Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

And he answered, saying

I was just reading an article in the German Wikipedia on the "Gute-Nachricht-Bibel" ("Good News Bible") and found the sentence Ausdrücke wie "Siehe" oder "Er antwortete und sprach" etc. wird man hier vergeblich suchen. (You will not find expressions such as "Behold" or "He answered and said"" here.)

And I suddenly realised, that's how you'd say it in Klingon! Klingon has only one verb (as far as I know) that can introduce direct speech (usually translated "say"); other verbs have to be combined with it.

So "He answered, 'I refuse!'" would be translated as something along the lines of "He answered; he said, 'I refuse!'". And that's always seemed a bit exotic to me, but I realised that "Er antwortete und sprach: 'Das werde ich nicht tun!'" or "He answered, saying, 'I will not do that'" seem fine to me in the context of "Biblical language".

I presume that the similar constructions in English and German are a more or less direct translation of a Hebrew and/or Greek idiom. (Which, in turn, was probably derived from a translation from the original Klingon.)

So, not quite as exotic a construction as I thought.

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