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wenn da alles seine Ordnung hat

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by kynnjo, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    The subject line throws me off. Here's the context (from the entry for braten in the Duden Redewendungen volume (2008)):


    Wenn man dreißig und noch nicht verheiratet oder verlobt ist, brat mir einer 'nen Storch, wenn da alles seine Ordnung hat (Borell, Romeo 70).

    How would one translate the highlighted bit?

    Thanks!

    PS: to my non-native "ear", the "wenn ..., wenn..." construction sounds hilariously clumsy, maybe because it reminds me of Groucho Marx's

    If we had some eggs we could have eggs and ham, if we had some ham.

    I wonder if conveys the same effect to the native "ear".
     
  2. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    You can translate the first wenn as when, because when in English can mean If the situation arises where...

    throw me for a loop (= brat mir einer 'nen Storch = I'd be surprised) if everything there is as it should be. (if everything has its (appropriate, correct, innate) order/arrangement)

    And it does sound odd in German, but the speaker seems to be ranting so he's probably not interested in creating well-crafted sentences.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  3. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    OK, I get it now. Thanks!
     
  4. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    (I don't know why I feel this way, but in any case...)

    Yuk!

    (Can someone explain to me what "bzw. Gans" means in this context? I can't make sense of it from the dictionary definitions.)
     
  5. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    Here's my guess: She is roasting a goose. She is going to be surprised (ich brate mir einen Storch = "I'll eat my hat" bzw. "Wow") if it works. So ich brate mir eine Gans is literally true; ich brate mir einen Storch is figuratively true.

    You can tell that this is a recipe written with humor because the ingredients call for red wine for the goose and the (female) cook. The rest of it is pretty jokey too.

    Bzw. can just mean or, or it can mean depending on circumstances.

    Her goose is going to be cooked if it doesn't work.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  6. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    That did look like a stork. Look at the length of those leg bones...
     
  7. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    I'm so disturbed (for some reason) by the image of a roasted stork that I failed to thank you for your comments and for the clarification on bzw. Thanks!
     
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    Hi, it has indeed nearly the same structure.
    In German the sentence
    is indeed a coll. sentence and sounds "flapsig" this is not quite clumsy but clumsy in a light way, as the Groucho Marx sentence.

    "wenn da alles seine Ordnung hat" - I think it is just: if there all is ok/well. But the style is different.
    "Alles hat seine Ordnung" is a German idiom/saying (Redensart). It means all is ok, all has its equilibrium, all is according to laws, all is well structured.

    "I'll eat my hat" seems to be a very good metaphor for the storch picture.

    The underlying meaning (not as translation) of this kind of "wenn-wenn" structure is clear, if you transform it:

    Wenn man dreißig und noch nicht verheiratet oder verlobt ist, würde ich erwarten, dass nicht alles in Ordnung ist.

    "Da brat mir einer 'nen Storch"
    is not expected. So it means - and this is different to Groucho's sentence:
    If this is case, and if all is ok nevertheless, you can do the oddest things.
    But this will not be the case, there is not all ok, and so you do not need to broil a stork for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

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