2

I have seen a lot of explanations about the translation of the word 'about' but I cannot understand it very well, so I'd like to know in some of these cases (including the one of the title) what is the proper German word to use:

That is about you (In the sense of a statement or a thing which is about 'you', like a contract or something like this)

That letter is [talking] about you (There is something written about 'you')

We were talking about you and your wedding

If the second example's answer is 'um', and why a translator (Google Translate), would give me the translation of the first example as "Es geht um dich"

PS: The sentences in the yellow boxes are the sentences for which I would like to know which translation of 'about' I should/could use.

6

Usually, it doesn't make sense to translate things word by word. The most idiomatic translation of

to be about someone

that comes to my mind is

von jemandem handeln
um jemand gehen

Similarly, the phrase

to talk about someone

is

über jemand reden/ sprechen

Therefore, the english preposition about can be translated to von, um or über, depending on the german verb that you prefer to use.

4

That is about you (In the sense of a talking or a thing which is about 'You', like a >contract or something like this)

This would translate to "Es geht um dich"/(informal) "Es ist über dich".

That letter is talking about you (There is something written about 'You')

This would tranlate to "Dieser Brief handelt von dir" or "Dieser Brief erzählt/spricht über dich"

We were talking about you and your wedding

This would translate to "Wir sprachen über dich und deine Hochzeit"

In the most cases, translating the verb directly and than translate 'about you' to 'über dich' works well, but as always with German, there are some exceptions to this.

-3

This is about you in this context would be, "Der Brief geht über dich" or"Der Brief erzählt von ihnen" if you want to write formal

  • 4
    Eher geht Jesus über Wasser als der Brief über ihn. :) – Philipp Mar 7 at 6:26
  • Dass etwas über jemand ginge, ist mir neu. Bedeutung 16 zum Eintrag gehen im DWDS kommt dem zwar nahe, ist aber nicht dasselbe. – Björn Friedrich Mar 7 at 6:43
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    @björnfriedrich Vielleicht ugs. verkürzt aus »In dem Brief geht es um dich«? – Philipp Mar 7 at 6:55
  • Eben: um, aber nicht über. Die Frage handelt ja gerade davon, welche Präposition richtig ist. Da sollte man beim Beantworten auch etwas genauer sein. – Björn Friedrich Mar 7 at 7:16
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    @ThomasZuberbühler Natürlich gibt es viele Sprachvarietäten des Deutschen, in denen alles Mögliche als richtig empfunden wird. Wenn aber nicht explizit nach Dialekten gefragt wird, würde ich mich auf Hochdeutsch beschränken, um Verwirrung zu vermeiden. – Philipp Mar 13 at 13:05

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