prägte ... entscheidend

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

  1. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    Moderator note: This thread is about the translation of the words "prägte .. entscheidend" only. The problem of parsing the entire German sentence is dealt with in a separate thread.


    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, view man weiß, weitreichende Folgen: Das chinesische Element prägte die japanische Sprache, die geschriebene and die gesprochene, entscheidend.

    My best translation:
    < ... > 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.

    < ... >
    "Impressed itself" doesn't, I think, go far enough. It's closer to forming a basis than having an influence. But I can't off-hand think of a better word.

    Still, the parsing seems to have worked well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  3. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    My understanding is that the primary meaning of prägen is "to mint" (a coin, medal, etc.), so I tried to find a word that conveyed a similar notion. Maybe

    The Chinese element decisively molded the Japanese language, both written and spoken.​
     
  4. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    Molded sounds pretty good. I didn't notice it before, but looking just at the English, without thinking about the original, does it not strike you as odd, irrespective of which verb you use, that none of them really sit well with "decisively"? How would you feel about "decidedly"? I've a feeling that even the original would have been better with "entschieden".
     

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