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    German "durch, über jemanden" - by/through/via

    Topic

    German "durch, über jemanden" - by/through/via

    Comment
    Which of the following particles sound good/correct to native speakers?

    (1) These new ideas came to Africa through the colonists.
    (2) These new ideas came to Africa by the colonists.
    (3) These new ideas came to Africa via the colonists.
    (4) These new ideas came to Africa because of /due to the colonists.

    Any further suggestions? (without changing the sentence structure, if posible, for I am actually interested in the correct particle, that is via, through, by or whatever).

    Thank you very much in advance.
    AuthorTHe unwoken fool09 Mar 09, 15:35
    Comment
    How about "with"?
    #1Authorchristina09 Mar 09, 15:40
    Comment
    Thank you. And what about my suggestions? Which of them are acceptable? Which of them are plain wrong?
    #2AuthorThe unwoken fool09 Mar 09, 16:07
    Comment
    “With” is probably better than all of your suggestions.

    (1) These new ideas came to Africa through the colonists. Not really. “... through a process of ... ”, perhaps, but not through + people.
    (2) These new ideas came to Africa by the colonists. No - “by” denotes a passive agent: these ideas were brought to Africa by the colonists.
    (3) These new ideas came to Africa via the colonists. OK
    (4) These new ideas came to Africa because of /due to the colonists. “Because of” - OK, but means “wegen”, not “durch”. “Due to” - perhaps OK, but sounds clumsy here.
    #3AuthorSteve (BE)09 Mar 09, 16:25
    Comment
    I'd also prefer "with", though it specifically means that when the colonists came, the new ideas came. They brought the ideas with them when they arrived.
    Otherwise, if I was really not allowed to change the word order (is it an exercise in timewasting? :-) I'd use "via".

    [edit]
    Spread to Africa via the colonists works better for me, and "came to Africa thanks to the colonists" might also work in context, if they didn't bring the new ideas with them at the time they arrived.
    #4Author CM2DD (236324) 09 Mar 09, 16:37
     
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