How could one translate the phrase "I resent the implication"? The way I hear it now and then is as an answer in a conversation and as I understand it, it is polite talk when someone is offended by something just said (or just implied) but I can't think of a good translation.

So my questions are whether my understanding of the phrase is correct (or at least not totally off) and if so, how could one translate the phrase to a proper and polite German one to be used in such a situation?

  • Can you make a full example? – Pekka May 25 '11 at 5:55

I guess an accurate translation would be:

Ich weise Ihre (implizite) Unterstellung entschieden zurück

Or a more complicated version:

Die von Ihnen vorgebrachten Thesen implizieren dass ich (insert something evil here). Dies möchte ich entschieden von mir weisen

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  • I like that! Maybe the words "Unterstellung" and "entschieden" are a bit harsh but I guess the english phrase is meant that way. Thank you – sl0815 May 25 '11 at 8:07
  • I agree it's harsh, but so is the English version. – Sean Patrick Floyd May 25 '11 at 8:13
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    Brilliant. This really is a slap in the face, but it's polite enough to silence your opponent. :) – ladybug May 25 '11 at 9:45
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    Ich hab halt Germanistik studiert :-) – Sean Patrick Floyd May 25 '11 at 9:54

Stealing (and slightly modifying) @thei's example because it's so good:

"Israel should really change their policies to solve the Middle-East conflict."

"I resent the implication that the problems there are solely their fault."

I'm not aware of a good 1:1 translation for "resent the implication". The closest I can think of is

Die implizite Schlußfolgerung, Israel sei allein Schuld an dem Konflikt, ärgert mich.

depending on context, if in a heated discussion, one could also use "allegation" instead of "implication", and a stronger, more personal version of "resent":

Die Unterstellung, Israel sei allein Schuld an dem Konflikt, nehme ich Ihnen übel.

"In consequence, you are saying that the conflict is solely Israel's fault. I resent that."

To make it feel like natural German, one might change the sentence's structure a bit. This is what a strong supporter of Israel's policies might say in response in a discussion:

In der Konsequenz sagen Sie damit, Israel sei allein schuld an dem Konflikt. Das nehme ich Ihnen übel.

Other possible, not 100% literal translations for "resent" include

  • "Mag ich überhaupt nicht" (as shown by @deceze) - "I don't like it at all"

  • "ärgert mich" - "annoys me"

  • "Weise ich zurück", "Lehne ich ab" - "I reject the implication" - very un-personal, free from personal attack, might be the right thing to use in a formal setting

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  • Third version sounds very polite and good, but you can't use this construct as a general translation. Personally, I think you can leave out the "resent" part. Just translate the implication (like "Damit unterstellen Sie, dass...", "In der Konsequenz...", "Das würde ja bedeuten, ...") and usually this already means you're resenting it. Otherwise, a appropriate rejection also would be: "Dem kann ich nicht zustimmen." Also keep in mind that in German there's not much need for polite figure's of speech, as you're more likely allowed to just say what you think. ;-) – ladybug May 25 '11 at 8:06

This is the official translation of a sentence in a speech (European Parliament):


I voted "yes" and I resent the implication that by doing so I am pro-abortion, anti-neutrality, pro-NATO, pro-nuclear power, pro-euthanasia.


Ich habe mit Ja gestimmt und ich ärgere mich darüber, dass ich damit automatisch zu den Befürwortern der Abtreibung, der Abschaffung der Neutralität, der NATO, der Atomkraft und der Sterbehilfe gerechnet werde.

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  • sounds much more informal to me as the English version. Wouldn't use this as general recommendation. :) – ladybug May 25 '11 at 8:11
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    I think you should also bold “automatisch” since that’s how “implication” is conveyed here. – Konrad Rudolph May 25 '11 at 9:39
  • @Konrad_Rudolph Richtig! Danke – splattne May 25 '11 at 9:42

Ich glaube das ist am besten an einem konkreten Beispiel zu erklären:

I heard the budget for the department will be reduced. I resent the implications, since that means they will most likely fire a number of people who are my best friends and put that idiot in charge.

Mir ist zu Ohren gekommen, daß das Budget für die Abteilung gekürzt wird. Das bedeutet wohl auch, daß sie ein paar meiner besten Freunde hier feuern werden und diesen Idioten zum Chef machen. Das mag ich ganz und gar nicht.

In dem Falle heißt es, daß der Sprecher vorausgedacht und absehen hat, daß die Budgetkürzung weitere Konsequenzen tragen wird, die für ihn oder andere unangenehm werden. Er hat also ein schlechtes Gefühl gegenüber den implizierten Konsequenzen. Das würde man aber vielleicht normalerweise nicht so kompakt im Deutschen ausdrücken.

Ich würde nicht sagen, daß es unbedingt besonders höflich oder unhöflich ist. Es ist definitiv eine gute Ausdrucksweise. Die Höflichkeit kommt vielleicht eher von der Tatsache, daß die unangenehmen Fakten nur impliziert sind, was meist in höflicheren Diskussionen der Fall ist. In mehr direkteren Auseinandersetzungen würden die Fakten vielleicht eh offener dargelegt, sodaß es keine implications zu resenten gibt. Du könntest genauso gut sagen "I don't like what this means for...", was genauso höflich sein kann, jedoch weniger eloquent.

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We really need first some good English examples.

This may be used against a (perceived) implied insult or accusation.

"Israel should really change their politics to solve the Middle-East conflict." "I resent the implication that the problems there are their fault."

I might say: Wie kommst du darauf, dass die Probleme dort ihre Schuld sind?

Depending on context, also:

"Man hört die Absicht und ist verstimmt." (Literally: one hears the intention and is annoyed)

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Why not just do a near-literal translation: “Ich nehme [Ihnen] die Unterstellung übel.” Granted, this isn’t commonly said (less so than the English phrase) but it most accurately captures the sentiment.

Sean’s translation for example is inherently defensive (“zurückweisen”), while the English phrase is more aggressive.

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