Übersetzung Deutsch nach Englisch - Questions on translations from German to English.

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57
votes
17answers
118k views

What’s the difference between “Ich habe dich lieb” and “Ich liebe dich”?

What’s the difference between Ich habe dich lieb and Ich liebe dich? Both are defined as “I love you” in many dictionaries, as I’ve checked.
21
votes
2answers
10k views

Meaning and origin of 'Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof'

What does the following sentence mean and what is its origin? Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. I've heard this expression from some friends – I guess it's what you say when you don't really understand ...
20
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the meaning of “Deine Mudda”?

In Germany, I hear a lot of jokes containing "Deine Mudda", but I don't understand them. What does this mean and what kind of jokes are containing them?
20
votes
3answers
16k views

Meaning of 0815 and ger/eng alternatives?

Does 0815 simply mean something is very standard and common, or does it carry any connotations? Where can one use it, e.g. for description of processes, objects, persons? Can you give alternative ...
20
votes
1answer
352 views

Is unwillkürlich the opposite of willkürlich?

My dictionary translates willkürlich as arbitrary and unwillkürlich as involuntary. I do not understand in what sense these concepts are opposites. Could someone give an example where this becomes ...
20
votes
1answer
674 views

What means my car's displayed diagnosis “KÜHLMITTLE NIEDR MOTOR ABSTELLEN”?

I'm French and I purchased a used (2001) Volvo V70 which was initially buyed in Switzerland, and where diagnosis are displayed in German, so for me it's often a painful task to understand what the ...
18
votes
5answers
11k views

Difference between Erfahrung and Erlebnis?

They both translate into "experience" in English.
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Can “Kristall” mean “broken glass”?

The loanword "Kristallnacht" is most frequently described in English as "the night of broken glass". It's also called "crystal night", but that doesn't make sense to me because the night didn't ...
12
votes
6answers
7k views

How would you translate “fremdschämen”?

I was hanging out with friends tonight and we were watching a documentary on (Australian) TV. There was this obnoxious main character. For all her actions habe ich mich fremdgeschämt, but I wasn’t ...
12
votes
2answers
15k views

“So” in German - meanings and usages

Does "so" have similar usage and meaning in English and German? so ein schönes Lied! das tut uns [ja] so leid! so? Das wäre aber sonderbar du darfst nehmen, so viel wie du willst. ...
11
votes
1answer
581 views

Translate late 1800's postcard to English

I have a postcard from the family of my 3-times-great grandmother written in old German that was sent to some of their family that came to America. The picture was taken in Hechingen, Germany. My ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the appropriate usage of “Gemütlichkeit”?

"Gemütlichkeit" ist für die Deutschen ein positives Wort aber es gibt nicht nur eine Erklärung für das Wort, Alle haben eine individuelle Lösung. Here are my questions about the term: I'd ...
11
votes
4answers
972 views

How do you say: “Freundschaft, Genossen!” in English?

While thinking about this question: Are "friends" and "Freunde" false-friends? I realized that there is one use of "Freund" that does not indicate a lot of closeness: How do you ...
10
votes
5answers
939 views

What is the meaning of “Das wärmste Jäckchen ist das Cognac-chen”?

I have heard this from my German friend. I know what it means in English but I don't understand the context in German. They said it's really hard to explain properly. Is it bad? I hope not.
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to translate “schön blöd” in English?

What does "schön blöd" mean? Is it offending, but meant as a joke? Or does it mean someone is awfully stupid? In which situation would/could Germans use it?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you translate German wordplay into English?

This is a somewhat generic issue, I suppose, in that it affects both English-to-German and German-to-English translation. Today I came across what I thought was an example of good German wordplay: ...
10
votes
2answers
750 views

When did pathetic and pathetisch divert in meaning?

It seems clear that the two words have the same origin, yet pathetic and pathetisch seem to have significantly different meanings (or don't they?). Pathetic is very negative with synonyms like ...
10
votes
2answers
316 views

Why we dont need “zu” in this sentence?

