das selbstverständliche Muss, die letzte Kraft einzusetzen

< Previous | Next >

serhatuygur

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello folks,

Is it possible to translate "selbstverständlich" in the quotation as "natural"? Like "natural obligation" or does it mean something else in the context?

Thank you very much for your help.

"Die Maschine der Pflicht, der Wille und das selbstverständliche Muss, die letzte Kraft einzusetzen, arbeiten in uns wie automatisch, zum Denken über das grosse »Was nun?« kommt man nur selten."

Source: Ian Kershaw, Das Ende

Thank you very much for your help.
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "Die Maschine der Pflicht, der Wille und das selbstverständliche Muss, die letzte Kraft einzusetzen, arbeiten in uns wie automatisch, zum Denken über das grosse »Was nun?« kommt man nur selten."
    The machinery of duty, will and the given must to use the last power, work inside us automatically, [but] we got rarely time to think about the great "And now?".
    I’m afraid I don’t really understand this in either language. :confused:
     

    Frieder

    Senior Member
    I’m afraid I don’t really understand this in either language.
    Let me try a different version: "Ich habe die Pflicht, mich bedingungslos einzubringen, ich habe den Willen dazu und in meinem Selbstverständnis muss ich das auch. Da das alles automatisch abläuft, fehlt oft der Blick fürs große Ganze."
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    fehlt oft der Blick fürs große Ganze
    Was mich im Satz vor allem stutzig macht, ist das "Was nun?", was sich meiner Meinung nach auf alles Mögliche beziehen könnte. Findest Du, dass es hier eine einzige und eindeutige Bedeutung hat?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    To answer the question in the OP:
    das selbstverständliche Muss, die letzte Kraft einzusetzen
    Is it possible to translate "selbstverständlich" in the quotation as "natural"?
    No. The meaning is that this requirement to give it your all is "taken for granted," "never questioned," "taken as a given."
    the meaning is "of course" and not "like nature".
    :tick:
    the given must
    ''the obvious must''
    I don't think either "given" or "obvious" is right in English. I also wouldn't use "must" as a noun.

    I might say "the unquestioned imperative."
     

    serhatuygur

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Yes, that is possible, but the meaning is "of course" and not "like nature".

    The machinery of duty, will and the given must to use the last power, work inside us automatically, [but] we got rarely time to think about the great "And now?".
    Thank you very much for your help Kajjo. I want to ask something else if you would be so kind to answer.

    Does the author refers "selbstverständliche Muss" as an onether part of this machine of duty and will? Or this so called machine just consists of duty and will and then the author touch the "selbstverständliche Muss" as an another subject? Thank you very much again.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Does the author refers "selbstverständliche Muss" as an onether part of this machine of duty and will? Or this so called machine just consists of duty and will and then the author touch the "selbstverständliche Muss" as an another subject?
    Neither! There are three separate/distinct subjects:
    Die Maschine der Pflicht, der Wille und das selbstverständliche Muss, die letzte Kraft einzusetzen
    1.) the mechanism of obligation
    2.) willpower
    3.) the unquestioned imperative to give it one's all

    All three of these things operate automatically / unconsciously within us.
     

    serhatuygur

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    To answer the question in the OP:
    No. The meaning is that this requirement to give it your all is "taken for granted," "never questioned," "taken as a given."
    :tick:

    I don't think either "given" or "obvious" is right in English. I also wouldn't use "must" as a noun.

    I might say "the unquestioned imperative."
    Wow, thank you very much. I suppose,the "unquestioned imperative" would be the most suitable for translation in this context.
     

    serhatuygur

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Neither! There are three separate/distinct subjects:

    1.) the mechanism of obligation
    2.) willpower
    3.) the unquestioned imperative to give it one's all

    All three of these things operate automatically / unconsciously within us.
    Thank you so much Elroy! You have made everything crystal clear for me.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I’m afraid I don’t really understand this in either language. :confused:
    Das ging mir nicht anders. Ich bin ja generell nicht so der Junge für Geschwurbel.

    I also wouldn't use "must" as a noun.
    Neither would I in German.

