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I never heard Raketenwissenschaft in this context in Germany. Is this a case of anglicism, or are there better suited German synonyms for this expression?

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IMHO Raketenwissenschaft isn't used at all in German. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luft-_und_Raumfahrttechnik –  starblue Aug 6 '11 at 16:55
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just heard that a current variation is "It's not rocket surgery" from ricon cf. english.stackexchange.com/questions/37026/… –  bernd_k Aug 7 '11 at 11:37
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What do rocket scientists say when something isn't hard? ;) –  OregonGhost Aug 7 '11 at 13:24
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4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I'd probably say

Das ist doch keine Wissenschaft.

or

Das ist doch kein Hexenwerk.

LEO's forums contain a few more suggestions (e.g. here).

I wouldn't use Raketenwissenschaft or rocket science in German except when talking informally to peers of whom I know that they know English well enough.

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Hexenwerk is what I'd use as well. –  OregonGhost Aug 7 '11 at 13:25
    
Definitely 'Hexenwerk'. The 'Wissenschaft' one doesn't feel strong enough to be a real synonym for me. –  hheimbuerger Aug 12 '11 at 9:09
    
First: "Das ist doch keine Wissenschaft" is nowhere near to the vibrations in "no rocket science". "Hexenwerk" is good, but sounds to me very old fashioned and regional - most Germans would go for "Das ist keine Hexerei". –  Zane Mar 14 at 19:38
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In context of scientific problems, I would say:

Das ist kein offenes Forschungsproblem.

In other contexts I would say:

Das ist machbar.

Or even

Das ist kinderleicht.

BTW: I asked for the usage of "That's no rocket science" on EL&U

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Good idea! We should focus a bit more on cross-side/language questions to attract some traffic or germans unaware of GL&U from there. –  Hauser Aug 7 '11 at 11:38
    
"Das ist kein offenes Forschungsproblem" will probably result in a confused stare, followed by laughter after a second or two if they're smart –  herzmeister der welten Aug 12 '11 at 21:08
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I commonly translate that with:

Das ist keine Kernphysik.

or

Dafür braucht man nicht Quantenmechanik studiert zu haben.

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Agree. You also hear "Er ist nicht gerade ein Kernphysiker", meaning that somone isn't too smart. Admittedly, that's kind of mean. –  Deve Aug 7 '11 at 13:13
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I would go with

Das ist nicht so kompliziert.

or

Man braucht dafür nicht studiert zu haben.

or

Das ist keine Hexerei.

I've never heard a literal translation of the English idiom.

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