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German is not my native language but I have a lot of experience with it. To translate "because of what he said", I feel like I should say "wegen dem, was er gesagt hat" instead of "wegen dessen, was er gesagt hat". However, I'm unsure because "wegen" usually takes genitive. Both forms have a pretty large number of Google hits. What is right in this case?

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Beide Konstruktionen haben etwas Umgangssprachliches an sich. Schriftlich würde ich den Satz umformulieren: "Augfrund seiner Aussage", oder meinetwegen "wegen des von ihm Gesagten". – Ingmar May 28 '14 at 5:36
"Because of what he said" ist ebenfalls umgangssprachlich. Beim Übersetzen soll man übersetzen, und nicht neu dichten. "Aufgrund seiner Aussage" steht nicht im Original, also darf es auch nicht in der Übersetzung stehen. "Wegen des von ihm Gesagten" ist schon näher dran, hebt es aber eben in ein zu hohes Register und scheidet damit ebenfalls aus. – RegDwight May 31 '14 at 23:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In spoken language, I would definitively use the first approach

Wegen dem, was er gesagt hat.

It sounds less formal. Using genetive constructions in spoken language may cause you to be perceived as overly correct in some regions (and depending a lot on your audience, of course).

For written texts, I would take the hint from Ingmar's comment to choose a less literal translation.

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Actually, this is just wrong. But yes, more common. – Max Ried May 28 '14 at 19:55

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