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The press often gives events and scandals a name, so they can refer to them with just a few letters in the cover of a newspaper. It helps them sell their product. Sometimes the name given is an euphemism, often pars pro toto applies, sometimes the references are quite elliptical, en passant or simply alleatory. Those names often remind me of book or movie titles, but that may be just my bias.


One recently frequently reported scandal in Britain is the so called grooming scandal in Rotherham. I will not go into the details of the case, I ignore most of them anyway and do not pretend otherwise, but I would like to point out how difficult to translate the term is. Grooming means to make somebody neat or attractive (Merriam-Websters, as usual). People can groom themselves or they can groom others, so do some animals, for which grooming can be socially important[clarification desirable]. But translating the grooming scandal as the Fellpflegeskandal or the escándalo del acicalado is patently absurd, because child grooming comprises actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child's inhibitions in order to sexually abuse it (so wikipedia explains). It has little to do with grooming in the original meaning of the term1, only the word is the same.

That may be the reason I find it hard to translate accurately.

In this recent article
Der Spiegel speaks about „Cyber-Grooming“ and translates the term as Online Verführung. I disagree. Grooming is not the same as seduction, grooming prepares the ground for seduction, but seduction comes later.

Update: According to the Spanish El País, grooming is called grooming in Spanish. They define it as:
Un delito de acoso y abuso cibernético en el que un adulto se hace pasar por un adolescente con fines de carácter sexual

Translation made easy.

1 The verb has been in use in English for over two centuries. The noun since the 14th century. Other langauges´ users might want to think about the concept and whether they need it or not. My own thoughts are ambiguous: I do not need the word, I do not like it, but I can not translate it. And one day I might have to


Am 19.02.2015 um 09:01 von Phil
Ich lese das hier und kann es nicht glauben: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/missbrauch-in-rotherham-stadt-des-schweigens-13434501.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_2 Mir war dieser Skandal gar nicht bekannt! Unfassbar!
Am 21.02.2015 um 07:33 von Jordi
Ja, schwer zu begreifen, was da in Rotherham passierte.

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