Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod

Published 13th June 2011
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Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod

In the last few posts we have left German aside a bit, so let’s try to make up for that. Although the book Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod is already very famous among German speakers and lovers, it is worth knowing what it is about.

First of all, the title of the book means ‘The dative represents the death of the genitive’. And why is that? As you might know, the German language has cases, namely nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. In recent years, the genitive has started to disappear in favour of the dative. For example, instead of saying the correct ‘die Jacke des Mädchens’ (the jacket of the girl), people now tend to go for the easier ‘dem Mädchen seine Jacke’.  Literally, to the girl her jacket and ‘die Jacke vom Mädchen’, which employs the preposition von together with the article in the dative case. If you think that this tendency is only present in oral communications, you should really read this book. It will provide you with insightful examples of how German has changed and is still changing. Of course starting from the general shift from the genitive to the dative.

Zwiebelfish

However, we’re all very busy, and you might not want to buy the book. But you might still want to have a look at the column Zwiebelfish, which Bastian Sick, the book’s author, writes for the magazine Speigel. It is in German, but I am sure that even beginners will soon be charmed by Sick’s style. Also by the interesting bits and pieces he finds in everyday life and then shares with us in his humorous manner.

Finally, as a translator, it is important to keep up with a language, which is something alive and ever-changing. These light-hearted, yet clever articles can be really useful both for one’s cultural knowledge and future jobs! So, keep reading (and using the genitive!!!).

P.S. Above another example of missing genitive (Closed because of high water); there should be an S at the end of Hochwasser, as the preposition wegen requires the genitive.

Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod

Hemos dejado un poco de lado al alemán en los últimos blogs, así que he pensado tratar de compensarlo. Aunque el libro Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod es ya muy popular entre hablantes y amantes del alemán, es algo que vale la pena comentar.

En primer lugar, el título del libro significa “El dativo representa la muerte del genitivo”. ¿Y eso por qué? Como sabrás, el alemán tiene cuatro casos: nominativo, acusativo, dativo y genitivo. En los últimos años, el genitivo ha comenzado a desaparecer en favor del dativo. Por ejemplo, en lugar de decir correctamente ‘die Jacke des Mädchens’ (la chaqueta de la niña), ahora la gente tiende a simplificar la frase diciendo ‘dem Mädchen seine Jacke’. Que significa literalmente “a la chica su chaqueta” y ‘die Jacke vom Mädchen’, que utiliza la preposición von, junto con el artículo en el caso dativo. Si piensas que esta tendencia sólo está presente en la comunicación oral, deberías leer este libro, que ofrece ejemplos de cómo el alemán ha cambiado y sigue cambiando. Empezando por esta tendencia generalizada de sustitución del genitivo por el dativo.

Zwiebelfish

Pero todos estamos demasiado ocupados, y puede que no queráis comprar el libro. Aún así igual queréis echar un vistazo a la columna Zwiebelfish , escrita por Bastian Sick, el autor del libro, para la revista Spiegel. Está escrita en alemán, pero estoy segura de que incluso a los principiante les encantará el estilo de Sick y las cosas tan interesantes que encuentra en la vida cotidiana y que comparte con nosotros con el humor que le caracteriza.

Finalmente, como traductor, es importante mantenerse al día con un lenguaje, que es algo vivo y cambiante. Estos alegres e inteligentes artículos pueden ser realmente útiles para anmpliar tu cultura general y para tu futuro puesto de trabajo. Así que, no dejes de leer (¡¡¡y utiliza el genitivo!!!)

PD Arriba tenéis otro ejemplo de ausencia del genitivo ( cerrado por marea alta), debe haber una S al final de Hochwasser, ya que la preposición wegen requiere el uso de genitivo.

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