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untertan

English translation: use and change as one sees fit / subjugate

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:sich etwas untertan machen
English translation:use and change as one sees fit / subjugate
Entered by: silfilla
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12:57 Jul 24, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Journalism
German term or phrase: untertan
Die englische Sprache erobert die Welt - und die Welt macht sie sich zum Schrecken der Briten untertan. Wissenschaftler warnen vor Vereinfachung und Verhunzung, Oxfordianern graust es.

TIA!!!
Jianming Sun
Local time: 07:55
use it as they see fit
Explanation:
i.e. use and change English to suit their needs

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2005-07-24 13:10:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

uses English as it (the world) sees fit
Selected response from:

silfilla
Local time: 19:55
Grading comment
Thank you all for kind help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4use it as they see fitsilfilla
4 +1commandeered
Stephen Roche
3 +2comment (not for points)Ken Cox
4makes it its own
mbrodie
3the world grasps control
Hermann
2subdue
muttersprachler
1English once took over the world, but much to the distress of the British the world is now
Jonathan MacKerron


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the world grasps control


Explanation:
over it

Hermann
Local time: 00:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  silfilla: the "world grasps control" is not idiomatic English, not to mention that nobody is "taking control" of English ... not even the German source text says so
4 hrs
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
use it as they see fit


Explanation:
i.e. use and change English to suit their needs

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2005-07-24 13:10:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

uses English as it (the world) sees fit

silfilla
Local time: 19:55
Works in field
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you all for kind help!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter
33 mins
  -> thanks, Steffen :-)

agree  writeaway: a worrying problem indeed. many serious mistakes are slowly becoming institutionalised to some degree through the use of English by people whose native language it ain't :-)
39 mins
  -> English is very flexible and adaptable and, as all languages, ever changing ... though I agree that Denglisch, for one, is absolutely awful, I can understand Germans' need to run from that marker of their identity as fast as they can

agree  David Hollywood: very nice rendering :)
1 hr
  -> thanks, David :-)

agree  Ken Cox: or if you want something more graphic, 'rides roughshod over it' (that's how it often feels to a native speaker...).
1 hr
  -> thanks for the agree but I don't see your alternative in the German

neutral  Lancashireman: A rather free interpretation. Possibly OK in isolation but not in the context of the full sentence where a dramatic contrast has to be conveyed.// Merriam Webster (for our friends in NYC): ‘sub-ju-gate’ = to bring under control and governance as a subject
3 hrs
  -> oh, really? to subjugate sth is to *use it as one sees fit*
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
makes it its own


Explanation:
or subjugates it

mbrodie
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
comment (not for points)


Explanation:
The phrase contains an intentional contrast, which you may want to preserve in the translation. It could be paraphrased as 'English conquers the world, but the world subjugates (conquers) English'. If English literally conquered the world, it would subjugate the world (make the world obey its will), but here 'conquer the world' is being used figuratively. Besides playing on the different literal and figurative meanings of 'conquer', the text also refers to the apparent paradox of the fact that in the process of 'conquering' the world, English is being transformed more or less radically as a result of being used widely by non-native speakers.

Ken Cox
Local time: 01:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: Yes, the problem with too free a translation of the second half of the sentence is that the contrast with the first half is lost.
10 mins

agree  Stephen Roche: This sentence loses its punch if the contrast between the two forms of 'conquest' is lost
1 hr
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
commandeered


Explanation:
The English language may have conquered the world, but the world, much to the horror of the British, has now commandeered the English language.

This takes a bit of liberty with the original, but seems to get the point across.

Stephen Roche
Local time: 01:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman
18 mins
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
English once took over the world, but much to the distress of the British the world is now


Explanation:
taking back control

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 18
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
subdue


Explanation:
"Sich etwas untertan machen" ist archaisch bis biblisch.

Genesis 1,28

http://zavodsky.webz.cz/rozeta/rozeta.htm


muttersprachler
Germany
Local time: 01:55
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
PRO (2): silfilla, Hermann
Non-PRO (2): Steven Sidore, Lancashireman


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Changes made by editors
Jul 24, 2005 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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