As I said in the title:

What is the difference between "Keine Ahnung" and "Ich weiß nicht"?

They both roughly mean I do not know.

Keine Ahnung literally translated is "No Idea"

Is Ich weiß nicht litterally translated "I white not" or "I do not know"?

What are the different uses between them (What are each used for)?

And if you could, explain how "I white not" became "I do not know".

  • 1
    ""I white not"" is nonsense. The correct translation of Ich weiss nicht to english is I don't know. Apr 9, 2018 at 17:09
  • I have no clue what you're actually asking about (pun intended). Apr 9, 2018 at 18:08
  • Unfortunately Google Translate gets that wrong. Not into the other direction though (for both written forms). Apr 9, 2018 at 18:23
  • Where did you "to white" get from? Doesn't it mean e.g. turning something white?
    – some_user
    Apr 9, 2018 at 19:15
  • 1
    "weiß" --> "white", but that is the adjective. OTOH, "weiß", a form of the verb "wissen" (to know) means "know" or "knows", depending on the person. "Ich weiß nicht" means literally "I do not know". Apr 9, 2018 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


The difference between "Keine Ahnung" and "Ich weiß nicht" is, that "Keine Ahnung" is more rough, you wouldn't say it for instance to your boss/superior. In the bottom line, they both mean the same.

  • 3
    "you wouldn't say it for instance to your boss/superior" Depends on the quality of their question and your balls :-P ... Apr 9, 2018 at 19:21
  • @πάνταῥεῖ That's right, of course :D But if you don't want to take some risks, you wouldn't use it
    – some_user
    Apr 9, 2018 at 19:22
  • 3
    If you really don't want to take risk, you'd better say neither, but cant in depth knowledge about the topic. Apr 9, 2018 at 19:24
  • @πάνταῥεῖ Can cant be translated in your sentence as "heucheln"?
    – some_user
    Apr 9, 2018 at 19:27
  • 1
    Yes, that's what I meant to say. One of my fav translations is "Phrasen dreschen" :-D Apr 9, 2018 at 19:28

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