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Old 12.07.2011, 23:37
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Going about it...

I just wanted to ask how an English speaker would explain the phrase "Going about it' to a non-native.. actually in English, another similar phrase perhaps?

I really have struggled to find the phrase in the German language as I think it doesn't really exist.

Going about like "He's going about it in a funny way.." or "He's going about it like there's no tomorrow"...
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Old 12.07.2011, 23:40
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Re: Going about it...

"he is at it" ?
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Old 12.07.2011, 23:52
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Re: Going about it...

About what, actually? Depends...
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Old 12.07.2011, 23:52
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Re: Going about it...

"He's doing it..."?
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Old 12.07.2011, 23:56
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Re: Going about it...

Dealing with it, approaching it in a funny way...but doing it sounds the best. Who usually eats the thesaurus here....Carlos? Amogles? I forgot
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Old 12.07.2011, 23:59
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Re: Going about it...

"going about it" seems to reference whatever action is taking place. For example, he's chopping wood like there's no tomorrow... This can be said, he's going about it like there's no tomorrow.

German is such a specific language. I don' think there's a phrase to cover the nebulous "going about it."
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Old 13.07.2011, 00:02
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Re: Going about it...

I believe there is no Gerund in DE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund
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Old 13.07.2011, 00:11
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Re: Going about it...

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Dealing with it
Exactly what I'd suggest too.

'Going about it' is pretty tricky to translate into German without any given context because the phrase in English is rather open ended and applicable to many situations, which makes finding a German equivalent challenging as German tends to be more context specific - in my opinion. [Edit: nlee24 has just made this point earlier ]

The phrase also has a relatively low or colloquial register, which is lost when changing the phrase to 'dealt with' for translation purposes - but that's okay if all you intend to do is explain its meaning.
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Old 13.07.2011, 00:20
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Re: Going about it...

replace with approaching in the first example

replace with tackling in the second.
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Old 13.07.2011, 01:20
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Re: Going about it...

Not easy though is it? I think I could combine three answers here to half explain it.
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Old 13.07.2011, 01:47
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Re: Going about it...

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I just wanted to ask how an English speaker would explain the phrase "Going about it' to a non-native.. actually in English, another similar phrase perhaps?

I really have struggled to find the phrase in the German language as I think it doesn't really exist.

Going about like "He's going about it in a funny way.." or "He's going about it like there's no tomorrow"...
To go about something = etwas angehen / anpacken / in Angriff nehmen, sich an etwas machen. This is my American approach; maybe it's a bit different in British English?

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I believe there is no Gerund in DE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund
In "to be going about it", the -ing form is not a gerund. It's the progressive or continuous aspect of "to go." However, there is no progressive aspect in German, so it need not be translated in the contexts of the examples mentioned above.

Last edited by Captain Greybeard; 13.07.2011 at 02:09. Reason: Typo, as usual. Just growing older, not better.
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Old 13.07.2011, 10:44
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Re: Going about it...

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To go about something = etwas angehen / anpacken / in Angriff nehmen, sich an etwas machen. This is my American approach; maybe it's a bit different in British English?


In "to be going about it", the -ing form is not a gerund. It's the progressive or continuous aspect of "to go." However, there is no progressive aspect in German, so it need not be translated in the contexts of the examples mentioned above.
That's what I was thinking, I think it is the closest you can get but not exactly the same meaning.
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Old 13.07.2011, 10:48
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Re: Going about it...

Verwirklicken... (to action something) "He's actioning it in a funny way."
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Old 13.07.2011, 10:54
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Re: Going about it...

I agree with the other posters. The idiomatic phrase is difficult to translate with 1:1 equivalents because the "it" in "going about it" refers to one of many antecedents in German. Depends on what "it" refers to.

Sort of like translating "faire" or "fare" into English--depends on what you want to faire.
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Old 13.07.2011, 10:55
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Re: Going about it...

going about it = reacting or behaving
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Old 13.07.2011, 11:12
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Re: Going about it...

I usually vary depending on what type of verb I'm using.

If I follow it with a verb for a specific type of action, I tend to say "er macht sich" (ans Putzen, an den Abwasch, etc.)

If not, which is often the case with the phrase "going about," I use "er stellt sich." Meaning, he is going about it in whatever way:
Er stellt sich dabei unbeholfen an/he's going about this is a clumsy way
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