Awkward old devil

RobertofPoole

Member
UK . English
Wie kann man "We try to help him but it's difficult to do so because he's an awkward old devil" auf Deutsch uebersetzen , bitte ?

Das Problem fuer mich ist "devil" . Hat "Teufel" aehnliche Resonanzen auf Deutsch ?

Mein Versuch ist " Wir besuchen ihm zu hilfen aber es ist schwer zu tun , da er ein schwieriger Teufel ist".

Vielen Dank !
 
  • gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Was genau ist ein "old devil"? Ich habe mehrere widersprüchliche Übersetzungen gefunden. Was versteht man also unter einem "awkward old devil"? Ist es eine stakre Beleidigung?
    MW:

    FELLOW -- usually used in the phrases poor devil, lucky devil

    That's only a guess, because I would need more context, but I'm about 99.9% sure that "Tuefel" is the wrong word.

    This "old guy" may awkward because he is uncoordinated, but he also may be physically impaired (stroke, other physical problems).

    Gaer
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    But we have to know what "awkward" means, and I still find that it is a strange word to use for a descrption of an old man.
    We could use "furchtbar" for "awkward," but I still don't want to translate the whole sentence, because I'm not quite sure yet what the word "devil" means here. Is it very derogatory? Is it kind of funny to call someone an akward old devil? Could someone please explain it a bit more thoroughly or use another expression instead?
     

    brilliantpink

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    But we have to know what "awkward" means, and I still find that it is a strange word to use for a descrption of an old man.
    I believe the phrase "awkward old devil" is meant in a slightly funny, perhaps slightly mocking way. "Devil" here is just another word for "fellow", just as in "the poor old devil", which does not imply the man is evil, just someone to be pitied, or "lucky devil" (as a previous poster noted) which means "lucky fellow" or "lucky man".
    "Awkward" suggests someone who is difficult to get along with, "einer der aneckt", not someone with any physical limitations. I think you can safely go with any of heidita's translations, which I believe perfectly capture the meaning of the English. (Credentials: Although I prefer to write in English, my mother tongue is German, and I am a professional German translator.)
     

    mustang72

    Senior Member
    Swiss German
    Mit "old devil" hab ich keine Probleme. Der Begriff "alter Teufel" ist mir im Deutschen bekannt wobei hier mit Teufel nicht der Satan gemeint ist sondern ein Mensch mit boesen und hinterlistigen Gedanken und Taten.

    Was etwas Muehe bereitet ist "awkward" weil es dafuer einige Interpretationen gibt. Normalerweise wuerde ich awkward mit ungeschickt uebersetzen aber hier duerfte allenfalls mehr linkisch in Frage kommen um den Begriff "alten Teufel" noch etwas zu verstaerken und nicht die Person selbst zu beschreiben. Etwas mehr Kontext koennte allenfalls helfen.

    "... da er ein linkischer alter Teufel ist"
     

    mustang72

    Senior Member
    Swiss German
    Linkisch? Ich würde hierbei an ungeschickt denken. ...
    Hab ich ja auch geschrieben. Linkisch wird in Dictionaries nebst 20 anderen Woertern auch aufgelistet und koennte ich mir vorstellen. Welches Word der Bedeutung im Englischen gerecht wird kann aber wohl nur der Author selbst sagen.
     

    RobertofPoole

    Member
    UK . English
    I had better explain a bit more . I'll use English because I'm not sure of conveying the right feel if I use German . "An awkward old devil" ( AOD ) is not an abusive or "strong" description of a person in BE . It indicates that the writer feels annoyed or exasperated with the AOD . The AOD might not be particularly old , and certainly there is nothing satanic or evil about him . "Awkward" here indicates that the AOD is uncooperative , perhaps even acts against his own interests , perhaps deliberately tries to make difficulties in his interactions with those who might reasonably expect his goodwill .
    More context : your father complains at length about a cough . You take him to the doctor who prescribes medicine . You drive 20 miles to the all-night chemist to get the medicine . You drive back to your father , hand over the medicine . He says " I don't think I'll take the medicine - I might get better without it ." You say " You are an awkward old devil , Father !"
     

    brilliantpink

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    And from across the pond: you've put it very well, Robert. "Linkisch" is an absolute red herring. You're best to go with "ein komischer alter Kauz" or "ein schwieriger alter Kauz"
     

    I.C.

    Senior Member
    D
    The AOD might not be particularly old , and certainly there is nothing satanic or evil about him . "Awkward" here indicates that the AOD is uncooperative , perhaps even acts against his own interests , perhaps deliberately tries to make difficulties in his interactions
    Störrischer Esel. Störrischer alter Esel.

