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Author Topic: German  (Read 1419 times)

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Offline MacheteTopic starter

German
« on: May 17, 2012, 11:36:09 AM »
As some of you know, I'm working on a German mutant named Sascha von Heinz.  I know Bavarians use surname-first order.  Would von go before Heinz or after Sascha when typing since her family has no connection to the German nobility?

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Re: German
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 11:46:07 AM »
This might help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_name

Scroll down to the section titled "Order of names and use of articles."

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Re: German
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 11:55:17 AM »
Actually, I think the Surnames section is a bit more directly applicable.

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 12:18:28 PM »
Yeah, just to chime in.

It'd be easiest to think of him as having two surnames here.  When he's giving her full name he'll use the von - "Ich heiß' Sascha von Heinz".  But if there's a title and surname, the usual way is just using the second part - "Ich heiß' Herr Heinz".

"Herr von Heinz" would only really, in my experience, be used by a solidly upper class person as a signifier of that. 

Also, remember to use an article ("der" in your case) - "Ich bin der Heinz Sascha".

Of course, all of that may well be far too much information.

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 12:19:36 PM »
Yeah, just to chime in.

It'd be easiest to think of him as having two surnames here.  When he's giving her full name he'll use the von - "Ich heiß' Sascha von Heinz".  But if there's a title and surname, the usual way is just using the second part - "Ich heiß' Herr Heinz".


Bah, cant see an edit button.  When he's giving his full name he'll etc.

Offline MacheteTopic starter

Re: German
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »
Thanks for the help, guys.  I, probably. should have included that Sascha will enter a Bavarian's name in surname-first order if she's given the choice, in the first post.  Would she enter it as Heinz Sascha von, like a noble–which is how it's set up currently, or as von Heinz Sascha?

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 12:44:04 PM »
Ah, Sascha is a male name.  I suspect its illegal for it to be a female one.  Thats where I got "her" from.  Of course, it doesn't massively matter but it'll read very odd.

If you were to do that you'd be "die von Heinz, Sascha".

Offline Nicholas

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Re: German
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 12:57:18 PM »

Also, remember to use an article ("der" in your case) - "Ich bin der Heinz Sascha".

This is actually not correct. One doesn't use an article when introducing oneself. Gramatically not correct. It goes like: "Ich bin [name goes here]." or "Mein Name ist [name goes here]."

And nope, it's not illegal for a woman to be called Sascha. It is a legal shortening for the name "Alexandra", and while Sascha is more associated with males, it's not illegal here or in Germany. Uncommon, at best.

And, in this special case, she would introduce herself like. "I am Sacha von Heinz."

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 01:03:17 PM »
Man, I hate to get into an argument, but...

Sascha is definately illegal - I checked after writing it.  There are no names that apply to bothe genders - http://www.beliebte-vornamen.de/522-recht.htm

And using a surname/firstname order ALWAYS takes the definite article in the south.  I've never heard it outside the south but Machete said the character was Bavarian.

Offline Nicholas

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Re: German
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 01:08:26 PM »
Man, I hate to get into an argument, but...

Sascha is definately illegal - I checked after writing it.  There are no names that apply to bothe genders - http://www.beliebte-vornamen.de/522-recht.htm

And using a surname/firstname order ALWAYS takes the definite article in the south.  I've never heard it outside the south but Machete said the character was Bavarian.
Well, it says that gender neutral names are allowed.

And it also says that it's allowed, as long as there is another name that can be put clearly to one or the other gender. So, a woman could be called Sasha, with a second, clearly female name.

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 01:15:42 PM »
Of course, Machete, none of this is massively important and don't let it stop you.

Nicholas - True enough, but the character name is "Sascha von Heinz", and I really can't imagine any Standesamt allowing that for a female. 

Incidentally, the wikipedia links above also mention the definite article in names.

Offline Nicholas

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Re: German
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 01:19:31 PM »
As long as it's just a character, I'd say that it's perfectly alright in the fantasy world. ~nodnod~

I know that some exotic names are a problem, or the insulting ones, but I know a guy who's called Andrea-Gabriel, because he's father's from Italy.

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Re: German
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 01:22:41 PM »
I know a guy who's called Andrea-Gabriel, because he's father's from Italy.

*winces*

Offline Nicholas

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Re: German
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 01:24:26 PM »
*winces*
I adore this name. Really. I always liked Gabriel, and Andrea is just wonderful. He gets some odd looks when he says his name, but I know that he loves it.

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Re: German
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 10:09:48 AM »
If her birth name is Alexandra, then Alix or Alex would be the colloquial form. In Russian, Sasha can be a feminine short form of Alexandra or a masculine ditto of Alexander, so I'd reckon that's how it entered American usage, but not in German: Sascha is only masculine.

I'm not sure on name laws in Germany, and anyway the character could have been born outside of the country to German parents. People pick really strange names for their kids sometimes, but it's likely that a girl would get many curious glances if she introduced herself as Sascha in a German community and she herself was of a native German family.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 10:13:30 AM by gaggedLouise »

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Re: German
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2012, 10:36:24 AM »
If you're looking for a name that would "pass" both as male and female - that is, one that could be given to a boy child without the parents having to be  a pair of eccentrics and still work for the same person as an adult female later in life - then Kim is double-gendered in many languages, including German. And Luis/Louis would work, if it's supposed that the bearer changed the spelling when she was around twenty. That's something you can legally do, and I don't think it actually requires any written proof of gender change for a person called Luis/Louis to add an -e in Germany, or here in Sweden. (Luise is the more native German form, but Louise is catching up).
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 10:39:04 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2012, 11:03:37 AM »
Or, as Nicholas mentioned, you can add a gender specific name - Sascha-Christina von Heinz ("die Heinz, Sascha-Christina") for example -  and just introduce yourself as Sascha.  But it would definately raise eyebrows.

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Re: German
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2012, 12:20:43 PM »
I remember reading that the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (born in 1875) was originally called René Maria, but he changed the first of those names to Rainer after he had got a few books out. People he approached in letters would often think he was a lady. Now, René really is a boys' name, the female form is Renée, but there's not much difference when you say it - less in German than in English - and even people who replied to his own letters and gifts of books would address him as Fräulein (Miss).  :D

« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 12:22:03 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline MacheteTopic starter

Re: German
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 01:07:16 PM »
Would "mörtel", "mörser", or "speise" be a better translation of "mortar" when used as a code name?

Offline NatalieB

Re: German
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 01:39:42 PM »
As in the stuff that holds bricks together or the weapon?

Offline MacheteTopic starter

Re: German
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2012, 01:57:02 PM »
weapon, as the character's a mutant.

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Re: German
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2012, 01:58:35 PM »
Mörser has to be a word for the gun.