Damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot

Happy-Go-Lucky

Member
English -USA
Hi everyone!

I'm translating an article about the increasing authoritarianism of Greece's right-wing conservative government. Journalists are beginning to censor themselves, leading to the end of critical investigative reporting. Damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot.

I can't get my head around this. I understand that the Peitsche is the stick and Zuckerbrot the carrot. But "kommt zum"? I haven't been able to find this as a common expression and don't know what to make of the verb: The stick becomes the carrot?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Best
Happy-Go-Lucky🙃
 
  • JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    But "kommt zum"? I haven't been able to find this as a common expression and don't know what to make of the verb: The stick becomes the carrot?
    :warning: "The stick becomes the carrot" would be "Damit wird die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot."

    "Die Peitsche kommt zum Zuckerbrot."
    means that the whip is added to the carrot.

    Es geht in dem Artikel um Folgendes:
    Die neue Regelung stellt die Verbreitung von Fake News [....] unter Strafe (= die Peitsche).
    [....]
    Die Regierung [hat seit Beginn der Pandemie] staatliches Geld (das Zuckerbrot) – unter anderem für eine Aufklärungskampagne im Zusammenhang mit der Pandemie – nur an Medien ausgegeben, die linientreue Berichterstattung versprachen.
     

    Happy-Go-Lucky

    Member
    English -USA
    Thanks, I understand your point (I knew that "becomes" was wrong!) but as you can read there's no mention of any carrot until after this statement. I think it's poorly written!!
     

    anahiseri

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    I think it's poorly written!!
    Happy-Go-Lucky, I can`t understand why you say this. I think the metaphor is correctly placed in both instances.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Zuckerbrot und Peitsche – Wikipedia

    Zuckerbrot und Peitsche ist eine Redewendung, die eine Einflussnahme auf andere Personen umschreibt, die mit Belohnung und Strafe zugleich arbeitet.
    This is the same relation as Claude stated in #2.

    Damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot.
    I understand that the Peitsche is the stick and Zuckerbrot the carrot.
    This metaphor is good for this, too.

    Zuckerbrot, Möhre (Belohnung) ist schon da, die Peitsche (Strafe) wird zugefügt.
    Only: Zuckerbrot refers usually to a person, Möhre refers to a donkey or a horse in German. Karotten-Prinzip – Wikipedia
    (Edit: Source)
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Thanks, I understand your point (I knew that "becomes" was wrong!) but as you can read there's no mention of any carrot until after this statement. I think it's poorly written!!
    The sentence is immediately clear and I can't see anything poorly written about it. It (Damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot) is just difficult to translate. X kommt zu Y is a common expression. It means that X emerges in addition to Y without any mention how or why this happens. It merely describes a situation where there previously was only Y there is is now X and Y together. A possible literal translation would be X arrives at the side of Y. Of course, I do not suggest you translate is like this; I am just trying to explain the figurative "image" behind this expression.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot
    I understand that it's a common and fixed phrase, and I also understand its meaning. I would only remark that - to foreign ears - it would be clearer and more easily understandable if there were a hinzu at the end: ''damit kommt die Peitsche zum Zuckerbrot (noch) hinzu'' (but of course I cannot change a German Spruch). ;)
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    To be clear however, the English expression is a carrot or a stick! Not a whip. 😏
    Sure, the English and German expressions use different metaphors. A Zuckerbrot is not a carrot and a Peitsche is not stick. If you wanted to translate the sentence into English you would of course not translate Zuckerbrot (=sweetened bread) nor Peitsche (=whip) literally but substitute them by the corresponding idiomatic expressions in English. I don't think anyone has as ever suggested anything to the contrary.

    The problem is the expression zu etwas (hinzu) kommen/treten, for which I don't see a direct English equivalent.
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, In German the carot is used according to the "Karotten-Prinzip": Karotten-Prinzip – Wikipedia
    This is another metapher than Zuckerbrot und Peitsche.
    In English I found Carrot and stick - Wikipedia
    The phrase "carrot and stick" is a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behaviour.[1]

    In politics, "carrot or stick" sometimes refers to the realist concept of soft and hard power. The carrot in this context could be the promise of economic or diplomatic aid between nations, while the stick might be the threat of military action.

    This is the same principle as "Zuckerbrot und Peitsche"

    However:
    Wikipedia says that the root of this is also the carot principle (Karottenprinzip).
    440px-Europe_Boardman_Robinson[1].jpg

    Picture from Wikipedia (German and English), same source.

    Stock/Stab und Möhre in German is this. You see the reward but can never reach it. You will starve to dead. This is different to German "Zuckerbrot und Peitsche". According to Wikipedia the metapher changed the meaning in English - but not in German.

    PS:

    The English Wikipedia adds: "In the German language, a related idiom translates as sugar bread and whip."

    Edit: Difference English and German according to Wikipedia
     
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