As a programmer, I work more time than you do.

screamerer

Senior Member
Arabic
Hallo, Guten Tag..

Say a friend of mine is a programmer, and so am I.

I go comparing my self to him like this:
As a programmer, I work more time than you do. (knowing he's a programmer himself).

The fact that English uses two different words for expressing position (as) and comparison (than) makes it straightforward..

>>Aber wenn ich das auf Deutsch sagen möchte, weiß Ich nicht, was zu tun ist. Denn es gibt nur ein Wort: als.

The only translation I can come up with is:
Als Programmierer arbeite ich mehr Zeit als du.

The question is: how to express position/role while comparing at the same time?


Vielen Dank.
 
  • Dan2

    Senior Member
    US
    English (US)
    Denn es gibt nur ein Wort: als.
    In general this is not a problem in language. ("If I'm right, we have to make a right turn here.") In fact, with a slight variation your English sentence turns into exactly the situation you're talking about: "As a programmer too, I spend as much time at work as you do." No problem.

    (However when these two different "als" words would be adjacent to each other, I've often seen the "than" word expressed with the alternative word "denn".)
     

    Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    As a programmer, I work more time than you do.
    I understand that you want to say, I spend more time (hours) on programming than you do. If so, I find your wording a bit misleading. I would expect that the comparison in your words does not refer to another programmer.
    However, I would agree on the following comparison: As a programmer, I work more hours than you do as a teacher.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Total agreement with Robocop. "As a programmer" doesn't make sense in that position if both are programmers. You could say "I work more hours as a programmer than you do" but in that case "as a programmer" is arguably redundant.
     

    screamerer

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Hi. Thanks, Frank.

    So als can function as both, prepositional as and than in the same statement.

    But is it confined to that inverted form (switched adverb-person positions)?

    I would expect that the comparison in your words does not refer to another programmer.
    Hi.

    But that's not the intended point of view for that statement. It wasn't meant as an abstract statement taken in absolution, it was meant as being perceived by that particular listener.

    Its interpretation was reliant on the context in which the speaker and the listener both existed, whereby they both shared the same mood of thinking - he knew I was a programmer, and so did I about him (we were friends). It should be totally understandable to the person to whom it was directed. How a third person would understand it on its own was really of no concern or influence.

    Hypothetically speaking, when I started speaking and said that as a programmer, I .., my friend, who was a programmer himself, knew exactly what I meant, and the comparison that was being made registered on the spot .. .
     
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    Mori.cze

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Hi.

    But that's not the intended point of view for that statement. It wasn't meant as an abstract statement taken in absolution, it was meant as being perceived by that particular listener.

    Its interpretation was reliant on the context in which the speaker and the listener both existed, whereby they both shared the same mood of thinking - he knew I was a programmer, and so did I about him (we were friends). It should be totally understandable to the person to whom it was directed. How a third person would understand it on its own was really of no concern or influence.

    Hypothetically speaking, when I started speaking and said that as a programmer, I .., my friend, who was a programmer himself, knew exactly what I meant, and the comparison that was being made registered on the spot .. .
    As a programmer myself, I do not understand your point in the least. I absolutely agree with Robocop.
     

    Mori.cze

    Senior Member
    Czech
    You see, you've formulated my point exactly. What has being a programmer got to do with working more hours?

    And NO, I am nowhere near SWEET.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hallo, Guten Tag..

    Say a friend of mine is a programmer, and so am I.

    I go comparing my self to him like this:
    As a programmer, I work more time than you do. (knowing he's a programmer himself).

    The fact that English uses two different words for expressing position (as) and comparison (than) makes it straightforward..

    >>Aber wenn ich das auf Deutsch sagen möchte, weiß Ich nicht, was zu tun ist. Denn es gibt nur ein Wort: als.

    The only translation I can come up with is:
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich mehr Zeit als du.

    The question is: how to express position/role while comparing at the same time?


