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Herr der Dinge

English translation: lord of all he surveys

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12:34 Jan 18, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / story set in Germany during WWII
German term or phrase: Herr der Dinge
Maybe, ruler of men and land??

The Russians are coming and soon the count will lose everything he owns. He decides to commit suicide.

Die Tatsache, daß sein geliebtes Gut nun doch in russische Hände fallen würde, daß er nicht mehr der Herr der Dinge sein würde, daß die Familie, die Ernte, Gebäude, das Land für immer verloren waren, ließ ihn innerlich sterben. Alles was über Generationen so fein gefügt war, so vortrefflich funktionierte, ja sein Herz, sein ganzes Sein so völlig ausfüllte sollte nun in die Hände der Feinde fallen. Der Lärm der Flakgeschütze war so nah wie noch nie.

Thanks!
Gunilla Zedigh
Germany
Local time: 10:32
English translation:lord of all he surveys
Explanation:
"Lord of all he surveys" is a common, often sarcastic term which I think might fit here. It's usually used for someone with lots of land, so I'm sure you'll know if it fits here.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2004-01-18 12:39:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

An example of a \"Herr der Dinge\" from \"Herr der Ringe\"
\"Theoden, King of Rohan (Bernard Hill)
Despite being the lord of all he surveys (basically a few hundred miles of grass and horses), Theoden is a gloomy and suspicious King Lear type. His borders are under threat; his mind poisoned by a duff adviser (Grima Wormtongue). Once a mighty hero, he now sits at home twiddling his thumbs and squabbling with the kids. Something\'s got to give...\"

http://film.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8544,821597,00.html
Selected response from:

xxxIanW
Local time: 10:32
Grading comment
thanks everyone!! i little sarcasm is ok here ... gz
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3Lord of the Manor
Gareth McMillan
5 +2master of things
Johanna Timm, PhD
4 +2to call the shotsxxxIanW
4 +2lord and master
jerrie
4 +2lord of all he surveysxxxIanW
5Master of the situationxxxlone
4 +1no longer in charge!ezbounty@aol.co
4no longer in charge!ezbounty@aol.co
4master of his own domain
Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
4master of reality / master of the present
Alexander Schleber
4he was no longer having the say
EdithK
4master of his own fate
R. A. Stegemann
3Master and CommanderNancy Arrowsmith


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
he was no longer having the say


Explanation:
he was no longer cock of the walk - if you want it really colloquial

EdithK
Switzerland
Local time: 10:32
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 9172

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.: seems trivial
3 hrs
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
lord of all he surveys


Explanation:
"Lord of all he surveys" is a common, often sarcastic term which I think might fit here. It's usually used for someone with lots of land, so I'm sure you'll know if it fits here.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2004-01-18 12:39:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

An example of a \"Herr der Dinge\" from \"Herr der Ringe\"
\"Theoden, King of Rohan (Bernard Hill)
Despite being the lord of all he surveys (basically a few hundred miles of grass and horses), Theoden is a gloomy and suspicious King Lear type. His borders are under threat; his mind poisoned by a duff adviser (Grima Wormtongue). Once a mighty hero, he now sits at home twiddling his thumbs and squabbling with the kids. Something\'s got to give...\"

http://film.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8544,821597,00.html

xxxIanW
Local time: 10:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2468
Grading comment
thanks everyone!! i little sarcasm is ok here ... gz

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Moore: but I'd go for "master" of all... in this context
23 mins

neutral  Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.: sarcasm out of place - not miles here either -
3 hrs
  -> I said it was often sarcastic, not always. I do agree with your analysis in your own answer, though.

agree  Dr Andrew Read: Also prefer "master of..."
7 hrs

neutral  R. A. Stegemann: C'est le drame! Pas de tout sarcastique. Il y a des gens qui pensent comme ça!
6 days
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
master of reality / master of the present


Explanation:
another possibility.



Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 10:32
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2328

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Richard Benham: Sounds like the sort of feeling you might get from consuming certain substances.
7 hrs
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to call the shots


Explanation:
Another angle for you: "that he would be no longer calling the shots".

xxxIanW
Local time: 10:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2468

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Klaus Herrmann: This is closer to how I read the German "Herr der Dinge" - it's more about being in control than about owning land.
25 mins

agree  writeaway: twins?
32 mins

neutral  Gareth McMillan: Ian? I can just imagine the count addressing his servants- "Hey man, I'm calling the shots round here!" Servants- "OK, it's cool".ADD: No deal laddie, Ah only gie slack tae amachurs an weemin.
1 hr
  -> Come on Gareth, it's not as slangy as you make it out to be - it means "to be in charge or control: determine the policy or procedure". Cut mah some slack, dude!

neutral  Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.: on a par with 'cock of the walk'
2 hrs

neutral  Richard Benham: There's enough shots going on in the middle of a warzone without calling for any more. And Gazza's right, it is a bit slangy.
7 hrs
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56 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Master of the situation


Explanation:
my interpretation!


    x
xxxlone
Canada
Local time: 04:32
Native speaker of: Danish
PRO pts in pair: 330
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Lord of the Manor


Explanation:
Suitably old fashioned, implies his status as landowner, control and influence over the locl community etc.-

Or it's a typo: Lord of the Rings (heh,heh).

