I want to translate "every person, having found his place, ..." The reference is to everyone's place in a social hierarchy. I am not sure about the "having found" construction, but I do not want to just turn it into "who has found his place" or "after he has found his place" if I can possibly avoid it; it should be as concise as possible.

I believe in English this would be called a present participle with a past participle, but I am not sure if this combination exists in German.

Can I say "jede Person, ihre eigene Stellung gefunden habend" or "jede ihre eigene Stellung gefunden habende Person?"

Google Translate does not make it quite clear, as it translates both "have found" and "having found" with "gefunden haben," and when the languages are reversed translates it back into "have found."

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    In the end you will have to turn it into "who has found his place" or "after he has found his place" before translating, depending on the desired meaning. Your translation is correct, but extremely odd nowadays (though still "okay" in a formal text). – RoyPJ Dec 13 '17 at 15:41
  • You should offer more context. Also, I suppose the comma after Person is a typo; unless you set it on purpose but then you would have a veeery specific meaning; usually there would not be a comma. Well as far as one can say without having - that was my point - the context. – Christian Geiselmann Dec 13 '17 at 15:49
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    There is actually no direct translation with the same ambiguity to German - That's why we need context. – tofro Dec 13 '17 at 17:56

I think your sentences are still within the boundaries of what is grammatically correct.. but they are also extremely, extremely odd / old-fashioned. The natural German way would be to use a relative clause.

...jede Person, die ihren Platz [im Leben/in der Hierarchie] gefunden hat,...

("Platz" is better here, similar to the English "place" instead of "position". "Stellung" could even be misinterpreted as a physical or metaphorical "posture")

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    Actually your translation has a different meaning (at least I think that). I would assume that his sentence implies that every person already found his/her place, while yours only addresses the ones who found their place... – RoyPJ Dec 13 '17 at 15:37
  • @RoyPJ Could be. His first translation ("jede Person, i. e. S. gefunden habend") supports your interpretation, his second ("jede i. e. S. gefunden habende Person") supports mine, so .. who knows. – Annatar Dec 14 '17 at 7:10
  • Yep, absolutely – RoyPJ Dec 14 '17 at 9:58

Ich denke, man kommt um einen Nebensatz nicht herum. Wenn ein Nebensatz um jeden Preis vermieden werden soll, kommt so etwas heraus wie Jede Person, ihren Platz gefunden habend, aber das klingt schief.

Wenn ich den Einwand von RoyPJ gegen die Übersetzung von Annatar berücksichtige, komme ich auf:

Jede Person, wenn sie ihren Platz gefunden hat...


Jede Person, sobald sie ihren Platz gefunden hat...

Um deutlich zu machen, dass es sich nicht um einen Sitzplatz o.ä. handelt, könnte auch Platz im Leben verwendet werden.

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I think (differently from Annatar) that in this context the English participial construction "having found his place" stands not for a relative clause, but for a temporal clause. So in German it would be: "Als jeder seinen Platz gefunden hatte..."

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  • He gives both "who has found his place" and "after he has found his place" as alternate English versions himself, so we are possibly both right. – Annatar Dec 14 '17 at 7:12
  • @Annatar. Actually, in English, if you write "every person, having found his place", with a comma, then the relative interpretation ("who has found his place") is NOT possible. For that meaning you have to write it without a comma. – fdb Dec 15 '17 at 8:42
  • Oh. Okay. Good to know. – Annatar Dec 15 '17 at 9:08

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