Some colleagues from the US overly use the term in flight. Here's an example from an email:

Notify them that your changes are in flight. They will need to update their code once your change is submitted.

Generally speaking, the term is used whenever there's something to discuss and where they go back and forth on their decisions. In my case it's a code review.
So, the term connotes that something is still in progress, i.e. not finished yet.
Sometimes it includes the connotation that the outcome is not yet known (in comparison to something where we already know what it eventually will be like, but we're still working on it). With reference to my very scenario, this could even include the possibility that the changes are rejected entirely and won't go in whatsoever—which is not likely though. In fact, the example I provided above does not contain this second meaning.

So, I'm wondering what could be a good translation.
Dictionaries seem to only define in-flight as 'occurring or provided during an aircraft flight' and the suggested translations are:

Bord-, während des Fluges

That does not really match with my context.
I didn't find a dictionary that defined that figurative use, much less provided a translation.

I doubt that there's a figure of speech in German that uses Flug, but I'm somehow fixed to Flug in my mind right now that I cannot really think of anything else.
That said, "im Gange sein" came to mind but this is usually used for events, actions or the like and I wouldn't really say "Die Änderungen sind im Gange" when referring to code changes.

So, I'm interested in if there's a figure of speech similar to the English one. It's nice if that one would contain both possible connotations, but I'm focused more on the main sense. Does anyone have a good idea for that? A short phrase or word is fine, I guess.

  • 1
    im Anflug ‘coming, pending’
    – Crissov
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 7:42
  • 5
    "In der Schwebe", "schwebend" uses somewhat the flight methaphor.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 8:10
  • 1
    Unterwegs? Loses the specific angle of flying, of course.
    – chirlu
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 8:19
  • 2
    No, the meaning is not quite obvious (comments clearly tell that people have different interpretations). Please explain what the example means and in which situation it would be used.
    – Emanuel
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 8:26
  • Mir ist so, als gäbe es ein Bild mit Bauarbeiten an einem Schiff auf See, aber es fällt mir nicht ein.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 10:04

3 Answers 3


I understood the phrase as: The rollout of changes is imminent, just waiting for the commit of one developer. In that case you can use one of the following, the first one being closest to the original phrase:

im Anflug
in Vorbereitung
kurz vor der Veröffentlichung

Im Anflug is rather informal, though. You can also use this literally. For example, if somebody asks you to pass him an apple and you throw it in his direction saying

Achtung, Apfel im Anflug!

Another interpretation of the phrase could be that the rollout is being postponed for some reason (changes are held back). In that case you could use

in der Schwebe
in der Warteschleife
in der Warteschlange

  • 1
    According to my understanding of "in flight", only "unterwegs" or "im Fluss" capture the meaning. "Im Anflug", "in der Schwebe", "in Vorbereitung", "in der Warteschleife" etc. all have a different nuance. For "your changes are in flight", one would probably use a completely different expression, like "Ihre Veränderungswünsche werden noch bearbeitet" etc.
    – dirkt
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 20:31

im Fluss

literally “in flux” (or “in the river”) The Duden has an example: “Die (…) Verhandlungen sind [noch] im Fluss.” = “The negotiations are [still] in flux”.

  • Note, that one has to adapt the original sentence as a consequence, since it are not the changes, which are in flux, but the implementation**/ **error correction or whatever is the object of the changes.
    – guidot
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:49

I think usually a term combined with "noch nicht" would be used in this sentence.

noch nicht fix

noch nicht endgültig

noch nicht final

noch nicht in Stein gemeisselt

  • I'm afraid but I don't think that "noch nicht" is appropriate here. The main point here is that those that should get notified possibly doesn't know of the changes yet. So, "tell them they're going to address these changes" is what he's saying. "noch nicht" would be right if he means: "tell them the changes they are waiting on aren't finished yet". The second sentence in the example clarifies that.
    – Em1
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 10:48
  • 1
    Ok, in this case i would probably use "in Arbeit"
    – arved
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 11:16

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