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

Mothers talking about drugs

I got to translate this sentence: "Unsere Mutter spricht dich aufs Medikament an"

I am suspicious of the allegedly correct answer "Our mother addresses you about the medication", mainly because one could simply say "sprechen", not "an-sprechen" and I would always use "über" and never "auf" for "about"

Also, "an-sprechen auf" is a medicinal term and means "to be responsive to" smth. Like a medication. Except, what to do with "dich" then?

Could it be "talking you in (persuading) about the drug"? Has anyone heard of the construction "an-sprechen jmndn. auf etw."? and what does it mean?

July 31, 2012

14 Comments


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

The German sentence is okay. You're right that one of the meanings of "ansprechen auf" is medicinal and means "to be responsive to sth.". However, like many other words "ansprechen auf" has several different meanings.

"Sprechen über" means to talk to somebody about something, i.e. to have a conversation. By contrast, "ansprechen auf" means that one person makes a short remark or asks a question. We do not know if the other person answers and if they have a conversation. The sentence you quoted could mean that our mother comes to you and says: "I'm really worried about you. Is it true that you're taking your medication twenty times a day now? I think you might have a serious problem." It could also mean that our mother comes to you and says: "I've heard about the wonderful medication you're taking. Do you know where I can get it?"

About the English translation - I'm not a native English speaker, so I can't really tell. Maybe "Our mother raises the subject of the medication with you"? "Our mother broaches the topic of the medication"? "Our mother approaches you about the medication"? "Our mother brings up the matter/question of the medication"?

July 31, 2012

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

No, there is a definite difference between sprechen and ansprechen. "Unsre Mutter spricht mit dir über das Medikament." Das kann allerhand sein, ob du es einnimmst, ob es wirkt, usw. "Unsere Mutter spricht dich aufs Medikament an" Jemanden auf etwas ansprechen = einseitiger. Es ist eine Art von Kontrolle. Mother wants to know where you stand with this medicine. When I use it, it generally implies some criticism on the person I address.

July 31, 2012

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

@ katherle, both German and English are not my own language, but I manage. I like the phrase: "Our mother broaches the topic of the medication." BTW, I think that persons in this stage of the course should converse in German. Oder?

July 31, 2012

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

Danke euch beiden! Sie haben diesen Zwischenton mir ganz erklärt.

@ siebolt, I think we need to keep the communication at least partially English for people who might face the same quandary in the future. At least when it comes to the Erläuterung.

July 31, 2012

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

@siebolt: I don't know about this sentence, but a general problem I have with translating into English is that I often get too wordy. :) About the language - I'm also working on level 10 (in Spanish) and I think I would have a hard time understanding an answer if it was written in Spanish. But maybe it's just me, I don't know.

July 31, 2012

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

You are probably right and I manage in English, but I am more at ease in German. so it was quite a egotistical suggestion.

August 1, 2012

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

In my humble opinion, "Unsere Mutter spricht dich aufs Medikament an" can be translated by something like "Our mother brought up to you the subject of pharmaceuticals."

"Jemanden auf etwas ansprechen" bedeutet, "jemanden auf ein Thema aufmerksam machen". Kontrolle seitens des Ansprechenden gibt es dabei nicht unbedingt. Diesen Eindruck entsteht allerdings mit dem obigen Satz zu Recht aus der Verbindung von "Mutter", "Medikament" und "aufmerksam machen" - nicht jedoch aus "aufmerksam machen / ansprechen" allein. So zumindest mein eigener Sprachgefühl - der durchaus falsch sein kann! :-)

August 1, 2012

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

Not having seen the original, I venture to offer 'My mother raises/is raising the subject of drugs with you' or, if showing approbation, as siebolt suggests, 'My mother gives/is giving you a talking to about drugs'. Also, siebolt, your suggestion was egocentric, rather than egotistical and... I would be lost in the discussion threads if they were not, at least partially, in English :S

August 1, 2012

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

@monzac: Sorry for the German. Here a translation in English:

"Jemanden auf etwas ansprechen" means to raise an issue. "Jemanden auf etwas ansprechen" does not imply the one rainig the issue exercing any kind of control. Control, however, can be rightly assumed because of the combination of "mother", "drug/pharma" and "raising the drug issue".

So at least my own feeling for the German langhuage - which, o course, might be wrong.

August 1, 2012

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

No worries, fuchs :) I also like your 'issue'. I'm now inclined to think 'My mother raises/is raising the issue of drugs with you', might give the desired tone.

August 1, 2012

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

You probably already know that, but just so that there are no misunderstandings: "das Medikament" doesn't refer to illegal drugs, only to drugs in the sense of medicine/ medication. And the mother refers to a specific drug, which could be anything from Aspirin to Valium, not to drugs in general. Unfortunately, we will never find out what she said :)

August 1, 2012

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

I did not know that about the meaning of "das Medikament". I'm a native English speaker, and my German is quite basic. I would be lost if all these threads were in German. Also, if I tried posting in German, you guys would all have a good laugh. And now, having claimed to be a native English speaker, I must now go away and look up the difference between "egotistical" and "egocentric". This is not the first time I've encountered non-native speakers who speak English better than I do.

August 2, 2012

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

Don't fret tutto. I am a native (Australian) English speaker, and a word nerd :)

August 2, 2012

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

@tutto: You should, I think, write and speak German as much as you can and don't care for your mistakes. That's the only way to learn fast - and to remember what you havwe learned. I am not a native spaker either - neither in English nor in German.

"Egoistical' vs. "egocentric": The first means that the others are not keeping me enough in their thougths; the second that I don't.

August 2, 2012
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