English to German straddle

Dictionary entry: straddle


Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
straddle [sth] vtr(span)[etw] spannen Vt
A bridge straddled the gorge.
Eine Brücke spannte über der Schlucht.

The translation is transitive but the example uses the verb intransitively.

straddle [sth] vtr
US, figurative (be equivocal about)von [etw] hin- und hergerissen sein VP
keine klare Position zu etwas beziehen VP
The senator was straddling the question.
Der Senat war von der Frage hin- und hergerissen.

Doesn’t hin- und hergerissen sein mean that you can’t make up your mind, are torn, or have mixed feelings? The English means that you’re deliberately being unclear or ambiguous, that you’re avoiding something.
  • Frank78

    Senior Member
    You're right about "hin- und hergerissen".

    So better would be "der Frage ausweichen", "bewußt vage bleiben", "um den heißen Brei reden" (idiom) or "Phrasendreschen" (colloquial).

    By the way, "senator" is "Senator" and "senat" is "Senat". That's also wrong.