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Frage:
Wir blicken zurück -> we look back?  
von Tratzinsky (DE), 2019-12-02, 14:37  like dislike  Spam?  176.98.167...
Wir blicken zurück auf ein erfolgreiches Jahr blabla...
Ist das:
We look back ...
oder
We are looking back
?

Wenn erstes, warum?

Danke und Grüße!
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2019-12-02, 15:15  like dislike  Spam?  
 #914326
"We look back of a successful year".
Google: "We look back on a successful year"
I always think this is one of those sentences that translates quite badly. You'll find it in a lot of German annual reports, but it's not something that sounds quite natural to me in English either as "we look back on a successful year" or (worse) "we are looking back on a successful year". I guess it's just a way of saying "We had a successful year"
You can find phrases like "As we look back on a successful year...." or "Looking back on a successful year..." occurring naturally in English, but just "we look back on a successful year" tends to sound a tiny bit translated to me (others may disagree). Nevertheless, "we look back on a successful year" is a possible and comprehensible sentence in English and is an option for sentences where "looking back on a successful year" or "as we look back on a successful year" aren't options.
I don't know why "we look back" sounds better to me than "we are looking back", but "we are looking back" sounds much more unlikely to me. I assume I have an issue with what that tense implies, but I can't put my finger on what. Again, others may disagree with me.
Antwort: 
von Tratzinsky (DE), 2019-12-02, 15:47  like dislike  Spam?  176.98.167...
 #914327
Thank you very much for your comprehensive response!
Learning English to an extent where one can get along is quite easy, but mastering it to a level where one can easily find proper prepositions and not just translate German sentences into English really is quite difficult.
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), 2019-12-02, 16:34  like +1 dislike  Spam?  
 #914328
I completely agree with Wndfall. Both "we look back" and "we are looking back" sound odd in a business context. I think this is so because both phrases suggest an on-going activity. Regardless of the facts, a business doesn't really want to tell the world that it looks back or is looking back for any length of time. It does so briefly when compiling its annual report. But then it's back to a forward-looking strategy to, as the marketeers will have it, "meet the challenges ahead."

Suggest "We can look back on a successful year." That's a bit more idiomatic, with the "can" implying a backward look only when it's needed for reporting past performance.
Antwort: 
von Tratzinsky (DE), 2019-12-02, 16:38  like dislike  Spam?  176.98.167...
 #914329
Thank you, I really appreciate it!
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), 2019-12-02, 16:41  like dislike  Spam?  
 #914330
4;Michael, I also wondered about "We can...", but wasn't quite sure enough to suggest it. I like that option.
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), 2019-12-02, 16:51  like +1 dislike  Spam?  
 #914331
4;Windfall: I've seen the "We can" often in annual reports. The "can" also insinuates accomplishment, in the sense of "by the strength of our efforts last year, we are able to blah blah...." Business jargon, but it is what it is.
Antwort: 
Öfter auch We have had a successful year — wobei die Grammatik das unmittelbare Zurückblicken impliziert  #914337
von Proteus-, 2019-12-02, 17:25  like dislike  Spam?  217.149.163....
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), 2019-12-02, 21:37  like dislike  Spam?  
 #914351
Excellent suggestion from Proteus.

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