woran es ist

highcs

Senior Member
English - U.S.
Oder, wenn der
eine verheiratet und der andere das „Verhältnis“
ist, das nie weiß, woran es ist und ob das
nächste Wochenende einem selbst oder der
Familie gehört.


I'm unsure about the use of this word here...
Here's my attempt:
Or, when one partner is married and the other one is the “affair” and never knows what's going on and whether s/he will have the lover to him/herself this weekend or if s/he's with the family.

"what's going on" is obviously not literal - but did I catch the meaning?
The rest of the sentence seems pretty awkward to me.... with the s/he stuff - but I can't figure out how else to formulate it!
Any help much appreciated!
 
  • Baranxi

    Member
    German (Munich vernacular)
    It's certainly a working translation.
    This woran-structure is often used for describing "it's complicated" relationships and captures a number of things; mostly, someone doesn't know what they really mean to the other, where they stand, and similar things.

    As for the second part of the sentence, personally, I'd use singular they here, though I'm aware it's still rather controversial whether to use it or not.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    The sentence is not complete but a part is omitted - it is an elliptic construction. This is allowed sometimes, especially, if there is a relation to a former sentence. It has the structure of a dependent clause but the independent clause is missing. Such a construction is used usually in a list or in a bulleted list.

    "Verhältnis" is a common word, at least in my area. "Affäre" and "Verhältnis" have the same meaning.

    Woran es/sie ist: it means in the given context: he or she does not know what the other one decided. So "what's going on" fits well, as far as I see.
     

    highcs

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Thank you both....
    Hutschi: yes, it is not complete.... I did not include the part that comes before that completes the construction b/c it was actually fairly long and I didn't think it was needed for my specific question...

    I ended up finding a simpler way to translate the rest of the phrase -
    Or when one partner is married and the other one is the “affair” and never knows what’s going on and if the next weekend is his/hers or the family’s.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    You are very welcome.

    I have just one question: Is "s/he" the common way now to translate "der" in case "der" is related to "Partner" and it is not known whether the natural gender is male or female?
     

    highcs

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Well.... I think the "official" way is to use a generic "he" - but being a kind of post-feminist feminist, I always bristle at that. :) Another option is to alternate translating it as he/she by paragraph or page or chapter - whatever works in the context.... but that isn't really an option for me in this situation. Or you could just translate it as "she" - but then you run into the reverse problem of "he"....
    So, some people (I don't think it's really *common*, yet - but you do see it - I'm not the only one) use "s/he" as a way to be more inclusive. It's not really very elegant... but at least you've covered all your bases. (Damned English language with no usable gender-neutral third person!!!!)
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I see. This is ok. I just tried to find a neutral form for documentation which is both neutral in style as in gender.

    So "s/he" is neutral in gender but not in style because it emphasizes the style.

    Thank you for the hint.

    I try to write gender neutral in documentation but this is not easy in the English language.
     

    highcs

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    What I do see more and more often for more "academic" or formal styles is the he-she alternation by chapter if it's a longer work.... I don't know if that would be an option for you?

    But I think you have a good understanding of the problem and will certainly make the best choice for your document!

    Best to you....
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Woran es/sie ist: it means in the given context: he or she does not know what the other one decided. So "what's going on" fits well, as far as I see.
    Hallo,

    Gilt diese Erklärung auch in dem folgenden Satz ? Zusammenhang: Britta ist dabei, ihre Praxis zu verlassen. Draußen wartet ein Mann auf sie, den sie nicht kennt. Er schlägt sich vor, wobei sie den Eindruck hat, dass es sich um den Menschen handelt, der sie in letzter Zeit verfolgt hat. Er fängt an, ihr viele Fragen über ihre Arbeit bei der Praxis zu stellen.

    Am liebsten würde Britta einen Termin vorschützen, um ihn loszuwerden. Aber die Vernunft sagt ihr, dass sie die Chance nutzen muss, ihn zum Reden zu bringen. Egal, ob er sich als harmloser Spinner oder als Abgesandter irgendeiner feindlichen Macht erweist - sie will wissen, woran sie ist.
    Aus "Leere Herzen" von Juli Zeh

    Danke im Voraus,

    Gonzalo
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Am liebsten würde Britta einen Termin vorschützen, um ihn loszuwerden. Aber die Vernunft sagt ihr, dass sie die Chance nutzen muss, ihn zum Reden zu bringen. Egal, ob er sich als harmloser Spinner oder als Abgesandter irgendeiner feindlichen Macht erweist - sie will wissen, woran sie ist.
    Sie möchte wissen, was Sache ist, sie möchte die Fakten kennen. Sie möchte wissen, nicht nur vermuten.
     
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