Why exactly does this happen?

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zafrey
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Why exactly does this happen?

Post by zafrey » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:26 pm

I'm fairly newish to Dutch, about a year and a half into it almost everyday, and about 2 years spread out before that. But I was reading and came across this phrase "dat is nou eenmaal zo". I know what each word directly translates into but it didn't make sense in my mind. I plugged it into 5 different translators to get confirmed results and ended up with a unanimous agreement on all saying it meant, "That is how it is". Or something along those lines, all very similar. Now I'm just confused and wondering why on earth do these words make that phrase? Is it a problem with Dutch to English translation? I haven't a clue. I really want an in depth explanation as to why that phrase means that, what is happening grammatically to make that, and maybe some examples if possible of other weird instances like this. (Maybe I'm dumb and this isn't a weird instance but to me it's not making sense.) Thank you.

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BrutallyFrank
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Re: Why exactly does this happen?

Post by BrutallyFrank » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:44 pm

It's a bit late at the moment (23:40) to answer your question, but I will have a go at it tomorrow.

I don't entirely agree with the translation, because 'That's just the way it is' sounds better to me.
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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zafrey
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Re: Why exactly does this happen?

Post by zafrey » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:50 pm

BrutallyFrank wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:44 pm
It's a bit late at the moment (23:40) to answer your question, but I will have a go at it tomorrow.

I don't entirely agree with the translation, because 'That's just the way it is' sounds better to me.
Yes not a problem; I can confirm that "That's just the way it is" was a translation, it was a toss up between "That is how it is" and "That's just the way it is" but even that translation does not make sense to me. When ever you can reply is fine, no worries. :)

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Re: Why exactly does this happen?

Post by BrutallyFrank » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:52 pm

The base of the sentence is "dat is zo", which basically means the same. Literally: that is like that/this. But it's just a statement that aknowledges some situation. A bit like saying: "you're right".

By adding 'nu eenmaal' it becomes acquiescence (berusting). The word 'eenmaal' really ends it all, because it indicates that the case has been settled and there's nothing that can change it. The word 'nu' is a compliant force (met toegevende kracht) which adds to the statement. So it doesn't mean 'now'.

Most people will shrug and/or sigh when they use this sentence, because it means that the other has to accept the situation because it can't be changed.

That's why I translated with 'just', which seems to cover the 'nu eenmaal' part of the sentence. But to be honest: I think the Dutch expression is stronger. Expecially the word 'nu' adds to it (which btw can be left out).

I hope this answers your question.

If some other native speaker can add something, please do!
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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zafrey
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Re: Why exactly does this happen?

Post by zafrey » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:22 pm

BrutallyFrank wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:52 pm
By adding 'nu eenmaal' it becomes acquiescence (berusting). The word 'eenmaal' really ends it all, because it indicates that the case has been settled and there's nothing that can change it. The word 'nu' is a compliant force (met toegevende kracht) which adds to the statement. So it doesn't mean 'now'.
Most people will shrug and/or sigh when they use this sentence, because it means that the other has to accept the situation because it can't be changed.
Okay I see, yes this makes much more sense now, it's a phrase used when something is just that. Something than is certain or just works that way and can't be changed, if I'm to relate it to English. My issue was I translated word for word and obviously that made no sense, but now I understand how those two words together. Thank you much! And yes others, feel free to add to this.

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