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I am reading Hans im Glück and I am having a hard time understanding the following sentence:

Ihr habt Euch jederzeit zu helfen gewusst", sprach der Schleifer, "könnt Ihr's nun dahin bringen, dass Ihr das Geld in der Tasche springen hört, wenn Ihr aufsteht, so habt Ihr Euer Glück gemacht.

The last part of the statement seems to indicate that the Schleifer is saying something to Hans about how he (Hans) made his fortune.

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It's not entirely clear to me what part of the sentence you're struggling with. – Em1 Nov 20 '12 at 15:24
Seeing “gewusst” and “dass”: looks like a quite new edition. (Before the German orthography reform of 1996 it would have been “gewußt” and “daß”.) – Speravir Nov 20 '12 at 16:27
up vote 5 down vote accepted


You always knew how to help yourself, said the Schleifer - if you can now manage to keep the money in your pocket (hear the coins jingle in your pocket when you get up), then you have made your fortune.

I think it means that Hans found always his way, but he needs to also find a way to keep some of his money for himself (in his pocket).

"Schleifer" in this context means a guy whose profession it is to sharpen and polish scissors and knifes etc.

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"Schleifer" translates to "grinder". – Takkat Nov 20 '12 at 15:59
I think this answer is a little off... there is no indication in the German sentence that Hans does have money but he is spending too much. The translation here adds this implication. I don't think this should be accepted as correct – Emanuel Nov 22 '12 at 21:58

You can find a translation of the complete tale on The part you are asking for is:

"You have known how to look after yourself each time," said the grinder. "If you can only get on so far as to hear the money jingle in your pocket whenever you stand up, you will have made your fortune."

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Assuming OP is native English, this would be sufficient to understand. However, people whose first language is neither German nor English will still not understand what it is about. – Em1 Nov 20 '12 at 19:33
@Em1 I agree in theory, but the website I linked to contains translations to Danish, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch as well. I think almost anybody will find a language that he/she understands well enough. – Baz Nov 20 '12 at 22:11

Here a very basic version:

You are a clever guy Hans. Find a way to turn that into cash and you will have made it.

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+1 excellent translation! – Mac Nov 23 '12 at 8:12

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