Danish: ud på dig

aparis2

Senior Member
American English
Hello!
My knowledge of Danish is very limited, so I apologize in advance if this is a very silly question. My question is about ud på dig. Some of the online translators are saying that this means on you, but in the context of the sentence, that doesn't make sense.

The sentence is:
»Lad os da gå med og se efter,« sagde kattene. »Men hvis det ikke passer, kradser vi de blå øjne ud på dig.«

The translator says “But if it’s not true, we’re scratching the blue eyes on you,” which doesn't make sense. So I was thinking maybe one of the following (or perhaps all might apply):
…we're going to scratch your blue eyes.
…we'll scratch your blue eyes out.
…we're scratching the blue eyes out of you.
…we'll scratch out your blue eyes.​

I realize a few of those are virtually the same with just the object(right?) switched around.

Thanks again!
 
  • jette(DK)

    Senior Member
    Danish
    Hi aparis2,

    You're right that the online translator doesn't supply a sensible solution in this case. On the other hand, it seems to be able to help you guess at the correct meaning, which is still something, isn't it? :)

    Of you above suggestions, numbers 2-4 have the same meaning, which is also the correct one: 'kradse ud' = 'scratch out'. 'on you' is an indirect object, and I guess the best translation would be 'your' (blue eyes). Thus number four would be the correct and also the best translation.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Hello!
    My knowledge of Danish is very limited, so I apologize in advance if this is a very silly question. My question is about ud på dig. Some of the online translators are saying that this means on you, but in the context of the sentence, that doesn't make sense.

    The sentence is:
    »Lad os da gå med og se efter,« sagde kattene. »Men hvis det ikke passer, kradser vi de blå øjne ud på dig.«

    The translator says “But if it’s not true, we’re scratching the blue eyes on you,” which doesn't make sense. So I was thinking maybe one of the following (or perhaps all might apply):
    …we're going to scratch your blue eyes.
    …we'll scratch your blue eyes out.
    …we're scratching the blue eyes out of you.
    …we'll scratch out your blue eyes.​

    I realize a few of those are virtually the same with just the object(right?) switched around.

    Thanks again!


    Your question is totally OK, but why on Earth do you want us to comment on what a translation software comes up with? Who cares? You don't honestly expect a computer translation to make any sense at all, do you?


    These interpretations, although some are not in really perfect English (at least not to describe the situation properly), makes me believe that you may have understood the phrase right:

    …we're going to scratch your blue eyes.
    …we'll scratch your blue eyes out.
    …we're scratching the blue eyes out of you.
    …we'll scratch out your blue eyes.

    Fine. "
    …we'll scratch your blue eyes out." is the one that comes very close. "…we'll scratch out your blue eyes." would also be a good translation. But in all four of them the direct object is the same - ... blue eyes.

    This is simply the way things are said in Danish, when you do something to someone: The word "
    på" is the one that makes an indirect object out of it. It is usually when direct influence on the person/thing is made.

    to cut his throat - at skaere halsen over paa ham
    to scratch the paint of the car - at kradse lakken paa bilen




     

    Raigeki

    Member
    Danish
    The sentence sounds a bit.. awkward to me. Sure, it makes sense but I would have worded it differently. It sounds weird because "eyes" isn't in the definite article, or whatever you call it.

    "Vi kradser øjnene ud på dig" sounds very natural and correct but
    "Vi kradser de blå øjne ud på dig" is just confusing to me. When I first read it, I thought it meant "we will scratch the blue out of your eyes" or something. I was even thinking that the sentence might be incorrect.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    The sentence sounds a bit.. awkward to me. Sure, it makes sense but I would have worded it differently. It sounds weird because "eyes" isn't in the definite article, or whatever you call it.

    "Vi kradser øjnene ud på dig" sounds very natural and correct but
    "Vi kradser de blå øjne ud på dig" is just confusing to me. When I first read it, I thought it meant "we will scratch the blue out of your eyes" or something. I was even thinking that the sentence might be incorrect.

    Look I can' know this for sure, but intuitively I'd say there have been more than once reference to this person's blue eyes - maybe making this person more attractive or lovabla to other characters in the story and thus making these same blue eyes even more a symbol of what this person stands for and thus also for what the "bad guys" hate about this person.
    In that context the phase makes perfect sense.

    But whatever we may assume: The original question was about the use of the preposision and how the direct and indirect object become part of the situation.
     

    jette(DK)

    Senior Member
    Danish
    We were never told what the original source of the text was. There is a very famous classic Danish children's book called 'Mis med de blå øjne' ('Pussy with the blue eyes', Egon Mathiesen, 1961) about a little cat with blue eyes which is being bullied by the other cats with 'normal' yellow eyes. I don't recall all the details, but in that context, the blue eyes would be a significant element to keep in a translation. And as Sepia states, that might well be the case in other contexts, too.
     
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