https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schnek

Desperate to understand a sentence in German.

Hello fellow German lovers. I've been struggling four literally (yes, literally literally) hours trying to understand a phrase in German in a text from the Deutsche Welle, here: http://www.dw.com/de/marzipan-einfach-unwiderstehlich/a-18903861

More specifically, the paragraph: "Zwar ist es unter den Verehrern des Christstollens umstritten, ob hier überhaupt mit Marzipan gearbeitet werden darf. Jedoch hat schon so mancher zu trockengeratene Stollen durch seine Marzipanfüllung entscheidend gewonnen."

Anyone with experience in German can please light the way for me? I would be unbelievably happy.

I'm so sorry if this is not the right way to use the discussion forum. Thanks in advance Duolingo community!

December 21, 2015

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igelchen

The punctuation is a bit weird. There should really be a comma before "jedoch". Anyway:
"While the use of marzipan is controversial amongst Christstollen-lovers, many a Stollen which turned out too dry has profited considerably from its marzipan filling."
It's a very complex sentence, and I'm not surprised you struggled with it. I had to paraphrase it a bit as things like "trockengeraten" (turned out dry) just don't exist in English. Also, the whole grammatical structure of the first sentence just doesn't translate 1:1 into English. "Hier" refers to the Christstollen, so the closest, but not the best translation of the first sentence would probably be: "Although it is controversial amongst the lovers of Christstollen whether it is even allowed to use marzipan in them (Christstollen)". It says "darf"="allowed", but of course, anyone can do as they please and they're only talking about tradition, so "allowed" would be a bit strong in English. It's more like a "supposed to". There is no subject in this part of the sentence, but you could use the impersonal "you"="whether you're even supposed to use marzipan".
In the second sentence, "so mancher" is "quite a few", "many a",... I guess "quite a few" would be a bit better, anyway, it's more than just "some", which would be "einige"+plural.

Christstollen, by the way, are a kind of fruit cake and quite an acquired taste. I personally can't stand them, they're dry (with or without marzipan), contain dried (or worse, candied) fruit and feel and taste like stale, sweet bread with an enormous amount of powdered sugar on top. Of course, historically, food like this made a lot of sense (it stayed good for weeks or months, contained a few remnants of vitamin c, was very filling and the people could pretend they were eating real cake... with a lot of imagination), but that's all I can see in it. I guess you have to have been raised with that stuff to like it.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schnek

Thanks a lot for your help. I think that yesterday I end up in something close to this, but I also couldn't quite put it in English. I came up with this while in the immersion, you can find it here: https://www.duolingo.com/translation/628077c2205a9e2d27879e9dd5a46a7d Feel free to edit my input there, I don't feel like pretending to be someone that I am not and stealing your work. I'm just glad that I made some sense out of that. =]

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landsend

The punctuation is a bit weird but still acceptable and not that uncommon for a journalistic text that needs to shorten sentences and present them in small bits.

Yes, it is not rule adhering so probably nothing that a learner of the language should copy.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

I'm so sorry if this is not the right way to use the discussion forum.

In my opinion this is an entirely appropriate use of the discussion forum. Ten lingots for increasing the proportion of useful and relevant content!

dqxxmvyvoedn

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schnek

I'm so grateful, you are very kind. In fact, this was my first time using Duolingo discussion forum, and I have to say that everyone have been so nice helping me. Thanks again =]

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schmidzy

Can you identify what specifically is causing you confusion in these sentences? Then we might be better able to help.

The first sentence is saying that it is debated among "worshippers" of the ever-popular Christmas stollen (a type of cake) whether it is permissible to put marzipan in the stollen. In the second sentence, the word trockengeratene is throwing me for a loop, too — I really feel like it needs an -m on the end to fit with zu, and besides that, I am having a very hard time finding a suitable definition for the word at all. But as I understand it, the general sense of the second sentence is that many have been decidedly successful at improving too-dry stollen with marzipan filling.

More help, anyone?

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igelchen

It doesn't need an -m, because "mancher zu trockengeratene Stollen" is the subject of the sentence. You definitely were on the right line though. "zu trockengeratene" ="turned out too dry", which means the direct translation would be "many a turned-out-too-dry Stollen". Having wasted time looking up Christstollen though (because I can't not look up the history of things, even Christstollen), I wrote my own answer instead of replying to yours, which already was quite comprehensive :)

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaered

There are 2 "zu" words: proposition ("to/towards/at") and adverb ("too much"). This sentence contains the latter.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schnek

"Zwar ist es unter den Verehrern des Christstollens umstritten, ob hier überhaupt mit Marzipan gearbeitet werden darf. Jedoch hat schon so mancher zu trockengeratene Stollen durch seine Marzipanfüllung entscheidend gewonnen." Let's see... Almost everything after the coma on the first sentence. On the second, I had a really hard time finding the subject. And looked for "trockengeratene" on the dictionary and couldn't find anything. And also, I couldn't quite figure to whom "seine" was referring.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gottesanbeterin

Translate was a big help:

Although it is controversial among admirers of Christstollen whether here before starting to work with marzipan ever. However, so many have already guessed too dry Stollen won decisively by its marzipan filling

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucBE
  • 1481

LOL

December 21, 2015
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