genitive

TalkLibraryThing in German

Join LibraryThing to post.

genitive

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

1jones
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.

Suggestions/Ideas?

2GirlFromIpanema
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*

3rosinalippi
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.

4jones
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"?)

5rosinalippi
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.

6timspalding
Oct 1, 2006, 5:32pm

This is an error. It should handle it better.

Where are we seeing this?

7GirlFromIpanema
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").

8timspalding
Oct 1, 2006, 5:38pm

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

9timspalding
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.

10rosinalippi
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. ;-)

12sunny
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?