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I am translating something into German and my question is whether I need to use "worauf" in connection with "Weise" in sentences like the following:

You don't see any way of opening it from here.

I am thinking of translating this as:

Sie sehen keine Weise, worauf sie von hier aus zu öffnen.

But would it be proper to just leave out the "worauf" ("in which")? In English saying "no way in which to open it" sounds overly formal.

I realize there is also the word "Möglichkeit," with which this question would be unnecessary, but I would like to use shorter words wherever possible.

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    There are two excellent answers already. I struggle with the implicit assumption of your question: finding an example of where 'in which' is translated well with 'worauf'. Can you give one? Jun 21, 2023 at 8:31
  • I was using "worauf" because the phrase "[in] this way" is "auf diese Wiese" according to the dictionary. Jun 21, 2023 at 13:02
  • The question asking for "auf diese Weise" is "Wie machst Du XXX?" (not Worauf). It's asking for means or a way to do things. That's how. Not asking for a place onto which. The English equivalent of "worauf" would be "whereupon". Jun 21, 2023 at 14:09
  • @planetmaker: Well, you could ask "Auf welche Weise machst du XXX?". Still, the expected answer is what exactly is done to perform "XXX machen", rather than that it is done "auf eine Weise", which would be the answer to "worauf". Jun 22, 2023 at 12:33

2 Answers 2

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You seem confused about a few things.

"Weise" is just not a good noun to use in this sentence at all. The noun you want really is "Möglichkeit". "Weise" is for talking about one way (manner) of doing a thing vs. another, not for ways (possibilities) to achieve a certain goal.

As for the grammar, it wouldn't matter which noun you use: "worauf" is not a good relative adverb/prepositional adverb to use here.

The sentence you want really is: Sie sehen keine Möglichkeit, sie von hier aus zu öffnen.

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  • Depending on context 'du siehst' may be more appropriate than 'sie sehen' and the second 'sie' could by 'es' or 'ihn' depending on the gender of it.
    – quarague
    Jun 21, 2023 at 12:48
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You don't see any way of opening it from here.

Is this from an adventure game context? If so, you should translate it as

Von hier aus kann man es anscheinend nicht öffnen.

Von hier aus kann es anscheinend nicht geöffnet werden.

Von hier aus lässt es sich anscheinend nicht öffnen.

Von hier aus scheint es sich nicht öffnen zu lassen.

The reason for this is that this impersonal you English employs ever so often isn't used at all in German. German uses man or passive voice, or lassen.

Also, you should set the location as the topic to imply that there's nothing said about opening it from the other side.

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    If I translate your German back to English it would be something like 'There does not seem to be a way to open it from here' which is a general statement whereas the original says that you specifically don't see a way.
    – quarague
    Jun 21, 2023 at 12:47
  • This is exactly the impersonal you I talked about. You assume that it is not impersonal.
    – Janka
    Jun 21, 2023 at 14:03
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    In the game you play as a particular character who has a name and a face, and the text here is the game telling you what you are experiencing. That doesn't qualify as the "impersonal you;" that is just for things where "you" could be worded as "one," as in "the smog is so bad there, you can barely breathe" ("the smog is so bad there, one can barely breathe"). Jun 21, 2023 at 16:03
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    Von hier aus kannst du es anscheinend nicht öffnen. then. In an original German game however, it would be most likely phrased impersonal. This is a stylistic choice: most German language games do it that way.
    – Janka
    Jun 21, 2023 at 19:07

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