In his famous "you can't handle the truth" speech, Jack Nicholson tells Tom Cruise that
"...my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives."
I bring up this example because I have the feeling that the German Anwesenheit carries with it a color that goes beyond the English equivalent of "presence". I don't think I want to suggest that in the Nicholson quote that Anwesenheit would be the best translation for "existence"; but I wonder if it wouldn't at least be a closer approximation than the English "presence". Or would Wesen be even a better approximation? I know you could say Existenz but I'm not interested in that option.
The reason I ask is because I suspect there is a phenomenon whereby American usages get calqued over into foreign languages word-for-word, regardless of the differences in nuance which might have previously existed in the "equivalent" words. I asked a similar question a few weeks ago about the usage of Öffentlichkeit as meaning "the public". I can't see how this meaning derives logically from the German adjective öffentlich, so I proposed the theory that the German usage was copied from the American, where the transition from the Latin publicum to the American "the public" and subsequently to the adjectival usage as in "public opinion" makes logical sense. I didn't get much support for my theory in that discussion, but I'm trying again anyhow.
Another example is the phrase in Anwesenheit von, corresponding to the English "in the presence of". I feel the English "presence" is a very neutral word implying the simple physical presence, while the German Anwesenheit carries a bit more the flavor of the essence of ones being, or Wesen. So I find the German usage a little peculiar, and wonder again if it didn't creep into the common usage under the influence of the English phrase.
Am I misreading the nuance or is there something to what I am saying? I wonder if people would care to comment on this?