12

I'm having trouble expressing "getting into something" in German.

I mean this in the following sense:

  • At first I didn't like the book, but then I began to get into it (started to enjoy it).

  • I could never get into action films (never found any interest in them).

Would "sich auf etwas einlassen" work here?

  • Note that there's no word or phrase in German that means "becoming interested in something" which is exactly the meaning of "getting into sth". There are words like "erwärmen" which kinda have a similar meaning (in that case "getting a positive attitude towards sth") but it's not really about "interest". Other words that imply being interested like "fesseln", "begeistern" can be used with "to begin/start" (or any other phrase that connote that idea) in order to tell that you're getting into sth. – Em1 Aug 16 '17 at 14:39
  • Just translate the phrases in parentheses. – Carsten S Aug 17 '17 at 7:27
11

German doesn't transport the change of mind ("into") when using sich begeistern für as a translation for to get into. That makes it hard to translate the whole idea of such an English sentence:

At first I didn't like the book, but then I began to get into it.

Erst mochte ich das Buch nicht, dann habe ich mich doch dafür begeistern können.

One needs the doch particle to denote the change of mind. Doch implies it wasn't natural to you to be begeistert about the book. But that whole German sentence sounds a bit stilted.

Erst mochte ich das Buch nicht, aber es wurde mit dem Lesen besser.

At first I didn't like the book, but it got better while reading.

sound more natural in German.


Some examples are easier to translate:

Ich habe nie etwas an Actionfilmen gefunden.

I never found anything (interesting) about action films.

etwas an … finden is a fixed phrase meaning to see the beauty in ….

  • I see no need to defend doch. doch and but are analogs, here. I'm not sure whether you mean the lexical aspects "achievement" versus "acomplishment" (c. f. (Does "to" refer to a future event)[ell.stackexchange.com/questions/122458/…. Anyway, begeistern is a great fit because it implies in-situ, analog to into. However, sich begeistern is recursive. Alternatively: "hat es mich begeistert"; or further from a literal translation: "habe ich es mit begeisterung gelesen". – vectorious Aug 16 '17 at 20:52
10

Für das erste Beispiel fällt mir zuerst eine Form ein, bei der das Subjekt zum Objekt wird:

At first I didn't like the book, but then I began to get into it (started to enjoy it).

Anfangs mochte ich das Buch nicht, aber dann begann es mich zu fesseln.

I could never get into action films (never found any interest in them).

Ich konnte mich nie für Actionfilme erwärmen.

Mit etwas warm werden/vertraut werden ist auch eine übliche Ausdrucksweise. Beide Formen würden auch umgekehrt funktionieren.

Auch für Lebensmittel kann man sich erwärmen, aber "Gurken konnten mich nie fesseln" würde niemand sagen.

  • 2
    Ich erwärme mich hauptsächlich für erwärmtes Sauerkraut. – tofro Aug 16 '17 at 10:10
  • 1
    "Ich konnte mich nie für Actionfilme erwärmen" This is a valid suggestion. But seriously, I can't imagine a situation where anyone would actually say that in an actual spoken conversation. – moooeeeep Aug 17 '17 at 7:20
5

There is AFAIK no general solution, it depends on the context.

(I would not use "sich auf etwas einlassen", as this has a touch of compromising/arranging yourself with something: Ich mochte das Buch nicht. Weil ich es aber für die Schule lesen musste, habe ich mich darauf eingelassen.)

Your book example:

Anfangs mochte ich das Buch nicht, habe dann aber daran Gefallen gefunden.

Anfangs mochte ich das Buch nicht, habe mich dann aber eingelesen.

(The more you read, the better it got.)

Your movie example:

Ich konnte mich nie mit Action-Filmen anfreunden.

Ich konnte an Action-Filmen nie Gefallen finden.

Ich konnte mich nie für Action-Filme begeistern.

  • Just want to leave another two examples for spoken German: "Am Anfang mochte ich dieses Buch überhaupt nicht, aber das änderte sich nach einigen Seiten/Kapiteln." "Ich mochte Actionfilme noch nie." – ikadfoanhfda Aug 15 '17 at 21:58
  • 1
    Would you ever write "in my humble opinion" in full wording? No? Then, please, spare the reader the ugly abbreviation, too. Thank you! – Christian Geiselmann Aug 16 '17 at 15:42
  • 1
    IMHO, that IMHO there should rather be an AFAIK. – moooeeeep Aug 17 '17 at 7:08
2

Not sure why nobody hasn't mentioned it yet, but why don't you simply go with

sich für etw. interessieren

For example:

Anfangs mochte ich das Buch nicht, aber dann begann es mich zu interessieren.
Ich habe mich nie für Actionfilme interessiert.

In some contexts another word or phrase may be suited better. The book-example is one of them. But still, it works all the time because it's just the generic way of expressing the idea.

1

I also think that »sich einlassen« isn't the best choice here and would translate

At first I didn't like the book, but then I began to get into it (started to enjoy it).

to

Anfangs mochte ich das Buch nicht, aber dann begann es mir zu gefallen.

and

I could never get into action films (never found any interest in them).

to

Mit Actionfilmen konnte ich noch nie etwas anfangen.

  • 1
    I find the second sentence quite natural to say. +1 – user18544 Aug 16 '17 at 22:50
1

Regarding the first sentence, you could use the verb "reinziehen" (which is quite colloquial):

Am Anfang hat mir das Buch nicht gefallen, aber es hat mich dann doch reingezogen.

Literally, this is saying that the book has "pulled me in". (The "dann doch" signifies that this was quite against my expectations.) Slightly more explicitly, you could also say

Am Anfang hat mir das Buch nicht gefallen, aber es hat mich dann doch in seinen Bann gezogen.

So the sentences are saying that the book has some sort of "hex" or "spell", into which it was pulling me – such that I ended up being under a spell.

  • How about he following: ich habe mich in das Buch reingesteigert ? – Mark Aug 17 '17 at 19:23
  • @Mark "reinsteigern" has a quite negative connotation (implying unhealthy obsession) – Annatar Aug 18 '17 at 11:07
-1

The question can be reduced to to be into sth.

herein, hinein kommen would be a literall translation of to get into, i.e. in takt kommen (or den Takt or den Rhythmus, but less commonly just rhythmus) or in fahrt kommen (note the lack of capitalization as per Duden, but not die Fahrt) are common idioms (to get into rhythm, to take up pace respectively). However nicht in den Film kommen would be understood to be underage for a movie presentation, more so than in english. in das Lesen kommen works, sounds clunky already, whereas in das Buch kommen is not common at all. Since we are talking colloquialisms, commonality is important.

The reduced form would be drin sein, which is rather colloquial, perhaps informed by the English in the first place. It's used like in the flow, in extacy.

See also im Bilde (I am in the know, but not part of the picture).

A related idiom is hinter etwas sein, steigen, kommen (to get behind), i.e. to understand, to see the other side, but more commonly to uncover (hinter ein Geheimnis kommen). I general, etwas hinter sich bringen, überstehen (to finish, endure) is a common idiom that might work for the action movie as well as the book.

To me, to get into implies the activity: To get into the reading, rather than the book. You could read a whole book in and out, or watch a movie start to finish, without focusing your attention on it, without building a frame of reference to explore, etc., not expecting anything positive in it.

An older form is "in etwas machen". Er macht in Aktien (to be a merchant of, invested in, into). Also "nach München machen" means to go to munich.

I'm into stackexchange - ich steh auf SE, bin bei SE, bin in der SE community, etc.

I got into SE - ich steh auf SE.

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