Typus der akademisch gebildeten aber gescheiterten Existenz

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by clius, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. clius New Member

    I'm really not sure how I can translate this sentence
    "Es handelt sich bei ihm um den in den 70er Jahren haeufig hervorgetretenen Typus der akademisch gebildeten, aber im bürgerliche Leben gescheiterten Existenz, wie wir sie vor allem in den Bereichen der Wirtschaftskriminalitaet, der Pornographie und des Rauschgifthandels kennen."

    The context is a tv moderator describing the perpetrator of a cop murder

    Here is my attempt:
    "His is the kind of existence that often emerged in the 70s charachterized by academic education and failures in civic life < ... >."

    However I don't think it is a great solution
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2014
  2. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    He's from a species that was quite widespread in the seventies: university-bred but a failed existence in conventional life.
  3. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    In his case, it is about a 70s frequently occurring type of character of a highly-educated but failing-in-everyday-life existence, as we have witnessed ...

    Hmmm. That German sentence is one tough nut to crack. I like your own idea, clius, but I might use "everyday life" instead of "civic life".

    I like Schimmelreiter's version also.

    I just wanted to offer a different way to look at it.
  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I think, "bürgerliches Leben" refers to middle class, it does not include, for example, Hartz IV.
  5. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    Do you really think
    is "class"-related, implying bourgeoisie? I doubt it.

    So, is your translation in middle-class life?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  6. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I do not know how to translate "Schicht". I think, farmers and workers with low wages are not meant.
    I found "ein Leben nach den Konventionen des Bürgertums".
    http://www.dict.cc/?s=ein+bürgerliches+Leben+führenhere it is "to have a bourgeous life style".

    I'd say "middle class life style". But it has to be adapted to the sentence.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  7. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    I don't think it's class-related. I think the justice ministry might, for instance, support inmates' return, on their release, ins bürgerliche Leben, i.e. normal, conventional, everyday life, the latter being what perpend wrote.
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    bürgerliches Leben - feudales Leben
    bürgerliches Leben - prekäres Leben

    Here it meant a style of life with simple frugale meals.

    Now it is more a live in a relative security. House, Car, good profession, good meals, culture,
    A prototype for me is Major Nelson in "I dream of Jeannie".

    If you are soldier in a war, it is not "Bürgerliches Leben"

    In the "new" language after the unification, I learned the new meaning of "Existenz"= to be able to decide yourself because you are the owner of your own professional environment. If you lost this - you lost your "Existenz".

    If you are member of the precariat, it is not a ""bürgerliches Leben".
    In linguee you can find lots of translations, it depends on the special case.
    here it is "to have a bourgeous life style".
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  9. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    At this point, I certainly can see Hutschi's perspective too. I can't really see any angle being wrong.

    I personally probably still wouldn't use "middle-class", but it (bürgerlich) could mean "civilized (life)", as opposed to a life of crime, given the way the sentence continues.

    I guess this could be a classic call for .... More Context Please? Do you have any, clius?
  10. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    This is Rousseau's citoyen vs. bourgeois revisited.

    Ex negativo:
    What is a citoyen not?
    What is a bourgeois not?

    On reading
    I went for citoyen, who, under the contrat social, contributes to the common good, which criminals don't. Not following conventions, out of a proneness to crime or otherwise, is un-/antibürgerlich. So I used
    for im bürgerlichen Leben.
  11. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    "In conventional life" is a good rendering if the (social) environment is clear by context.
    I think that is the case here.

    In German we could also say "im normalen Leben" - if the environment is clear.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  12. Perseas Senior Member

    The excerpt continues as follows: Der Mann [...] war nach verschiedenen erfolglosen Bemühungen, wieder im bürgerlichen Leben Fuß zu fassen, im Ausland untergetaucht".

    I think we can connect "bürgerliches Leben" with a proper, decent way of life (conventional if you prefer). From the text it is obvious that his acts were not legitimate.
  13. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    I would think it is. Especially because of the reference to financial crime.
  14. ablativ Senior Member

    In the late 60s and 70s the German term was "das Establishment" rather than "die Bourgeoisie".

    The term "das Establishment" implies a critical, negatively associated attitude.

Share This Page