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I’m writing about Heidegger’s use of the word Machenschaft and I would like to try to explain this word correctly because I chose to keep it in German. In my language it was translated as Maquinação, something like machination (or Umtriebe, according to the Google translator) and one of my teachers said this translation takes off the real meaning.

I know that Machen is to do, but I’m having troubles with the second part of the word and the understanding of the total word.

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@Wrzlprmft Wenn du schon rumeditierst, dann kannst du auch gleich den Rechtschreibfehler korrigieren. Er scheint Gail ja selber Schwierigkeiten zu bereiten. –  Toscho Apr 11 at 12:24
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The word is Machenschaft, not Machenshaft. It's not a composition of machen and shaft/Schaft, but a derivative of machen with the suffix -schaft. –  Toscho Apr 11 at 12:26
    
I just have the portuguese version, so I can't know exaclty how he wrote it. And this is one more problem to me... –  Gail Apr 11 at 12:27
    
@Toscho: Ich habe den Fehler erstmal bewusst dringelassen, da er Teilursache des Problems sein könnte. Außerdem finden sich tatsächlich Abhandlungen über Heidegger mit Machenshaft, wie ich gerade festgestellt habe. –  Wrzlprmft Apr 11 at 12:28
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@Wrzlprmft Das scheinen Schreibfehler zu sein. In den Büchern taucht auch die Schreibweise Machenschaft auf, und zwar dort, wo eher zu vermuten ist, dass der Autor direkt bei Heidegger nachgeschaut hat. –  Toscho Apr 11 at 16:56

1 Answer 1

The translation with machination is pretty good. The backtranslation to Umtriebe isn't that good, just like your teacher said. The difference is the planning.

Machenschaft follows a long planning. It's a "grand" scheme.

Umtriebe is without plan or very short sighted planning.

So, if your 16-year-old child is going to parties every night or to clubs or subcultures, you don't like, you can call it Umtriebe, but as it isn't planned you can't use Machenschaft.

On the other hand, the doings of the Mafia are not the Godfather's Umtriebe but his Machenschaft.

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