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Suppose you are giving a talk, or some sort of presentation, and every now and then you ask a question, in order to give the audience an opportunity to take part in the discussion. Now, it often happens that, after asking a question, complete silence occurs in the room.

I find the sentence

Don’t all shout at once.

a great way of breaking the silence and making the atmosphere slightly less formal, thus making people less stressed about asking a question.

What would be the right translation of this sentence to German? Alternatively, how would an equivalent statement in German sound?

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  • I'm aiming for an effect, similar to that of the English version. – Zvonimir Apr 15 '15 at 10:58
  • Damn, where is all this traffic coming from :)... @Takkat, can you see that somehow? – Emanuel Apr 16 '15 at 9:30
  • You have a fundamental problem here. Your English sentence is humorous. Germans are not. The most likely outcome is that they will take you literally and the silence will continue. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Apr 16 '15 at 11:46
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    One word: Dontbeallshoutenatwonz. – Omegacron Apr 16 '15 at 18:26
  • @Mawg: You're forgetting that the German language is also used in Austria and Switzerland. – wolfgang Apr 17 '15 at 14:15
33

The most literal translation would be

Ruft nicht alle auf einmal.

But I wouldn't use a verb probably. I don't know why but that would sound unnatural or at least it doesn't sound ironic or funny anymore. Maybe it's just too long. Either way.. the thing that came to mind first was

Nicht alle auf einmal!

but there are other options, too, like

Einer nach dem anderen!

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    I would definitely go for "Nicht alle auf einmal!". – waldrumpus Apr 15 '15 at 11:22
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    @Emanuel "Nicht alle auf einmal!" sounds very good. Thank you for the answer! – Zvonimir Apr 15 '15 at 11:32
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    "Bitte nicht alle durcheinander" is more colloquial flavour of the same phrase. – guidot Apr 15 '15 at 12:24
7

If you aim at an ironic effect (not a literal translation), you can also say

Nicht so zahlreich!

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    Yeah, this answer is more or less equivalent to Emanuel's suggestion nicht alle auf einmal! No real reason to favour one over the other imho. – Jan Apr 15 '15 at 13:03
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    Tbh, never heard or used that combination in a talk or similar (uni, industry, conferences). – hiergiltdiestfu Apr 15 '15 at 17:20
  • @hiergiltdiestfu I heard this expression quite often in Austrian educational institutions, in exactly the same context as described by the author of the question. – Dmitrii Pisarenko Apr 16 '15 at 4:59
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    That sounds weird to my northern ears. – adhominem Apr 19 '15 at 12:18
2

Rufen Sie nicht alle durcheinander!

Ruft nicht alle durcheinander!

In the situation you are describing, I would consider talking to be a more appropriate description than shouting, and I would consider the use of please almost necessary. The same applies to the German sentence, leading to:

Reden Sie bitte nicht alle durcheinander!

Bitte reden Sie nicht alle durcheinander!

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2

I'd use

Nur nicht drängeln

or

Bitte nicht drängeln

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1

You may also say "Ist ja wie auf einer Beerdigung hier." which is a sloppy phrase for the mood/silence is like being on a funeral where there shouldn't be.

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