1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "To be or not to be, that is …

"To be or not to be, that is the question."

Translation:Sein oder nicht sein, das ist hier die Frage.

April 23, 2018

44 Comments


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

As an English speaker, I don't understand why hier is necessary in this case. Would the sentence be incorrect without it?


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

This is a line from Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. The German translation uses this wording. The context of the scene must have made it sound better that way.

Duolingo also accepts the translation without it.


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

No it doesn’t as of 11th of Jun, 2018.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john503633

Yes it does. I just did it


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

Correction, it does accept it. I was wrong on the word order.


[deactivated user]

    Today is May 9, 2019. Duolingo requires the addition of the word "hier", even though it should not for literal translations. Very frustrating.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee374561

    11 September 2019, duo accepted "Sein oder nicht sein, das ist die Frage." There must have been some other error in your entry.


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

    It didn't accept my answer without "hier". June 28th 2018


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

    It accepted my answer of "Sein oder nicht sein, das ist die Frage." (April 1, 2019)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.Sraml

    "The" German translation? There is only one? The one and only? :) (I do not mean to be mean: I was just really surprised, as in Czech most of Shakespeare's plays have been translated five times at the least.) Anyway, Duo is teching us basic German (oder?), namely modal verbs here, so it should accept wider range of attempted translation, even if they do not measure up to the standards of poetic translation. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fisch-fisch

    Shakespeare used metre, as in he wanted every line to have the right amount of week and strong syllables. So I'm guessing to keep the metre nice and balanced another word was stuck in here


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

    I'm guessing here, but I assume it's put in to keep the metre (pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables). The original is 11 syllables (iambic pentameter with a weak extra syllable at the end). Without the hier, it would only be 10 syllables in German. https://www.quora.com/If-a-poem-is-11-syllables-for-the-first-line-but-ten-for-every-other-line-does-it-have-a-metre


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyHudson95

    Duo now accept "sein oder nicht sein, das ist die Frage"


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

    Duo should change the given German translation and eliminate the unnecessary "hier".

    The other possibility to answer without "hier" is existing since more than six months. (;


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

    The plain translation is accepted. Having the "Shakespearean" German version here is both educational and entertaining. As an actor myself, I am charmed to know that the translators made an effort to maintain the meter.


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

    What's wrong with using "zu sein" here?


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

    Because "sein" is the infinitive and means "to be" on its own. "Zu sein" would mean "to to be."

    Similarly, gehen means "to go," "schwimmen" means "to swim..." Ich will schwimmen: I want to swim.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.Sraml

    Indeed, why not "zu sein"?


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

    Why is it "das" and not "dass" in this case?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.Sraml

    Because there are (at least) two "that"s in English. (1) One is basicaly a pronoun (even though it can be used as a conjunction) that indicates (or refers) an object, is contrasted to "this", and in German has a gender (so it translates to der, die or das). (Oh, that question! That is the one question that has been troubling us for centuries!) (2) The other is a conjunction, often omitted, used to introduce a subclause conveying the informational content of something mentioned in the main clause. (She announced / you are telling us / the book claims / the answer is / they have sent a message / a proof has been found / I doubt . . . , THAT all evil is bad.) Or, imagine using both in one sentence: "They say that (=1, and it would be usually omitted) that (=2, i.e. not this, but that) horse is good." DE: "Sie sagen, dass (1) das (2) Pferd [da] gut ist."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucasPereira2003

    Good question! I was wondering the same thing. I think you could use both but the structure would change. "Sein oder nicht sein, dass hier die Frage ist" That's because "dass" creates a subordinate clause and the verb in those clauses has to go to the end. It's just my guess though.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    We use "das" because it's a pronoun referring back to "Sein oder nicht sein" rather than, as you said, starting a subordinate clause.

    "Sein oder nicht sein, dass hier die Frage ist" doesn't make any sense. (That would make "die Frage" the subject of the subordinate clause and translate to something nonsensical like "To be or not to be that the question is here.") We need "das" in this sentence.


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

    Hamlet insentifies


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

    I am curious as to whether 'nicht' might come after 'sein' ('sein oder sein nicht') since 'nicht' often follows what it negates.


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

    May I propose: "Morgen, und morgen, und dann wieder morgen, Kriecht so mit kleinem Schritt von Tag zu Tag, Zur letzten Silb' auf unserm Lebensblatt."


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

    Can anyone tell me why this is not a subordinate clause using 'dass' ...dass die Frage ist


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

    I would think that "to be or not to be [sein oder nicht sein]" is the dependent clause. "That is the question" could be a complete, stand-alone sentence.


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

    "Dass" is a conjunction, and would change the meaning here to approximately "To be or not to be, [because it is the case] the question exists". "Das" is a demonstrative pronoun, so it refers back to what we were just talking about ("to be or not to be").


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

    Wouldn't "Sein, oder nicht sein, dass ist die Frage." be a better translation? • There is no "hier" in the English sentence.


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

    Yes, I think the same. The word "hier" is here an unncessesary addition, which does not change the meaning of the sentence. Duolingo accept the German translation without "here", too. Your problem is probably the use of the wrong "dass" instead of the demonstrative pronoun "das".


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

    The word "hier" is not an unnecessary addition to the Shakespearean translation, it is there to maintain the meter, and, I believe, it is as well known in German as is the original line in English.

    As a plain translation exercise, it is accepted without "hier".


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

    Nobody can know, that DL will demand a "hier" in the German sentence, if it is not given in the English sentence. The "here" is an unnecessary addition, like an modal particle, for strengthening the statement. Nobody needs to know that the question is asked here, at this place.


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

    DL does not demand "hier" in this sentence. "Sein oder nicht sein, das ist die Frage" is accepted, it is what I answered just yesterday.


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

    No. First off, if you used "dass" it'd make that a subordinate clause, so you'd have to write "dass [something] die Frage ist". Which brings us to the second issue, the "that" in "that is the question" isn't a conjunction, but a demonstrative.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gea123gea

    hier ist nicht zu sehen und weshalb darf ich hier zu uebersetzen? Danke moderator Deutsch


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

    Sein oder nicht sein ,Das ist die Liste

    Duo accepted it ? Why?


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

    It does not accept answer without "hier" - 12.06.19.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduardoPra448924

    "Nichtsein" ist richtig.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPark713661

    It is incorrect. I speak German.


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

    Who is writing some of these questions. this is not accurate German.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarilynMAd8

    "hier" is apparently required again at October 3 2020. Where else the question would be EXCEPT here is the question.


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

    Why dont we use "das" instead of "dass" here?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    Did you mean that the other way around? We are using "das" here.

    We use "das" because we need a pronoun here, whereas "dass" is a conjunction. "That" refers to the "to be or not to be" that was just said, which makes it a pronoun. Therefore we use the pronoun "das."


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

    Thanks, ya sorry that's what I meant to say.

    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.