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I work whenever I want to work.

What would be a good translation for that? I have a problem with "whenever". Google Translate says that the translation of "whenever" is "sobald", "wann auch immer", "jedesmal wenn", and "sooft". The translation of the whole sentence according to Google Translate is

Ich arbeite, wenn ich arbeiten will.

But I feel like this just says "when" and not "whenever" (even though the meanings of the two are quite similar.)

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I'd recommend not using Google Translate. Try a dictionary with categories (I suggest Pons). You can look up translations for the actual meaning you're using the word for. "Whenever" basically has two different meanings, "on any occasion" and "every time". You're looking for the former one and the closest and here best translation is "wann (auch) immer". –  Em1 May 17 at 9:21
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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Your translation is quite alright - it depends on the intonation, though. If one does not stress the "will", then it sounds just as you said. There's a little ambiguity not only in the translation.

Maybe you could expand it:

Ich arbeite dann, wenn ich arbeiten will.

Or better:

Ich arbeite, wann auch immer es mir passt.

Ich arbeite dann, wann (auch) immer ich will.

Ich arbeite, wann ich will.

I like the last one most for being the most concise option.

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Slang: "Ich arbeite wenn ich Bock habe." Where "Bock" is a saying for motivation. See also "Ich habe keinen Bock" (I am not motivated). –  TwoThe May 19 at 17:12
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