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Folklore: about two German words

leeneia 12 Mar 21 - 10:07 PM
GerryM 12 Mar 21 - 10:36 PM
leeneia 13 Mar 21 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,RA 13 Mar 21 - 01:58 AM
DaveRo 13 Mar 21 - 02:48 AM
Jack Campin 13 Mar 21 - 03:35 AM
MudGuard 13 Mar 21 - 09:29 AM
Reinhard 13 Mar 21 - 11:05 AM
Monique 13 Mar 21 - 11:32 AM
leeneia 13 Mar 21 - 11:45 AM
Monique 13 Mar 21 - 12:16 PM
Jack Campin 13 Mar 21 - 02:52 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 21 - 08:17 PM
Reinhard 14 Mar 21 - 01:33 AM
leeneia 14 Mar 21 - 02:01 PM
Reinhard 14 Mar 21 - 05:11 PM
leeneia 14 Mar 21 - 08:40 PM
DaveRo 15 Mar 21 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!) 15 Mar 21 - 07:50 AM
Jack Campin 15 Mar 21 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: Folklore: about two German words
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 10:07 PM

I just listened to a beautiful concert of German baroque music having to do with Easter. I've studied German, and two eighteenth-century words caught my eye.

1. verdolmetschet - this means 'translated', and that part's all right. But it's so funny-looking. Where did this word come from? And what does it have to do with the personal name Dolmetsch? as in Arnold Dolmetsch?

2. Why does Jesus address his disciple John as Johannes? Why do we see this name as Johann sometimes and Johannes other times?

It was a beautiful concert, with a recorder too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: GerryM
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 10:36 PM

According to Wikipedia, Johannes is medieval Latin, and Johann is a common German variant. Another website says the past participle of the verb verdolmetschen is verdolmetscht. Yet another website says dolmetschen is to translate, verdolmetschen is to interpret. Better wait until someone who actually speaks German comes along, for better answers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 01:54 AM

That's good about Johannes. Lutherans used Latin endings for names for a long time after they stopped using Latin in the service. Up until now, I only noticed it in Jesus' name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 01:58 AM

'Dolmetschen' appears to be a loanword into German from the Turkic languages. From Wiktionary:

From Middle High German tolmetsche. Compare Proto-Slavic *t?lmac? (“interpreter”) (Russian ?????´? (tolmác),Polish tlumacz), Hungarian tolmács, borrowed from a Turkic language, from Proto-Turkic *tilmaç (cf. Turkish dilmaç (“translator, interpreter”)).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: DaveRo
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 02:48 AM

GUEST,RA wrote: Proto-Slavic *t?lmac? (“interpreter”) (Russian ?????´? ...
You need my east-euopean chararacter dolmetschifier ;)
Compare Proto-Slavic *tъlmačь (“interpreter”) (Russian толма́ч (tolmáč),Polish tłumacz), Hungarian tolmács, borrowed from a Turkic language, from Proto-Turkic *tilmaç (cf. Turkish dilmaç (“translator, interpreter”)).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 03:35 AM

So the Turks didn't just conquer Hungary, they used it as a waste dump for obsolete words? (Modern Turkish for "translate" derives from "çevir-", "change").


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: MudGuard
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 09:29 AM

"dolmetschen" is one of the German translation for "to translate".
It is, as already mentioned derived from the Turkish word dilmaç bzw. tilmaç. (another translation of "to translate" is "übersetzen").

Johann/Johannes/Hans/Hannes are all common forms of originally the same name. All are in use today (similar to Jake/Jacob or Steve/Steven/Stephen in English which are forms of the same name)

The Turks came as far as Wien (Vienna) in 1529 and 1683 and kept the town under siege but failed to conquer the town.
Austria is one of the German-speaking countries. So any words the Turks left there on retreat might have found their way into German language ...


Andreas a/k/a MudGuard, from Germany


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Reinhard
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 11:05 AM

"übersetzen" is used for translating written text or documents.

