Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Reicht das Erzählte, oder zählt das Erreichte?

At the moment, there are election posters in Hamburg with the slogan, “Reicht das Erzählte, oder zählt das Erreichte?”

I thought that a rather clever turn of words. (And I’m sure it wasn’t the candidate pictured who came up with it, though I had never heard it before.)

For those who don’t speak German, the meaning is, “Is what has been told enough, or does what has been achieved count?”, or perhaps a bit more fluently, “Are you going to be satisfied with what other people have told you they wanted to do, or are you going to measure people by what they have actually achieved?”.

The punchy bit is in the parallelism of the nouns and verbs: reichen “to be enough, be sufficient” vs. erreichen “to achieve” on the one hand and zählen “to count” vs. erzählen “to tell [e.g. a story]” on the other hand.

Tags: german, language
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