As a child, you used to dream

MMMCC

Senior Member
English-South Africa
Hi
I want to say in German
As a child, you [ formal ] used to dream.

My try is
Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendet

Is it correct, is there any other way to say it?
 
  • Frieder

    Senior Member
    Sounds a bit like google translate® ;).

    Als Kind haben Sie noch geträumt. (lit.: as a child you still dreamt)
    Als Kind hatten Sie noch Träume. (lit.: as a child you still had dreams)
    Als Kind haben Sie immer geträumt, dass ... (lit.: as a child you always dreamt that ...)
     

    MMMCC

    Senior Member
    English-South Africa
    Here is the source
    John Schlitt
    Inside of you


    As a child, you used to dream
    There wasn't anything that you couldn't do.
    Learn to fly on paper wings,
    But somebody told you dreams don't come true.

    Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendet
    Es gab nichts, was Sie nicht tun konnte.
    Lernen Sie, auf Papier Flügel fliegen,
    Aber jemand sagte Ihnen, Träume nicht wahr werden.

    I wanted to know whether this translation is grammatically logical.
    Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendet.
    The word order makes sense for me, I am happy about it.
    I understand that verwendet is the past participle of verwenden.
    Now, does it make sense to omit "have"?
    If we follow this way of expressing the English meaning - As a child, you used to dream
    Would it not be:
    Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendet haben.

    If the author wanted to use the preterite
    It would be
    Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendeten

    Please, what do you think?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Als Kind zu träumen Sie verwendet.
    "Verwendet" is NOT a proper translation for "s.o. used to do sth.". This is a gross mistake and not even understandable. "Used to" is difficult to translate and quite often a problem for Germans learning English, too.

    to use a tool = ein Werkzeug verwenden

    The fixed phrase "used to" in the meaning of something regularly was done so in the past, is entirely independent. You cannot translate it as "verwenden" here.

    The meaning "was regularly done in the past" is quite often not translated into German but understood automatically if you talk about the past in a certain way. You could use phrases like "in der Kindheit war es normal/üblich" or "gewohnt zu" to emphasise the point, but this is less idiomatic.

    Frieder's suggestions are fine. Also other modal verbs could fit in here:

    Als Kind durften Sie noch träumen.
    Es gab nichts, was Sie nicht konnten.
    Lernen, auf Papierflügeln zu fliegen.
    Aber jemand sagte, Träume werden nicht wahr.
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, Kajjo is right. I do not have to add to his remarks.

    Your translation looks like a machine translation. Frieder is right, too.
    Source: John Schlitt - Inside Of You Übersetzung und Songtext, Lyrics, Liedtexte

    I improved the translation to a rough translation, maybe they will replace the other one.

    I think, I found the source and I wrote you a personal message, because it exceeds the topics of the forum.

    Just one remark:
    I would use "du" in the translation, after I read the complete text.
    It is a quite personal mode.
     
    Last edited:
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