laat voorkomen of zij is aangerand

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by swisschard, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. swisschard New Member

    English
    I am wondering if someone can help with the following:

    De detektive laat voorkomen of zij is aangerand om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden.

    I understand the sense, but can't figure out how it should go into English.
    It's from a detective film. In the scene, the female detective is pretending to romance the criminal. She is wearing an elaborate headdress in which is concealed a chloroform-type substance, which she waves around him to knock him unconscious.

    If a native Dutch speaker could offer their opinion I would very much appreciate it!


     
  2. YellowOnline

    YellowOnline Senior Member

    Berlin, Germany
    Dutch - Belgium
    Good translations are usually from a foreign language to your mother tongue, so if someone here attempts it the other way, it probably isn't as good.

    That said, I must add that the Dutch sentence is not a very easy to read construction. The English equivalent would be:

    The detective makes it appear as if she has been assaulted to take possession of her jewellery.
     
  3. swisschard New Member

    English
    thank you very much for your response YellowOnline. I take your point! Here it is a difficult construction for a non-native speaker to parse, though. I was not totally sure if the sentence was saying that she was using her jewellery as weaponry, or that it played a different role in the attack, as you have written.

    Does this restatement convey a similar meaning as the original?

    The detective makes it seem like she has been attacked in an attempt to steal her jewellery.
     
  4. YellowOnline

    YellowOnline Senior Member

    Berlin, Germany
    Dutch - Belgium
    Absolutely.
     
  5. bibibiben

    bibibiben Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I wonder how acceptable this sentence is to other native speakers. I myself would definitely prefer to insert an empty object, just like in English. Secondly, I'd put the causative verb doen rather than laten. Thirdly, I'd be inclined to replace of by either alsof or dat,depending on the degree of doubt:

    De detective doet het voorkomen alsof/dat zij is aangerand om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  6. YellowOnline

    YellowOnline Senior Member

    Berlin, Germany
    Dutch - Belgium
    As far as I am concerned, this is a perfectly acceptable sentence, even if I personally would add an empty object too. I don't see any issue with 'of' as a conjunction though. Rather archaic perhaps, but sometimes that might be necessary for stylistic reasons.
     
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Excuse me for intruding, I'd like to ask a question about this sentence:

    De detektive (detective) laat voorkomen of zij is aangerand (the meaning is clear here)


    om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden. (so that she comes into possession of/gets hold on her jewellery)


    Is this reading possible? Suppose her jewellery has been stolen from her by the criminal and she tries to regain them by arranging a trick.
     
  8. bibibiben

    bibibiben Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I think that reading would be much more likely if the sentence read:

    De detective laat voorkomen of [or: doet het voorkomen alsof ...] zij zich heeft laten aanranden om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden.

    As zij has now become the agent (not just the subject) of the subordinate clause, the reader is cued to make zij the agent of the following clause of purpose as well. I must admit that the sentence will still be a bit ambiguous, as the agent of the main clause, de detective, could also be seen as the agent of the clause of purpose. If that reading is preferred, though, I'd rather put the clause of purpose in front:

    Om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden, doet de detective het voorkomen alsof zij zich heeft laten aanranden [or the original: alsof zij is aangerand].

    If the writer wants to rule out the interpretation of either de detective or zij as agents of the following clause of purpose and wants to put to the foreground that a third party is involved, the sentence should read:

    De detective doet het voorkomen dat men haar heeft aangerand om in het bezit te komen van haar sieraden.

    Gone is the ambiguity!
     
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Maybe one addition: speakers of Dutch often have a problem with these contracted sentences, because they sometimes look like separate clauses, especially when based on a participle (like the ablatives absolutus in Latin for example, as is mutatis mutandis), which they are not. They always refer back to the subject. But as there are two subjects in this sentence, some ambiguity arises, or may arise at least, which one can avoid by 'de-contracting' the clause the way bibib did.
     

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