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Ich stelle nicht von mir aus das Ansinnen

English translation: to demand/request something of someone

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Ich stelle nicht von mir aus das Ansinnen
English translation:to demand/request something of someone
Entered by: Helen Shiner
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13:04 Feb 1, 2009
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
German term or phrase: Ich stelle nicht von mir aus das Ansinnen
This is from a letter written by a Jewish refugee in an internship camp in the UK in 1941. The meaning is broadly clear, I am interested in the function of 'von mir aus' and how best to render this in conjunction with the noun+verb construction into English.

"Der Juengere war mit in Onchan Camp. Ich stelle nicht von mir aus das Ansinner an Sie mit Fischbein zu sprechen, falls Sie das nicht wollem, auch moechte ich nicht, dass diese geistig armseligen Menschen allzuhart angefasst werden..."
xxxPoveyTrans
Local time: 23:44
to demand something of someone
Explanation:
As far as I am concerned, I am not going to demand that you speak to Fischbein, if you don't want to...

This is approximately how I would translate it - as a first stab

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Note added at 20 mins (2009-02-01 13:24:47 GMT)
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I think 'von mir aus' is one of those slightly unnecessary phrases said for emphasis in speech - or as here - in a letter.
Selected response from:

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5to demand something of someone
Helen Shiner
2 +3not on my account / not for myself
Jutta Wappel
3I wouldn't expect you to speak with Fishbein
Martin Wenzel


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
das Ansinnen stellen
to demand something of someone


Explanation:
As far as I am concerned, I am not going to demand that you speak to Fischbein, if you don't want to...

This is approximately how I would translate it - as a first stab

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2009-02-01 13:24:47 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think 'von mir aus' is one of those slightly unnecessary phrases said for emphasis in speech - or as here - in a letter.

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  EdithK
0 min
  -> Thanks, EdithK

agree  Ulrike Kraemer: Fully agree with your suggestion except that I wouldn't use "demand" here because it's too strong. "As far as I am concerned, I am not going to ask/request that you speak with Fishleg ..."
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, LittleBalu - the use of 'demand' might be too strong in the context - certainly there are a number of you who feel so, so I take it on board, though am I right in thinking it can mean that (my Langenscheidt has 'demand' as well as 'request'?

agree  Inge Meinzer: with LittleBalu regarding "demand"
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Inge - I am fully persuaded that 'request' is probably the way to go.

agree  LP Schumacher: I also agree with your thoughts about "von mir aus." I regularly translate correspondence for an older gentleman whose style of writing uses this expression in a way that seems entirely unnecessary in English. It basically comes down to an emphasized "I"
18 hrs
  -> Thanks, Liesel - as part of my research I also read a great deal of correspondence from this period; it hadn't dawned on me that my understanding of this phrase comes from that, but highly probable.

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
19 hrs
  -> Thanks, Harald
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +3
das Ansinnen stellen
not on my account / not for myself


Explanation:
I'm not asking you to speak with Fischbein for myself / you don't need to talk to him on my account.

This sentence isn't entirely clear to me, hence the low confidence level.
It sounds as if someone else has asked him to request of the person he's speaking to to talk to Fischbein.

"ein Ansinnen stellen" means : to request or to ask



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Note added at 42 mins (2009-02-01 13:47:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Taking Simon's clarification into account, I'd say the meaning is something to the effect of "I am not DEMANDING that you speak to Fischbein, but if you did, you'd be doing me a big favour."
Or, psychologically speaking, the author does want the recipient to talk to Fischbein, but he wants him to think it was his own idea (the recipient's).

Jutta Wappel
Germany
Local time: 00:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  EdithK: see Helen's answer below ... you unfortunately got the meaning wrong.
3 mins
  -> If I did, I apologize, but I'm not so sure that I actually have got it wrong!

agree  Veronika McLaren: in the sense that he is suggesting that it was not his idea to request "mit F. zu sprechen"
11 hrs
  -> Thanks Veronika!

agree  LP Schumacher: with your definition of the source term "ein Ansinnen stellen"
18 hrs
  -> Thanks Liesl!

agree  Bernhard Sulzer: don't tell Fischbein I asked you to ask (him) if you should decide to ask him - or: don't tell him it was my idea to talk to him about it.
1 day27 mins
  -> Danke Bernhard!

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
5 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
das Ansinnen stellen
I wouldn't expect you to speak with Fishbein


Explanation:
if you [really] don't want to do it

Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 00:44
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
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Changes made by editors
Feb 15, 2009 - Changes made by Helen Shiner:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term
Feb 2, 2009 - Changes made by Marcus Malabad:
Term askeddas Ansinnen stellen » Ich stelle nicht von mir aus das Ansinnen
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
FieldOther » Art/Literary


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