Ich doch nicht.

  • Hutschi

    Senior Member
    It shows it as an illusion if you read the context.
    Many are in danger --- but not me!

    It implies that there is a danger only for the others.
    Rhetorically it sets a contradiction to:
    I am the one using the rollator now.
     

    Maguia

    Member
    German
    The word "doch" in German is called "Partikel". A Partikel is a word that can't be translated into other languages (p.e., it does not exist in Spanish), as there are doch, denn, auch, ja and a lot more. They are signals (Signalwörter), they point into the direction the speaker wants to go or wants you to understand.
    The Partikeln in German fulfill a function, they are used to change the meaning of sentences. That means that any translation depends on the context. Maybe this page can help you:
    Partikeln - mein-deutschbuch.de

    And as a reference, in case of doubt, my recommendation would be to look up the only relevant one, the Duden:
    www.duden.de

    Regarding your question, I'd maybe say (based on Hutschi's sentence):
    Many are in danger --- but yet not me!
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Thanks for the explanation.
    Many are in danger --- but yet not me!

    I want to add: In my feeling "yet" is too weak, but comes near.
    In my mind it is like:
    Many are in danger --- but absolutely not me!
    (This is only as explanation. It might be not idiomatic in English)

    Another connotation is: How can you/someone even think that I might be in danger?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    A Partikel is a word that can't be translated into other languages
    That's plain wrong. Very many particles can be translated in a straight-forward manner. Examples are sehr > very or viel zu > much to.

    However, you are right that a certain class of so-called flavour particles is almost intranslatable in certain contexts, e.g. doch or eben. Into English, many flavour particles cannot be translated properly. Just the overall meaning or style of a sentence can try to convey the same connotation as the German flavour particle.

    The Partikeln in German fulfill a function, they are used to change the meaning of sentences.
    Yes, or at least the connotation or mood.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    The problem is: What is translation?

    Usually a single word cannot be translated properly. A word in context can be translated.

    Usually we translate meaning and mood and connotations.

    In some sense a particle cannot be translated, in other sense each particle can be translated properly.

    Straitforward traslations are often possible if the languages are similar. English and German are rather similar.
    ---

    "Doch" cannot be translated without knowing the context.

    Ich doch nicht!

    You must know the context to translate it.

    A: Wer war das?
    B: Ich doch nicht. -- Not me, how can you think so bad about me?

    ---
    General proposition: Man kann schwer an Corona erkranken.
    B: Ich doch nicht. -- It is just impossible that I will become ill by Corona. I do not belong to such people.

    It adds many emotional connotations to the fact.
    • I do not belong to such people!
    • How can you think it?
    • Never mind!
    • I am always healthy, so it will not make me ill, even if I get it.
     

    Maguia

    Member
    German
    Well, in this case we must take into consideration that sehr can be a Partikel and adverb, and viel is adverb, numeral or pronoun, but as far as I know, not a Partikel.
    A Partikel can not be (I don't know the English word for flektieren, beugen?), its ending can't be changed.

    Anyhow, my experience as a German tacher is that the best thing to do to help learners with the German Partikeln is giving examples instead of explainig what their meanings or uses are.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, Magula, in German an adverb is not declined/inflected. But what is an adverb? The German language has an own definition.
    Duden:
    Adverb
    [unflektierbares] Wort, das ein im Satz genanntes Verb, ein Substantiv, ein Adjektiv oder ein anderes Adverb seinem Umstand nach näher bestimmt; Umstandswort (z. B. abends, drüben, fatalerweise)

    So at least in German you cannot see a difference between adverb and particle concerning declension.

    PS: In German language an adverb is a particle.
    Duden: Partikel

    Meaning 1:

    unflektierbares Wort (z. B. Präposition, Konjunktion, Adverb)
    Gebrauch Sprachwissenschaft

    Edit: added PS: part, added "inflected"
     
    Last edited:
    If I remember right, this book shows one single (only one, mind you!) deft/admirable/applaudable/beautiful translation of a German Partikel-using sentence into an English sentence (of course, without any particle; in fact, not a translation with any English counterpart adverb, but with an overall sentence structure or something):
    Amazon.co.jp: How to Write, Speak, and Think More Effectively (Signet): Flesch, Rudolf: 洋書
    (Excuse me my having forgotten what German sentence into what English one.)
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    When "viel" modifies an adjective, it can be a (Grad)partikel (e.g. "Das ist viel zu teurer"), but is it also here: "ich laufe viel"?

    Additionally to modifying a verb, in German language an adverb can also modify a verb or a noun or another adverb.

    Duden:
    Adverb
    [unflektierbares] Wort, das ein im Satz genanntes Verb, ein Substantiv, ein Adjektiv oder ein anderes Adverb seinem Umstand nach näher bestimmt; Umstandswort (z. B. abends, drüben, fatalerweise)
     
    The word "doch" in German is called "Partikel". A Partikel is a word that can't be translated into other languages (p.e., it does not exist in Spanish), as there are doch, denn, auch, ja and a lot more. They are signals (Signalwörter), they point into the direction the speaker wants to go or wants you to understand.
    The Partikeln in German fulfill a function, they are used to change the meaning of sentences. That means that any translation depends on the context. Maybe this page can help you:
    Partikeln - mein-deutschbuch.de

    And as a reference, in case of doubt, my recommendation would be to look up the only relevant one, the Duden:
    www.duden.de

    Regarding your question, I'd maybe say (based on Hutschi's sentence):
    Many are in danger --- but yet not me!
    Excuse me; my mistake: Rudolf Flesch "How to write, speak and think more effectively" has no example of the beautiful translation of a German particle into English. My memory had failed.
    The translation-examples of Goethe's "Warte nur." were "Wait." and "Be patient." in the book.
     
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