I saw this sentence in one of the Hueber books : Ich brauchte nur mein Zimmer in Ordung halten. I want to know why we don't need "zu" before the verb halten ?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the English translation of “Bemerfungen”?

I've tried google and bing translate as well as asking my uncle (a native German speaker, born in Germany). None have a translation, my uncle's response was the word Bemerfungen has me stumped. It ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Origin and meaning of “Toten Hosen”?

There is a German music band called "Die Toten Hosen". Is it a metaphor or just a creation by this band with no deeper meaning?
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Englischer “Erklärbär”? [closed]

Der idiomatische Begriff Erklärbär hat seinen Ursprung laut Wikipedia in der Wochenshow, also keine allzu alten Wurzeln. Wie könnte man diesen Ausdruck am besten auf Englisch ausdrücken? Bemerkung: ...
9
votes
4answers
221 views

Translation of “Deutschländisch” into English

How would you translate "Deutschländisch" or "deutschländische Deutsch" into English? Example context from Sprachpflege an Schulen: Österreich kämpft gegen deutschländisches Deutsch Darin geht es ...
9
votes
3answers
306 views

Inscription on stein: “Erst prob’s dann lob’s”

My mother recently made a trip to visit my brother in the Allenbach area and brought back a small stein for me. One side depicts three men and a woman. One of the men is playing a lute (I think) and ...
8
votes
5answers
212 views

Is there a non-regional German expression for the Swabian term “Gschmäckle”?

Is this term only well-known in Southern Germany or also in the deep North? Is there short alternatives for modern High German? Does anyone know a similar English short expression?
8
votes
5answers
278 views

“Senkenden Hauptes schlief sie langsam ein” — is this grammatically correct?

Especially I would like to know when this is a correct complete German sentence: What type of grammatical structure do the first two words belong to? Is it common to speak that way? I refer to the ...
8
votes
2answers
412 views

What does “beanspruchungsgerecht” mean?

This is the context: Vorteile des Werkstoffs: Grauguß Im Gießverfahren leicht formbar, deshalb kann man Gußgestelle ohne Mehrkosten beanspruchungsgerecht gestalten I understand that ...
8
votes
1answer
145 views

What does “Stoez” mean?

Stoez or Stöz is not in my dictionary or various others. From context it probably means something like crap, mess or something referring for example to Germany in WW2. It may be from Köln area as it’s ...
8
votes
1answer
606 views

Meaning of this street sign

A couple of years ago, a few friends and myself went on a trip from the UK to Bremen. A great time was had by all, even though none of us speak much German, beyond a few words learned many years ...
8
votes
2answers
191 views

What is the meaning of “Schlängelgang”?

What does "Schlängelgang" mean? I wasn't able to find it anywhere. This is from Fontane's Stine: Ich verstehe mich ein bißchen auf das menschliche Herz; denn sieh, wer jahrelang auf dem ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the term “fremdschämen” mean? How to write it correctly?

Saw this in a chat, doesn't yield an answer. Is this similar to have a pity on somebody? And how to write those word-creations? Is there a general rule of thumb? Seems pretty arbitrary. I saw: ...
8
votes
2answers
181 views

Is “Weltschmerz” an untranslatable word?

Sometime I come across lists of untranslatable words like this one. It states that Weltschmerz is a word that cannot be translated to English, but searching for it in Duden it gives me a lot of ...
8
votes
1answer
151 views

“Bei vielen Menschen ist es bereits eine Unverschämtheit, wenn sie Ich sagen.”

This is a quote from Theodor W. Adorno’s Minima Moralia. One can find it here in German: Bei vielen Menschen ist es bereits eine Unverschämtheit, wenn sie Ich sagen. Or here in English: ...
8
votes
2answers
286 views

Meaning and usage of “sich unterstehen”

I found this (dwds.de): sich einer Sache unterstehen sich anmaßen, erdreisten, etw. zu tun niemand unterstand sich, ihr zu widersprechen So sich einer Sache unterstehen means sich anmaßen ...
7
votes
2answers
951 views

What does this German sentence mean? - “… verkehrt verkehrt, verkehrt verkehrt, verkehrt verkehrt …”

While perusing this question, I generally was at least able to understand what all of the playful examples of word repetition meant. There was one, however, that left me completely baffled. Selbst ...
7
votes
3answers
697 views

Doubt concerning the usage of the phrase ‘Was hat sie?’

