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  • Betrifft

    to arch one's back = ???

    Working on the translation of a fitness manual, I came upon the following problem:

    LEO translates "to arch one's back" in the sense of a cat arching its back - i.e. the arch is pointing upwards, and the result is basically the same as with "humping one's back".

    OTOH, there are numerous sites on the web (like the examples I gave in my entry post), especially from the realm ot fitness, using the term, if I get things correctly, exactly in the opposite way, more or less advising the readers to do a hollow back.

    (At the same time,just not to leave it unmentioned, there are sites using the term the way LEO does.)

    My question, then, should not have been whether the translation of "to arch one's back" in the sense of "to hump one's back" is _correct_.

    But in fact,I wonder if the same term at the same time could as well mean an arch in the opposite direction ("hollow back") and how often it is used that way?

    My next question then would be how a native speaker might recognise, without pictures, which sort of arch (hump or hollow back) is meant if someone are advised "to arch one's back instead of keeping it straight"?

    I started a discussion over here:

    Siehe auch: to arch one's back - 1) einen Buckel machen, ...

    But I fear I might just have chosen the wrong place for my entry.

    Any help - either here or there - would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Thank you for your help - and for your patience.
    Verfasser L_MB (1085495) 08 Jun. 15, 22:23
    I don't sense any need for clarification. If a fitness manual advises me to arch my back, I would understand it only in the concave sense; the opposite of the cat's arch.

    (edit) - PS, of course, nothing wrong with giving further clarification, like "keep your shoulders back".
    #1Verfasser Martin--cal (272273) 08 Jun. 15, 23:53
    I too would understand it to be the opposite of a cat's arch. This query caught my attention because I had just read something with "den Rücken krümmen" (describing workers hunched over their work) and was shocked to find the English translation to be "to arch the back" -- just the opposite of my mental image.

    Afterthought: The more I think about this, the more ambiguous the English phrase "arch one's back" seems to me. In my experience with its use in the fitness industry, the anticipated posture is usually with reference to something such as the ground (arch your back means lift it up off the ground as one is lying on one's back) or a wall (arch your back means pull it away from the wall while butt and shoulders remain against the wall). It would be nice to have unambiguous phrases, which I imagine the medical field must have.
    #2Verfasser patman2 (527865) 09 Jun. 15, 00:27
    FWIW it wouldn't occur to me that it means anything but imitating the typical cat "arching". The opposite would be "hollow your back", "pull your shoulders back" - things like that - IMO.
    If you "hollow your back" your chest would be "arching" I'd say.
    #3Verfassermikefm (760309) 09 Jun. 15, 11:07
    Interesting... it seems that, in fact, it might be either the one or the other, depending from the context.

    And so far, the score is 2 : 1... :)

    Unfortunately, there is no wall as a reference point in the exercises I am trying to translate, and having tried both options myself, I can only say that I find both variants utterly uncomfortable. ;)

    However, it seems that the translation given in LEO might only be one half of the truth, so to speak, and might be misleading for non native speakers.

    Or is that too strong?

    #4Verfasser L_MB (1085495) 09 Jun. 15, 22:37
    Even though there is no actual physical plane as a reference point, there are the various anatomical planes such as the coronal plane that splits a standing human from head to foot through the shoulders and hips, separating front from back. Wiki has a good diagram of the various anatomical planes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomical_plane
    (I wish there were a German version)

    I agree with you that the translation in LEO for "arch the back" is confusing and misleading in that it ignores the confusion amongst English speakers in how the term is used.
    #5Verfasser patman2 (527865) 10 Jun. 15, 01:19
    AE here.

    This is most fascinating!

    I, too, think of arching my back as being as a cat would be with its back high or raised in the center. I would not think of it any other way.
    In fact, what else would you call a cat in this position?
    If I'm on all fours, I can either arch my back.. that means up in the center.. or I can make my back sag. That would mean I let it sag or drop in the middle, letting my stomach come closer to the floor.

    Generally, if I think of the word "arched", I see something that's higher in the middle than at the ends. I don't think of a U shape first or even at all; but if you show me an inverted U, I see that as an arch. I think of the direction of arches in a bridge, for example. If you asked me to describe the shape of a normal U, I would not say that it was an arch, I'd say it was a concave shape, a cup-shape or something like that.

    If I think of putting my back in a convex position, this is the same way I described arching it; that is, with the center of my back pushed "out" (further behind me) or pushed "up" if I'm on all fours.
    If I make my back concave, I think of my back as sagging down in the center if I'm on all fours or as pushing my stomach forward.. further in front of me if I'm standing.

