gerade nicht

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Derselbe, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Derselbe Senior Member

    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    Hallo,

    wie übersetzt man den Gedanken von "gerade nicht" ins Englische? Gemeint ist die Verwendung von "gerade" um auszudrücken, dass die Annahme falsch war und stattdessen "gerade" das Gegenteil zutrifft.


    Bsp.:
    "Doch hatte er sich zu früh gefreut. Denn über ein Treffen sagte der Brief gerade nichts aus."

    "Die eidesstattliche Versicherung ist eben gerade kein Eid, sondern ein Ersatz für einen Eid" (aus einem anderen Thread, bei dem ich auf die Frage kam)

    "ein Nichtwähler ist ja gerade kein radikaler Wähler, sondern jemand, der seiner Enttäuschung Ausdruck verleiht"

    Ich finde keine griffige Lösung, um den Gedanken im Englischen wiederzugeben.

    Vielen Dank!
     
  2. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Ich glaub, es ist schwierig, da eine generelle 1:1-Übersetzung zu finden; ich würd die Beispielsätze von dir jeweils unterschiedlich übersetzen (ich bin mir bezüglich korrekter idiomatischer Übersetzung der Beispielsätze nicht wirklich sicher - aber relevant ist ja nur die Übersetzung von "gerade nicht" = unten fett gesetzt, die Sätze mögen sonst evtl. etwas umständlich wirken):

    "But he was counting his chicken before they were hatched, as nothing whatsoever in this letter indicated that there would be a meeting."

    "But an ("eidesstattliche Versicherung") isn't an oath at all, it is a mere (substitute for an oath (?))."

    "But anybody abstaining a ballot isn't a radical voter - on the contrary, he or she is just expressing disappointment."


    Oder nehmen wir einen anderen Satz, den ich für "genereller" halte (und verzeiht mir den Gebrauch von "tun", anders lässt sich der Satz leider nicht formulieren, wenn er "gerade nicht" enthalten soll ;-):
    - Viele glauben, dass Spinat viel Eisen enthält, aber das tut er gerade eben nicht. (... weil er nämlich nicht mehr Eisen enthält als gewöhnlicher Salat.)
    - Many think that spinach contains plenty of iron but that's actually not quite true/ that's not quite true at all/ that's not quite the whole story/ ...

    Oder so.
     
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hmm...

    Well I don't think it can mean both not quite and not at all, as those are two completely different sides of the not-spectrum! Or, at the very least, you cannot use them in the same sentence (in English), so that's not quite true at all sounds particularly odd to my ears. It should be either:

    - not true at all <-- which I would equate with gar nicht
    - not quite true <-- which I would equate with nicht gerade (but not necessarily gerade nicht!)

    Based on Derselbe's examples & sokol's translations using not...whatsoever and not...at all, it seems the not quite sense should be set aside.

    Maybe more examples would help.
     
  4. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    This is tautological isn't it? In other words, aren't "eben" and "gerade" synonyms in this context?

    Or does using both together serve to strengthen the impact of the sentence still further?

    Cheers,
    Abba

    P.S. Whether it's "eben" or "gerade", or both, I also can't think of a decent English equivalent yet. :(
     
  5. ml57 Junior Member

    London
    English
    What about 'actually'?

    1) The letter actually said nothing about a meeting.
    2) But an ("eidesstattliche Versicherung") is not actually an oath, but rather...
    3) A non-voter is not actually a radical voter, but a ...

    Hmmm... still feels like a near miss! 2) feels quite good, but I'm not so sure about the other two.
     
  6. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I would use "expressly not" which means "ausdrücklich nicht". This is not exactly the same as "gerade nicht" but sufficiently close.
     
  7. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hmm... not only is expressly not quite formal, I'd say it's also rather uncommon & unusual except in specific contexts; that is, it's limited in its use. For example, you cannot say *expressly nothing, and not expressly...anything has a different meaning:

    (1) *He expressly said nothing / *He said expressly nothing. <-- with the meaning of absolutely nothing.
    (2) He did not expressly say anything.

    (1) is ungrammatical, while (2) is grammatical but semantically different, but it seems gerade nicht is more like (1) than (2).

    So how would you translate Derselbe's examples?
     
  8. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    A "eidesstattliche Versicherung" is expressly not an oath but a surrogate for an oath.

    It fits not so well in the second sentence but an analogous translation would, in my mind, be possible too.

    PS: Why should He expressly said nothing be ungrammatical? He expressly said XXX is grammatical. Why should it be ungrammatical, if followed by nothing? It might not make much sense but neither does Er sagte gerade nichts, if gerade is used in the sense we are discussing here. Actually, Er sagte gerade nichts does exist but means Just now, he said nothing. This is a different use of gerade.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  9. Derselbe Senior Member

    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    What about precisely or contrarily?

    I think what gerade wants to say is contrary to the assumption.

    By the way: Does everyone of our English friends completely understand this very specific usage of gerade or do you need more information on the German idiom?
     
  10. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Expressly sounds very odd in those sentences. If they are not grammatical, then at the very least they are unusual and cryptic.

    Maybe the definition of expressly would help: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/expressly.

    Along with the example sentences:

    (1) I came expressly to see you. <-- "for the specific purpose of, specially"
    (2) I asked him expressly to stop talking. <-- "explicitly"
    (3) tools designed expressly for left-handed workers. <-- "especially, particularly"

    Now take a sentence like He expressly said XXX. This correlates with (2) above, "explicitly", for example:

    A: Should we buy large eggs or medium?
    B: John expressly said medium. = "explicitly"; John uttered the exact word "medium"

    Now consider He expressly said nothing. The only way that this makes sense is if he ACTUALLY said the word "nothing"; however, if he said nothing, i.e. he didn't say anything, then He expressly said nothing makes no sense and so is, in my opinion, ungrammatical.

    The reason is that you cannot really explicitly not do something. Or, to put it more generally, it's often a bit bizarre for something to be explicitly/expressly not something - but I won't rule out expressly...not altogether because I'm sure there are contexts in which it's okay.
     
  11. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    A "eidesstattliche Versicherung" is precisely not an oath

    sounds good to me.
     
  12. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    As I said, I agree with you that the sentence doesn't make sense. My objection for exclusively about "ungrammatical".
    This would mean that it is semantically wrong (with which I agree); not syntactically.
     
  13. englishman12345 New Member

    English - England
    *A new question on the same topic of "gerade nicht*

    Keines davon, gerade nicht die berühmte, herzförmige Lichtinstallation auf der Prager Burg zum Abgang des damaligen Präsidenten Václav Havel, polarisierte so sehr wie die manipulierte Wetterkamera.

    I'm having trouble with the above sentence.

    None of them, especially not the famous, heart-shaped light installation on the..........
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  14. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    A ist eben gerade kein B - is a polemic sentence. It implies either that I introduced in sentences before the idea that A is B and now I negate it, or I suppose or know that the other one has this idea, and I negate it.
    So it is not a tautology.

    Es ist eben gerade keine Tautology (wie oben vermutet wird.) It is a polemic figure.

    It is like
    You might think that A is B, but A is not B at all, as I show(ed) you.


    Is there a short English phrase to express this?
     
  15. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I can't think of any. In this particular sentence, I would translate as englishman did. If it was important to get the exact nuance, I'd say None of them, especially not (despite what you might think) the famous, heart-shaped light installation on the...
     

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