I’m learning German using an app called Duolingo, wherein it asked me to translate the above question to English. I guessed What does she have? This answer was not accepted. A Google translate ...
7
votes
7answers
634 views

dann doch noch schnell

What does the phrase "dann doch noch schnell" mean? As in Ich habe mir heute dann doch noch schnell einen neuen Hartschalenkoffer gekauft. is this some kind of an idiom?
7
votes
3answers
292 views

Translation of “gut x kilometer”

What's the English translation of "gut dreißig Kilometer"? As in: Es befindet sich gut dreißig Kilometer außerhalb von London? I'm not sure whether it's 'a good thirty kilometres' or 'some ...
7
votes
3answers
553 views

What does “an die bemooste See” mean?

Gestreckt auf wildes Kraut, an die bemooste See." - Andreas Gryphius, Einsamkeit Does he mean a lake (dialect?) or is the lake mossy?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What is “Hacke, Spitze, eins, zwei, drei”?

I’m currently learning the German language as I’m new to Germany. Learning something new from the public every day is really cool! Yesterday I happened to hear bunch of kids playing across the street ...
7
votes
1answer
463 views

Does this 18th-century German quotation include a source?

While researching for a separate question,1 I came across a book published in German in 1778 by the historian D. H. Hering. He records an interesting anecdote about Martin Luther, which was later ...
7
votes
2answers
113 views

eingreifen und einmischen: negativ, positiv oder beide?

In englischen Wörterbüchern sehe ich immer zwei Übersetzungen für das deutsche Wort eingreifen: intervene interfere Diese zwei englischen Wörter haben ähnliche Bedeutungen: sie bedeuten etwas ...
7
votes
2answers
456 views

Can someone please translate a German inscription into English?

My son's birthday is next week. For a gift, I bought a 150-year-old German drinking glass with a hand-painted image of a man bowling, and an inscription below. It reads: "Gut Holz ein Hoch dem ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the meaning of “Mensch” when used between friends or family members?

I met a long-time couple recently, and I frequently heard the wife calling her husband Mensch. As an example, at one point she asked Was ist das, Mensch? and at another Ach, Du Mensch! ...
6
votes
2answers
776 views

Is “thou” the English equivalent of “Sie”?

I've always wondered this. Yes, it means "you" but it must directly translate into a more formal "you," correct?
6
votes
2answers
776 views

What does Wechsel mean in this case?

I am working on a translation of a scientific paper from German into English. I am hoping someone here can provide some help or feedback on a certain translation problem I’m encountering. A section of ...
6
votes
6answers
252 views

“Ansatz” isn't thoroughly defined in German dictionaries!

What's the meaning of "Ansatz" in these sentences? Could someone paraphrase them in German?: Der Ansatz für Multikulti ist gescheitert, absolut gescheitert! Ansätze zu einem besseren ...
6
votes
2answers
397 views

Difference between “heute”, “heutig”, and “heutigen”?

I was looking up the German word for "Today's" and Google translate suggested "heutigen" but I did not see that even listed in my English to German dictionary. But I did find many instances written ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

What is a good translation of “Rüstzeit”?

I'm looking for a concise translation for "Rüstzeit". This is the time taken to reconfigure a machine for a new batch of work. (Installing new tools, new NC program, etc.) "Setting up time" is one ...
6
votes
2answers
496 views

“erlernt” vs “gelernt”

As the title states, I'm having a hard time telling the difference in meaning between erlernt and gelernt. When I look them up in a GER-ENG dictionary, both translate to "learned". However, it seems ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Comparison of German words describing various degrees of a romantic relationship

Among some of the words that I have been running into are Beziehungen which I understand to be the general translation for the word relationship. Verhältnis which in some places seems to mean a ...