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As I'm preparing to run a The Strange campaign in German, I wonder how to translate "The Estate". There are a number of different possible meanings to the name. My initial guess was that it meant "estate" as in "a big mansion and surrounding land" ("Anwesen" or "Gutshof" in German). But then I discovered that "estate" could also mean "status" ("Stand") or even "wealth" ("Vermögen") and "inheritance" ("Nachlass").

Now I'm confused. Any insight from native speakers which of the meanings is the most likeliest intended? Or any German players who already have come up with a good translation?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Most of the answers as currently stand are missing the bit about how "The Estate" is short for "The Estate of Grant Morrison": "To the world at large, the Estate is a philanthropic institute interested in funding research in several scientific fields of inquiry, and is best known for the yearly scientific awards they give, called Morrison Fellowship Prizes.", from montecookgames.com/earth-and-recursions \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 30 '15 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good point! Taking this as well as Bruce Cordell's answer into consideration, I'll go with "Die Stiftung". \$\endgroup\$ – milgner Mar 30 '15 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why translate at all? Would you translate the Tower of London or Big Ben? \$\endgroup\$ – Raphael Apr 16 '16 at 14:42
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In The Strange, The Estate is an organization that the PCs are in devoted to defending the Earth against recursions. Therefore the English meaning of Estate, as in "the press is the fourth estate," is one of the primary power groups of society. See Wikipedia Estates of the realm and wiktionary estate (3) (but since it's invested in keeping the status quo, there may be some implication of estate (1)).

Probably the best German translation is Macht, Gewalt, or Stand (see http://www.dict.cc/english-german/Fourth+Estate.html). Pick the connotation you like best, I'd probably go with der Stand for the "hold the line" connotation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Very good reasoning, thanks! I'm still undecided since "Der Stand" is very uncommon and feels somewhat awkward by itself. "Die Macht" (or even "Die Gewalt") feels too brutal or "in your face" for a secret organisation, though. But now that I know the proper meaning I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something! \$\endgroup\$ – milgner Mar 29 '15 at 11:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ It also wouldn't help that "Die Macht" is the translation of "the Force", so unless you don't mind constant Star Wars references in your game... \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Mar 30 '15 at 8:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're missing that the true purpose of The Estate is not evident to the public. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Mar 30 '15 at 14:07
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Try something like "The Foundation" if Estate doesn't translate too well: die Stiftung, how's that sound to German ears?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Direct translations aside, "Die Stiftung" is an amazing name for a shadowy type of organization. Sounds like a Grisham or Katzenbach novel. \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Mar 30 '15 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bruce Cordell It might be worth mentioning somewhere (either in your answers, or in your profile) that you are one of the authors of "The Strange", [This blog post of yours ](montecookgames.com/earth-and-recursions) links to the website theestatefoundation.org ( Registered to Monte Cook Games ((whois loopup)[who.is/whois/theestatefoundation.org])) Which supports the answer, in that is uses foundation in the domain name. \$\endgroup\$ – Lyndon White Oct 1 '15 at 8:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Oxinabox: I don't know what happened to the links in your comment above, but you might want to repost it with fixed syntax. \$\endgroup\$ – Ilmari Karonen Mar 6 '16 at 21:34
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I'm not a native speaker of German, but I have been learning German all my life, including spending two years at college in Germany, so I think I have enough Sprachgefühl to understand the problem and intuit an answer.

"The Estate" as a group in The Strange is interested in two things (see for example http://www.montecookgames.com/earth-and-recursions/):

  • exploring recursions
  • keeping the earth safe from monsters who creep in from recursions

To my mind, this means that the meaning is closer to meaning 1. of "Estate" on Wikitionary, namely "(now rare, archaic) State; condition." The Estate is interested in understanding the state of recursions, and preserving the current (safe) state of Earth, of preserving the status quo. The fact this meaning is rare and archaic is part of what makes it a cool name for a clandestine organisation.

For the German rendering of this, my choice would be "Der Status" (or possibly just "Status" without the article). This has both the possible meanings of "die Lage, die Situation" (http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Status), and also hints at "Status quo" without unnecessarily evoking the rock band. Also to my non-native ears it has something of the mystery of the unusual use of "The Estate", being a Latin loanword. I suppose you could go with "die Lage", "die Situation", but they seem too bland to me.

A bonus of "Der Status" is also that, even if you think the meaning of "The Estate" is more about social status or organization (as per mxyzplk's answer), then Der Status also contains the meaning of ("Stand, Stellung in der Gesellschaft, innerhalb einer Gruppe" - Duden as above).

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Der Status" sounds really good to me! I had also previously considered "The Foundation" ("Die Stiftung") but "Agenten des Status" also has a very nice ring to it. Even though they may want a monocle and top hat to go with the title ;) \$\endgroup\$ – milgner Mar 30 '15 at 8:44
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A single-word translation is probably not going to fly; there is little flair to a common noun used as proper noun in German. It is not something that often happens here. (We write all our nouns with capitals, after all.)

So I'd propose to use Gewalt as proposed by mxyzplk (it's the most commonly used; it's "Gewaltenteilung") but with a fitting adjective, for instance

  • "Die Fünfte Gewalt",
  • "Die Letzte Gewalt", or
  • "Die Nte Gewalt" (alluding to recursions, if you have techies in your group).

Even so, I'd make that the inofficial moniker. "Stiftung" is probably a good one for the official name.

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I would go for "Die Organisation" :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you care to expand why? It's hard for the poster or other voters to take a suggestion too seriously if it's not clear why it's a good one from its content. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Mar 6 '16 at 15:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour when you get a chance. It's important to note that we are not a forum; drive-by opinionating is not what we're about. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Mar 6 '16 at 15:59

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