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zeitgebunden

English translation: time-bound, bound to the historical era in question (context - philosophy)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:zeitgebunden
English translation:time-bound, bound to the historical era in question (context - philosophy)
Entered by: Deborah Shannon
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

12:09 Jul 9, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Philosophy
German term or phrase: zeitgebunden
Hi, anyone feeling philosophical?

The background is a discussion on the universality of human rights.

"Nachdem das von Konfuzius entwickelte System das feudale Lehensystem der Chou als Vorbild hatte, überrascht eine solche Unterteilung der Menschen in verschiedene Klassen - einer gebildeten Oberschicht und einer ungebildeten Unterschicht - nicht. Für die heutige Zeit wesentlich ist vielmehr die Frage, ob es sich bei dieser Unterteilung in verschiedene Klassen *um einen zeitlosen oder zeitgebundenen Wert handelt.*

I'm stuck for a suitable word to contrast with "zeitlos" (this discussion continues at length so if anyone has a neat solution it will be endlessly helpful... :-)

As a follow-up question, I'm not altogether sure about the use of "Wert" - does it make sense here?

My version so far:
"A far more relevant question for the present day is whether these class divisions reflect a timeless principle or a historical convention"

Thanks!
Deborah Shannon
Germany
Local time: 10:46
time-bound / bound to the (historical) era (in question)
Explanation:
my tentative suggestion for 'Wert' -- 'phenomenon'
Selected response from:

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 10:46
Grading comment
Thanks indeed to all twelve (!) answerers. I've weighed up my options and, predictably enough, gone for the first - but let me explain: many of the best suggestions already feature heavily elsewhere (universality and absolutism being major themes of the text). Time-bound is about as unusual in English as "zeitgebunden" is in German, and has the merit of being close to the author's wording (and intention I hope) - feared I might be straying too far from it with my version. I corrected "divisions" and reinstated "value" to end up with: "whether this act of class differentiation is dictated by a timeless or a time-bound value".
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4I like your own suggestion
Armorel Young
3 +2time-bound / bound to the (historical) era (in question)
Steffen Walter
4 +1temporary
Mary McCusker
4should be viewed in a historical or ahistorical perspective
William Stein
4historical or ageless
Ingar A. Milnes
4transcendent or contingent valuexxxdesiderata
4relative
Heike Behl, Ph.D.
3certain setting in timeezbounty@aol.co
3time-defined
swisstell
3temporal/temporary/transient
Rebecca Holmes
3temporal or intemporalxxxCMJ_Trans
3universal vs. temporal
Bernard Myers


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
time-bound / bound to the (historical) era (in question)


Explanation:
my tentative suggestion for 'Wert' -- 'phenomenon'

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thanks indeed to all twelve (!) answerers. I've weighed up my options and, predictably enough, gone for the first - but let me explain: many of the best suggestions already feature heavily elsewhere (universality and absolutism being major themes of the text). Time-bound is about as unusual in English as "zeitgebunden" is in German, and has the merit of being close to the author's wording (and intention I hope) - feared I might be straying too far from it with my version. I corrected "divisions" and reinstated "value" to end up with: "whether this act of class differentiation is dictated by a timeless or a time-bound value".

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Johanna Timm, PhD: Nice!
3 hrs

agree  xxxIno66
7 hrs
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
temporal/temporary/transient


Explanation:
The best my brain can due in its daily post-lunch slump.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-09 12:23:29 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, obviously in a post-lunch slump here.
Naturally the best my brain can DO (and that ain\'t much at this point).

Rebecca Holmes
United States
Local time: 04:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
temporary


Explanation:
time-bound is certainly ok, but I don't think it sounds quite as natural in English. For the sentence, perhaps something like '..whether such class divisions are a timeless/permanent fixture/principle or a temporary phenomenon', admittedly rather a free translation...

Mary McCusker
Local time: 04:46
Works in field
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Michele Johnson: I like your sentence suggestion.
1 hr
  -> Thanks!
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
historical or ageless


Explanation:
Historical in the sense that the categorisation ("Wert") is bound to a certain time in history.
Ageless if it isn't.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-09 12:32:00 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

so the phrase translates.*whether this categorisation must be considered historical or ageless.*

Ingar A. Milnes
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in NorwegianNorwegian
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
temporal or intemporal


Explanation:
I know its stretching things a bit but...

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
time-defined


Explanation:
a thought

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
universal vs. temporal


Explanation:
I like Steffen's "phenomenon."

I'd be tempted to stretch the envelope for "zeitlos" to "universal" -- which contrasts then well with "temporal."

Another reflection: In making a subject out of "bei dieser Unterteilung in verschiedene Klassen" you've simplified the grammar nicely, but "these class divisions" puts an emphasis on these particular classes (as opposed to any other system of classes) whereas the source text seems to point, at least ambiguously, to the very act of social classification/categorization/stratification (as opposed to treating everybody as equals, piling us all in one heap). Isn't there a subtle difference there? Otherwise it might have read "bei der Unterteilung in diese verschiedenen Klassen," no?

Just a thought: If you've used "division" for "Unterteilung" only to avoid "classification" of the classes, maybe you can get away with substituting "castes" for "Klassen."

Bernard Myers
France
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michele Johnson: You make some interesting suggestions but I'm not sure "castes" would fly here; yes, it can mean "class" in general, but I'm not sure one wants to introduce a reference to a specifically Hindu class system in a paragraph about Chinese philosphy?
54 mins
  -> Yeah, I agree "castes" might get messy -- it was some thinking-out-of-the-box stretch partly designed to stir creative juices. Assuming Chou refers to Chou En-Lai, probably better to stick with Marxist "classes."
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
I like your own suggestion


Explanation:
I think your own translation is promising but wonder about incorporting Wert more precisely - how about
....are the reflection of a timeless principle or of the values of a particular historical age?

Armorel Young
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Johanna Timm, PhD: Same here! Maybe" timeless vs. historically defined categorization" would also work
27 mins

agree  Bernard Myers: It's true, Deborah's starting point is hard to improve on -- "...values of a particular historical age?" certainly has a nice ring to it.
1 hr

agree  Сергей Лузан: w/are the reflection of a /[timeless]/(time restricted) principle or of the values of a particular historical age
3 hrs

agree  xxxIno66
4 hrs
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
certain setting in time


Explanation:
or
certain time frame

ezbounty@aol.co
Local time: 02:46
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
should be viewed in a historical or ahistorical perspective


Explanation:
I think the issue is whether to reject societies that had slavery as totally barbaric based on "ahistorical values" (i.e., timeless truths, "universal" ethicss), or rather to cut them some slack by considering them in the light of history ("well everybody was doing it back then...")

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
transcendent or contingent value


Explanation:
Well, you invited us to get philosophical! But I think Wert should at least stay "value".

xxxdesiderata
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
relative


Explanation:
absolute and relative are terms commonly used in philosophy to describe values, concepts etc

whether it is an absolute or a relative value

The use of these terms in philosophy makes the explicit reference to time redundant. "Relative" always refers to the time and values of a specific society.

Heike Behl, Ph.D.
United States
Local time: 01:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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Changes made by editors
Apr 22, 2005 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Field (specific)(none) » Philosophy


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