A few years ago, I saw Seinfeld in Germany and that got me wondering. What does Soup Nazi translate to over there? I’m guess it translates to something else given German sensitivity over the Nazism.
I don’t know if attitudes have changed, but Hogan’s Heroes was translated into German and broadcast over German TV in the 90s. The scripts were rewritten to broaden the humor so that viewers were made aware that they were watching a satire and it became a popular show in Germany.
I wonder - does Germany have *any *mainstream Nazi humor?
I did read about this recently:
I don’t see why Germans should avoid anything referring to Nazis, any more than Americans should avoid anything referring to slavery.
How much more could the humor be broadened?!
I read the title wrong. I thought this was about soup in Nazi Germany.
Slavery-based sit-coms continue to fail to be a big seller here.
An article that discusses various issues that came up with attempting to translate Seinfeld into German - English language wordplay, Jewish-oriented jokes, WW2 references, etc.
The German language version was just 25 minutes of guys in Nazi uniforms doing comic pratfalls after getting hit in the balls with assorted objects.
This podcast on language discusses the issue, and includes an interview of that article’s author.
After WWII ended the Allies-led civilian German government made laws that specifically made symbols of Nazism: Swastikas, saying ‘Heil Hitler’ or giving the raised hand Nazi salute, a criminal act. AFAIK these laws are still in place. Apparently just saying the word ‘Nazi’ (as in the German-dubbed Seinfeld) is not prohibited.
Hogan’s Heroes was kind of a special case. Although it contained those actually things it was dubbed to make some of them nonsensical (when they gave the Nazi salute the line was dubbed as, "The wheat grows this high!). Plus the German media was desperate for comedy programs (the Germans don’t do comedy well) and therefore it was felt that it would be ok to make an exception for it. Monty Python was invited to make some specials for German TV in the 70s because they were so desperate for good comedy.
People tend to overstate the effect of the anti-Nazi-symbol laws. They’re mainly to give the authorities something to charge far-rightists with if they don’t have anything more substantial. TV shows and movies and so on can apply for exemptions, as can museums etc.
For example, here is a German warplane in a German museum with correct markings including swastikas.
The (American) English expression “nazi” (i. e. an individual who is obsessed with something, pedantic, strict, uncompromising) cannot be translated into German. Many, if not most German speakers do not immediately understand the literal translation Suppennazi. The ones that do get it prefer the original version of the show anyway. Seinfeld more ore less completely flopped in Germany.
They killed all the Germans who did.
Huh? Something can’t be translated into German? They can’t string together “suppenpedantiknitwit”, or whatever the equivalent concept would be?
Yes, there is certainly some truth to that.
You can, somehow, paraphrase the meaning, but I am at loss to find a short, catchy German equivalent (but maybe that’s just me).