    "taken as a given."
    You suggest "as a given" but reject "a given must"? I though "a given X" works equally well? Of course the title phrase doesn't make much sense anyway.

    willpower
    I thought about that at #2, but discarded it.

    Don't you see a difference between will (what we want) and willpower (the ability to have you will not broken)? In German Wille vs. Willenskraft/Willensstärke is quite significant.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    You suggest "as a given" but reject "a given must"?
    Yes. You can say "an imperative that is taken as a given" but not "a given imperative." That doesn't mean the same thing. "a given imperative" just means an existing imperative. Can't you say "gegeben" for that in German too? "Die Gegebenheiten" are the things that exist, are found, etc., right?
    Don't you see a difference between will (what we want) and willpower (the ability to have you will not broken)? In German Wille vs. Willenskraft/Willensstärke is quite significant.
    Right. So you think it's about what we want and not our willpower? To me, "willpower" makes more sense in the context. Maybe "Wille" was an imprecise word choice and they actually meant "Willenskraft/Willensstärke"?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It seems after all you got sense into this sentence.
    As I said, it’s mainly the second part of the sentence that I find unclear. What does the “What now?” question refer to, and what does it have to do with forces that operate within us automatically?
    For me it sounds rather like causes (because of duty, because it's our will) not means (with duty, using willpower) to do so.
    I think it’s talking about three forces that drive us to work hard in an automatic, unconscious manner. We don’t think about it. The two other than “Wille” are (to my understanding):

    • the mechanism of obligation — our sense of obligation, our sense that it is our duty to work hard. “Maschine” is an unusual word choice, I think; I guess the author sees this as a powerful machine operating within us and controlling our behavior?

    • the unquestioned imperative to give it one's all — This is similar to the one above: there is an unquestioned imperative that we should give it our all, work as hard as we can; we buy into this imperative and it influences our behavior.

    To me, it makes more sense for the third one to be “willpower” than “will/desire”: our willpower keeps us going and enables us to accomplish many things that we otherwise wouldn’t be motivated or disciplined enough to do. That said, I guess you could argue that we have an innate will to work hard?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I think it’s talking about three forces that drive us to work hard in an automatic, unconscious manner.
    What if this is not about work but about life and survival. A person automatícally gives everything to survive on a daily basis, but rarely has time to ask himself the Sinnfragen.

    our willpower keeps us going and enables us to accomplish many things that we otherwise wouldn’t be motivated or disciplined enough to do
    That is certainly true, but for me willpower is either a personality trait (to have more or less willpower) or something we mostly use deliberately in a certain instance. In contrast, will is the actual intention/desire that determines our actions.

    I guess you could argue that we have an innate will to work hard?
    Could make more sense if it were about "to survive / to make your life possible".
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    What if this is not about work but about life and survival. A person automatícally gives everything to survive on a daily basis, but rarely has time to ask himself the Sinnfragen.
    Ah, that seems plausible! I had never considered the idea of an “obligation” to live, but I guess it does make sense: those around us “expect us” to live; we have a “duty” to live as long as we are able to. Similarly, there is definitely an unquestioned imperative to keep fighting to survive until our very last breath.

    “the will to live” is actually a standard collocation in English. Assuming that’s what’s meant here, I might use explicitation in translating this into English and actually say “our will to live.”
     
    Last edited:

    Schlabberlatz

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Ian Kershaw, Das Ende

    Considering the source, the quotation does not look cryptic to me:
    Ian Kershaw schildert die letzten Monate des »Dritten Reichs«, vom Attentat auf Hitler im Juli 1944 bis zur Kapitulation im Mai 1945, und zeichnet dabei meisterhaft das Räderwerk nach, das das nationalsozialistische Herrschaftssystem bis zum Schluss in Gang hielt.
    Das Ende

    Aus dem Englischen von Klaus Binder, Bernd Leineweber, Martin Pfeiffer
    @serhatuygur Can you tell us where exactly you found the quotation? E. g. the chapter number. Then maybe we can find the English original on Google Books. Of course you could look for it yourself, too.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top