    Vielen Dank.
    Hi Screamerer, I see the same problem as Robocop. It does not fit to the situation, at least in the German version. Maybe because of cultural differences?

    "Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als du."
    Usually it is a very strange sentence if both know that both are programmers.

    The "länger" version has a problem on ist own.
    To make sense it means I started some weeks or months or years earlier than you to work as programmer.
    You have to omit "Programmierer" or change the sentence.

    The original version makes only sense if both have more than one profession.

    Either:
    Ich arbeite jeden Tag länger als du. You can omit "jeden Tag" if it is clear.
    Or:
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich (fast) jeden Tag länger als du.


    Please consider that we want to help, rather than to mock you.

    Germans tend to write directly, rather than to hide the meaning. And if there is redundancy we try to interprete it as not redundant, if this is not blocked by context.
    If you mention programmer it has to make sense, so we search for the sense.
     
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    Dan2

    Senior Member
    US
    English (US)
    1. I agree with those who have said that the OP English sentence might have been better constructed (under the assumption that both speaker and listener are programmers and nothing more).

    2. The reason for my parenthetical reservation here is that there is a context in which the sentence is fine exactly as it stands, and that is if the speaker is not only a programmer:
    "I work so many more hours than you do. As a programmer I work more hours than you do. And then I spend several hours a day in hardware maintenance." (Here I'm following Robo's lead, but in a way that leaves the OP sentence unchanged.)

    However:
    3. All this is beside the point. The OP question was very clear: screamerer believed there was a problem with using the same form ("als") twice in the same sentence. In post 2 Frank implicitly answered that it was not a problem in that his suggested translation had "als" in two positions. (And I tried to suggest in 3 that not only in this particular German sentence, but more generally, repetition of a word-form within a sentence tends to be acceptable.) (I would add: especially "function words".)
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    So als can function as both, prepositional as and than in the same statement.
    That's the point you want to make clear, isn't it?

    This might help you:
    Word of the Day – “als”
    Als is like one of THE MOST useful words… [...] And no wonder als is so common. It has 3 possible translations: as, when and than.
    1) als – speaking in past
    Als is THE word you need if you want to specify a point in time in the past by saying what happened.
    2) als – comparing things
    Als is also THE word you need if you want to compare things… when they are NOT equal.
    3) als – the third meaning
    als is also used when you virtually assign a role, profession function or general character to a person or a thing.
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    The question is: how to express position/role while comparing at the same time?

    There are several possibilities>

    1. Two connected main clauses.
    Er ist Programmierer und arbeitet länger als ich.

    2. Your form:
    Als Programmierer arbeitet er oft länger als ich.
    Context has to fit. So I included "oft".

    3. Directly:

    Roland ist Programmierer. Er arbeitet 5 Stunden und ich arbeite 4 Stunden an dem Problem.

    4. im Vergleich
    Er ist Programmierer und arbeitet im Vergleich zu mir drei Stunden kürzer.

    There are more possibilities, may be.

    Er ist Programmierer. Er arbeitet mir gegenüber drei Stunden länger. (This is not good Style, however.)

    ---
    Als Programmierer arbeitet er ...
    Er als Programmierer arbeitet ... = Er, der Programmierer ist, arbeitet ...
     

    Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    ... that leaves the OP sentence unchanged.
    However, all this is beside the point. The OP question was very clear ...
    My thoughts:
    • Is it desirable or useful to leave the OP sentence unchanged [as a matter of principle so to speak] even if it is questionable or wrong?
    • Should we generally refrain from making comments that are beside the point with regard to the OP inquiry?
    My principle in forum discussions: Point out whatever you can that has room for improvement or correction - it may be welcome.
     

