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Please translate the German into English

 
 
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 08:03 am
Fahrrad fahrt ganz langsamer als Auto, aber schneller als zufuß.
Wenn Ihre Fähigkeit ist sowie ein Fahrrad, dann am besten nicht dem Auto hinterherjagen.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 2,129 • Replies: 10
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 10:35 am
@oristarA,
(As I understand it as a non-German speaker...)
Bikes are much slower than cars, but faster than going on foot. If you are limited to a bike, it's best not to chase after cars.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 11:05 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:

Fahrrad fahrt ganz langsamer als Auto, aber schneller als zufuß.
Wenn Ihre Fähigkeit ist sowie ein Fahrrad, dann am besten nicht dem Auto hinterherjagen.


That doesn't look as if a native German speaker had written it.

The first sentence could mean: A bicycle is slower than a car, but you are faste with it than walking.

I don't really get what the meaning of the second sentence could be - but I've only 61 years experiences in that language on a daily basis. Wink
(Fresco might be correct. Another guess would be: If you are as fast as a bicycle, don't try to compete with a car. Perhaps the context could give some clues?)
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saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 11:19 am
Walter, does this make sence to you?

Fähigkeit = capability, talent
If your talent is on the level of a bike, don´t run after a car.
something like:
If your talent is mediocre dont compeat with a master.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 11:30 am
My sense of the second sentence is much like Saab's. "If your ability is like that of a bike, don't try to race with a car." Or something like that.

But this was obviously not written by anyone familiar with the German language.
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 11:41 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:

Fahrrad fahrt ganz langsamer als Auto, aber schneller als zufuß.
Wenn Ihre Fähigkeit ist sowie ein Fahrrad, dann am besten nicht dem Auto hinterherjagen.

As all others here have noted, neither sentence was written by someone fluent in German - not even on the simplest German spell-check level. However I generally concur with the others here as far as the intent of the 2 phrases - meant, probably, metaphorically rather than literally. My own effort at translating the metaphor is in quotes below - and yes, I also want to find out: is this an early translation of the late lamented Chairman Mao's Little Red Book into German? I actually read it (in a translation) years ago and this sounds like something he might have come up with, at least in translation Smile
Quote:
A bicycle is slower than a car but faster than going on foot.
If your ability is like a bicycle's, then you better not try keeping up with a car.


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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 12:24 pm
All makes sense. And I suppose that's what the original writer (it looks as if it was machine-translated from a different language to German) meant.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 12:34 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Wouldn't the automatic translation services have spelled "(er) fährt" in the first sentence correctly? I don't know the answer to that, but I note that "Fähigkeit" is correctly spelled in the second sentence, so the spelling error in the first one can't be attributed to lack of German accents.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 06:36 pm
@saab,
Yes...as in "don't get out of your depth".
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 02:17 am
Thank you guys.

You all were intelligent in deciphering the "German" sentence in both original meaning and its philosophical intention, which was written by a female Chinese gynecologist who ever studied in Germany. I discussed with her in Chinese doctor forum.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 01:11 pm
@oristarA,
Oristar - as I will be in your country soon on business (and can't post from there, for reasons much bruited about on the internet, as you know) I wanted to say that I've learned a lot from your questions. I'm no ingrate, so perhaps (perhaps) I can help you with one rock-solid Western principle: in order to translate from any of our languages into yours start your parsing of our sentences by looking for the verb. Our whole civilization is based on prompt action; the very first word in our oldest poem, the Iliad, is a verb. Contemplation is an Eastern concept. From my meager knowledge of Japanese - and sadly few, very few, Chinese ideograms - I observe that all your written expressions start with description rather than action. To us, stasis is death.

"Let the devil take the hindmost" is a classic phrase for those who linger - and I'm sure one of my learned friends online will interpret it for you. Here is one of our most "contemplative" examples, and even here the major accent is on the verb; these lines come from one of our greatest poets, T.S. Eliot:
Quote:
where is the life we have lost in living?
where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’
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