konstruieren (sich)

English translation: construe and construct

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase: konstruieren (sich)
English translation:construe and construct
Entered by: Susan Welsh

19:25 Oct 28, 2016
German to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Psychology / philosophy
German term or phrase: konstruieren (sich)
This is about stages of ego development:

Menschen, die Ebene E7 und E8 erreichen, beginnen immer mehr zu realisieren, wie sie die Welt interpretieren und inwiefern dies durch ihren persönlichen und kulturellen Hintergrund beeinflusst ist. Insofern nehmen sie die Subjektivität ihrer eigenen Sichtweise zunehmend in Betracht. Sie **konstruieren sich** und die Welt dabei als weitestgehend stabil, sind sich aber der Bedeutung dessen, wie sie diese Vorstellung **konstruieren,** zunehmend bewusst.

Can this word sometimes mean "construe" rather than "construct"? That would make more sense in this context, but I find no such definition in Duden. Linguee's own dictionary gives "construe" as a meaning, but the example they give is wrong in English:
DE: "Weil er Angst hatte, die Wahrheit zu sagen, konstruierte er eine wilde Geschichte."
EN: "Because he was afraid to tell the truth, he construed a wild story."
One does not "construe" a story; at most, I guess one could construct one, but better would be "made up."

I'm beginning to think the usage to mean "construe" is a case of German native speakers using a false cognate, when the German word really means "construct." But then, in post-modern linguistic/philosophical lingo, anything is possible...

What do you think?

thanks!
Susan
Susan Welsh
United States
Local time: 03:24
construe and construct
Explanation:
Konstruiren can have many meanings:

Langenscheidt: konstruieren Verb/transitiv (bauen) construct (a. Mathematik u. Gedankensystem etc.); Linguistik construe; (herstellen) create; (erfinden) fabricate

Of course, you’ll have to pick the words in English that fit the meanings in your text.

The text reads:

"Menschen, die Ebene E7 und E8 erreichen, beginnen immer mehr zu realisieren, wie sie die Welt interpretieren und inwiefern dies durch ihren persönlichen und kulturellen Hintergrund beeinflusst ist. Insofern nehmen sie die Subjektivität ihrer eigenen Sichtweise zunehmend in Betracht."

As I see it, this section of the text has to do with how they increasingly gain an understanding of the mechanisms that they use to interpret the world around them. Since construe can mean to understand (or interpret), I think "sich konstruiren" means (here) to "construe themselves" and the world around them, as Michael has translated it.

But the text goes on to talk about how they increasingly gain an awareness of how they "construct" the notion of a stable world, which would, in my opinion, be a more appropriate translation of "... der Bedeutung dessen, wie sie diese Vorstellung konstruieren, zunehmend bewusst." So perhaps you need to translate the text using both "construe" and "construct," (as Phil has suggested), i.e. something along the lines of: "Indeed, they construe themselves and the world around them as predominantly stable, but are increasingly aware of the significance of how they construct this notion."

It’s less a question of style (not repeating the word “construe” in the same sentence, for example) and more a question of reflecting the underlying meaning of the German.

Hope that helps.

Selected response from:

Paul Cohen
Greenland
Local time: 05:24
Grading comment
Thanks everybody for the useful discussion. I had no idea that "construct" and "construe" shared a common root. I think dividing things up in the way Paul suggests is a good idea -- although I'm still somewhat in The Matrix with respect to what all of this really means.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +2construe and construct
Paul Cohen
3 +2construe themselves
Michael Martin, MA


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
construe themselves


Explanation:
I think that would work in English, too...

"Equipped with these capacities, human beings subjectively construe themselves in sophisticated but distinctive ways."
https://books.google.com/books?id=LkREWoAUrAUC&pg=PA306&lpg=...

Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 03:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 112
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks Michael, but I'm beginning to think they really mean "construct." See Discussion. I appreciate your help.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Cohen: This can't be misconstrued.
24 mins

agree  philgoddard
45 mins

neutral  Ramey Rieger: But it can be, Paul, IMO// Not by you, Michael. I'm talking about the sorce text.
16 hrs
  -> How could this be misconstrued, Ramey?
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
construe and construct


Explanation:
Konstruiren can have many meanings:

Langenscheidt: konstruieren Verb/transitiv (bauen) construct (a. Mathematik u. Gedankensystem etc.); Linguistik construe; (herstellen) create; (erfinden) fabricate

Of course, you’ll have to pick the words in English that fit the meanings in your text.

The text reads:

"Menschen, die Ebene E7 und E8 erreichen, beginnen immer mehr zu realisieren, wie sie die Welt interpretieren und inwiefern dies durch ihren persönlichen und kulturellen Hintergrund beeinflusst ist. Insofern nehmen sie die Subjektivität ihrer eigenen Sichtweise zunehmend in Betracht."

As I see it, this section of the text has to do with how they increasingly gain an understanding of the mechanisms that they use to interpret the world around them. Since construe can mean to understand (or interpret), I think "sich konstruiren" means (here) to "construe themselves" and the world around them, as Michael has translated it.

But the text goes on to talk about how they increasingly gain an awareness of how they "construct" the notion of a stable world, which would, in my opinion, be a more appropriate translation of "... der Bedeutung dessen, wie sie diese Vorstellung konstruieren, zunehmend bewusst." So perhaps you need to translate the text using both "construe" and "construct," (as Phil has suggested), i.e. something along the lines of: "Indeed, they construe themselves and the world around them as predominantly stable, but are increasingly aware of the significance of how they construct this notion."

It’s less a question of style (not repeating the word “construe” in the same sentence, for example) and more a question of reflecting the underlying meaning of the German.

Hope that helps.



Paul Cohen
Greenland
Local time: 05:24
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 27
Grading comment
Thanks everybody for the useful discussion. I had no idea that "construct" and "construe" shared a common root. I think dividing things up in the way Paul suggests is a good idea -- although I'm still somewhat in The Matrix with respect to what all of this really means.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anne Schulz
11 hrs
  -> Schöne Grüße nach Bayern, Anne.

agree  Ramey Rieger: I beg to differ. the perceive themselves and the world/ aware of how they contruct...this is spot on
15 hrs
  -> I see "construe (themselves)" as essentially meaning the same thing as "perceive (themselves)" in this context, so I think we're on the same page here.
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