Friday, February 06, 2015

How Do You Translate 'Sprinkler'


So, is the Hebrew translation, a la those two signs, of 'sprinkler' is just that? 



מַמְטֵרָה; מַזְלֵף; מַתָּז

You could use 'mamtera' which is more an irrigration sprinkler of the spray variety but closest to the action of the water.

The 'mazlef' is more of a splash result, like out of a watering can.

The term 'mataz' is more a spray result.


1 comment:

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

The reason could, of course, be simply to appear 'sophisticated' and cool by using the English; but I think there is another, subtle logic at work that has been present in Hebrew since at least the early or mid 20th century.

Rav Kook, by way of example, uses two seemingly interchangeable words early in Orot HaTeshuvah: 'meditzina' and 'refuah'. The second is, of course, perfectly good Hebrew. But he uses 'medetzina' (medicine) to refer to the specific profession/discipline, and the Hebrew to refer to the desired result: healing.

I think here, too, and in some other similar instances, the idea is to specify something specific and technical - fire suppression sprinklers - as opposed to the outdoors water-the-lawn type.

Or it could just be a sad example of false sophistication. ;-( I'm sure Avshalom Kor would disapprove in any case.