a little bit of your energies

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by kyrie5, May 14, 2012.

  1. kyrie5 Member

    Italian - Italy
    Hi everyone! I must translate the following sentence:

    after your diploma, how many of you would spend a little bit of your energies in anything having to do with politics?
    The sentence is part of an interview to an italian politician. Unfortunately, the original text is in italian, so this is just my translation into English, so that is more clear to everybody.. I excuse myself in case there were any mistakes, and please feel free to ask if something is not clear. Anyway, this is how I would translate:

    nach dem Abitur, wie viele von euch sind/wären bereit, ein bisschen eurer Energien in politikkorrelierte Tätigkeiten zu wenden/widmen?

    I realize my translation is probably horrible.. :D could you please help me?

  2. coolkiddo New Member

    Hi kyrie5,
    the German would be (literally) :" Wie viele von Ihnen würden nach Ihrem Abitur/Diplom einen kleinen Teil Ihrer Energie für etwas einsetzen (or: auf etwas verwenden), das mit Politik zu tun hat?" Depending on context (and better German: "Wer von Ihnen würde nach dem Abitur/Diplom einen kleinen Teil seiner/ihrer Energie auf etwas verwenden einsetzen, das mit Politik zu tun hat?"
    Note: in the second option, the first Ihnen refers to everyone in the formal address, the "seiner/ihrer Energie" refers simply to the gender of the individuals. Normally, "seiner" would be enough but it might not be entirely pc.

    I hope this helps.
  3. dec-sev Senior Member

    Was meinst du damit?
  4. coolkiddo New Member

    "seiner Energie" in German makes reference to males only , strictly speaking, since its grammatical gender is masculine ("his" in English). Since there are most certainly also women among those aho are asked some might not consider it politically correct (pc) if (grammatical) reference were to made to the male audience only, thus, to be pc, one would add "ihrer" in German ("her" in English) which is the same thing only with a grammtical feminine gender. This is a lot easier in English: both genders together would simply be "their".
  5. Thomas W. Senior Member

    Wie viele von Euch wären bereit, sich nach dem Abitur ein wenig politisch zu betätigen?


    ... , einen Teil ihrer Zeit für politische Aktivitäten zu opfern?

    or (less idiomatic)

    ... , einen Teil ihrer Energie für politische Aktivitäten einzusetzen?

    "Wer von Ihnen..." is not better German than "Wie viele von Ihnen...", the two expressions have a different meaning.

    And do you really propose to say "Wer von Ihnen würde ... seiner<pause>ihrer ..." if addressing a crowd of mixed gender? In such a situation it is common to say "seiner".

    And "Energie auf etwas verwenden, das mit Politik zu tun hat" sounds quite awkward.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  6. dec-sev Senior Member

    Klingt 'opfern' in diesem Kontext nicht etwas pathetisch?
  7. kyrie5 Member

    Italian - Italy
    Yes, I agree with dec-sev. Probably opfern sounds a little "comic" here, but I like the other alternatives. You're right, guys, the context I wrote wasn't clear enough, and yesterday I didn't have time to check the thread in the afternoon or evening.
    The politician was speaking to some students in a high school, and asked how many of them would like to dedicate part of their time to politics after their diploma. I would avoid Ihnen, it sounds too formal in the context, and choose the form ihr/euch.
    An alternative I like is: Wie viele von Euch wären bereit, sich nach dem Abitur ein wenig politisch zu betätigen?
    I also agree with Thomas in saying that Wer von euch and wie viele von euch have a different meaning, and I prefer the second alternative. In a sentence I didn't report here, the politician says that only two students raised their hand.
    Thank you all for your help. :)

  8. Thomas W. Senior Member

    It seems I didn't make it clear enough what I meant by the different meanings of "Wer von Euch ..." and "Wie viele von Euch ...".

    "Wer von Euch ..." is used if the question was meant to find those persons in the audience who agree with the question.
    "Wie viele von Euch ..." is used, if it is meant as a rhetorical question or if the intended response is the quoting of a number.

    In the given context it seems that "Wer von Euch ..." should be used.

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