Translation:She is a woman who knows what she wants.
No, in this sentence I would make at most one real pause (more likely at the first comma rather than the second, although that would be fine as well). Commas in German mostly serve to tell you that what follows belongs to a different main clause or subclause. While these places often lend themselves to making a pause if you want to, there doesn’t have to be one. However thinking about it, I found that I tend to slightly raise my voice before each comma (maybe not quite as much as the computer voice, but I do), especially when I do make a pause and want to make sure that the other person doesn’t think my sentence is already finished.
English speakers notoriously (and incorrectly) leave out punctuation, especially in informal writing like text messages and notes and such. Do Germans ever get lazy like we do and just leave these commas out? I'm glad they're there as a learner because it helps to break up the clauses into more manageable bits, but I can just imagine Germans (aka, normal people) dropping this. But maybe not. It'd be interesting to know.
In that case I would have expected her to be introduced as “x’s wife”. Without such a relationship being mentioned, I always interprete Frau as “woman”, not “wife”. If for some reason I really wanted to say “a wife” without mentioning whose wife it is, I would use the unambiguous Ehefrau. (Same with Mann and Ehemann).
If you really want to use stress that she is somebody’s wife then you could use Ehefrau. However I can’t imagine a situation where you would actually say “Sie ist eine Ehefrau, die weiß, was sie will.” I can’t really imagine a situation where you would feel naturally inclined to cram the word “wife” in there. Even in English it feels more natural to say “X’s wife is a woman who knows what she wants.” Also, the insistence on stressing her wife status would make it sound like you’re more or less subtly suggesting that wives typically don’t know what they want.
To a degree maybe, but a much smaller one. Frau could only be used as a dummy noun with little intrinsic meaning to attach the relative clause to. Some other languages use even less specific nouns for this, e.g. 人 ‘person’ in Mandarin, but for some reason it’s more natural in German to speak about “eine Frau, die…/ein Mann, der…” than “eine Person, die…”.
In any case, you would have to use Ehefrau to have it be understood as “wife” but I can’t really imagine a situation which would make you want that for this particular sentence.
Exactly. It tells you that the thing which got replaced in the relative clause is feminine and in nominative case (technically there are two or three more alternatives such as feminine accusative because the article die can mean different things but at least it gives you a limited number of options and context handles the rest).
One neat technique to identify the form of the relative pronoun is to proceed in steps:
- Write it as two sentences: Sie ist die Frau. Die Frau weiß, was sie will.
- In the second sentence, replace the repeated noun phrase with the demonstrative (the one which is almost always identical to the article): Sie ist die Frau. Die weiß, was sie will.
- That demonstrative is your relative pronoun. Move it to the front to link the two clauses. The verb is moved to the end (in this case there is a subclause to the relative clause “was sie will”. Here it is better to only move the verb in front of the subclause; that makes it easier to understand): Sie ist die Frau, die weiß, was sie will.
Or another example:
- Das ist der Mann. Der Mann liebt mich.
- Das ist der Mann. Der liebt mich.
- Das ist der Mann, der mich liebt. (This is the man who loves me.)
Compare this with:
- Das ist der Mann. Ich liebe den Mann.
- Das ist der Mann. Ich liebe den.
- Das ist der Mann, den ich liebe. (This is the man that I love.)
der Mann = masculine noun: Ich sehe den Mann, der weiß, was er will. Ich sehe einen Mann, der weiß, was er will.
die Frau= feminine noun: Ich sehe die Frau, die weiß, was sie will. Ich sehe eine Frau, die weiß, was sie will.
das Kind=neuter noun: Ich sehe das Kind, das weiß, was es will. Ich sehe ein Kind, das weiß, was es will.
Here you go: „Ich sehe die Frau, die weiß, was sie will.“ (I see the woman who knows what she wants.)
Whether there is a definite or indefinite article in front of the noun doesn’t make a difference for the relative clause (I’m guessing that’s the lesson that this sentence appears in); maybe that’s why the creators didn’t pay attention to using a vaguely equal ratio in this lesson.