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  • Subject

    etwas skandalisieren



    etwas zu einem Skandal machen; Anstoß nehmen

    Ganz konkret stellte sich diese Frage jüngst, als sich die SPD in der Koalition gegen staatliche Kaufanreize für Pkw mit reinem Verbrennungsmotor als Antwort auf die Corona-Krise ausgesprochen hatte. Jörg Hofmann, der Erste Vorsitzende der IG Metall, hatte diese Weigerung skandalisiert und für einen »massiven Vertrauensverlust der Beschäftigten gegenüber der Sozialdemokratie« verantwortlich gemacht.

    Die SPÖ hatte zuletzt skandalisiert, dass Pierer in den Jahren 2012 und 2013 weniger als 3.000 Euro Einkommensteuer bezahlt habe.

    Ein Auricher Blogger hat den Vorschlag skandalisiert, dass von der Maskenpflicht befreite Kinder an der Realschule Buttons tragen sollen.


    It's not 100% clear to me what Duden means by "zu einem Skandal machen"; does it mean "deplore/condemn something as scandalous", "create a fuss about something" or even "whip up a storm about something"? Or does etwas skandalisieren just mean to take umbrage at something (Anstoß nehmen)?

    Author CM2DD (236324)  25 Aug 22, 11:19

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'd say it means "to make a scandal of", "make something into a scandal", "to create a scandal over", etc. But your "whip up a storm about something" is about the same. Or is there some reason you're trying to avoid using the word "scandal"?

    #1Author wupper (354075) 25 Aug 22, 11:42

    DWDS is much clearer. It's "condemn something as scandalous that isn't".

    #2AuthorRominara (1294573)  25 Aug 22, 11:43

    Did you see the DWDS definition? The quote above is just the overview, it goes on at some length below that.

    When I see it in a political context (like your second one), I tend to think "spin into a scandal". But it is a good question, I'm curious what the NS will say.

    Edit- sigh, late again.

    #3AuthorAE procrastinator (1268904)  25 Aug 22, 11:45

    is there some reason you're trying to avoid using the word "scandal"?

    Because I wouldn't say e.g. "A blogger made a scandal of the proposal that children who were exempt from mask wearing should wear badges". I'd guess what was meant, but it's not a phrase I'd use.

    "created a scandal over" site:uk - 2 hits

    "made a scandal of" site:uk - 3 hits

    "made into a scandal" site:uk - 1 hit

    In my specific context (too complicated to give as an example), it's being used positively - the writer is not suggesting that they are making a fuss about nothing. Is that an unusual usage?

    #4Author CM2DD (236324) 25 Aug 22, 12:06

    more numerous hits for "generate a scandal" at .uk, though they don't all involve intent.

    Edit; In a positive context, perhaps: get people up in arms about?

    #5AuthorAE procrastinator (1268904)  25 Aug 22, 12:22

    Yes; you can "create a scandal", too, but that means that you did something awful and everyone got het up about it. It doesn't mean that you condemned something as scandalous.

    #6Author CM2DD (236324) 25 Aug 22, 12:25

    Das Wort ist nicht in meinem aktiven Wortschatz. "Man sollte das nicht ignorieren/akzeptieren, sondern im Gegenteil skandalisieren" kann ich mir aber schon vorstellen. Wenn z. B. über ungerechtfertigte Subventionen oder den Gender Pay Gap (zufällige Beispiele) geschrieben wird.

    #7Author Mattes (236368) 25 Aug 22, 12:31

    Well yes, you would have to say "try to create/generate" etc.

    I was thinking of things like this Guardian hit: "Nowadays if a politician admitted to it, the tabloids would struggle to make a story stick let alone generate a scandal. "

    #8AuthorAE procrastinator (1268904) 25 Aug 22, 12:33

    Going by the context, in the third example from the OP I think just take umbrage at something (Anstoß nehmen) is meant.

    In the first two examples you could use "(tried to) turn into a scandal":

    JH of IG Metall tried to turn this rejection/refusal into a scandal, saying it was responsible for...

    If you feel any better about "turn into a scandal", that is.

    #9Author wupper (354075) 25 Aug 22, 12:34

    Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, called it a scandal that families with young children who are classed as homeless are placed in unsuitable housing by councils.


    15.12.2021 — The noble Lord, Lord McNicol, said the situation was an absolute disgrace; the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, referred to it as a scandal.


    23.01.2014 — Pope Francis has rightly referred to it as a scandal because we seem to have forgotten the message of St. Paul in his First Letter to the ...


    “to call / term sth. a scandal”

    “to refer to sth. as a scandal”

    “to identify sth. as a scandal”

    "to recognize sth. as a scandal"

    “to decry sth. as a scandal”


    —those collocations are fairly standard, I would say. They cover a number of the uses of skandalisieren. There are no doubt others. The first two are relatively common, the last three rather rare, the very last distinctly literary.

