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How do I say 'For God's sakes' in German?

  1. Um Gottes willen, warum bist du hingegangen?

Are there other alternatives for it?

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When asking for translation, it's important to provide context because expressions don't map 1:1 from one language to the other. –  Lumi Dec 12 '13 at 18:49
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Um Gottes Willen

is the correct translation. There are alternatives that can be used for the same, some very close, some not so close to the original meaning, like

Um Himmels Willen!

(For Heaven's Sake!)

Himmelherrgott!

(God in Heaven! coll.)

Herrgott nochmal!

(coll.)

Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!

(rude and not very close)

Heiligsblechle!

(example for a regional version, used mainly in the southwest of Germany)

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@DerPolyglott33: Note, however, that while the first two are indeed the literal translations, they are far less common in this context than the English phrase. In comparison, they have a rather milder "flavour" and don't really pack the amount of exasperation and sometimes even disgust a hearty "oh for god's sake!" can convey. Also, if you're interested in regional variants, in Bavaria we often say "Herrschaftszeiten", which usually sounds very exasperated indeed. :) –  Mac Dec 12 '13 at 9:26
    
Warum in Gottes Namen bist du dahin gegangen.... geht auch noch –  Emanuel Dec 12 '13 at 10:43
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One that was missing:

Meine Güte!

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