    Dan2

    Senior Member
    US
    English (US)
    ... that leaves the OP sentence unchanged.
    Is it desirable or useful to leave the OP sentence unchanged [as a matter of principle so to speak] even if it is questionable or wrong?
    No, certainly not. (We're in agreement.) Why my comment? Because in this particular case there was a strong sense in the thread that the OP had constructed his English sentence poorly, and since a) there was a lot of interest in the structure of the English sentence and b) I don't like to see non-native speakers unnecessarily maligned, I simply pointed out that there was a context in which his sentence was fine (even if it had problems under the most natural assumption about context). But no, in no way was I saying we must in general consider only the OP sentence as first presented.
    Should we generally refrain from making comments that are beside the point with regard to the OP inquiry?
    No, in my opinion, not in general (as long as the OP question has first been clearly answered). So I think we're in agreement (moderators of course have their limits). But in this particular case, we had all this discussion, in the German forum, about an aspect of an English sentence, an aspect that was irrelevant to the OP question, which was, after all, simply whether it was OK to use the two different "als" words in the same sentence.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi Dan,
    it was more. "... how to express position/role while comparing at the same time?"
    This way it was also about alternative solutions. To give these we have to understand the meaning of the original sentence. So you helped, and in German it is the same (German and English are similar here.) There is special context where it works. But the meaning is not so clear as we might think at the first glance.
    It is a kind of (clumsy) coll. style in the original.
    The first part: Yes, we can use "als" in several meanings several times. It is the same string but not the same word. (Even with same meaning repeating is often possible as rhetorical figure.)
    The first answer clearly said (implicitely with an example) that it is possible, but corrected the style to "normal/default" style. However, it possibly changed the meaning.

    Duden has four entries for "als" (including "als dass", and "als ob".)

    And we can exchange the wording (this was the second part). I gave some examples.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    So als can function as both, prepositional as and than in the same statement.
    If the two conjunctions immediately follow one another; e.g. if I currently have two jobs and want to state which one is predominating in my schedule, it would be stylistically better to say

    Als Progammierer arbeite ich wöchentlich mehr Stunden denn als Deutschlehrer.

    in order to avoid repetitive als:

    Als Progammierer arbeite ich wöchentlich mehr Stunden als als Deutschlehrer.
    canoonet - Adjective: Comparison: Comparative
     
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    screamerer

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    If the two conjunctions immediately follow one another; e.g. if I currently have two jobs and want to state which one is predominating in my schedule, it would be stylistically better to say

    Als Progammierer arbeite ich wöchentlich mehr Stunden denn als Deutschlehrer.

    in order to avoid repetitive als:

    Als Progammierer arbeite ich wöchentlich mehr Stunden als als Deutschlehrer.
    canoonet - Adjective: Comparison: Comparative
    Hi. Thanks, Gernot.

    This use of two consecuitve als is new to me: what's the difference between
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als du and
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als als du?


    Vielen Dank.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi,
    Hi. Thanks, Gernot.

    This use of two consecuitve als is new to me: what's the difference between
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als du:tick: and
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als als du?:cross:


    Vielen Dank.
    The first is the idiomatic version. The second is not idiomatic.
    In als als du, the second als defines a role. But this requires an appropriate first part.

    It simply does not make sense.
    It means As programmer I work longer than as you. I work being you for some time.
    May be in a science fiction environment or in a comedy it could work.
    In diesem Film trat ich kürzer als ich auf als als du.
    In this movie I played a shorter time as me than as you (as being you) (when we changed our bodies)
    .

    You see, even in English it seldom makes sense.

    And in your sentence congruence is missing like in the joke at night it is colder than outside. So it is wrong, anyway.
     
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    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als du:tick:
    and
    Als Programmierer arbeite ich länger als als du?:cross:
    The second sentence is wrong. Two consecutive als's only exist as what you would translate into English as as than as:

    Als Progammierer arbeite ich wöchentlich mehr Stunden [als|denn] als Deutschlehrer.
    As a programmer, I work more hours per week than as a German teacher.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    als is also used when you virtually assign a role, profession function or general character to a person or a thing. #13
    "du"
    doesn't assign a role, profession function or general character to a person or a thing.
     
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