"Try if you can reach me."

Translation:Prøv om du kan nå mig.

April 6, 2015

This discussion is locked.


"Try if you can reach me" means: "if you can reach me, then try". So the trying is conditional upon the reaching. It doesn't mean "make an attempt to see whether you can reach me". So I would suggest that "Prøv hvis du kan nå mig" is correct, as well as "Prøv om du kan nå mig". Hvad synes I?


    I have updated the main English translation to "Try to see if you can reach me" as I agree, that is the meaning of the Danish sentence and the "Try, if you can reach me" definitely does mean something different and doesn't really make sense without the comma


    I know it might just be for the sake of the argument by now, but how can you say "try if you can reach me" doesn't make sense? I've found the construction in published books by native English speaking scholars in 1802 and 1957 (one British, one American) merely through three minutes of casual searching. That's in addition to countless contemporary instances, of course. It clearly makes sense to a lot of people at various places and times.

    "Try to see if you can reach me" obviously means the same thing, but it adds redundant extra words.


    Also, this instance from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet reminds us that "try" does not only mean "attempt", but also "test" - just like "prøve" in Danish. In Romeo and Juliet, just like in the sentence above, it is used to mean "find out by experiment whether [you can reach me] / [the aspiring cooks can lick their fingers] or not."



    Tak skal du have!


    "Try if you can reach me" does not imply a conditional. It means "please attempt to reach me" and the translation is correct. To make it mean what you wrote, I'd suggest a comma after "try".


    I would contend that "Try if you can reach me" necessarily implies a conditional sense. "Try if you can do something" cannot mean "try to do something", because with the verb "to try", the action being attempted is never expressed in the form of a subordinate clause introduced with "if" or "whether".

    So nobody would say "try if you can reach me" to mean "try to reach me" - this would instead be expressed as "try to reach me", "try and reach me", "try reaching me", "attempt to reach me", "see if you can reach me", etc etc.


    Conversely, the Danish verb "Prøve" can be followed with "om"+clause, so you can say "Prøv om du kan nå mig" as well as "prøv at nå mig" to mean "try to reach me". But "try if you can reach me" is an incorrect translation because in English you can't say "try if" in this way.



    47 results, containing multiple repetitions of the same error. I can also use Google to find instances of people making errors in English. What's your point?


    Actually, my main point would be not to ask for opinions if you're going to stick with your initial hunch no matter what response you get. You're just playing a psychological game with me, or whoever else might respond, and it makes me wonder why.

    Secondly, the English language is used in different ways by different groups, and while some might not approve of using "try if" (I haven't met any of those people until today, though), evidently a large amount of people do, including me and, for example, this American philosopher writing in 1957:


    And that's how language works. If enough people use a certain phrase, and if they're not doing it by mistake, it's correct language.


    Hi JacobVSO - my point was to suggest "Prøv hvis du kan nå mig" as an alternative translation (whilst providing my reasoning for this) and gauge people's opinions about this Danish sentence.

    It certainly is not to play a "psychological game" - my one and only purpose on this site is to learn and explore languages.

    Jeg forlader denne diskussion nu, med venlige og fredelige hilsener til dig og alle andre læsere.


    Okay, great. Maybe I'm the one playing games then, you never know. Have a good day.

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