macht einen auf Gérard Depardieu:

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by candel, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. candel Senior Member

    english Irish.

    Reading of Brigitte Bardot who threatens to seek a Russian passport if two elephants are euthanized. I read:

    Frankreichs Filmlegende Brigitte Bardot macht einen auf Gérard Depardieu:

    Does it mean to imitate, or follow after sb? Danke.
  2. ablativ Senior Member

    It means to imitate. She is acting as if she were G.D.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I don't agree. It simply means she'll do the same as Gérard Depardieu. Whether she imitates him or whether she just incidentally does the same can't be decided based on this sentence.
  4. Sowka

    Sowka Senior Member

    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    In my opinion, "einen machen auf" always implies that you imitate someone consciously.

    And since she seems to expressly threaten to get a Russian passport, she most probably knows the Depardieu story, and wants to copy it.
  5. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    I think in English, we'd normally say

    "She's doing a Gérard Depardieu" (i.e., doing something for which Gérard Depardieu is well-known).

    In this case, it's clearly referring to Gérard Depardieu surrendering his French nationality in exchange for Russian citizenship.


    P.S. Just noticed that Sowka has posted in the meantime. However, I'd like to point out that the English phrase above says nothing about whether the imitation is intentional or not. So maybe that's a difference to the original German sentence?
  6. Perseas Senior Member

    My native language is neither English nor German. I would like to say that Greek has equivalents of "imitate" or "nachahmen" (?) and "einen machen auf" as well. However, in some contexts neither the use of the Greek equivalent of "imitate" implies imitation in literal sense. I think it's more about the impression one gets seeing that the great actress does the same thing as the great actor . So, regardless of the words used only B. Bardot is in position to say if she intentionally acts like Depardieu. On the other hand, maybe "imitate" or "nachahmen"(?) are only used literally in their respective languages. Sorry if it's off-topic.:)
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  7. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I agree. However it may be assumed by error that you imitate someone consciously.

    In the given case, I think it is not assumed by mistake. She imitates him on purpose. At least this is very likely the case.

    PS: We have the case here that native speakers understand the idiom differently. Is there a regional difference or is it by accident?

    We have similar idioms: "Auf doof machen" - So tun, als sei man doof. "Auf fein machen" - unnormal feine Manieren zeigen.
    "auf Künstler machen" - "to act the artist",auf-Kuenstler-machen,79998,d.html

    2. PS:
    I think "auf etwas machen" shows an ironic or parodistic connotation.

    Either I use it to show a distance (I disagree to the handling), or I use it to show that the other one shows a parodistic imitation.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I have forgotten to mention one essential aspect.
    Until now we discussed the meaning.
    But there is more:
    The sentence is used to criticize the fact and to slur (verächtlich machen) Brigitte Bardot.
    It is not neutral in any way, as copy or imitate might be.

    (Something like: She is crazy and shows the same odd behaviour as Gerard Depardieu.)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  9. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    So it's not the same as "She's doing a Gérard Depardieu in English, then (see my earlier post), because this English expression is neutral and neither implies she was doing it deliberately, nor that she was crazy in doing so.

  10. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    "Der" or "Die " macht einen auf ..., is not neutral but offending in most context. I do not know exactly if "crazy" is the best English word to describe it.
    In our case it includes harsh critic.
    It is similar to
    Sie äfft Gérard Depardieu nach.
    She apes (?)
    Gérard Depardieu.
    (I do not know what is more offending in our case.)

    In the given context it does not matter whether she does it deliberately. It shows the critic of the writer criticizing her behaviour in a slightly offending way.

    Other example:

    Der macht einen auf Chef. = Er zeigt ein Verhalten, als ob er Chef wäre, ist aber gar keiner, (connotation: er macht sich lächerlich).

    Note: If I say "Der macht einen auf ..." I criticize this behaviour implicitly.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  11. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I changed my mind. I agree with you now. If you take phrases like "Er macht einen auf nett" it is abundantly clear.
  12. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    "Er macht einen auf nett" - this implies that he usually does not do it, but now - and that he does not really is "nett" (kindly, pleasantly, friendly) - he just "plays" it, he shows a kind of masque.

    I have a question to Bernd:

    Following situation.
    A behaves "nett".
    B does not like him.
    B says to C: "A macht einen auf nett". In this case B is lying, but not simply lying - he is offending to A and wants C to share this idea that A is cheating.
    In this case A does not play, he is deliberately "nett" - but this does not matter here.
    I think such a phrase is either describing a wrong behaviour or it is offending without wrong behaviour of A.

    The question: Does it apply that A imitates someone consciously in the first case, too?

    I think "er macht einen auf" implies either cheating or masking when used with "nett". But in any case we have three persons.
    In case of two persons, it is offending:
    If I say; "Du machst wohl einen auf nett?" it is not nice.
  13. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Just in TV: ZDF, "Leute heute"
    It has a slightly malevolent style as all these phrases. It also is supposed to sound funny in TV. Fun on cost of others.

    It has also the A B C stucture.
    B makes jokes on costs of A to entertain C.

    In my mind it is strange that the journalists think that the viewers like this style.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  14. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    Is it really malevolent? As far as I understand, it's just saying that she's posing for the photographers and doing an impression of a beginner. I guess that could be taken both ways (positive: she could in fact be better than a beginner, or negative: she can't even do a snowplow on the nursery slopes :rolleyes:). Do you think the latter is the case, then?

  15. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Maybe "malovalent" is not the correct word. I mean "verächtlich machen".
    It is not only about what she actually is doing but how the speaker or writer estimates it. The writer/speaker considers it as bad behaviour and expresses this explicitly with "sie macht einen auf ...".

    There are two messages if say it:
    1. she is imitating/behaves like
    2. this is wrong/bad and I want to express that there is no value in it, it is worth nothing. Es taugt nichts. May be she is cheating. It is not really "she".

    If there were not the connotation 2 in the wording, it could be positive or negative.
    But 2. includes an estimation of the reporter in a negative way.

    It is supported by "possiert". This has a negative connotation, too.

    It has not the same negative level as with Brigitte Bardot, however.
    Of course it depends on context.
    But I can see very few context where it might be positive.
    Positive can be "Sie spielt einen Anfänger ...".
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

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