Grizzly Bear: While you wait for the others

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Language notes: Sometimes idioms in German and English are quite similar:

  • to leave someone high and dry – jmd auf dem Trockenen sitzen lassen
  • to wait something out – etwas aussitzen
  • to make your way sich durchsetzen, seinen Weg gehen; hier: weggehen
  • to weigh on sth. – etw. belasten
  • to beg for forgiveness – um Vergebung bitten/ betteln

And others, even very common ones, can hardly be translated:

  • to make it all worthwhile – so das es sich lohnt

PS: Note on wait on and wait for in the comments below.

while you wait for the others
to make it all worthwhile
all your useless pretensions
are weighing on my time
you could beg for forgiveness
as long as you like
or just wait out the evening
and always ask me why
yes, you’ll only leave me dry
so I’ll ask you kindly to make your way

and what was left
the perfect cleft
we all fall through

while you wait on the answers
that I’ll pretend to find
keeping up with emotions
still occupies our time
you could hope for substance
as long as you like
or just wait out the evening
and always ask me why
yes, you’ll always ask me why
I’ll ask you kindly to make your way

and what was left
the perfect cleft
we all fall through

and all we want

we want what’s left
by Sean Pecknold:

song of the week 🙂 englisch lernen mit liedern


4 Responses

  1. wait on = wait for
    Merriam-Webster writes:
    American dialectologists have evidence showing wait on in the sense of wait for to be more a Southern than a Northern form in speech. Handbook writers universally denigrate (schlechter bewerten) wait on and prescribe (vorschreiben) wait for in writing. Our evidence from printed sources does not show a regional preference; it does show that the handbooks’ advice is not based on current usage:
    settlement of the big problems still waited on Russia — Time
    …I couldn’t make out…whether Harper was waiting on me for approval — E. B. White
    …the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown — Maya Angelou

    One reason for the continuing use of wait on may lie in its being able to suggest protracted (sich hinziehende) or irritating waits better than wait for:
    …for two days I’ve been waiting on weather — Charles A. Lindbergh
    …the boredom of black Africans sitting there, waiting on the whims of a colonial bureaucracy — Vincent Canby
    …doesn’t care to sit around waiting on a House that’s virtually paralyzed — Glenn A. Briere

    “Wait on” is less common than “wait for”, but if it seems natural, there is no reason to avoid it.

  2. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for linking me up, but just to be pedantic – the name’s Chiew N Pang not P Nang) Hehe.
    Hope you’re doing fine. Regds.

  3. I’m waiting for my man
    Twenty-six dollars in my hand
    Up to Lexington, 125
    Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
    I’m waiting for my man

    Lou Reed.

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