Which phrase is used more often?

Example 1:

A: Danke für das Kleid!
B: Keine Ursache! Es ist mir eine Ehre.

Example 2:

A: Danke für das Kleid!
B: Kein Problem! Es ist mir eine Ehre.

  • 5
    Also, I would suggest to rephrase, because the combination of kein Problem and Es ist mir eine Ehre is probably very rare. – Carsten S Aug 31 '15 at 17:00

It might help you some geographical distribution:

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"Nichts zu danken, das eher von Jüngeren gebrauchte kein Problem oder auch keine Ursache wird man südlich der Donau kaum hören; dort trifft man häufiger ein gern geschehen oder gerne an."

Source: http://www.atlas-alltagssprache.de/runde-2/f02/

  • No hay de que... sozusagen - Gibt es so etwas auch für Österreich oder die Schweiz? – mramosch Aug 31 '15 at 22:02
  • @mramosch Das weiß ich leider nicht. Frag Hubert. – c.p. Aug 31 '15 at 22:35
  • 1
    Who is Hubert ? – mramosch Aug 31 '15 at 23:11
  • The essence of this map is that there is no clear-cut line of any kind, am I right? ;) – Jan Sep 13 '15 at 19:56
  • Austrians also use "bitte, gerne" (e.g. in a shop as respond to a "Danke schön") Perhaps an abbreviated "bitte schön, gern geschehen" – Tommylee2k Jun 29 '18 at 9:22

There are indeed regional differences – but imho there are also differences in the context. I have the feeling that recently 'Kein Problem' became more and more popular, probably because people are aware that this is a popular reply in English speaking countries. But imho that reply also insinuates that there might be a problem in the first place.

So I actually try to avoid that reply. Anyways – here's my suggestion:

  • "Kein Problem" ("no problem") – if what you did could be considered problematic in some way – like borrowing your car over the weekend or giving someone your last cigarette etc.

  • "Gern geschehen" ("you're welcome") – if it really was ok for you to do that favor you just did

  • "Keine Ursache" ("no reason") – if you think there actually was no reason to thank you because it is either part of your job or you would have done that 'thing' anyways

SO in your example, when even adding "Es ist mir eine Ehre" ("It's an honor to me") to it, then I would personally suggest "Gern geschehen" as the best suitable reply. ANd by the ways: "Es ist mir eine Ehre" would also be enough to reply.

My tax tax advisor for examle uses "Nicht dafür!" ("Not for that") as a standard reply and I always have the feeling, that she 'takes away' my honest attempt to thank her. I would prefer it it she replied with "Gerne geschehen" or "Keine Ursache" – but that's probably not going to happen in the near future.

  • "probably because people are aware that this is a popular reply in English speaking countries" - not sure whether that is the only reason. Personally, I (in South-Western Germany) prefer using "kein Problem" over "keine Ursache" simply because the word "Ursache" seems somewhat unusual for spoken language to me. It's not precisely a dated word, but it's none that I would normally use outside of elegantly written texts. Conversely, I wasn't (consciously) aware that "no problem" is actually used that way in English. – O. R. Mapper Sep 1 '15 at 8:14
  • I agree – and if I consider the original question, then "Kein Problem" probably is actually de facto the most often used phrase. – tillinberlin Sep 1 '15 at 8:20
  • 1
    To my mind, "Nicht dafür" sounds a bit unpolite or rude, same as "Nichts zu danken". – Andre Joost Sep 1 '15 at 9:56
  • 1
    I never heart "Nicht dafür", but often "Da nich' für" (most used in northern germany,) and REALLY not meant rude. It's meant more like "da (hättest du mir) nicht für (danken müssen)" – Tommylee2k Jun 29 '18 at 9:27

Beispiel 2 würde ich als sehr umgangssprachlich bezeichnen.

'Keine Ursache' -> Erwiderung auf eine Aussage (Beispiel A)

'Kein Problem' -> Erwiderung auf eine Frage

  • Kannst Du mir bitte helfen? - Natürlich! Kein Problem, (es) wäre mir ein Vergnügen...

In our dialect near Bad Ems (near Koblenz) we usually say 'Keine Ursache' for 'No Problem'. Can have meanings like 'no skin off my nose' or 'no issues'.

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