verabschieden - accept or reject?

Linkway

Senior Member
British English
Die sieben großen Industrienationen (G7) wollen bei ihrem Gipfeltreffen im Mai in Japan einen gemeinsamen Aktionsplan zum Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus verabschieden. (Source: Deutsche Welle, Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten (11 April 2016).

In the above, I take "verabschieden" to mean approve, adopt, agree, pass (law or parliamentary bill) or similar.

I am confused how verabschieden can also mean something like reject, which seems to be the opposite of the above.

Example from WordReference.com German dictionary:

von solchen Vorstellungen müssen wir uns verabschieden
we have to turn aside from ideas like that.


Other than common sense and contextual clues, how does a reader tell if verabschieden means accept OR reject in any particular instance?
 
  • Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    One is reflexive (sich verabschieden), the other not (etwas verabschieden).

    Von solchen Vorstellungen müssen wir uns verabschieden.

    Literally it means "We have to say goodbye to ideas like this".
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi Linkway

    Die sieben großen Industrienationen (G7) wollen bei ihrem Gipfeltreffen im Mai in Japan einen gemeinsamen Aktionsplan zum Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus verabschieden=beschließen.

    Hi, in your given Sentence it means "eine Vereinbahrung beschließen."
    So it means "accept and agree/make it to an agreement."

    Verabschieden is an idiom here.

    verabschieden – Wiktionary

    [1] sich von jemandem verabschieden: durch spezielle Handlungen gegenüber einer Person dieser deutlich machen, dass man sich von ihr entfernen wird
    [2] ein Gesetz oder Ähnliches beschließen
    Frank said:
    One is reflexive (sich verabschieden), the other not (etwas verabschieden).
    You have to add: jemanden verabschieden. To say goodbye to somebody. (For example because he or she leaves the work for retirement.)
     
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    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks very much, Hutschi.

    My difficulty is that the word seems to be used in opposite senses:
    --- "verabschieden etwas" or "etwas verabschieden" means accept/agree eg some formal document;
    and
    --- "müssen wir uns verabschieden" means we must reject or turn away from the thing.

    I'm hoping that Frank78's suggestion that the reflexive construction indicates the appropriate sense.

    So, using "verabschieden", (and not "nicht"!), how would I say:

    We should accept/approve/agree the draft policy document.

    We should reject (refuse to approve; turn away from) the draft policy document .
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    We should accept/approve/agree the draft policy document.
    Wir sollten den Gesetzentwurf verabschieden/beschließen.

    We should reject (refuse to approve; turn away from) the draft policy document.
    Wir sollten uns von diesem Gesetzentwurf verabschieden.
    Wir sollten den Gesetzentwurf verwerfen.

    The correct translation of draft policy document depends on context.
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    "Sich von etwas verabschieden" is usually not used for physical things but rather abstract ideas or views, i.e. you say goodbye to them in your brain. :D

    To put all in one sentence:

    Wir müssen uns von der Idee verabschieden, dass wir dieses Gesetz verabschieden können."

    We have to move away from the idea, that we will be able to adopt the law."
     

    Gwunderi

    Senior Member
    German (CH) / Italian - bilingual
    I wish to add something:

    I think there's no word in English that exactly corresponds to "sich verabschieden"?
    I think the best way to translate it is "to say goodye".

    "Ich verabschiede mich von meinem Bruder."
    It's not just "I leave my brother", but "I say goodbye to him".
    "Wir verabschieden uns" - "We say goodbye"
    (can be with words, or with a hug, or by waving etc.)

    "Von solchen Vorstellungen müssen wir uns verabschieden"
    "We must say goodbye to such ideas"
    (The last sentence mostly implies a rejection, but "sich verabschieden" itself doen's mean "to reject".)

    The not reflexive "verabschieden" is almost a "juridical" expression?
    It's only used for:
    "Ein Gesetz verabschieden" / "neue Statuten verabschieden" and similar.
    But: "ein neues Reglement herausgeben".

    Although it's commonly used and you hear it often, in past I've also wondered why you say "ein Gesetz verabschieden" - maybe after long discussing it, it's now ready to be "released", to "say goodbye" to it?
     
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    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Hutschi, this is a very formal subject, too, bordering on judicial. I think we are all clear that "formal" does include budgets, agenda items, decisions, resolutions, laws and such. Of course it is not a purely legislative term, but a administrative, formal, often (!) judicial term.
     
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