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    hellhörig = fähig, etwas herauszuhören


    hellhörig = fähig, etwas herauszuhören


    I've been proposing some translations for "hellhörig" and "hellhörig werden" under New Entry and was thinking of adding one for this meaning, from DWDS - but find the entry confusing.



    fähig, aus nicht Ausgesprochenem etw. herauszuhören, zu erraten


    durch diese Vorgänge war er misstrauisch und hellhörig geworden

    die Härte seiner Jugendzeit hatte ihn hellhörig für Phrasen gemacht

    The definition sounds like "able to read between the lines" - but the examples sound like "alert" or "attentive"; they sound like a state, not an ability. Which comes closer to the meaning? Or is it something in between, like "perceptive"?

    VerfasserCM2DD (236324) 18 Aug. 22, 10:22

    Ich würde dafür "misstrauisch werden", "aufmerken" sagen. Man wird für etwas hellhörig, wenn man von bestimmten Wörtern oder Aussagen sozusagen getriggert wird. Es ist schon eher eine Fähigkeit als ein Zustand.

    Im Englischen vielleicht so etwas wie "become sensitive for", oder CM2DDs "become alert".

    #1Verfasserpenguin (236245)  18 Aug. 22, 10:32

    I've proposed one New Entry for "hellhörig werden" Siehe auch: to prick (up) one's ears [esp. due to warines...

    So does this also fall under "hellhörig werden" or could it also stand alone as an adjective?

    I still don't get how it's an ability; it sounds like the person is especially sensitive to certain things; not that they are more capable of spotting them?

    #2VerfasserCM2DD (236324)  18 Aug. 22, 10:40

    They have become sensitive to certain things, so being sensitive is the ability to spot what's said or implied between the lines.

    "hellhörig werden", etwas hat mich "hellhörig gemacht"

    Ich bin nicht hellhörig, ich bin hellhörig geworden und höre jetzt genauer zu.

    #3Verfasserpenguin (236245) 18 Aug. 22, 10:57

    I guess I am influenced by English phrases such as "in a state of high alert", and the idea that if something makes you especially attentive, then that's a temporary state and you might "let your guard down" and become less alert later on. A different way of imagining it to how you think in German?

    #4VerfasserCM2DD (236324)  18 Aug. 22, 11:24

    That's not how I see it, because once you have become sensitive to facts (or situations, or statements), you will remain sensitive to them. "prick up your ears" may be a temporary state, "hellhörig werden" isn't in my view.

    Wenn ich hellhörig geworden bin, dann bleibe ich besonders aufmerksam für bestimmte Aussagen oder Situationen.

    #5Verfasserpenguin (236245) 18 Aug. 22, 11:29

    "Prick up your ears" is just a description of the start, when you become alert; it doesn't describe how long you're alert.

    So these examples describe a permanent character trait, then? It's not obvious from the first one.

    durch diese Vorgänge war er misstrauisch und hellhörig geworden

    die Härte seiner Jugendzeit hatte ihn hellhörig für Phrasen gemacht

    If so, then "attentive", "alert" don't fit at all. It would only be "wary" or something. But that's not an ability, either ... so still doesn't quite hit the nail on the head. Hm...

    #6VerfasserCM2DD (236324)  18 Aug. 22, 11:37

    I found one translation with "take notice" and several with "become sensitive to", but I still can't really see how "perceptive" covers it.

    Wait for others, someone is bound to disagree with me.

    #7Verfasserpenguin (236245) 18 Aug. 22, 11:45

    The translations in my dictionaries are all for the instant when the person becomes "hellhörig", not for something long-lasting.

    #8VerfasserCM2DD (236324) 18 Aug. 22, 12:03

    ... not for something long-lasting...

    Eben doch.

    Im OP ist als Beispiel angeführt

    die Härte seiner Jugendzeit hatte ihn hellhörig für Phrasen gemacht

    Das beschreibt einen dauernden Zustand: er ist nicht nur zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt, sondern immer hellhörig für Phrasen

    #9VerfasserIrene (236484)  18 Aug. 22, 13:37

    *seufz* Das sage ich doch die ganze Zeit.

    #10Verfasserpenguin (236245) 18 Aug. 22, 14:56

    #9 I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I understood what penguin was telling me - see #6. But there are still definitely no translations in my dictionaries for that meaning. The translations in my dictionaries are only for the instant in which a person becomes "hellhörig".

    #11VerfasserCM2DD (236324)  18 Aug. 22, 15:34

    How about a pair of examples like this:

    She is good at picking up on nuances.

    Sie ist hellhörig für Nuancen.

    Does that work?

    (In English, you have to pick up on something: you can be "good at picking up on things", but it's a bit vague.)

    pick up on

    to understand something that is not communicated directly:

    He obviously didn't pick up on her lack of interest in the subject.


    Die Mehrsprachigkeit macht ihn hellhörig für Nuancen https://www.soyfer.at/online/nr01/durusoy.htm

    He glanced at Camille, who gave the smallest of flinches, but apparently Trytian was good at picking up on nuances. Book

    #12VerfasserCM2DD (236324) 18 Aug. 22, 16:41

    That's a good idea.

    #13Verfasserpenguin (236245) 18 Aug. 22, 18:07
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