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English-German Translation of
owing a small country

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Frage:
owing a small country  
von NoBe (DE), 2021-07-29, 08:38  like dislike  Spam?  
Moin,
ich bräuchte mal bitte Hilfe bei der Übersetzung von "owing a small country".

“I literally almost died the last time we did this,” he rasped. “I… I… I left here after that fight and woke up in a casino in Monaco owing a small country to a mobster after we did this last time.”
Felix frowned. “Did you pay him the small country?” Never get in over your head, especially when you didn’t have backup. Wasn’t that what Danny had drilled into him?

Vielen Dank!
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), 2021-07-29, 09:08  like +1 dislike  Spam?  
 #929872
"A small country" stands in for "a very, very large amount of money" here. The idea/humour is that he bet a small county (e.g. Liechtenstein) at the casino and lost. He is very unlikely literally to have bet a small country, therefore he is using "a small country" to metaphorically represent the very, very large sum of money he did bet and now owes ("very, very large" is relative - it will be very, very large to the person who said it, a billionaire might think it was a tiny amount, and it is very unlikely to be as much as the GDP of even the smallest, poorest country). I am assuming the betting part from the fact he woke up a casino and owes the money to a mobster. Even if that's not the case, "a small country" still stands in  for "a very large amount of money".
Chat:     
von sunfunlili (DE/GB), Last modified: 2021-07-29, 09:18  like +1 dislike  Spam?  
 #929876
I think in German it's a   Königreich  !!
Antwort: 
von NoBe (DE), 2021-07-29, 09:30  like dislike  Spam?  
 #929881
Super, vielen Dank!
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2021-07-29, 13:12  like dislike  Spam?  
 #929892
I agree with Windfall. The fixed expression "the GDP of a small country" is used often in non-fiction and fiction for comic effect and means exactly what Windfall said it does.

My personal take on this is that the text passage is bad writing. The writer either mangled the expression through ignorance or tried to be 'creative' by modifying the expression. "Owing a small country" makes no sense since people don't use countries as wagers. It is possible that the writer intentionally made the fictional speaker mangle the expression. But I doubt it.

Google: "the GDP of a small country"

Books: Google: "the GDP of a small country"

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