Friday, 20 March 2009

What's occurring?

Take the word unter. It can mean a few things. It can mean under or it can mean below or among. So if you think of unter just as under then there might be a better translation. Now take the verb nehmen. It can mean a few things as well but it usually means 'to take'. Now put these words together and you get unternehmen. You have two words joined together and both of them can mean a few different things. Unternehmen can mean to make an attempt or to take steps or it can mean what you expect it to mean, to undertake.

If you translate 'was kann man abends unternehmen?' you get 'what can one in the evenings undertake'. OK with English word order you get 'what can one undertake in the evenings' but we don't say that. A good translation would be 'what's there to do in the evening?' Another way of asking the same question is 'what's on (this weekend)?' which tranlates as 'was ist dieses Wochenende los?' If we are to believe Nessa from Gavin and Stacey then we can say 'what's occurring?' So now you have the questions and all you have to do is understand the answer.

Bis bald

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