There are just 2 tenses (or better time periods) which are being distinguised STRICTLY in German. That´s "past" and "non-past". I´ve read that this goes back the the old Germanic tribes. They didn´t need more than those two.@Frank: 1) why present tense? In English there is a difference between "We are sorry to see you go" and "We will be sorry to see you go." 2) why not losgehen? Or do you just prefer weggehen?
In other words, is my translation really that bad?
Das wollte ich zuerst auch schreiben, aber ""Es tun mir leid, euch weggehen zu sehen." geht irgendwie nicht.There are just 2 tenses (or better time periods) which are being distinguised STRICTLY in German. That´s "past" and "non-past". I´ve read that this goes back the the old Germanic tribes. They didn´t need more than those two.
It kind of makes sense from the perspective of the one who leaves - allthough not too much, if you ask me. But you could say that for the person who leaves, it feels like going somewhere - to a new place or something. So it's kind of pointed at something. But for the one who stays the important part is that someone is leaving - going away - no matter where he goes. "los" points at something which is of no interest for the one who staysThanks to both of you for your explanations.
That actually clarifies something for me. When I was living on a farm in Switzerland, one of the girls (a German) living there was leaving to go back to Germany. On the day she left, she came up to me to say good-bye and said, "Ich gehe los." -- or something similar, she used losgehen anyhow.
I obviously mistook that to mean "I'm leaving now (for good)," when I suppose it actually meant "I'm getting ready to leave (for good) / I'll be leaving (for good) very soon." Right?
You could use it like that in english too, I am flying to america tomorrow and so on.That would be my guess too. "losgehen" generally means "to start/to go off". In the context of a departure "es geht los" means the "jurney is about to begin", this can have a litteral or a metaphorical meaning:
"My new life will start tomorrow"-"Morgen geht mein neues Leben los"
"We will leave tomorrow around eight"-"Morgen so um acht geht es los"(litterally "tomorrow at about eight it will begin").
In the first example you can see again that the future is expressed by using a present tense construction. As already pointed out this is quite common in German. Many dialect actually don't really form a future tense but use a present tense construction together with the context.
"Wir fliegen morgen nach Amerika"-"We will fly to America tomorrow"
"Wir fahren nächstes Jahr in den Urlaub"-"We will go on vacation next year".
I don't think this difference between English and German has something to do with being less STRINCT as Frank wrote.@Frank: 1) why present tense? In English there is a difference between "We are sorry to see you go" and "We will be sorry to see you go."