als "schools of modern languages" sondern "modern schools of languages" (gegenwärtige Sprachschulen) Oder irre ich mich?
     
    Last edited:

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Robocops Übersetzung ist nicht wörtlich - und ich stimme übrigens mit Robocop überein, eine wörtliche Übersetzung des englischen Satzes scheint hier fast unmöglich zu sein; seinen Vorschlag finde ich ganz gut, mir fiele jetzt konkret nichts besseres ein.

    "Modern language schools" sollten in der Tat Hochschulen/Universitäten sein, in welchen moderne Sprachen unterrichtet werden (schools for modern languages) - im Gegensatz zu toten Sprachen.
     

    ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Robocops Übersetzung ist nicht wörtlich - und ich stimme übrigens mit Robocop überein, eine wörtliche Übersetzung des englischen Satzes scheint hier fast unmöglich zu sein; seinen Vorschlag finde ich ganz gut, mir fiele jetzt konkret nichts besseres ein.
    Hmm, do I detect yet another case of native speakers not wanting to contradict and/or upset each other? :(

    In particular, the original sentence says nothing about the "shrinking pool" being due to a lack of interest! It could equally well be due to the fact that there are fewer young people around than, say, in the early 1980s (i.e., baby boom + 20 years or so).

    I'm not against liberal translations, but am against information being introduced by the translator that wasn't in the original sentence.

    Cheers,
    Abba
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I agree with Abba that Robocop's version contains information not present in the original. Abba's suggestion is not bad but needs some polishing. Let me try a synthesis of the two suggestions:
    Neuphilologische Fachbereiche an Universitäten sehen sich mit einer sinkenden Zahl potentieller Fremdsprachenstudenten konfrontiert.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Hmm, do I detect yet another case of native speakers not wanting to contradict and/or upset each other? :(
    Not at all (and sorry for making it look like it were, this certainly wasn't my intention ;)) but I just felt your suggestion of "zukünftige Fremdsprachenstudenten" sounding quite odd: with berndf's suggestion of "potentielle F." this looks much better.
    (Strangely enough, the loan "potentiell" sounds idiomatic here while the Germanic word "zukünftig" which means practically the same does not.)

    In particular, the original sentence says nothing about the "shrinking pool" being due to a lack of interest! It could equally well be due to the fact that there are fewer young people around than, say, in the early 1980s (i.e., baby boom + 20 years or so).
    You're absolutely right about this! I didn't realise this yesterday.
     
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