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AndyE
07-14-2015, 02:32 PM
I have a handful of lines in my latest book spoken in French and German. I think they are right, but as I don't speak either language I thought it was worth double checking.

The book is set in the 1930s and the speakers are educated/middle class.

(hearing a knock on the door)

'Liebchen, bist du das?' (darling, is that you?)

(red or white wine?)

‘Rot, bitte.’

(about to go somewhere; formal, strangers)

'Ętes-vous pręt?'
‘Oui, je suis pręt.'

Many thanks!

Max Vaehling
07-15-2015, 02:16 AM
I can't say for sure for the Thirties, but I don't think I've ever heard anybody say "Liebchen" outside of American movies and comic books. Safer to go with "Liebling" or "Schatz".

AndyE
07-15-2015, 02:28 PM
I'll go with "Liebling" then. Thanks for that, Max.

lexirose
07-15-2015, 08:41 PM
The French is correct, assuming that the person responding is male. If female, change both to 'prete'.

AndyE
07-16-2015, 12:45 AM
Great. Thank you for your help!

Deb Kinnard
07-16-2015, 02:55 AM
Can't help with the French. I can barely say "Bastille."

(hearing a knock on the door)

'Liebchen, bist du das?' (darling, is that you?) I've heard this as "Liebchen, bist du?" and not the das. "Das" is the neutral word for "the" and wouldn't, IIRC, be used there.

(red or white wine?)

‘Rot, bitte.’ See, if this were me, I'd say "Rotwein, bitte."

HTH

asroc
07-16-2015, 03:13 AM
The "das" is necessary. Without it, it just means "Darling, are you?"

Deb Kinnard
07-16-2015, 02:59 PM
Or did you mean, "Liebling, bist du da?" Are you there? Das doesn't make sense in this sentence. Maybe someone will explain it better than I did.

Max Vaehling
07-16-2015, 05:56 PM
Definitely not "bist Du?" That makes no sense whatsoever.
Rot instead of Rotwein is perfectly acceptable. I assume they've already settled on wine and are just now making the detailed choice.

AndyE
07-16-2015, 08:33 PM
Yes, they're just choosing one or the other.

One other question I forgot to ask: would a subordinate call the captain of a ship Herr Kapitän? Or have I been watching too many Hollywood movies?

tinyCirrusCloud
07-17-2015, 12:12 PM
The German and French are correct, though honestly, I have never heard anyone say "Liebchen," not even my grandparents. "Schatz" or "Liebling" are more like things people actually say.

Now, I've never been a subordinate on a ship, but considering how ridiculously formal we have to be when addressing our professors at university ("Herr Professor Doktor...") I would assume that "Herr Kapitän" is correct. At least in a formal setting.

Forbidden Snowflake
07-17-2015, 01:03 PM
Or did you mean, "Liebling, bist du da?" Are you there? Das doesn't make sense in this sentence. Maybe someone will explain it better than I did.

Liebling, bist du das?

Basically means: Darling is this/that you?
As in someone knocks and you check, is that you out there that I'm expecting.

And Liebling, bist du da? Means: Are you there?

So OP was correct :) And, yes please change Liebchen to Liebling... or Schatz.


Also, Rot, bitte. Is correct. I'd never specify that I want wine, it's clear in the context. We ask, red or white regularly without adding the wine once it's clear we are talking about wine.

And: Herr Kapitän is correct. (Unless the guy then specifies that using his name is fine. But first you'd address him formally. We are all very, very formal. Seriously, it's crazy.)

AndyE
07-17-2015, 02:17 PM
Thanks everyone. Just what I needed.

-maia-
07-18-2015, 05:18 AM
Hi! The French part is correct. I'm a French native speaker, don't hesitate to PM me if you need to check other translations ;) Cheers!

arcan
07-19-2015, 10:37 PM
The French is correct, assuming that the person responding is male. If female, change both to 'prete'.
Don't forget the accent. If female : it's "pręte".