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"An eye for an eye!"

Translation:Auge um Auge!

July 16, 2017

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rodrik1406

Can someone explain how "um" works in this phrase? Is it the contraction of "un dem"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person243

"um" in this sense is normally used for showing repeated actions. "Schlag um Schlag" (hit), "Fall um Fall" (case). And is translated as "for". But it is not a modern way of using "um". So it only really works in idiomatic contexts. Like here: "Auge um Auge." It means literally that after (hurting) one eye another one follows and so on. It refers to the escalation of conflicts if nobody backs down.

I hope I could be of help.


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

I don't think that the original Latin phrase (oculum pro oculo) was supposed to mean this. It means that to a person that has done something to another person, there has to be done the same (if you hurt an eye, your eye gonna be hurt too).

But maybe the German translation means exactly what you described.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

The German translation means: if you take my eye, I take yours... so if you hurt me with something I hurt you back with the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deane455390

I think you will find that the original is Hebrew. If is from the old testament and predates Latin by quite a bit.


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

It is older even than that. It comes from ancient Mesopotamia and is represented in the Code of Hamurabi.

Link


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

I looked these up so I could grasp what you meant. "Schlag um Schlag" means something like "blow after blow" (so I see what you mean by repeated actions). "Fall um Fall" has a little different sense of repetition, "case by case." Helpful - thanks.


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

So it can't work as meeting someone eye to eye?


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

So it can't work as meeting someone eye to eye?

That's right.

If it's just two people meeting each other with nobody else, you can say unter vier Augen treffen (meet someone under four eyes).

For talking about speaking face to face, I can think of von Angesicht zu Angesicht, using a slightly dated/poetic word for "face".

I can't think of a "normal" version off the top of my head.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jnv1994

There's also the word Augenhöhe, which I believe does work for the context of meeting sb. eye to eye, or treating/viewing them as an equal


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

I don't think Augenhöhe works in the context of meeting. In the supermarket, the A-brand items are at Augenhöhe (eye level), so they are the first to attract your attention.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marios.Orphanou

Actually an eye for an eye means that the punishment should be the same as the original crime. If an eye was lost only an eye can be taken as punishment.


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

Yes, exactly right. In Hammurabi's time, this was widely regarded as remarkably "liberal" - it put a limit on the revenge that could be taken, where before there had been none.


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

Um shows some kind of replacement.

And um is just um, it's not a contraction, preposition un doesn't exist in German


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

Is this an idiomatic phrase? Why would "Eine Auge für eine Auge" not be literally adequate here?


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

Yes, it's an idiomatic phrase, a fixed expression.

Also, Auge is neuter: das Auge, ein Auge.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jrgen792736

Natürlich kenne ich den Spruch, aber zwei Mädchen haben Puppen aus dem vorigen Jahrhundert, wo es noch Ersatzaugen für die Porzellan-Puppen gab. Sie könnten gesagt haben: Ein Auge für ein Auge. OK ich lag falsch. My mistake!


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

Is the article-full version un-idiomatic?
"Ein Auge um einem Auge" is not accepted.
Btw, did Luther object to the use of articles? (With Russian being my mother tongue, I naturally sympathise, but it's surprising nonetheless.)


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

Is the article-full version un-idiomatic?

Yes.

"Ein Auge um einem Auge" is not accepted.

And that would be an incorrect expansion anyway; um requires the accusative case, so it would have to be ein Auge um ein Auge.

did Luether object to the use of articles?

I've never heard of that.


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

I've never heard of that.

So why didn't he use them in this sentence? Eyes are countable so some article is clearly called for, no?


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

I can't explain it.

But there are other similar expressions such as Schritt für Schritt (step by step) which also don't use articles (even the English "step by step" doesn't use an article before the countable noun "step").


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

Excuse my ignorance, is the "Luether" referenced here the person we know as Martin Luther? If not, who/what is it? And how did he get into this discussion? Just curious.


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

I believe he was the one who translated the Bible to German.
(I did misspell his name, there is no umlaut - correcting it.)


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

@zirkul - Ah, thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill_M1

You are correct. Martin Luther did translate the Bible from Latin into German


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

This was a babylon rule "an eye for an eye , a tooth for a tooth."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felix131764

That phrase comes from ancient Mesopotamia; it's mentioned in Hammurabi's Code.


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

Stein um Stein works as a reminder :)


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

Stein um Stein mauer ich dich ein

Stein um Stein

Ich werde immer bei dir sein


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiborLaho1

Ah, I see you're man of culture as well. :)


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

I don't believe I've learned "um" yet...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleema-Imran

Does ein Auge für ein Aüge convey the same meaning? (I am assuming that the intended meaning is the biblical one mentioned above and not "eye after eye" as in a repeated action.)


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

I know the whole phrase:

"Auge um Auge, Zahn um Zahn." (Zahn=tooth)

Another idiom with similar context:

"Wie du mir, so ich dir." (Tit for tat)


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

why can't we use "für"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SiggiBu48

Diskutiert nicht so lange: Es ist eine feste Redensart >Auge um Auge! Über "you are welcome" in Deutsch "Bitte" wird doch auch nicht so viel geredet!!


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

Sounds like an idiom to me. When did we learn it?


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

Just now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pradeepan90

From the comments I understand 'um' meant to 'for' in this context. However why the article 'an' is discarded? Wouldn't it be as "Ein auge um ein auge"?


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

From the comments I understand 'um' meant to 'for' in this context. However why the article 'an' is discarded?

It's probably best to translate this expression as a whole -- the ways this is phrased in the two languages' traditional Bible translations are not equivalent grammatically.

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