    Jetzt möchte ich gerne lernen wie man dies alles auf Deutsch beschreibt!
    #6VerfassermikeS (366927) 10 Jun. 15, 02:42
    #6 hat mir möglicherweise die Erklärung zu einem Punkt geliefert, der mir im Kopf herumschwirrt, seit ich diesem Thread und dem "Schwesterfaden" begegnet bin:
    Wenn in Romanen der Sex zwischen zwei handelnden Personen beschrieben wird, findet sich häufig die Wendung "she arched her back". Sehr oft wird aus dem Zusammenhang klar, dass sie dabei auf dem Rücken liegt. Ich habe Mühe, mir da einen Katzenbuckel vorzustellen, und hatte immer das Gefühl, sie muss ins Hohlkreuz gehen.
    Aber das ergibt natürlich einen Sinn, wenn man mikestorers Satz Generally, if I think of the word "arched", I see something that's higher in the middle than at the ends. liest. Bei einer Person, die auf dem Rücken liegt, wird natürlich dann die Mitte des Körpers im Vergleich zu den Enden angehoben, wenn diese Person ins Hohlkreuz geht. Anders wäre es bei Bauchlage, da ist ein Katzenbuckel vonnöten.

    Ich stimme daher zu, dass der LEO-Eintrag mindestens unvollständig ist. Wie man das aber geschickt und mit wenigen Worten löst, weiß ich nicht...
    #7Verfasser Dragon (238202) 10 Jun. 15, 08:01
    #6: Wenn man auf allen Vieren steht und den Rücken anhebt, macht man beim Joga einen Katzenbuckel (cat pose). Liegt man auf dem Rücken und hebt den Bauch in die Luft, macht man eine Rückenbeuge oder eine Brücke - in englischen Jogabüchern ist das eine spinal lift bzw. bridge pose.

    Und, Dragon, beides gemeinsam fällt unter den Oberbegriff back arch oder backbend!
    #8Verfasser Cuauhtlehuanitzin (1009442) 10 Jun. 15, 08:59
    I realize now I answered too quickly in #1. I was picturing myself standing. If someone told me to arch my back when I was on my feet, I would understand it in the sense of pulling my shoulders back and making my back more concave.

    But if I was on my hands and feet ... something I hadn't thought of ... and I was asked to arch my back, I would understand it in the sense of the cat-arch.

    (Interesting, puzzling, and difficult for L_MB...)
    #9Verfasser Martin--cal (272273) 10 Jun. 15, 17:23

    Not at all. It helps me in so far, as at least one of the exercises is done standing upright - which means, a "hollow back" (the slightly less uncomfortable of the two alternatives) would not be completely out of the question.

    Btw.: I tried to contact the author, assuming that he at least might have an idea of "which direction to arch towards" in the respecitve cases(does that make any sense?) - But so far, to no avail.

    Maybe he thinks I am trying to poke fun at him asking silly questions. Which I certainly am not.

    It's, in a sense, consoling to see, that I am not the only one being confused by a certain ambiguity here.
    #10Verfasser L_MB (1085495) 10 Jun. 15, 21:42
    If something “arches” or is “arched” its form becomes similar to an arch, the inverted “U” shape mentioned by mikestorer.
    I can’t see how a concave back can be said to be “arched”.
    To “arc” would be unusual but more accurate even. ;-)

    #11Verfassermikefm (760309) 11 Jun. 15, 21:13
    arch 1

    1. A usually curved structure forming the upper edge of an open space and supporting the weight above it, as in a bridge or doorway.

    2. A structure, such as a freestanding monument, shaped like an inverted U.

    3. A curve with the ends down and the middle up:the arch of a raised eyebrow.

    4. Anatomy An organ or structure having a curved or bowlike appearance, especially either of two arched sections of the bony structure of the foot.

    v.arched, arch·ing, arch·es

    1. To provide with an arch: arch a passageway.

    2. To cause to form an arch or similar curve.

    3. To bend backward: The dancers alternately arched and hunched their backs.

    4. To span: "the rude bridge that arched the flood"(Ralph Waldo Emerson).

    To form an arch or archlike curve:The high fly ball arched toward the stands.
    (My bold)

    Arching can be either convex or concave.
    #12Verfasser SD3 (451227) 11 Jun. 15, 22:07
    Thank you very, very much, SD3 :)
    #13Verfasser L_MB (1085495) 13 Jun. 15, 12:13
    I just wanted to inform interested readers, that, fortunately, the author of the original manuscript eventually replied to my e-mail.

    According to him, to arch was in fact meant in all respective cases in the sense of "3. to bend backward " provided by SD3.

    I take it, hence, that the LEO-entry is incomplete. Is there anything I can do to change that, and if so, what is it?
    #14Verfasser L_MB (1085495) 27 Aug. 15, 22:58
    I take it, hence, that the LEO-entry is incomplete. Is there anything I can do to change that, and if so, what is it?

    Du kannst, mit den nötigen Belegen aus Wörterbüchern oder Kontextbeispielen, und unter Verweis auf diese Diskussion hier, einen Antrag in Linkziel nur für angemeldete Nutzer sichtbar stellen ... dann schafft es die hier verwendete Bedeutung auch ins Wörterbuch ... früher oder später ...
    #15Verfasser no me bré (700807) 27 Aug. 15, 23:06
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