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3

jmdn. in die Zange nehmen This proverb goes back to the grip, plier or pincer (Zange) tool of a blacksmith used to hold the glowing iron while forging. Some people also believe there was an analogy to medieval torture tools in addition but this may not have been the main source of this figurative meaning. So whenever there is an often figurative meaning ...


1

I think the origin of the phrase in die Zange nehmen is a military maneuver that's called pincer movement in English. The German word for it is "Zangenangriff". The enemy is attacked on both flanks. The own forces are moved in the shape of a pincer. See English or German Wikipedia. I think in the film "Der Untergang" this phrase is used in this military ...


1

It is actually a figurative expression. just picture yourself using pliers on an object: the business parts of the pliers will approach the object from the sides, as compared to anything approaching (or in this case, attacking) from the front. In a military context this means that you attack from the weaker sides, hoping to result in encircling the enemy ...


1

In this case, given the military context, etwA in die Zange nehmen means to encircle something by offensively mimicking the form of a Zange: two units restricting movement of the target by actively engaging / closing in on it from different sides.


5

So als Konjunktion bedeutet hier "wenn" oder "falls". Das denn ist lediglich eine verstärkende Partikel. Man könnte also z. B. auch schreiben: … wenn überhaupt eine [Diskussion] stattfindet.


1

Du wirst "ja noch so" gehört haben, was als reiner Verstärker funktioniert und in deinem Beispiel auch noch idiomatisch falsch verwendet wurde, da es eigentlich als implizite Entschuldigung verwendet wird (Bsp.: "Ich bin ja noch so klein."). Richtig wäre die Verwendung von "noch so" gewesen, was bei "noch so klein" das Gleiche wie "beliebig klein" bedeutet. ...


3

Nein, das ist nicht deutsch. Eine korrekte Übersetzung wäre: Selbst das kleinste Detail war... Or, if you need more stress on how small the detail is: Selbst das allerkleinste Detail war... If you wanted the detail not small in form(only), but in value, you could substitute klein with gering, so you would use das (aller)geringste


0

To add to Hubert's excellent answer, "alles" in this context can be translated as "in all," (rather than simply "all"). So "Was macht Sylvie alles?" would translate as, "What does Sylvie do in all? And as Hubert pointed out, the meaning would be "everything."


14

The word »alles« means »everything«. You are asked to tell everything that Sylvie does. You are not asked what Sylvie is doing in a special situation, or at a special moment. You are asked what Sylvie does generally. In her whole live, all day long. The word »alles« is used in similar Questions: Was können Sie alles? Here you are encouraged to tell ...


2

Auch This simply means too, additionally, also, as well, … Doch This can have different meanings depending on pronunciation. Pronounced as a statement (voice going down at the end) Doch here means after all (see Martin Schwehla's answer). Pronounced as a question (voice going or staying up at the end) Doch here means don't they? or as you already know ...


4

A little more information about the context would have been helpful, but it seems the phrase refers to a comparison here. I'm just making up a dialogue which I think would match: A: Wieso nennt man ihn "Karotte", er ist doch kein Gemüse? (Why do they call him 'carrot' while he's not a vegetable?) B: Dich nennt man doch auch "Bohnenstange", obwohl ...


7

Why are they both in the same sentence? Coincidentally. As far as I know doch auch isn't a fixed expression in German. What does doch auch mean? auch means also in this context, as in: They also call you.... doch has many meanings in German (see also here for an article in English). In this case, it seems to emphasize that the addressed person ...


0

Nix is basically the up-coming new, simplified pronunciation of nichts. As it is still rather young, it's not yet considered 'proper' German but purely colloquial, so the spelling has not been updated, and so, when you find the word nichts in a written text, you can't pronounce it nix when reading it aloud. It has a status similar to it's for it is and many ...


0

"Nix" is dialectal. Dialects which have this form exist in Northern Germany and in Bavaria. Because of this wide range, it can also be used in colloquial speech as most/all Germans will understand it. It is not slang, but use of this form might have a surprise value that would stress the message of "nothing". By the way, "ik" is not a different way of ...


-1

As the OP's question has yet to be fully addressed--even the accepted answer does not really do the job--allow me to point out the difference in pronunciation. To an English speaker, nix sounds like "nicks," whereas nichts is much different. The ch sound in the German does not exist in either British or American English. It may be described as a hollow, ...


9

Nix is, as was already pointed out, a colloquial, informal, shorter form of nichts. Nix does not derive from any specific dialect; rather it is present in one form or another in most dialects. There are rare exceptions like the Berlin dialect prefering nüscht It is okay to use in very informal writings, like text messages to friends or in a chat etc. Do ...


2

I'm a native German speaker and come from Switzerland. It really depends on the type of person you want to ask. All the other comments are totally correct, but a common phrase in German would also be: Was ist deine Nationalität? / Was hast du für eine Nationalität? (What's your nationality?) This is the case, if you're already talking to this person ...


14

It's actually nix It's slang for nichts, as you have guessed. I'd love to say something more but, first, I'd like to understand what is "good to use" (obviously, don't write nix it in a formal context!), and, secondly, I'm not an expert. Whence I'm pretty sure somebody will illuminate us with a better answer.


