I'm trying to express the phrase That's ... for you in German. I have these two examples:

Some of each species seem to be thriving in certain areas. I suppose that's natural selection for you.


He solved all those problems in less than 10 minutes! That's a genius for you.

For what I found out, the 2. could be translated using typisch so that

Typisch Genie.

would at least to what I want. However this doesn't make even the slightest sense applying the the first example. Can anyone help me?

  • 1
    You should add more context. In what situation do you want to use these sentences? (The answer may vary considerably depending on context) – Christian Geiselmann Jul 19 '17 at 14:04
  • @ChristianGeiselmann is that enough? – ADDB Jul 19 '17 at 14:07

I am not absolutely sure about the English phrases, because - in that proper form - I haven't met them so far. But as for German, here are those sentences as they could be used in typical situations:

Einige Individuen einer Art scheinen in bestimmten Umgebungen besonders gut zu gedeihen. Ich vermute, du würdest das natürliche Selektion nennen.

Er hat alle Aufgaben in weniger als zehn Minuten gelöst. Ein Genie!

Note that

Typisch xyz

is typically used for negative (!) assessment, not for positive. You would typically say:

Bernd hat schon wieder nicht richtig zugehört. Typisch Mann!


Bernd hat den Kühlschrank in nullkommanix repariert. Typisch Mann.

would be very unusual.

This being said, if you want to use your "Typisch Genie" you should do so in a negative way, e.g.

Daniel Düsentrieb hat schon wieder seinen Schlüssel verlegt. Typisch Genie!

PS: With the explanation by user28953 of the English expression "That's ... for you" in the other answer on this page, I see now that my initial answer was not on spot. Better German ways to say this would be:

Einige Individuen einer Art scheinen in bestimmten Umgebungen besonders gut zu gedeihen. Da hast du ein gutes Beispiel für natürliche Selektion.

Er hat alle Aufgaben in weniger als zehn Minuten gelöst. Da siehst du mal, was ein Genie ist!

  • Thanks for the fast answer! I think that those sentences are just what I needed. – ADDB Jul 19 '17 at 14:29
  • 1
    Maybe a little improvement for the accepted answer: Note that the English phrase is an idiomatic expression -- the "you" does not really refer to the listener. It would therefore be more accurate in German to say "man", as in "Ich vermute, man könnte das als nat. Selektion bezeichnen." – Mac Jul 19 '17 at 14:57
  • @Mac: Or: »Ich glaube, das nennt sich natürliche Auslese.« – Pollitzer Jul 19 '17 at 18:48
  • This is a translation of the literal English sentence, not the idiomatic meaning. "That's .. for you" (~> what happened is typical for ...) carries a meaning completely opposite of "man könnte das als .. bezeichnen" or "du könntest das .. nennen"! ("könnte" ~> you could possibly call it ... - maybe) – Annatar Jul 20 '17 at 6:36
  • The remarks about "typisch" are on spot, though. – Annatar Jul 20 '17 at 6:36

I think the explanation/translation

Da/Daran sieht man mal, wie/was … ist/bedeutet!

describes the meaning best. The original meaning of the expression "that's … for you" is to point out that very instance of the mentioned thing as exemplary for something – in the negative or in the positive. I suppose the translation can vary depending on the specific sentence and context, e.g. if there is irony, sarcasm, or bitterness.

See also: http://www.dict.cc/?s=that%27s+for+you


  • 1
    +1. This translation catches the idiomatic meaning of the English expression. Another possibility for the first sentence would be something like "Ich schätze, da sieht man die natürliche Selektion am Werk.".. but that structure might not fit every occurence of "That's .. for you". – Annatar Jul 20 '17 at 6:40

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