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I am asking for help in understanding the meaning of this conversation. I know most of the words but as I am a relative beginner, I am not sure I completely follow. I have included my understanding of each sentence but I kindly request anyone else's more knowledgeable interpretation:

Ach ne, das kannste ja nicht so, da war ja was.

»Ne« I think is slang for »nein« or »kein«. If so, I get this.

Du wolltest mir da ja noch irgendwas mal zeigen.

"You wanted to show me something." I get this.

**Hab ich das so gesagt?
Das hat was mit Begabung und Talent zu tun, das kann ich dir nicht zeigen oder beibringen.

"Have I said this? It has to do with talent, that I cannot show or teach". This is completely clear to me, but it is the following sentence that I cannot follow:

Ha ja, du kneifst ja dann immer.

I simply do not understand »kneifst« and, thus, the entire sentence is lost on me.

Nö, das nächste mal nicht. Schwöre.

Since I do not understand the previous sentence, I'm at a loss on this. Something about "next time", but I feel this is shorthand slang.

Ptft!

Obviously a verbal expression but have no idea of its cultural meaning.

Could someone help me over the rough spots?

  • Are you trying to ask a question? If so, I missed it. Please check here how to properly ask: german.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/628/… – tofro May 10 '17 at 8:53
  • Yes, sorry. I can understand most words in this conversation but I'm missing a few and I think there is some colloquial slang mixed in to the point where I do not understand the full meaning and drive of this conversation – Jack Browning May 10 '17 at 8:55
  • So you should write, which words you understand and how and which words you are missing. You are right, this is mostly colloquial slang, but to help you, one should know, where your problems are. – IQV May 10 '17 at 9:00
  • well, for example. I do not understand kneifst. I think its an expression as opposed to a literal word. ptft also has me confounded. So again, I can translate most of the individual words but I'm not able to discern the actual meaning of the conversation as a whole. From what I know and can translate, it is a bit choppy to me. I'm a beginning student in German after having lived there a few decades ago as a very young child. – Jack Browning May 10 '17 at 9:05
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    @Tofro: I clarified the question to "could someone help me over the rough spots?" Otherwise the OP gave the context, made his best guesses, and expressed his doubts. That's good enough for a question. – Tom Au May 10 '17 at 10:03
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This seems to be a transcript of a colloquial conversation, perhaps of some parent and a child, probably from the southern parts of Germany.

The original transcript uses some unnecessarily irritating spelling. Obviously the conversation has been transcribed by somebody with little awareness of Umlaut (ä, ö, ü) and of the regular use of capital letters.

Here is a 'translation' into more regular German and regular spelling. In square brackets I add some help in English for the more 'slangish' expressions.

A: Ach nein, das kannst du ja nicht so. Da war ja was. ["Oh I see, you are actually not really able to do this. I remember that now."]

B: Du wolltest mir da ja noch irgendwas mal zeigen.

A: Hab ich das so gesagt?

B: [Nonverbal answer, probably like "Yes, you did."]

A: Das hat was mit Begabung und Talent zu tun. Das kann ich dir nicht zeigen oder beibringen. ["This is about being talented. It cannot be just taught.]

B: Ha ja, du kneifst ja dann immer. ["Well, you always back down in these situations."]

A: Nee, das nächste Mal nicht, ich schwöre es! ["No, next time I will not back down, I promise."]

B: Pfft! ["I doubt this"]

Kneifen is a completely regular word. You can look it up in any dictionary. Attention, there are two basic meanings: 1) pinch 2) back down.

Pfft is a common way to express disagreement/doubt/contemptuousness in oral informal language.

Nee is a colloquial form of 'nein'. I recommend writing this 'nee' with two 'e', pronounced as a long vowel, because there is also "ne", with a short vowel, which is colloquial for "nicht wahr?" [right?].

The other parts should be comprehensible by using a dictionary.

  • Thank you very much. Yes, when I tried to translate Kneifst there was nothing and I was asked if I meant Kneifen. I have never seen Kneifst so I was quite confused. – Jack Browning May 10 '17 at 9:48
  • It doesn't really make sense that all sentences are said alternately by A and B. Following this dialog, person B does first ask for A showing him something and then saying that he (B) is not able to show it to A. That just doesn't make sense whatsoever. – Em1 May 10 '17 at 12:20
  • I also think that the first sentence is complete. "Da war ja was" => I can recall that you told me that you can't do this. – Em1 May 10 '17 at 12:21
  • Hello EM1. Yes, you are right about the messed up sequence of A and B in my initial answer. I fixed this by adding a nonverbal answer by B. - I also accept your comment about the first utterances possibly being complete sentences. Indeed they could appear in certain everyday situations. – Christian Geiselmann May 10 '17 at 15:53
  • I'm a bit encouraged that native speakers are also finding this confusing because it certainly confused me as a beginner. Thank you again! – Jack Browning May 10 '17 at 16:17
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A: Ach ne, das kannste ja nicht so, da war ja was.

Ne ist short for nein. Ach ne, … is a fixed phrase meaning "Oh, I remembered, …".

kannste is a typical shortening of kannst du.

da war ja mal was is a fixed expression referrering to "some event" in the past.

B: Du wolltest mir da ja noch irgendwas mal zeigen

A: Hab ich das so gesagt?

That's plain German, no slang, no dialect, no shortenings involved.

B: Das hat was mit Begabung und Talent zu tun, das kann ich dir nicht zeigen oder beibringen.

Was is short for etwas here.

A: Ha ja, du kneifst ja dann immer.

Kneifst is second person singular of kneifen. The appropriate meaning here is in the dictionary. Look it up.

B: , das nächste Mal nicht , schwöre.

is another shortening of nein.

… , schwöre. is "Kanak Sprak", a slang coined by youngsters of mostly Turkish immigrant background. Pronouncing the ch of ich as sch, pulling together subsequent "schs" (thus leaving out the ich completely) and using the verb schwören way too often are distinct features of that sociolect.

People not using using that slang would say Nö, das nächste mal nicht, versprochen. instead.

A: Pfft!

An onomatopoeia. Puffing up your cheeks.

  • It doesn't really make sense that all sentences are said alternately by A and B. Following this dialog, person B does first ask for A showing him something and then saying that he (B) is not able to show it to A. That just doesn't make sense whatsoever. – Em1 May 10 '17 at 12:22
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Kneifst in this context can be translated as chicken out.

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