Do you say

Der Text, den ich gelesen habe, handelt sich um einen türkischen Jungen, der Metin heißt.

Handelt sich um here means is about, doesn’t it?

  • Yes, "sich um etwas handeln" means "to be about something". – Robert Jun 17 '15 at 1:49

No, the expression that you are looking for is “von etwas handeln”. You may be confusing this with “sich um etwas handeln”

So your example should be corrected to:

Der Text, den ich gelesen habe, handelt von einem türkischen Jungen...

“Sich handeln um” is a somewhat complicated construction with a completely different meaning. For example,

Bei dem Text, den ich gelesen habe, handelt es sich um eine Kurzgeschichte.

would be a slightly convoluted way of saying

Der Text, den ich gelesen habe, ist eine Kurzgeschichte.

As long as you do not want to say that the text is a boy, that construction is out of place here.

I have to say however, that I find some of the constructions in the Duden unusual (e.g. 5a and 6b). For example, according to 5a, you could also say

Der Text, den ich gelesen habe, handelt um einen türkischen Jungen...

This is marked as “gehoben” (of a higher register) in Duden. I do not think that I have encountered this before, and I would advise you not to use it.

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  • 3
    You should probably explain the difference. – TehMacDawg Jun 16 '15 at 23:32
  • Ja, ich würde gerne eine Erklärung sehen, weil ich "sich um etwas handeln" nachgeschlagen habe, und im Dict.cc steht "to be about" – thekeyofgb Jun 19 '15 at 1:28
  • @thekeyofgb then dict.cc is wrong. – Carsten S Jun 19 '15 at 8:50
  • @thekeyofgb, I have expanded my answer. – Carsten S Jun 19 '15 at 8:57

If you are writing an exam, you could write something like "Der Text beschäftigt sich mit..." or "handelt von". This is more accurately a translation of "deals with".

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  • Welcome to German Language Stack Exchange. We prefer longer answers here, that cover new aspects. Unfortunately your answer satisifies neither. Do take your time and do a tour of the site. If you have any questions, you might find the answer in the help center. – Jan Jun 19 '15 at 16:06

In this case "handelt von" oder "dreht sich um" (revolves around) instead of "handelt sich um" is what you're looking for.

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  • 3
    That's not what Jake asked. Also, your answer does not anything that Carsten Schultz didn't already write. – Robert Jun 17 '15 at 1:48

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