Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Translating ‘klein aber fein’ into English

Like Tom Cruise, my post today is what you might call small but perfectly formed! I often come across the phrase ‘klein aber fein’ as a description for hotels who, conscious of having only a small number of rooms or a limited range of facilities, nevertheless want to emphasise the quality of their offering. Though nicely alliterative in German (hence its popularity), it needs a bit of thought in English. There have been occasions when “small is beautiful” has been usable, but it’s not appropriate for all contexts. Below are some other ‘solutions’ from recent tourism translations…

·         kleines, feines Skigebiet = modest in size but still elegant, Morzine stands at the gateway to one of the world’s largest inter-connected skiing areas

·         kleines aber feines Familiengebiet lädt ein zum Wandern, Mountainbiken usw. = a small but delightful area for families – perfect for hikes, mountainbiking or just a gentle stroll!

·         klein aber fein -  auch für anspruchsvolle Skifahrer, Gruppen oder Vereine = small but charming – an ideal area for experienced skiers, groups or clubs

·         und genau das ist bei den kleinen, feinen Hotels der Vereinigung [...] der Fall = and sums up the philosophy behind every small but select hotel which bears the […] logo.

·         die Sauna-Anlage, klein und fein, lädt zum Entspannen und Relaxen (!) ein = our small but well-equipped sauna facility offers the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind.

·         kleinen aber feinen Wellnessbereich = small but luxurious spa suite

·         unter dem Motto “klein, fein, individuell” führen wir unser Haus mit 28 Betten = in line with our motto “small, comfortable, individual” our hotel has just 28 beds but prides itself on a long tradition of hospitality


That’s it for today. Off now for a ‘kleines, aber feines Mittagessen’ - a humble cheese sandwich... maybe with a fancy garnish… J