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 How could you translate "weit weniger" in this ... »
« Warum nicht "weniger bekannteR Maler"?    

English-German Translation of
How could you translate

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Frage:
How could you translate "bei weitem nicht alle" in this sentence? And is the rest of the translation right and good English?  
von Squirrel-quattro (UN), 2015-09-13, 18:53  like dislike  Spam?  
Sie haben Pflichten, die viele, aber bei weitem nicht alle Kinder haben.
> They have duties which many but by far not all children have.
Antwort: 
von Jim46 (US), Last modified: 2015-09-13, 19:14  like dislike  Spam?  
 #816072
Your translation is correct, except for missing commas.

Replacing by far with certainly would be an improvement, IMO.
Antwort: 
Thank you very much! :)  #816097
von Squirrel-quattro (UN), 2015-09-13, 21:51  like dislike  Spam?  
Could you tell me where the commas should be if I use "by far"?

If I would use "certainly" my sentence could IMHO (in my context) be misunderstood, as it means "sicherlich", too...
Antwort: 
von Jim46 (US), 2015-09-13, 22:03  like dislike  Spam?  
 #816099
After duties, after many, and after all.
Antwort: 
Ok, thanks!  #816105
von Squirrel-quattro (UN), 2015-09-13, 22:13  like dislike  Spam?  
So it is "They have duties, which many, but by far not all, children have." - but why there should be a comma after duties? I thought there should only be a comma before "which", "who" etc. if the part of the sentence after which/who/... isn't important for the statement of the sentence, and if this relative clause is necessary, there shouldn't be a comma? But I'm not sure, I'm too tired for thinking much...
Antwort: 
von timfefe (AU/AT), 2015-09-13, 23:09  like dislike  Spam?  
 #816120
The comma after "duties" is not really necessary.

I'm with Jim on replacing "by far" by "certainly". The two options convey the same meaning, but with "certainly" the sentence rolls much better.
Antwort: 
kleine Verbesserung  #816141
von atemp (US), Last modified: 2015-09-14, 02:05  like dislike  Spam?  
Too many commas are messing up the cadence of the entire Satz.

Also, replacing the which (DE Kontext die) with a that (DE dass) would improve the flow.

Finally, the bei weitem nicht just does not transfer well to the cognate by far not, so, adding a bit of redundancy:

They have duties that many children have, but by no means all children.
Antwort: 
Ambiguity  #816145
von Catesse (AU), 2015-09-14, 03:31  like dislike  Spam?  
"That" is preferable, although "which" is allowable, but it should not be preceded by a comma, unless you specifically mean that lots of children have no duties at all.
German grammar does not distinguish between defining and non-defining relative clauses. English does.
Chat:     
von Jim46 (US), 2015-09-14, 04:05  like dislike  Spam?  
 #816149
I'm guilty of over-using commas.  Old habits die hard.
Chat:     
Commas  #816152
von Catesse (AU), 2015-09-14, 04:58  like dislike  Spam?  
There are worse crimes and sins in the world than a misplaced comma.
Chat:     
von atemp (US), 2015-09-14, 06:13  like dislike  Spam?  
 #816155
Translated from the French (courtesy of Mr. Ripley):

Pardon impossible, to be executed.
was slightly altered to
Pardon, impossible to be executed. Thus was a condemned man freed.

So I'd say commas matter rather a lot, eh?
Antwort: 
Ok, thank you very much! :)  #816256
von Squirrel-quattro (UN), 2015-09-14, 17:38  like dislike  Spam?  
Chat:     
atemp  #816262
von Jim46 (US), 2015-09-14, 17:48  like dislike  Spam?  
That's just a fabricated phrase to show the importance of comma placement.  A complete
sentence would not be misunderstood, even with a misplaced comma.
Chat:     
no, really  #816435
von atemp (US), Last modified: 2015-09-15, 20:03  like dislike  Spam?  
Well, 4;Jim46, go ahead and accuse Robert Ripley of lying, I'm just passing it on.

Actually my recollection was wrong, my bad, mea culpa bla bla. The actual quote is:

"Maria Feodorewna accidentally caught sight of the following note appended to the bottom of a death warrant. It was in the handwriting of her husband, Alexander Ill. It read as follows: 'Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.' Maria transposed the comma so that it read 'Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia,' whereupon the convict was released a free man."
Chat:     
Old yarn  #816472
von Catesse (AU), 2015-09-16, 03:01  like dislike  Spam?  
How long has this story been around? What would puzzle me is how a comma could be "transposed"? You cannot physically pick it up and put it down somewhere else. It would be difficult to erase traces of the original comma. The whole text would have to be re-written; that is, forged.
Another version is that the comma was deleted when the message was forwarded as a telegram. Common practice to delete punctuation in telegrams, and much more feasible than the "transposed comma" story.
I think that this story has also been expatriated to Franco's Spain. It is possible, but it reeks of urban myth.
Still, the point is valid. Commas can matter.

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