5

I lived and worked in Germany 20+ years ago. Certainly, in that time (and in Bonn), Duzen (using the Du form) was not acceptable work language unless you knew the person well. And if you knew the person well, you'd already know their background. I've been asked where I'm from (my german is not educated, I had almost no formal German education when I went ...


7

There should be useful information behind your interest, that might help you to avoid the very direct and awkward question about ethnicity (I mean, if you are not or don't want to be mistaken as racist). Ask rather for that information (e.g. Sprichst du nur Deutsch als Muttersprache?). Anyway, there is a short solution: suppose you are in certain ...


9

In cases where it's not clear whether a person was born in Germany or not, you could ask about the family's background instead of just the person's. If you want to stress that you mean the ethnicity rather than the location, you could use the verb 'stammen' instead of 'kommen'. Woher stammt deine Familie? I believe this is acceptable when talking to ...


6

It is easy; if you want to know her original ethnicity, you can add ursprünglich to your sentence, so: Woher kommst du ursprünglich? It means "Where do you come from originally?". I do it all the time and it's accepted in society.


0

It sounds like a (presumably rarely used) German proverb. I haven't heard it, either, but the format fits and it makes sense. It would correspond to the English (Yogi Berra quote) If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up somewhere else!


13

I’m not sure what the question actually is. If you already know that she is German, why would you ask her about her ethnicity? You could ask about what city she is from: Aus welcher Stadt kommst Du? Or you could ask about what region she is from, but that’s a bit trickier. Aus welchem Bundesland kommst Du? is closest but does not necessarily ...


4

I think it really depends on how close you are with the one you want to ask about his ethnicity. If you are friends there should be no problem to ask such a question. Either way, I would suggest the following: Darf ich dich nach deiner Abstammung fragen?


10

Woher kommst du? is fine, to answer your first question, and the only way I can think of to ask where a person comes from. To talk about your second question: Ethnicity is still a bit of a 'dangerous' topic in German society, as we stopped drawing the line between people. At least from an official side, while movements like "Pegida" prove this wrong. ...


3

This construction is the so called "Absentive", which is still disputed, but can be found in many European languages. Basically "Wir waren essen" means "We were off eating". The trick is the location referred to - "wir waren essen" always means that you were off from that place. Let's assume that a friend comes to your place and sees some tools, then asks ...


2

Was noch nicht eindeutig geklärt wurde, war die zweite Frage im Bezug auf "Tut tut tut …": Während "Toi, toi, toi" ein Ausdruck ist, der quasi "Viel Glück" oder "Ich drück dir die Daumen" bedeutet, ist das englische "Tut, tut, tut …" eine Weise, Missfallen auszudrücken. Tut tut tut, Robin, you disappoint me. Auch wenn es von der Form ähnlich ist, ist ...


0

I am not a native speaker, but the context Wir sind beim Essen/Er ist beim Telefonieren sound correcter than . . .am . . . .


1

The word »denn« in this sentence is a modal particle. This is a part of speach that does not exist in English and therefore can't be translated. For a more detailed answer see: How can I translate the adverb/conjunction *doch* in sentences?


5

Used as a modal particle, denn makes the question a little more casual. Was machst du denn später? Is something like So, what will you do later?


2

It's just for added emphasis, as in "so how much does the carpet cost, then?"


1

Ich spreche für Ost-Österreich weil ich in Graz (Steiermark) geboren bin und dort die ersten 30 Jahre meines Lebens verbracht habe, und seit 20 Jahren im Wien lebe. schiffen Ein Zusammenhang mit »Stuhlgang haben« ist mir völlig unbekannt. Dafür wird hierzulande das Verb »scheißen« verwendet. (Mehr darüber weiter unten) Sehr wohl kenne ich aber: Es ...


0

Das Englische ist hier sehr viel klarer als das Deutsche. In diesem Fall (bei weitem nicht in allen) zeigt schon die phonetische Verwandtschaft, dass "to borrow" zu "borgen" gehört mit der Bedeutung "etwas vorübergehend in Besitz nehmen" und "to lend" dem deutschen "leihen" mit der komplementären Bedeutung "jemandem etwas vorübergehend zur Verfügung ...


9

"Rosinrot" was a variant of "rosenrot" In addition to the rarely used term depciting the color of raisins "rosinrot" used to be a variant of "rosenrot" for red as a rose. This color was used for intense red colors: Dürft' ich sie umfahn und küssen auf den rosenrothen Mund. Uhland Until today we may hear "rosige Wangen", "rosige Lippen" even though it ...


3

Actually, the link you gave states ... durch dein rosenfarbes Blut ... "rosenfarbes Blut" translates to "rose-coloured blood" which stands simply for: red blood.


4

Laut Duden handelt es sich bei dieser Verwendung des Adverbs so um eine Ellipse, bei der das Verb eingespart wurde. …, so [sagte] Tombuş. Diese Form wird bei Zitaten oder Quellenangaben verwendet und bedeutet zum Beispiel …, mit diesen Worten äußerte sich Tombuş. (bei wörtlichen Zitaten) …, in diesem Sinne äußerte sich Tombuş. (bei sinngemäßen ...


2

Ich denke, es handelt sich dabei um die Kurzform von "so sagte XY" oder "so berichtet CNN" – auf Englisch würde man vielleicht sagen "according to XY".



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