"dolmetschen" is used for simultaneous translating of speeches and talks, and into sign languate.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Monique
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 11:32 AM

"The Turks came as far as Wien (Vienna) in 1529 and 1683 and kept the town under siege but failed to conquer the town." And thanks to that we have now croissants!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 11:45 AM

Thanks, everybody. I knew that verdolmetschen was an unusual word, and now I know why.

In Vienna the DH and I visited a Catholic church near the cruise boat, and in it was a niche from the Muslim faith.

Monique, what do you mean about croissants? Did the Turks import them, or did the besieged Viennese invent them?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Monique
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 12:16 PM

Austrian "Kipferl" are said to be the origin of croissants Cf.English Wiki and French Wiki -The Viennese bakers made them in the shape of a crescent moon to celebrate their victory over the Ottomans whose symbol it is.
Croissants as we know them now are a later invention but based on the original ones -which doesn't mean they're healthier!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 02:52 PM

...wrong: "dilmaç" is still current for "interpreter". "Dil" is "tongue" or "language", "-maç" must be a no-longer-productive suffix.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 08:17 PM

But Reinhard, what about that prefix "ver"? Sometimes it means nothing in particular, but sometimes it means to do something wrong. So, I took "verdolmetschet" to mean "mistranslated."

https://yourdailygerman.com/german-prefix-ver-meaning/


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 01:33 AM

My explanation above did not cover actual usage.

While a distinction is indeed made between the professions of "Dolmetscher" and "Übersetzer", the verb "dolmetschen" is hardly ever used in normal speech. Common usage is "übersetzen" for both meanings. And I have never seen or heard the verb "verdolmetschen" before; it looks oldfashioned.

Joe, the article you're referring to says in the beginning that the prefix "ver" has more than ten different meanings; later on in the comments someone explicitely listed twelve meanings with examples. Picking just one of them by random doesn't really help, especially as leeneia in her original post asked for the verb out of its context; we don't know how it was actually used.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 02:01 PM

Here's the context.

I was listening to an eighteenth-century musical version of 'the Seven Last Words of Christ' by Schurz. When Jesus cried, "Eli, Eli sabachthani", the lyrics added something like this:

"was verdolmetscht ist als 'Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum has du mich verlassen?"

I don't have the program anymore, so I can't be precise. The next day I looked at a list of words that start with ver-, and it's true that it doesn't always mean something bad. Verstehen, z.B.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 05:11 PM

Thanks leeneia! Then "verdolmetscht" is just an oldfashioned word for "übersetzt", i.e. "translated".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 08:40 PM

Yes, it's true that the meaning is simple. But the origin - from Turkish via Hungarian is fun and unusual. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was something special.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: DaveRo
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 03:36 AM

Jack Campin wrote: "dilmaç" is still current for "interpreter". [in Turkish] "Dil" is "tongue" or "language", "-maç" must be a no-longer-productive suffix.
"-maç" seems to have been used to make a noun from a verb (ref) - which is the opposite of what you might expect in this case.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 07:50 AM

"Verdolmetschen" isn't old-fashioned: Duden says it's "umgangssprachlich, auch Fachjargon" (colloquial, also specialist terminology - "Jargon" doesn't necessarily have the pejorative sense it does in English). I'm surprised that it's described as "colloquial", but it's certainly a standard word in interpreting - specifically, it tends to be used in transitive phrases (i.e. with a direct object), whereas "dolmetschen" is usually used intransitively (I've only very rarely seen dolmetschen used transitively).

e.g. "Ich musste bei der Konferenz dolmetschen" - I had to act as interpreter at the conference

but "Ich habe die Reden der Konferezteilnehmer verdolmetscht" - I simultaneously translated/interpreted the conference attendees' speeches"

This description of an interpreter's work here uses "verdolmetschen" several times.

The etymology via Turkish is very interesting!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: about two German words
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 03:33 PM

Can't trace "dilmaç" any further. Clauson's "Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth-Century Turkish" doesn't list it, or "maç" on its own, though "dil" has a common secondary meaning of "informer" which has to encode the ancient Central Asian stereotype about the multilingual.


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