Can the English phrase:

That's a shame

be translated to German as:

Das ist ärgerlich

(maybe with a better ending on "ärgerlich")?

I am native Danish, and we have the very similar sentence:

Det er ærgerligt

I am wondering if this structure is possible in German? "Das ist eine Schande" is the only translations I can find in dictionaries, but is this other one possible as well? And what should the ending on "ärgerlich" in that case be, since it is an adjective tied to "Das"?

  • 1
    Shame sounds more like somethings that induces sadness. Ärgerlich in my mind is more something that induces anger. Jan 25, 2017 at 19:30
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    @mathreadler That could very well be, and this question also arose from my Danish language. But this site is English, so English had to be the starting point.
    – Steeven
    Jan 25, 2017 at 19:46
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    Yes sorry I am not very good at danish so I can't tell any connection to danish. If we had a scanian in here that could have helped! Ärger in german sounds like "argligt" in swedish which is part of the word "förarga" (verärgern?) which means that somethings induces anger. Jan 25, 2017 at 20:01
  • @mathreadler I would assume that "ærgerligt" in Danish (equivalent to the German "ärgerlich") comes from the noun "ærgrelse" or verb "ærgre sig" directly translated to "Ärger" and "sich ärgern". I would much rather translate those Danish words into "regret" and "regretting" in English, than to something about anger.
    – Steeven
    Jan 25, 2017 at 20:15
  • I'm getting hits like "get upset" or "get annoyed" (which I associate with anger) when I search for "sich ärgern". But that's just from my little window over here, so who knos. Jan 25, 2017 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


That's a shame / What a shame / It's a shame

are fixed phrases that are translated to

Das ist schade / Wie schade! or "Das ist aber schade!" / es ist schade


What a shame

could also be translated as

So eine Schande!

but is has still the colloquial meaning of "Das ist sehr schade"

Reference1 , Reference2

Das ist ärgerlich!

is correct in German, but the meaning is different. It's not only a pity, but is annoying, or even stronger "That sucks!"

  • 1
    Or simply "Schade!"
    – Gerhard
    Jan 25, 2017 at 19:27
  • 4
    To me, "Das ist ärgerlich!" sounds rather weak, far from something like "That sucks!" Jan 25, 2017 at 20:16
  • 1
    Schöne Zusammenfassung. Allerdings würde ich auch sagen, dass "Das ist ärgerlich!" eher nicht auf der selben Stufe wie "That sucks!" steht. Je nach Kontext, hätte ich "...ärgerlich" und "...Schande!" auch auf die selbe Stufe gestellt.
    – Martin Ba
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:55

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