... als sie meine Mutter einmal vom Wege auflas und sich ihrer annahm

English translation: when my mother picked her up on the street and adopted her

20:35 Apr 11, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
German term or phrase: ... als sie meine Mutter einmal vom Wege auflas und sich ihrer annahm
Whole sentence: "Diese Katze war halbverhungert, als sie meine Mutter einmal vom Wege auflas und sich ihrer annahm..."
The issue: The cat is actually male, but the author switches to the generic 'die Katze', seeming to introduce ambiguity as to who is picking up and adopting whom. Grammatically, is there any argument for the assertion that only the cat picks up the mother? The genitive is required for the second part of the sentence (annahm), but not in the first (auflas).
Margaret Bloomfield
United States
Local time: 23:01
English translation:when my mother picked her up on the street and adopted her
Explanation:
only sense demands the cat not adopting the woman: if the cat was half-starved then it was weaker therefore wouldn't do the picking up - grammatically it could be either I think.
Selected response from:

Maureen Millington-Brodie
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:01
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4when my mother picked her up on the street and adopted her
Maureen Millington-Brodie
4Erklärung siehe unten
Elimar Orlopp
4 -1...when my mother it adopted and him part of his life made
Hildegard Tuch (X)


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
when my mother picked her up on the street and adopted her


Explanation:
only sense demands the cat not adopting the woman: if the cat was half-starved then it was weaker therefore wouldn't do the picking up - grammatically it could be either I think.

Maureen Millington-Brodie
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sabine Griebler: this is the meaning
6 mins

agree  muttersprachler: Das musste ich drei mal lesen, bevor ich die zweite Deutung gefunden habe.
15 mins

agree  Stephania Heine: grammatically it could be both, but there's more logic in this version
53 mins

agree  roneill
2 hrs

neutral  Elimar Orlopp: Where is the "einmal" gone? You may say "once".
1 day 1 hr
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
...when my mother it adopted and him part of his life made


Explanation:
As someone already said, they are somehow suggesting that each was a company to each other

Hildegard Tuch (X)
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Armorel Young: that word order is incorrect in English (would need to be "when my mother adopted it and made him part of his life") but you can't refer to the cat as both it and him, and it's "her life" for mother, not his
4 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Erklärung siehe unten


Explanation:
Es ist nichts mehrdeutiges darin, dass der Autor von Kater (male) zu Katze (Allgemeinbegriff) wechselt, weil Katze sowohl Kater (eindeutig männlich) als auch "Kätzin" umfasst. Dieses Wort wird relativ häufig verwendet, um die Unklarheit mit dem Geschlecht zu vermeiden.
Vom Satz her ist es dann auch eindeutig, dass die Mutter die Katze aufliest und ich finde es verfehlt, da mehr hinein zu interpretieren. Es ist einfach eine bekannte "Ambiguität" in der deutschen Sprache, die man nur dann vermeidet, wenn Objekt/Subjekt-Bezug nicht eindeutig ist, was aber hier eindeutig ist, weil es einfach ein gut nachvollziehbarer Akt der Tierliebe ist, dass sich jemand eines halbverhungerten Tieres annehmen würde.

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Note added at 1 day 1 hr 8 mins (2005-04-12 21:44:09 GMT)
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When my mother picked her up on the street ONCE and adopted her.

Elimar Orlopp
Germany
Local time: 05:01
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Seger Bonebakker (X): Appealing in its down-to-earth approach.
15 hrs
  -> thx, I take it as an agree :-)
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