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https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleOs899172

Help with translation of German sentence into English please!

MichelleOs899172
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Hi all - I've got something I'm trying to make sense of. I just haven't been able to wrap my head around the grammar of this sentence:

In jeder dieser vier Eigenschaften von mir muss ich den Hitlerismus als meinen Todfeind ansehen, den mit allen mir zu Gebote stehenden Mitteln zu bekämpfen mir meine Ehre und mein Gewissen, meine Ueberlegung ebenso wie mein Impuls gebieten.

The first clause is fine. "In each of these four characteristics I must view Hitlerism as my mortal enemy." But with the second clause, does "den" refer to Hitlerismus or Todfiend or the "vier Eigenschaften?" And I think that "zu Gebote stehenden Mittlen" is something like "byany means necessary." Then, does bekämpfen take the dative? And what does gebieten apply to?

My translation is at this point something like, "with which I must do everything in my power to combat my honor and my conscience, my consideration likewise as my impulse commands." This is not very good English, and doesn't completely make sense. Any help is welcome!

Vor 3 Jahren

7 Kommentare


https://www.duolingo.com/Aileme
Aileme
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But with the second clause, does "den" refer to Hitlerismus or Todfiend or the "vier Eigenschaften?"

"den" refers to "Todfeind" and therefore also to "Hitlerismus", as they are considered the same thing. If the sub clause would refer to "Eigenschaften", it would start with "die", not with "den".

And I think that "zu Gebote stehenden Mittlen" is something like "byany means necessary."

yes

Then, does bekämpfen take the dative?

"bekämpfen" goes with Akkusativ (den .... zu bekämpfen)

And what does gebieten apply to?

..., den (= Todfeind).... zu bekämpfen mir x, y and z gebieten (x, y and z = meine Ehre und mein Gewissen, meine Überlegung ebenso wie mein Impuls)

My translation is at this point something like, "with which I must do everything in my power to combat my honor and my conscience, my consideration likewise as my impulse commands."

which my honor etc. demand me to combat with everything in my power

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleOs899172
MichelleOs899172
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Thanks. Why the "mir" (dative) then? Is it a prepositional phrase "zu bekämpfen mir", followed by the x,y, and z?

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/bluseven

"mir" belongs to "gebieten": jemandem etwas gebieten

... x,y and z demand (gebieten) me (mir) to combat (bekämpfen) ...

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleOs899172
MichelleOs899172
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Thanks everyone for the help!

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/XD29
XD29
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“mir“ is the dative object of “gebieten“ - my honor and my conscience [...] command ME to combat [...] I would split the sentence into two for a translation: “In each of the four characteristics I must view Hitlerism as my mortal enemy. My honor and my conscience, as well as my considerations and my impulse, bid me combat it by any means that I have power over.“

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/Mark-Schneider

If you would like to consider the following:

  1. bekämpfen is either nominative or accusative case. Here it is refering to a general concept, so it's the accusative, not an nominative case. That is due to the circumstance that you fight against "whom or what? --> accusative. Don't mix up dative and accusative case here.
  2. "zu Gebote stehende Mittel" means nothing like by any means necessary but rather:
    "by all means indicated" source: --> http://www.duden.de/suchen/dudenonline/zu%20Gebote%20stehen
  3. Quite awesome translation for a intermediate german learner, I encourage you to keep going!
  4. XD292 is right, it has to be considered that the dative object of "gebieten zu (active verb here)" is "mir". It's a quite common mistake. Best translation, loyal to the style would be in my opinion:

“In each of these four qualities of mine I must view Hitlerism as my mortal enemy. My honor and my conscience, as well as my considerations and my impulse, demand me to combat it by any means that I am empowered with.“

Vor 3 Jahren

https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleOs899172
MichelleOs899172
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Thanks a bunch, Mark!

Vor 3 Jahren