In Danish, "står du" and "sidder du" are just there. Example sentences:
We're at the mall, and you space out, staring at a collection. I'm trying to get your attention by asking you: "Står du og sover?" In short, it's a way of asking whether you're even paying attention. If we were sitting in a classroom and you spaced out, staring out the window, I'd ask: "Sidder du og sover?" I'm asking the same, but the situation differs in that we're standing and sitting.
We also use it in other generic terms like: "Jeg sidder lige her og prøver at forklare noget" which in English could be "I'm trying to explain something here". The "here" being the attitude in the sentence because someone is interrupting my work helping out on Dualingo. In Danish, that's the "jeg sidder lige her" (I'm sitting right here).
You can also use lie. "Jeg lå og ventede på dig." Like if you're vegetating on the couch, waiting for your friend to drop by. I guess it's possible to use most verbs explaining your position...
"Jeg gik og ventede på dig" would indicate that I was active while waiting for you. Odd part is, we always muck it up.
Any "Jeg sidder/ligger/står/render og laver noget" simply means "jeg er i færd med at lave noget"
But I can't come up with a sentence like the one you have for Dutch. And I'm sure I'm gonna botch that when I get to it :)
but in this context it would be totally fine to include the sidder and står in the translation? You could say Are you sleeping while standinding? According to Duo the translation is just 'are you sleeping'. But if I were texting someone at midnight to ask if they were still awake, wouldn't i just ask "sover du"?
Yes, it does. But if you would translate it litterally "are you sitting and sleeping?", I feel too much stress would go to the "sitting" part. Are you expected to answer about the sitting or about the sleeping? In Danish and in Dutch it is absolutely clear that the question only is about the sleeping. So the correct real life translation is "are you sleeping?". (Is that somewhat clear?)
These constructions also work in German (though the "da" part seems to be necessary (da = der ("there"))
"Sitzt du da und schläfst?" (sidder du og sover)
"Ich lag da und wartete auf dich." (Jeg lå og ventede på dig.)
"Er stand da und erklärte das Problem." (Han stod og forklarede problemet)
When you learn a language, you work on structures, not only "the global meaning". Language are not approximations. If you wanna be understood quickly, yeah that works, but if you wanna really learn a language (and its nuances), approximations don't get you very far. I don't understand why so many people keep asking "why is my approximation not correct ?!" ... well.. maybe because it IS approximation and not what the lesson is trying to teach you... :/
Grammatically "are you sleeping" is about the continued "action" of sleeping while "are you asleep" is about the state you are in. Here the meaning is similar, so I don't see yet either how one but not the other expression captures tge meaning of the Danish "sidder og sover" structure.
I was reading an English translation of a Jo Nesbø novel today, and I came across this sentence: "I’m just sitting wondering whether I should go...". Clearly a (professional) English translation of a similar sentence as above. (Translated from Norwegian, but that language is very close to Danish.)
It's funny because in English all these expretions doesn't excist, so it al seems random, but in Dutch it does!! It's my mothertongue and we have a lot of similarities also with these sentences, we also say in Duch litterally "Zit hij te slapen", "Sits he sleeping", haha so it's not that difficult for me:)
In German, too. See my comment above.
And even closer to the Danish structures (that do not use the infinitive structures of the Dutch examples): "Liegt er da und wartet?" (ligger han og venter)
Though I know, quite a lot of German dialects spot the infinitive structures used in Dutch, too. "Steht er da zu reden?", "Sitzt er da zu schlafen?" etc. sounds very familiar to my ears! But should not be used as examples of good (Standard) German, while the "und" structures ("sitzt er da und schläft?") are perfectly fine.