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I'd like to say:

Have fun during the exhibition.

in German. What I tried to found was "Ausstellungsdauer" meaning "during the exhibition" but my translation doesn't make much sense as it stand:

viel spaß, Ausstellungsdauer.

I'm not sure about the preposition, I could user "at". Also, I'd like to use the word "Messe" for it which is more common in Germany.

What'd be a good translation?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Die Ausstellungsdauer is actually a noun rather than a prepositional phrase, which would refer to the "duration (die Dauer) of the exhibit(ion)". Similarly you could use the verb dauern ("to last/take [time]"), as in "Wie lange dauert die Ausstellung?" ("How long does the exhibit(ion) last/take?").

For what you're asking, and if you'd rather use Messe instead, you might try,

"Viel Spaß auf der Messe!" (for wishing fun while AT the event)

or

"Viel Spaß während der Messe!" (for wishing fun DURING the event).

In this case, the preposition auf means "at" and uses the dative case (because it's referring to the person being at a stationary location, not moving toward it, which would need the accusative). The preposition während means "during" and is supposed to use the genitive case regardless, though in colloquial speech it often switches to dative as well. Since we are using a feminine noun here, it is the same form either way, so no worries there.

If you choose to stick with Ausstellung (if it's say maybe a smaller event than a big Messe covering a large parade ground, for example), then you might rather change the auf to in or bei as in

"Viel Spaß bei der Ausstellung!",

still using the dative case. However, with während it would still be the same, as in

"Viel Spaß während der Ausstellung!"

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Thanks for your answer Kevin. Could you elaborate what's the difference between your first and second example? I don't quite get it. –  Gigili May 8 '12 at 4:00
    
I've edited my answer to help explain further. Glad you're back, by the way. :-) –  Kevin May 8 '12 at 4:47
    
Great, clear enough. Thanks. –  Gigili May 8 '12 at 4:54
    
Sorry if it's too much, but I like to be thorough enough that it might even help elsewhere. :-) –  Kevin May 8 '12 at 5:51
    
Actually, I consider it a positive thing rather than negative. Thanks a again. I even don't need to ask about the difference between "Messe" and "Ausstellung". –  Gigili May 8 '12 at 5:57

An exhibition, show, fair or the like are all places you go rather than a time you spend there (as it woud be a movie, a concert or a play you visit). Therefore we use the preposition "auf" rather than the exclusively temporal preposition "während" (this would be a literal translation). "Auf" is used here in the meaning of both, a place, and a time span of an event. Thus we say:

Viel Vergnügen auf der Ausstellung

Note that I replaced Spaß" by the less casual "Vergnügen" as this may fit better to a an exhibition.

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Good points, and I like "Vergnügen"! :) –  Kevin May 8 '12 at 17:21
    
Während der Hannover-Messe oder der Cebit bekommst Du kaum ein Zimmer, in Hannover. Und während der Moma-Ausstellung in der Nationalgalerie konnte man da Schlangen bewundern ... Auf der Messe finde ich klingt opportuner, als auf der Ausstellung - bei letzterem läge mir während näher. –  user unknown May 8 '12 at 18:25

The most common phrase would be:

Viel Spaß bei der Ausstellung!

The word "Messe" usually refers to a trade fair

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