die in die letzten Dekaden des 4. Jahrhunderts fällt (parsing)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by kynnjo, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    When I come across passages like this one I despair of ever being able to parse German fluently:
    Die Übernahme der chinesischen Schrift ins autochthon schriftlose Japan, die, wenn wir sie mit den ersten Einwanderern vom asiatischen Kontinent und besonders den vielzitierten Gestalten des Achiki und des Wani, die ja als Stammväter der fubito, der Schriftgelehrten Altjapans, gelten, verbinden, in die letzten Dekaden des 4. Jahrhunderts fällt, hatte, wie man weiß, weitreichende Folgen: Das chinesische Element prägte die japanische Sprache, die geschriebene and die gesprochene, entscheidend.

    My best translation:
    The adoption of the Chinese script into the autochthonously illiterate Japan, which, together with the arrival of the first immigrants from the Asian continent and especially the much-cited figures of the Achiki and the Wani, indeed regarded as forerunners of the fubito, the scribes of ancient Japan, took place in the last decades of the fourth century, had, as we know, far-reaching consequences: The Chinese element impressed itself decisively upon the Japanese language, both written and spoken.​

    Please let me know if I got this right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  2. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    A most valiant effort.

    This is an unusually complex Schachtelsatz even by German standards. Its author deserves to be keel-hauled. If you actually want to translate it, then don't feel under any obligation to make the English as incomprehensible as the German is. But if you only want to understand/parse it, this doesn't matter.

    < ... >

    Changing what would have been "when we combine it with" into "taken together with" is great, and translating "Die Übernahme, die in _ fällt" as "The adoption, which took place in _" is excellent, or would have been if you had not omitted "which".

    < ... >
    Still, the parsing seems to have worked well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  3. Liam Lew's Senior Member

    Hi kynnjo, it's indeed a really challenging passage. I'm a native speaker and even I had problems in understanding the passage. I consider this way of writing as very bad style. It's not understandable. So your translation isn't quite correct. That's my try:

    The adoption of the Chinese script into the autochthonously illiterate Japan, which, if we link it with the arrival of the first immigrants from the Asian continent and especially the much cited figures of the Achiki and the Wani, who are indeed regarded as forerunners of the fubito, the scribes of ancient Japan, belongs to the last decades of the fourth century, had, as we know, far-reaching consequences. The Chinese element impressed itself decisively upon the Japanese language, both written and spoken.

    The main statement is: The adoption of the Chinese script into the autochthonously illiterate Japan had far reaching consequences.
    Then we have an if-sentence with a loooooooot of additional information (I omit them for understanding): if we link it with the arrival of the first immigrants from the Asian continent, it belongs to the last decades of the fourth century.
    The additional information just define the phrase "the first immigrants from the Asian continent"
    The "wie man weiß" isn't necessary for understanding.

    I did not correct wrong expressions, I just tried to make the sentence understandable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  4. Sowka

    Sowka Forera und Moderatorin

    Hannover
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    Generally, proofreading is not allowed in the WordReference forums (forum rule 5). That's why I closed the thread yesterday to discuss it within the moderator team.

    We understand that such a sentence poses problems that cannot be expressed as "a question about one word or expression", as we normally demand to be asked. The problem lies in the structure of the sentence as a whole, and we should allow questions of this type, too. That's why I've re-opened the thread. :)

    However, for future cases, I'd like to ask you for the following: Please do not submit your complete translation in the thread. Instead, please explain how you would parse the German sentence. In this way, we would avoid proofreading and thus comply with our rule 5, and we would still be able to help you with your question.

    I'd like to outline the general problems that I see with proofreading:

    Generally, proofreading is done by professionals who earn their money doing this work. The forums are not there to do that work for free and thus deprive these professionals of their work and income.
    Sometimes a sloppy translation might be presented for "proofreading", which would lead to a complete, and correct, new translation made for someone who just didn't do it properly. This is definitely not the case in this thread.

    If the translation of a complete and long sentence is submitted for comments, several aspects might be commented on (which has been the case here). These aspects would be lost to future readers of our forums if they remained in the "parsing" thread. I've therefore split off separate threads for the issues that have arisen:


    schriftlos
    Stammväter
    die ja als ... gelten
    Schriftgelehrte
    prägte ... entscheidend

    So, in the present thread, please continue focussing on the correct parsing of the German sentence. Thank you! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  5. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    Many thanks to Edinburgher and to Liam Lew's for your comments, corrections, and encouraging words.

    Thanks also to Sowka for fixing and refactoring my post, and also for patiently explaining why it was inadmissible in its original form, and showing how to do it properly the next time.
     
  6. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    See attachment; how is this?

    parseJapan.jpg

    If anybody has different suggestions to parse this sentence: I used this online tool:

    http://ironcreek.net/phpsyntaxtree/?

    and the following code:

    ... well evidently my syntax tree is too big and the WR-upload limit of attachments and its subseqent file reduction algorithms make not readable. So you have to generate the tree yourself with the above online generator and code to see it.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  7. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    An online tool for parsing natural language? Wow! That's what I thought you meant, and it got me all excited. :eek::thumbsup:
    Imagine my disappointment when it turned out this was only a drawing aid, into which you have to feed a representation of a parse tree which you have had to construct by hand. :(

    These tree drawings can be quite useful for visualising the structure of simple or moderately complex sentences, but for something as big and complex as this example, it doesn't work very well. The image is so wide it doesn't fit on the screen, and is so short in height that the angles of many of the lines are quite shallow, and it fails to communicate effectively. Man verliert die Übersicht (bzw. man kriegt sie garnicht erst!). Nice try, though! Perhaps what might be better is to have separate trees instead of a single big one. So the leaves of the global tree are abstractions of the sub-trees, which in turn are shown separately.
     
  8. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    Well, feel free to reduce the code to the branch of the syntax tree you are interested in! Opening brackets always have to match closing brackets. The tool always tells you whether opening and closing brackets match: It's as simple as that!
     
  9. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    I have long been meaning to reply to this post.

    I was not able to view the JPG (or, to be more precise, in my computer, the original image 620 x 82 pixels, which is too tiny for the font to be legible; enlarging the picture does not help, of course, since it's bitmapped not vector), but I was able to cut-and-paste the code you provided into the online tool, and wow!

    I'm amazed by that syntax tree encoding! Did you write it out "by hand" (so to speak)? That's hard-core! Thanks!
     

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