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"In the beginning was the word."

Translation:Am Anfang war das Wort.

October 13, 2017

37 Comments


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

...Und Vogel ist das Wort.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulRubin1

Jeder hat vom Vogel gehört?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omegaman661

What does this sentence even mean?


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

In the very beginning, before the world existed, there was only the spoken word of god which brought everything into existence.


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

its a quote from the bible - gospel of john 1:1


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

... und das Wort war bei Gott, und Gott war das Wort.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulRubin1

Is "Am Anfang gab es das Wort" wrong?


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

technically it is not wrong. But the sentence is a quotation from the bible that usually runs as given in the main solution.


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

My dictionary says 'zu Beginn' means 'in the beginning' but that is marked wrong


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

You are right, "Zu Beginn war das Wort." should also be accepted .

But the bible quotation translates to "Am Anfang war das Wort." :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna282584

And that's the cultural allusion here I think


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

So Duo is religious?


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

No, Duo is a Pastafarian. And the word was: Arrrghhh!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesLoke2

This is a quotation from the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, in the gospel of John chapter 1 verse 1 which reads "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Recovery Version) In German it reads: "Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott" (Wiedererlangungs-Übersetzung). I really like the Recovery version because of the commentaries which say "The Word is the definition, explanation, and expression of God; hence, it is God defined, explained, and expressed (Footnote 2). "The Word is not separate from God. It is not that the Word is the Word and God is God, and that they are thus separate from each other. Rather, the two are one; hence, the next clause says that the Word was God".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMeyer439034

Why not "zu Beginn..."?


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

no particular reason, should be accepted.


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

Just because :-). You can say "zu Beginn" if you are talking about the start of an event. This expression usually needs a complement: "at the beginning of what" ("zu Beginn" + genitive).

But "am Anfang" is the traditional wording in many German bible editions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrs851648

I like these Bible quotations by Duo. Even if you are not a believer, they are part of Western culture. Btw. today is the day of the Bible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Treacle18

Ignoring that it is a bible quote, could 'auf' or 'in' be used instead of 'an'?


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

No. "in the beginning" is "am Anfang" in colloquial everyday speech as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Treacle18

Thanks. Prepositions still confuse me.


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

Duden says "am Anfang; im Anfang (veraltend)." It looks like "am Anfang" has been more common than "im Anfang" and "zu Anfang" since about 1925 (Google Ngrams).


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

Doulingo accepted my, »Im Anfang, war das Wort«.


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

Well, I can't comment on the preposition, but there certainly shouldn't be a comma after "Anfang"—although I'm pretty sure Duo doesn't pick up on punctuation.


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

Indeed. The comma may be ok in English, but is definitely not in German.


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

Yeah, I'd actually say I'm more confident using commas in German, than I am in English, because the rules for using commas are so fest im Deutschen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e
  • 1202

Im Anfang war das Wort, is how it is written in my Bibles (revisions from 1953, 1964 and 1984)


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

There exists an abundance of German bible translations. Many have "am", others "im". Looking at the years you gave I think you are referring to "Luther", one of the most well-known ones. I'm not sure about previous editions, but 1984 and 2017 definitely have "am".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e
  • 1202

tks, yes i am referring to the Lutherbibel, and the 1984 revision i have showed im


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

Anfangs war das Wort. 37,500 results on Google?


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

Well, most of the hits might be sentences that start with that prefix, such as "Anfangs war das Wort 'Butter' noch klein geschrieben worden, aber ...".
This is totally different from having it as a complete sentence of its own (which doesn't make any sense).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raulme01

I got the reference! ❤️


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

I'm trying to practice using present perfect, but would "Am Anfang ist das Wort gewesen" technically be correct?


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

Technically "Am Anfang ist das Wort gewesen" is correct Perfekt.
But you would not saý so (even if not talking about what is written in the bible). Normally Perfekt is preferred in spoken language, Präteritum in written texts. Butr for auxiliaries and modal verbs Präteritum is preferred in spoken language, too. So it is rather "war" than "ist gewesen".

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