Monday, April 27, 2009

Funny English loan phrase of the day

From the preface of a German monograph:

"Last, not least danke ich all jenen, die das Geschehen aus der Ferne verfolgt haben und gerade deshalb besonders nahe waren." (italics the author's). Roughly (very roughly) translated: "...I thank all those whose efforts from afar have had a very close effect."

Written rhetoric worthy of a banquet speech, no? And it's made all the more quaint by the absence of the "but" in "Last, but not least."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

German has borrowed a large number of words and phrases from English, but sometimes they get a little altered. "Last not least" is an example. It is heard fairly frequently in German, always without the "but". A little jarring for American ears. I would translate the text as "I thank all those who have followed the events from afar and were therefore especially close."