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Rodriguez' aufrichtiger Ton spiegelte des Weisen Pflicht beim Umgang mit untergestellten Personen wieder.

While the English version is:

Rodriguez’s sincere tone portrayed the Sage’s duty when dealing with a fellow man’s distress.

So what does wieder mean? Perhaps, wieder=fellow?

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Untergestellte Personen? I don't think so ;) –  Carsten Schultz Mar 15 '14 at 15:13
Actually I don't know what it means, I didn't found it on dictionary. From the English version, I guess it should mean something like distress, is that wrong? –  Lex Mar 15 '14 at 17:24
It would be this, which makes little sense. I suspect that this was meant. –  Carsten Schultz Mar 15 '14 at 17:56
Klingt wie ein Zitat - dann wäre die Quelle zu nennen vorteilhaft. Hier wird nicht nur "wieder" statt "wider" benutzt sondern auch das "untergestellt" klingt absonderlich - untergestellt sind hoffentlich die Pferde wenn 's regnet. Aber je nach Epoche mag das mal Sprachgebrauch gewesen sein. –  user unknown Mar 17 '14 at 5:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

wider is here part of the partionable verb widerspiegeln, which literally means reflektieren=to reflect but is also used in the meaning of abbilden/darstellen=portray.

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Can "wieder" be omitted and still keep the same meaning? I mean, is there a significant difference between the two verbs? –  Lex Mar 15 '14 at 14:33
@Lex It can be omitted without change of meaning, but it isn't common in this context. In the context of behaviour (Verhalten) spiegeln without wieder is preferred. –  Toscho Mar 15 '14 at 14:45
@lex, technically the meaning may be the same, but the "feel" is different. I would use "spiegeln" in some situations and "wiederspiegeln" in others... example for "spiegeln"... "Er spiegelt mein Verhalten."... actually, now that I think of ot "wiederspiegeln" does mean something different here. "wiederspiegeln" is a broader "to reflect" while "spiegeln" is "to mirror" as in "to imitate into my face" –  Emanuel Mar 15 '14 at 21:47
@Emanuel Are you referring to specular vs. diffuse reflection? –  Toscho Mar 16 '14 at 14:27

The given answers are correct, it is part of the word widerspiegeln which means "to reflect" something.

The reason I still answer is, that the correct spelling of the word is "widerspiegeln" without "ie"! That is probably the reason why you did not found it in your dictionary.

"wieder" means something like "again" in German, while "wider" is used as a kind of "reflect". "Wider" can be connected with another word or used as a standalone-word. In your case, it is widerspiegeln.

But beware: There are also words like "Wiedergabe" (Replay) in German, where you have to write it with "ie". In this case, Wiedergabe means to play it again (again = wieder), that's why you have to write it with "ie".

It's kind of a tricky case but I hope, you got it!

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Indeed, wider is a word and means against. –  Carsten Schultz Mar 15 '14 at 20:33
Wider allen Widerstand setzte er seinen Vorschlag durch –  Vogel612 Mar 15 '14 at 20:39
Why a downvote??? widerspiegeln –  Takkat Mar 15 '14 at 21:24
I finde the etymology interesting, since again and against are also similar and have the same root. –  Carsten Schultz Mar 17 '14 at 22:44

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