    (Armer Teufel in the meaning of poor devil is idiomatic.)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I had better explain a bit more . I'll use English because I'm not sure of conveying the right feel if I use German . "An awkward old devil" ( AOD ) is not an abusive or "strong" description of a person in BE . It indicates that the writer feels annoyed or exasperated with the AOD . The AOD might not be particularly old , and certainly there is nothing satanic or evil about him . "Awkward" here indicates that the AOD is uncooperative , perhaps even acts against his own interests , perhaps deliberately tries to make difficulties in his interactions with those who might reasonably expect his goodwill .
    More context : your father complains at length about a cough . You take him to the doctor who prescribes medicine . You drive 20 miles to the all-night chemist to get the medicine . You drive back to your father , hand over the medicine . He says " I don't think I'll take the medicine - I might get better without it ." You say " You are an awkward old devil , Father !"
    Ah, thank you for the context!

    Results 1 - 3 of 3 for "awkward old devil".

    It's not common on the Net. Do you feel it is common where you live? Could it be regional?

    By the way, is there any particular reason why all your posts have additional spaces before all punctuation marks? :)

    Gaer
     

    RobertofPoole

    Member
    UK . English
    Ah, thank you for the context!

    Results 1 - 3 of 3 for "awkward old devil".

    It's not common on the Net. Do you feel it is common where you live? Could it be regional?

    By the way, is there any particular reason why all your posts have additional spaces before all punctuation marks? :)

    Gaer
    I don't think of "awkward old devil" as being a regionalism . Probably more common in ( my ) southern England would be something like "awkward old sod" or "awkward old bugger" , :warn: , although I would caution any non-native speakers against using either of these . ( Although these expressions are not necessarily as "strong" as non-natives might think . Context and tone can make a big difference .)
    Spaces before punctuation ? I follow the "instructions to authors" of the Turkish Archives of Otolaryngology , the official journal of the Turkish Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery Foundation . Really ! :) I realise that there are many other fashions ( Wikipedia is good here .)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I don't think of "awkward old devil" as being a regionalism . Probably more common in ( my ) southern England would be something like "awkward old sod" or "awkward old bugger" , :warn: , although I would caution any non-native speakers against using either of these . ( Although these expressions are not necessarily as "strong" as non-natives might think . Context and tone can make a big difference .)
    I see that "awkward old *" is not so unusual. :)
    Spaces before punctuation ? I follow the "instructions to authors" of the Turkish Archives of Otolaryngology , the official journal of the Turkish Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery Foundation . Really ! :) I realise that there are many other fashions ( Wikipedia is good here .)
    Really? This style of puncutation is used for English? I am well aware that punctuatino varies from language to language. Hmm. I wonder if anyone else has seen this? :)

    Gaer
     

    I.C.

    Senior Member
    D
    Oder ein Bock! Oder sogar ein Gaul... :D
    Gaul kenne ich nur als eine abfällige Bezeichnung für Pferd :). Es ist möglich, einen Mann einen geilen Bock zu nennen, aber das ist keine sehr schmeichelhafte Bezeichnung...
    Störrischer Esel. Störrischer alter Esel.
    Come to think of it, I guess sturer Esel would also work, but somehow I prefer störrisch. Though as such, as a word, I like stur better. There also is sturer Hund, but I reckon Esel fits better. Kauz is nice, but in the case on hand I myself don’t find it that accurate, in my opinion a Kauz is an eccentric person, probably rather old than young, eigen.
     

    Aurin

    Senior Member
    Alemania (alemán)
    I had better explain a bit more . I'll use English because I'm not sure of conveying the right feel if I use German . "An awkward old devil" ( AOD ) is not an abusive or "strong" description of a person in BE . It indicates that the writer feels annoyed or exasperated with the AOD . The AOD might not be particularly old , and certainly there is nothing satanic or evil about him . "Awkward" here indicates that the AOD is uncooperative , perhaps even acts against his own interests , perhaps deliberately tries to make difficulties in his interactions with those who might reasonably expect his goodwill .
    More context : your father complains at length about a cough . You take him to the doctor who prescribes medicine . You drive 20 miles to the all-night chemist to get the medicine . You drive back to your father , hand over the medicine . He says " I don't think I'll take the medicine - I might get better without it ." You say " You are an awkward old devil , Father !"
    Acording to your example occur to me these expressions:
    unverbesserlicher (altersverkrusteter)Sturkopf
    starrsinniger alter Mann
     
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