Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by kynnjo, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    Moderator note: This thread is about the translation of the word "Stammväter" as "forerunners" only. The problem of parsing the entire German sentence is dealt with in a separate thread.

    When I come across passages like this one I despair of ever being able to parse German fluently:
    Die Übernahme der chinesischen Schrift ins autochthon schriftlose Japan, die, wenn wir sie mit den ersten Einwanderern vom asiatischen Kontinent und besonders den vielzitierten Gestalten des Achiki und des Wani, die ja als Stammväter der fubito, der Schriftgelehrten Altjapans, gelten, verbinden, in die letzten Dekaden des 4. Jahrhunderts fällt, hatte, wie man weiß, weitreichende Folgen: Das chinesische Element prägte die japanische Sprache, die geschriebene and die gesprochene, entscheidend.

    My best translation:
    < ... > Achiki and the Wani, indeed regarded as forerunners of the fubito, < ... >.

    Please let me know if I got this right.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  2. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    A most valiant effort.

    < ... >

    I don't hugely like "forerunners", perhaps "founders" works better, or "patriarchs", or "progenitors". They apparently started the fubito tradition and were in a sense the first of them.

    < ... >
    Still, the parsing seems to have worked well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  3. Liam Lew's Senior Member

    I also don't like the word "forerunners". I think it does not fully imply the meaning of "Stammväter". Forerunners can be "Stammväter" and conversely too. But I think "the forerunners" does not include the idea of "Stammväter". I agree with Edinburgher, the word "foundes" works better and the words progenitors and patriarchs work fine too. The word "forerunners" is possible but I wouldn't use it.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Stammväter means "ancestors, progenitors" (these two words are synonyms in English). My understanding is that the fubito actually believed that they were physical descendants of emigrants from China.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013

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