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function of present participle in English texts
Thread poster: Alban Fenle
Alban Fenle
Germany
Local time: 18:06
English to German
Jun 14, 2006

In A Course In Miracles I come across a lot of participles in the present tense. Since they are not easy to use in German it is a real issue for me, mostly because I feel resolving the term in a subordinate clause will reduce the given idea or meaning.

Please, help me to better understand what the function and idea of using the participle in the present tense is in the English/American language. Maybe I should mention that A Course In Miracles might also be a little particular in this regard, since it aims at a fundamental change of mind, not obtained by conceptual accumulative learning, but through me releasing my ideas about everything. Real change is taking place in the present which is before time was, and will be when time is no more. The simultaneousness and immediacy of things is also a key idea, since cause and effect are not separate.

Any coments are greatly appreciated.

Here are some examples from A Course In Miracles:

"I see only the past. As I look about, I condemn the world I look upon. I call this seeing. I hold the past against everyone and everything, ***making*** them my enemies. When I have forgiven myself and remembered Who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past, and therefore no enemies. And I will look with love on all that I failed to see before."

"My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, ***realizing*** that in so doing I am giving up nothing."

"Above all else I want to see. ***Recognizing*** that what I see reflects what I think I am, I realize that vision is my greatest need. The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self-image I have made. If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go. As it is replaced by truth, vision will surely be given me. And with this vision, I will look upon the world and on myself with charity and love."

"Vision is the means by which the Holy Spirit translates your nightmares into happy dreams; your wild hallucinations that show you all the fearful outcomes of imagined sin into the calm and reassuring sights with which He would replace them. These gentle sights and sounds are looked on happily, and heard with joy. They are His substitutes for all the terrifying sights and screaming sounds the ego's purpose brought to your horrified awareness. They step away from sin, ***reminding*** you that it is not reality which frightens you, and that the errors which you made can be corrected."

"Is healing frightening? To many, yes. For accusation is a bar to love, and damaged bodies are accusers. They stand firmly in the way of trust and peace, ***proclaiming*** that the frail can have no trust and that the damaged have no grounds for peace."

The following involves a different tense, but the problem is the same:

"My holiness envelops everything I see. From my holiness does the perception of the real world come. ***Having forgiven***, I no longer see myself as guilty. I can accept the innocence that is the truth about me. Seen through understanding eyes, the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself."




[Edited at 2006-06-15 01:57]

[Edited at 2006-06-15 02:04]


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Alban Fenle
Germany
Local time: 18:06
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
What an incredible tool to use... Aug 5, 2006

A friend of mine devised today an example to demonstrate the usage and advantage of the present participle. I hope you like it.

The present participle allows to represent a current and continuing action or event and to combine it with another action in association with it, without defining or specifying the related actions in a causal, temporal, modal or any other way and thereby loosing the ability to stress the action itself and as current and ongoing.

In translations of Shakespeare's plays into German, done by Wieland and Schlegel, I see this kind of construction used more widely than it is in German today, although it is not as often applied as in the English text. I made a decision to use the present participle construction in German for translations of A Course In Miracles, too, despite all the resistance of our present day conditioning and ideas for using German.

But here is the example:

"Sprinting down the field, Zidane nudged the ball forward, using the outside of his left foot, then his right, and encountering a defender, feinting left, he pushed the ball to his right, leaving the defender flat-footed, then pushing the ball to the right with the outside of his foot for a square pass, he sprinted straight ahead, receiving a through pass from his fellow striker about 30 yards in front of the goal mouth, and gathering his strength, he shot, curving the ball high into the right corner, just missing the goalie's outstretched hand."

[Edited at 2006-08-05 02:08]

[Edited at 2006-08-05 18:44]


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Alban Fenle
Germany
Local time: 18:06
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
some clarification Dec 5, 2006

After a correspondence with Patricia Rosas I learned that my statements did not really point out what the problem is, when I translate the present participle into German. Thanks to Patricia I can give some more details.

So what is the problem with the use of the present participle in German texts. Today it is mostly used in the attributive function of an adjective. And it was always used since it was established in German, but today it seems that most people seem to find it unfitting, if it is used to represent a second verbal construction. Meanwhile I did some research and found out that it is still more widely used then what I thought after getting some feedback on my attempts to use it. In the given sentences above the participle would either be avoided by using a second main clause and join it to the first one with "and", or by using a relative clause or a subordinate clause introduced with "when", "as", "while", "since" or whatever would somehow fit. But that is exactly what I did not want to do.

Now to the text a friend of mine devised: "Sprinting down the field, Zidane nudged the ball forward, using the outside of his left foot, then his right, and encountering a defender, feinting left, he pushed the ball to his right, leaving the defender flat-footed, then pushing the ball to the right with the outside of his foot for a square pass, he sprinted straight ahead, receiving a through pass from his fellow striker about 30 yards in front of the goal mouth, and gathering his strength, he shot, curving the ball high into the right corner, just missing the goalie's outstretched hand."

In a German translation of this text you could find something like this:

"Zidane, who sprinted down the field, nudged the ball forward and used the outside of his left foot, then his right. When he encountered a defender, he feinted left, pushed the ball to his right and left the defender flat-footed. After he pushed the ball to the right with the outside of his foot for a square pass, he sprinted straight ahead and received a through pass from his fellow striker about 30 yards in front of the goal mouth. As soon as he had gathered his strenght, he shot and curved the balll high into the right corner by just missing the goalie's outstretched hand."

The last part starting with "by just..." would be a subordinate clause.

I do not know if this would make a big difference to every native English speaker and hope this helps to clarify what the problem is in translating such constructions into German.

Kind regards,
Alban


[Edited at 2006-12-05 18:10]

[Edited at 2006-12-05 20:55]


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function of present participle in English texts

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