This sentence is from a conversation about train travel:

Fahrgast: "Muss ich umsteigen?" Mitarbeiter: "Ja. In Stuttgart. Der Zug kommt um 11 Uhr 8 dort an, und Sie haben um 11 Uhr 22 Anschluss nach Bad Cannstatt. Gleich am Bahnsteig gegenüber."


I don't understand the sentence: "Gleich am Bahnsteig gegenüber".

A literal translation with a dictionary led to nonsense. Google translate has suggested: "Opposite the platform", but I am skeptical.

My problem is with the words "Gleich" and "gegenüber". They appear to contradict each other somewhat.

Does it actually mean: "On the other side of the same platform"?

  • I'm pretty sure the PA announcement normally says "Gleicher Bahnsteig, gegenüber" – tofro Apr 16 '17 at 10:25
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    It definitely says "Gleich am Bahnsteig gegenüber". I have the script. – Joseph Dieudonné Apr 16 '17 at 10:41

You have found the wrong gleich. Let us first look at the sentence without it.

Am Bahnsteig gegenüber.

As you already found out, this means

At the opposite platform.

Now there is the adverb(!) gleich in the beginning. It usually has a temporal meaning, soon or right now. It can also be used to denote a short distance (which makes sense, since something that is near can be reached soon): dicht bei.

The meaning is something like

Right there, at the opposite platform.

Or only a very short distance from where you arrive, but I do not find a way to say that in English that is not clumsy.

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  • I don't think it can mean "right over there" because they're talking about the connection in Stuttgart. Perhaps it means soon? – Joseph Dieudonné Apr 16 '17 at 10:57
  • Good question. Because the gleich is alone in a sentence with am Bahnsteig gegenüber, I think it refers to that location. If it had said „der Zug kommt gleich am Bahnsteig gegenüber an“, then it would have meant “...will arrive soon...”. – Carsten S Apr 16 '17 at 10:58
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    Right I did not pay enough attention to the content. I still understand it to mean right there, but from the point of view of the passenger when he will have arrived in Stuttgart. I will modify the answer. – Carsten S Apr 16 '17 at 11:02
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    I think "Not far away, on the opposite platform." is perhaps the closest we'll get. – Joseph Dieudonné Apr 16 '17 at 11:16
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    Der Bahnsteig gegenüber könnte, wenn der Bahnsteig nicht ganz am Rand liegt, auch derjenige jenseits des Zuges sein, nachdem man ausgestiegen ist. "Gleich" unterstreicht hier, dass keine Treppe und kein Aufzug benutzt werden muss. Zeitlich kann es nicht gemeint sein - dann hieße es "Gleich darauf am Bahnsteig gegenüber". – user unknown Apr 16 '17 at 16:55

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