    #10AuthorBion (1092007) 25 Aug 22, 12:37

    Thanks for the ideas - good to have a variety of options :)

    #11Author CM2DD (236324) 25 Aug 22, 12:49

    Perhaps the [senator's supporters] are understandably worried that the Republican right will try to create a scandal where there is none or dredge up old history.

    I’ve come to terms with the cowardice of President Obama, who jumps on the bandwagon to appease those who will use any excuse to create a scandal.

    First, the opposition party has strong incentives to try to create scandal in order to discredit the president or damage his political standing – what Ginsberg and Shefter call ‘politics by other means’.

    Just as a flimsy allegation can create a scandal in certain circumstances, other triggering events may be more likely to be interpreted by journalists and other elites as gaffes or policy failures when the context is unfavorable for the president (and conversely for positive events).

    a routine intelligence practice, are at the heart of Donald Trump’s attempts to create a scandal, the so-called “Obamagate”, to ensnare his predecessor and his challenger at the polls this year, former vice-president Joe Biden.


    Yes; you can "create a scandal", too, but that means that you did something awful and everyone got het up about it.

    That's one meaning. But you can also "create a scandal about" something someone else (or some organization) did. That happens in politics all the time. A politician from one party notices something that a politician from the other party does and tries to create a scandal over it, even though it wasn't really that objectionable to begin with.


    "To call something out (as)" might also be useful.

    #12Author wupper (354075)  25 Aug 22, 12:52

    Creating a scandal about something and calling something a scandal are two very different things, though, wupper. Are you saying that "skandalisieren" definitely doesn't mean calling something a scandal?

    Your #1 makes it sound as if "create a scandal" is an obvious translation of "etwas zu einem Skandal machen" that I'm avoiding for some unfathomable reason.

    I did not assume that "etwas zu einem Skandal machen" meant creating a scandal because Duden says "skandalisieren" also means "Anstoß nehmen", and as literal translations are often wrong,

    My dictionary has an entry for "einen Skandal machen" that suggests "to create or cause a scandal" - but it also suggests "to make a to-do or fuss". Duden says that "Skandal" can also mean "Lärm, Radau". My big dictionary has entries under "Skandal" for "Tumult, Aufruhr" (outrage, uproar). So I thought that "to make a fuss about something" might be a possible translation.

    "Deplore/condemn something as scandalous" would fit in all the examples in my OP, and fits in the actual context which, as I say, is positive about this "skandalisieren". So I thought that might also be a possibility.

    If I knew for sure what it meant I wouldn't be asking.

    #13Author CM2DD (236324) 25 Aug 22, 14:23

    Ich habe "skandalisieren" noch nie gehört - "zu einem Skandal stilisieren" wäre meine Wortwahl, evtl. "zu einem Skandal aufbauschen".

    #14Author Raudona (255425) 25 Aug 22, 15:17

    (edit. Wrong thread.)

    #15Author Gibson (418762)  25 Aug 22, 15:18

    Are you saying that "skandalisieren" definitely doesn't mean calling something a scandal?

    No, not at all.

    Creating a scandal about something and calling something a scandal are two very different things,

    Well, yes, they are different, but I'd say it's a matter of degree. Calling something a scandal can be the first step of turning something into (or creating) a scandal. But maybe we will just have to disagree here.

    Your #1 makes it sound as if "create a scandal" is an obvious translation of "etwas zu einem Skandal machen" that I'm avoiding for some unfathomable reason.

    "Create a scandal" does seem like a possible translation for skandalisieren to me and it was noticeable that none of your ideas in the OP included "scandal". I just wondered if that was intentional or if you just thought that any option using "scandal" was wrong. I didn't know. There could be any number of good reasons a translator wants to avoid a certain word or a literal translation. Absolutely. And I totally agree that literal translations are often wrong. 100% agree. I just wanted some clarity and hopefully focus the discussion on either some phrase containing "scandal" that perhaps you hadn't thought of, or, some other way of expressing it. I think my #1 was misinterpreted. Hmmm. My bad, I guess. It wasn't meant offensively or condescendingly in any way. Just trying to sound out what you were looking for.

    From the Duden definition it seems like the word has a range of meanings and that the semicolon indicates two points on that range. Where the exact meaning of the word falls depends on the context. But this really comes down then to subtle differences and I don't think the word is all that common in German. I'm not a native German speaker so I can only guess about the nuances here (unless it's about music!). It does seem to me like in the first example with the »massiven Vertrauensverlust der Beschäftigten gegenüber der Sozialdemokratie« some phrase with "scandal" would work well, but maybe I'm alone in thinking that.

    At any rate, you know your context best and can make the best decision. I don't have anything more useful to add so I'll bow out.

    #16Author wupper (354075) 25 Aug 22, 15:19

    I guess it's just not that common a word, then ... will see what feedback I get from the customer.

    Thanks, wupper; didn't mean to start a fight :) but realised that I hadn't explained myself very well the first time round so was coming across as if I really was avoiding the phrase for some strange reason!

    #17Author CM2DD (236324) 25 Aug 22, 15:33
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