4

I'm somehwat surprised, that DWDS does not offer a dedicated meaning for an as well as auf. No, I don't think is has to do with the orientation of the stained surface. Neither would I translate auf with on top of but rather prefer upon. Numerous other examples exists: Auf dem Bildschirm... Auf dem Gemälde... Auf dem Plakat... Auf dem Foto... I would ...


1

It is as it is :-) Just like a stain is upon but a writing on the wall. Ein Fleck ist auf, ein Knopf an der Bluse, eine Nudel ist im Gesicht. But I would translate "auf" not only with "on top of", that'll be more like "über". I don't think there are general equivalents either way in both languages for these prepositions/adverbs/...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible