This is a follow-up to my previous question (Fische springen). Is There Another Way to (Poetically) Say "Sie ist schön?" Does springen mean "spring," "jump," or both? What are some other English equivalents? (In the linked poem, it was used in a context (Fische springen), that I would not have guessed.)

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    You mean to look it up in the dictionary?
    – user508
    Jun 28, 2011 at 13:41
  • @gigili: In answer to this question, german.stackexchange.com/questions/1643/… people used "springen" in a meaning and context I had never suspected. I'd like to know what other meanings I might have missed.
    – Tom Au
    Jun 28, 2011 at 14:07
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    @Tom Au: I knew what are you referring to. depends on the context , all of these seven cases might happen. Or simply please provide more context if you mean a special case.
    – user508
    Jun 28, 2011 at 14:11
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    It means "to jump" - but check this dictionary for many more translations: dict.leo.org/… in my eyes it is all transliterations of "to jump". "Aufspringen" for example is more like "to get up very fast". "sprunghaft" would be "being jumpy". "Auf dem Sprung sein" would be "to be on the go"
    – Dennis G
    Jun 28, 2011 at 14:29
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    @Tom: It's a bit unclear what you're looking for. A definition of "springen" (as Gigili has supplied), a list of metaphorical uses of the word, or a list of English words that can be used in similar circumstances?
    – Tim
    Jun 29, 2011 at 7:09

2 Answers 2


Springen means to jump, not spring, that would be Frühling or Quelle.

"The fish are jumping" shouldn't be translated with "die Fische springen", it would be "die Fische beißen". But many germans will try to translate it this way, because they don't know the english saying, so they will be thinking of fish literally jumping, like salmon.

With eel you can say "Der Aal läuft gut" meaning the eel bite. All other fishes you just say "die Fische beißen" (not "... beißen gut", if they bite thats already good).

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    Do you mean "beißen an"? (I'm not into fishing, so I don't know what people say there, but to me, "die Fische beißen" without "an" sounds a bit strange.) Jun 30, 2011 at 7:57
  • In fishing you just say "die Fische beißen" without "an"
    – Hinek
    Jun 30, 2011 at 8:33

"Springen" means "jump", and the correspondence is very good for lots of idioms.

"Springen" is etymological related to the meanings of the English word "spring", but it does not have the current meanings of the English word.

If you want a better answer, you should make your question much more precise.

  • "Springen" is etymological related to the meanings of the English word "spring", but it does not have the current meanings of the English word." My first question covered this meaning, and the meaning for "jump." That's clear enough. (Maybe it was the follow-up question that was confusing.)
    – Tom Au
    Jun 29, 2011 at 13:18
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    @Tom You don't give any context or motivation. Since any dictionary can tell you as much, there is something you are not telling. I really don't know what "My first question covered this meaning" should mean.
    – Phira
    Jun 29, 2011 at 13:25
  • I said "This is a followup to my previous question" (about a translation). Maybe I should have linked it.
    – Tom Au
    Jun 29, 2011 at 20:32

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