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14:05 Sep 20, 2011
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other
German to English translations [Non-PRO] Art/Literary - Journalism
German term or phrase:es
Die beiden sitzen in jenem Winter 1953 zusammen im Hörsaal, sie muss keine Sorge haben, "dass er mir einen Kuss auf die Backe knallt". Sie lehnt sich über die Sessellehne, Zeigefinger in die Höhe: "Er war das reinste Latein", sagt ***es,*** lässt sich zurückfallen, lacht und kichert mädchenhaft, der Lampenschirm hinter ihr vibriert. "Wissen Sie, es gibt nicht so viele Leute, die so gut Latein sprechen."
thanks, franglish, for pointing out this question; I am adding here what I posted at the "Sorge" discussion:
What "Sorge" means here would be my least worry, Jianming.:) You are correct: She need not worry "that he would kiss me." However, the question is, is she happy/need not worry about him actually kissing her or relieved that he would not/is not going to kiss her. Context will tell you. Also: "Er war das reinste Latein" -refers to "him" "being" the purest Latin??? (context?!) Or is this a typo for Es = It was the purest Latin??? And: ... sagt es ... seems to refer to the female, a girl-like creature (she laughs and giggles like a girl), therefore es - the personal pronoun standing in for das Mädchen.
"Sagte es" is a not that uncommon rhetorical device (there's one particularly familiar literary example, but it escapes me at the moment) to emphasis the ex/proclamation quality of the sentence spoken.
I agree with Lieselotte and franglish, it seems to be referring to the phrase she spoke. 'Es' doesn't work for finger, which would be 'er', nor for the girl herself, even if she had been referred to as a Maedchen before, 'sie' and 'ihr' are used to describe her in the same sentence, so 'es' would be describing something else.
This would be bizarre, because there is no doubt that she actually voices the "Er war das reinste Latein". It could possibly work (allowing for cartloads of poetic licence) - a literary device where the reader's attention is transferred to the finger, who appears to speak for the women, before being transferred back to the women.
In this case, it would translate (roughly): She leans over the arm of the chair, waving her finger: "He was the purest of all Latin", it says, before receding, laughing and giggling girlishly.
Of course, there is the possibility (and it seems all the more probable) that this is a mistake, and it should read: "sie".
EDIT: in which case the translation "before receding" of the next part would have to be adapted - this translation only works with the finger, of course.
Yes, if "das Mädchen" did appear earlier, it would explain it.
However, I believe that there may be some cultural prejudice in claiming that this indicates callous disrespect for young girls, even if it is the callous disrespect of a bygone age.
Food for a good discussion there.