in abgedroschen Phrasen zu beschwören

Dupon

Senior Member
Chinese
“Erst durch europäische Mittel konnte dieser Innenstadt-Bereich revitalisiert und erneuert werden. Und seitdem das passiert ist, ist es auf jeden Fall sehr einladend, dort zu flanieren."

Der angehende Jurist weiß von den großen und kleinen Errungenschaften der EU – doch Tobias von Gostomski ist es leid, diese immerzu in abgedroschen Phrasen zu beschwören. "
I am confused on "beschwören" here, how to understand "doch Tobias von Gostomski ist es leid, diese immerzu in abgedroschen Phrasen zu beschwören."?
Does it mean mention or quote here?
 
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  • anahiseri

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    This explanation from the DUDEN seems applicable here:
    (in übertragener Bedeutung - figurative meaning) Bilder, Erinnerungen, die Vergangenheit beschwören (lebendig werden lassen, klar und deutlich ins Bewusstsein [zurück]rufen) -- My try:
    T. v. G. is tired of proclaiming (?) these (the successes - Errungenschaften) once and again in trite phrases
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    can you please explain
    I can try...

    The context here is about repeatedly mentioning something, talking about it, etc. (cf. @anahiseri's "proclaim"). We don't use "evoke" for that; it doesn't fit.

    "Evoke" is about causing something, bringing it about, by doing something else, as in the first couple examples in the dictionary:

    Your song evoked a memory. >>> The song caused the memory to come to mind.
    It's hard to evoke a response... >>> It's hard to bring about a response by doing xyz.

    But you can't "evoke" something by saying it.

    Does that help?
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    you can't "evoke" something by saying it.
    It helps indeed. Based on your reply, it's clear that English 'evoke/invoke' and Romance 'evocare,évoquer/invocare/invoquer' are all ''false friends''. In Italian (and my modest English is of course influenced by Italian) I can evocare somebody's successes/Errungenschaften, or the events of WW2 - and it means mention them or talk about them. Invocare here only means to implore/supplicate (a god..) or to beg for (help..).
    Thank you very much, elroy.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It seems that we can at least say that “evoke” and its Romance cognates are false friends with regard to this particular meaning that the latter have.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The way @elroy described it is also the only way I have ever heard evoke being used in English and that is also how I would use evozieren in German. But interestingly, Wester still has the meaning to conjure in the sense of "to summon by or as if by invocation or incantation" as well.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    That wouldn't work here, though, would it?
    Well, it is a good description of what beschwören literally means. Beschwören is admittedly used figuratively here, but a literal translation wouldn't sound too bad in my ears.
     
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    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Hm, I think how far you can stretch the boundaries of a word’s usability and kind-of-sort-of make it work in a particular sentence differs from language to language. The tolerance levels are different, and it may be the case that in this sentence, German is more tolerant of using “beschwören” than English would be of using a literal translation.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    We have to keep in mind that the text purposefully uses colourful language. The image beschwören evokes ( :D ) in my mind is that of a magician casting secret spells to call up some supernatural being.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Wait, I think “conjure up” might be the verb we’re looking for!

    but he has grown weary of using worn-out platitudes to conjure up images of them again and again
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Note, however, that I added “images of.” “Conjure them up” would be beyond what English would tolerate, I think.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    On top, what makes it particularly difficult to translate is that Erfolge beschwören is a bit of a wordplay as it mixes two meanings of the verb: to conjure something up and to confirm something under oath.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    It would be “invoking” if anything, but I don’t like that in this context.

    Suggestion:

    He’s sick/tired of constantly singing their praises with clichés.
    Yes, "invoke" like in "The poet invokes/calls upon his muse".
    Another phrasal verb that crossed my mind is maybe "to wheel something out" like in this sentence in Oxford dictionary: They wheeled out the same old arguments we'd heard so many times before.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Well, for “wheel out” it gives επικαλούμαι διαρκώς κπ/κτ. I have no idea what this means, of course. :D

    It sounds like “wheel out” fits meaning-wise :thumbsup:, but it might be specifically British.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Bei wheel out geht es um die Räder eines Wagens oder Karrens, wie z.B. in the company wheeled out its latest product. Hier ist das zugrunde liegende Bild, dass das Produkt auf einem Wagen in einen show room gerollt wird. Bei to wheel a cliché out ist das zugrunde liegende Bild, dass man mit einem Wagen oder Sackkarre in einen Abstellraum geht um damit die (mehr oder minder dummen) alten Sprüche hervorzukarren.
     
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