Gareth McMillan
Local time: 10:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 793

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxIanW: Yes, a trifle Brideshead Revisited, but you are Scottish, after all :->
18 mins
  -> Are you trifling with me, Irishman? (Heh, heh).

agree  Melanie Nassar : but not capitalized, maybe?
49 mins
  -> Right, cheers.

agree  Lori Dendy-Molz: Sounds right to me. "Lord of the Things" first popped into my head when I saw the phrase (I thought it might be a parody).
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, mate. Life is a parody, oder nicht?
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
lord and master


Explanation:
king of the castle

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1469

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gareth McMillan: Agree: The lord and master is heading for disaster. The king of the castle will be the dirty wee ras'le (rascal). (Scott. dialect rhyme).
6 mins
  -> I'm the king of the castle, you're the dirty rascal. Playground ditty ;- ))

agree  Nicole Tata: best solution here imo
1 day9 mins
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
master of his own domain


Explanation:
His independence and subsistence is threatened. He is ashamed that he cannot defend his family legacy. Therefore, the suicide. It's not merely economic. His ganzes Sein and his honor is in the land.

Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
United States
Local time: 04:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 986

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Gareth McMillan: Too serious IMHO.
6 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Master and Commander


Explanation:
isf you want to keep the (unintentional?) pun.

Nancy Arrowsmith
Local time: 02:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 474
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
no longer in charge!


Explanation:
He is no longer in control of things

ezbounty@aol.co
Local time: 02:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 287

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lori Dendy-Molz: "No longer in control" seems the least melodramatic, but I guess melodrama is desired here.
31 mins
  -> thanks!
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
no longer in charge!


Explanation:
He is no longer in control of things

ezbounty@aol.co
Local time: 02:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 287
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
master of things


Explanation:
I am very confident that this is direct allusion to the term
'Herr der Dinge', an adage coined by Max Stirner (pseudonym of Johann Kaspar Schmidt (1806-1856).) Influenced by Hegel, contemporay of Feuerbach.

The character talking here is a German count. The German nobility was known to be very educated and well versed in philosphical concepts, and Nietzsche was certainly very much en vogue in those times. We can safely assume that both Max Stirner and Feuerbach were also being discussed amongt the "Adligen".

Thn standard English translation of this quote is "master of things"

"But a man who wishes to be active as spirit is drawn to quite other tasks than he was able to set himself formerly: to tasks which really give something to do to the spirit and not to mere sense or acuteness, which exerts itself only to become ***master of things***. The spirit busies itself solely about the spiritual, and seeks out the "traces of mind" in everything; to the believing spirit "everything comes from God," and interests him only to the extent that it reveals this origin; to the philosophic spirit everything appears with the stamp of reason, and interests him only so far as he is able to discover in it reason, i. e., spiritual content."



    Reference: http://www.blancmange.net/tmh/teaho/theego1.html
Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 01:32
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 7258

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Richard Benham: Well done! I thought you were joking, but your argument has convinced me. Though I still have a soft spot for "Lord of the Things", if only because I don't like Tolkien (because of his philosophy of translation). (Education is its own reward, Johanna!)
56 mins
  -> My, my... it's quite gratifying to put years of study to practical use at last ;))

agree  Gareth McMillan: Don't think we need such a big explanation for something which should have been obvious to us all. Dead right, IMHO. Two things- less God please, and less Gazza (reminds me of strip). I don't do either.ADD: Not quite, but let's not go into that here!
2 hrs
  -> context is everything, isn't it

neutral  R. A. Stegemann: Hegel was a student of Feuerbach, not exactly his contemporary. The historical though progression was Feuerbach => Hegel => Marx. It was Feuerbach who gave Hegel the notion to stand Hegel on his head. At least this is how I remember it.
11 hrs
  -> I wrote 'Stirner was influenced by Hegel' - nothing about Marx. FYI:http://www.nonserviam.com/egoistarchive/stirner/articles/gor...
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
master of his own fate


Explanation:
The count had dedicated his entire life to what would soon be taken from him. He was just as much a slave to his land and culture, as he was the master of his own estate. He could not flee, because his assets were physical and his biological and cultural roots implanted. Surrendering his estate to the Russians meant giving up his past, present, and future. He was about to be cast out by those whom he despised and made to walk among those over whom he had ruled for so long -- impoverished and a beggar. The humiliation would be devastating, and his pride was sacred.

The allusion to Max Stirn is probably correct, so if the text is to be used in a historical or literary context, the phrase "Master of Things" should be retained as Johanna suggests. Otherwise the term "Master of Things" rings highly melodramatic and just plain stupid to the modern ear.

R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 17:32
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 285

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Richard Benham: Actually, he is master of his own fate, in the sense that he chooses to die. I think "master of things" is fine, even if the reader doesn't get the somewhat abstruse reference so eruditely spotted by Johanna.
22 hrs
  -> Your usual trigger-happy intellect has failed you again, Richard: Read "... nicht mehr Herr der Dinge sein WÜRDE". Did you say your prayers today?
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