TalkLibraryThing in German

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Oct 1, 2006, 3:38pm

There's a problem with the German genitive.

It's "Spaldings Bücher", but it's not "Joness Bücher" (it's "Jones' Bücher").

I've translated it with the (incorrect) 's, to make it at least equally incorrect ;-) It's the best compromise I can think of ("Spalding's and Jones's Bücher"), without having to rephrase the whole expression.


Oct 1, 2006, 3:48pm

But it should be the same in English: Jones' (or Joneses).
Are you talking about the profile page? Then I am afraid I have screwed it up about 15 minutes ago, kicking out all the apostrophs... *goes into corner and is embarrassed*

Oct 1, 2006, 3:53pm

I agree that the apostrophes have to go. It seems to me that mixing grammatical features from English and German is going to get us into trouble.

Oct 1, 2006, 3:59pm

lol, don't think anything's screwed, just a thing we need to get clear about.

I agree, I don't like the aoostrophes, but what to do? (have tim code a special "genitive-function"?)

Oct 1, 2006, 4:12pm

What's wrong with rephrasing it?

Bücher von...

might be a little clumsy but it's better than apostrophes. Especially given the world wide (and growing) chaos about the use of the apostrophe to mark the genitive in English.

Oct 1, 2006, 5:32pm

This is an error. It should handle it better.

Where are we seeing this?

Oct 1, 2006, 5:34pm

For example in the RSS feeds box on the profile page (that's where I removed the apostrophes, but I can see how it wouldn't work with a username ending in "s").

Oct 1, 2006, 5:38pm

Fixed there. It's now " books." Be sure that is in the genitive...

Edited: Oct 1, 2006, 6:19pm

Wait a second. It's correct the way it is now. Kill the ' after SUB. Basically, make it work so that, if SUB1 becomes the user name, it works. I don't know German--I studied it to read five years ago, and forgot it--but in many IE languages you couldn't craft a single working genitive ending. In that case, you need to handle it with a preposition, I suppose.

Oct 1, 2006, 7:55pm

Tim -- The genitive is eroding away in German, or spoken German at least. In the written language it can be quite handy because it only requires a change in article and possible endings.

It's really easier to use the dative as a workaround, although you need a preposition. That way you side step the declension issue.

11theologicalbooks First Message
Oct 3, 2006, 8:50am

Agghh . . . "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" :-( Oder, besser gesagt, der Dativ ist der Tod des Genitivs. ;-)

Oct 9, 2006, 5:08pm

Now I get

"Es gibt 5 Diskussionsbeiträge zu O.Fred Donaldson's books."

" 's books" is nowhere on the translation page, though.


ps - any explanation why the text on the translation page isn't in the same order as on the actual page?