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magicmulder's picture
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I have a little grammar issue. I'm trying to translate "Glück lebt von tausend Kompromissen" (lit. "Happiness lives off a thousand compromises", i.e. "Happiness is the result of a thousand compromises").

I thought "Happiness is borne from a thousand compromises" sounds most lyrical, but am not sure if "borne from" is correct here.

It *sounds* correct to me, but most sources have "borne by" or "borne of" as proper, yet I'm pretty sure I've heard "borne from" quite a bit when I was growing up. Any comments?

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Geheiligt's picture
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Born from is correct. But not borne from.

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magicmulder's picture
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My intention was to keep a connotation of "carried/supported by" which "borne" conveys better than "born" (which only conveys the image of "being the result of").

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As far as I know, born refers to the birth of a child and it's used in passive constructions, whereas borne is used in the active ones and in all that don't refer to physical birth, so I agree that borne is the right word in this case.
I think "borne by" means "to take responsibility".

I'd say "borne out of" sounds the best to me (but I'm not a native, so I may be wrong).

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In modern English "borne" is used attributively as part of a phrase Sea-borne, air- borne, just like "stricken" panic-stricken etc. So grammatically your phrase should look like that. Happiness is a thousand compromise borne, I'm not sure you'll like it. Btw, "born to" is good English. I like this sentence Happiness lives off a thousand compromises, I think it's very impressive Smile

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I 'vote' for Happiness lives off a thousand compromises. Wink

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"Borne" is the past partriciple of "to bear", as in the famous U.S. Constitutional (Second Amendment) phrase concerning "the right to keep and to BEAR arms": "borne" means "is (or was) carried (by someone)" (or by something: "the current bore the little boat swiftly downstream.")

Both "borne" and "born" are used in various figurative senses and idiomatic phrases: "He bore the brunt of the criticism" is the simple past tense; "he had borne the bruunt of the criticism (until they found out that his boss was in fact to blame)" would be the past perfect tense.

To use the phrase "borne from" you would usually have to have a geographic location WHENCE something had been carried or transported; but in most cases, "borne" would sound extremely archaic, or old-fashionedly poetic. The phrase "born of adversity" (or less comonly and less correctly, "born from adversity") is a common idiomatic expression. "Borne out of" could for example be used of a fireman having carried a child (or someone else, or something else) out of a burning building, but it would have no indication that the person or item was the RESULT of what it came out of; Indeed: "borne out of" would indicate the complete SEPARATION (or "salvaging") of that which was "borne out of", from the location whence it was carried or removed!

You could say "happiness is borne aloft by a thousand compromises", but 'twould be a bit pretentious, and wouldn't really convey the meaning of the original...

How about "Happiness is kept alive (or enabled to survive) by a thousand compromises"...?

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Thank you all for your valuable input! Smile