20

The context would be when making a suggestion. For example, if I am with a group of friends and everyone is hungry I could say:

"There is a restaurant nearby. Just saying."

If me and some friends want to watch a movie I could say:

"Schwarzenegger, has a new movie out. Just saying."

Edit:

Users @Vicky and @aschepler provided a much better explanation of what I am trying to convey:

@Vicky

'"Just saying" means "I am hinting that we should go to the place / do the thing I just mentioned, but I don't want to explicitly suggest that" in a slightly jokey way.'

@aschepler

'...meaning, "It's not that I especially want to act on this. I merely thought it could be helpful information. It's fine with me if we act on it or not." Though in some situations with enough context and/or a sarcastic tone, it could instead be used to throw humor on how much I do want to act on the info.'

  • That's not enough information! Can you provide a non-idiomatic English translation of "Just saying?" It could mean, "I am non-committal about the info I'm providing," or it could mean, "I am correct, and you should have noticed this fact without me pointing it out." Maybe, it means something very different, or specific to you. – jpaugh Jun 10 at 4:58
  • Actually, I don't speak German, and can't give an answer. But these German translations might all have different meanings, depending on how the answerer understood the English idiom. – jpaugh Jun 10 at 5:01
  • @jpaugh, point taken. I edited the question. – Alejandro Camus Jun 10 at 10:32
  • If it helps to understand the meaning, there's a similar Romanian expression: ...ca fapt divers. Which literally means "as a random fact." You can use it in the exact same way. When discussing where to eat: "Restaurantul ăla e deschis...ca fapt divers." ("That restaurant over there is open...as a random fact.") It's a jokey expression like the English "just saying": "Hey, I'm not insisting on it or anything, but just throwing this option out there, that's all." – Kyralessa Jun 14 at 11:58
24

I would translate it as

(Nur) Ums mal zu erwähnen. / Ums mal erwähnt zu haben.

or

Wills nur mal gesagt haben.

or

Falls ihrs noch nicht wusstet. / Nur damit ihrs wisst.


But to be honest I wouldn't add another sentence, I would add another word at the beginning at the sentence to achieve your intention

Übrigens (By the way)

which leads to

Übrigens, da ist ein Restaurant in der Nähe.

Übrigens, da läuft ein neuer Film mit Schwarzenegger.

  • 2
    There are apostrophes missing: "Will's nur...", "Falls ihr's ..." and "Nur damit ihr's wisst". These all are contracted "es". – rexkogitans Jun 7 at 9:13
  • 1
    @rexkogitans thank you for your annotation. Since 1996's Rechtschreibreform you can write it both ways. – mtwde Jun 7 at 11:18
  • 4
    I'd actually add the "übrigens" at the end. – ths Jun 7 at 11:48
18

Kann man fast wörtlich übersetzen:

Ich sag's nur.

Wie πάντα ῥεῖ anmerkt in vielen Variationen denkbar:

  • Ich sag's ja nur.
  • Ich sag's nur mal.
  • Ich erwähn's nur.
  • Wollt ich (ja) nur mal gesagt (erwähnt, angemerkt, ...) haben.
  • Nur für's Protokoll.
  • Nur so zur Info(rmation).
  • Ich mein ja nur.
  • Nur mal so (gesagt).
  • Nebenbei/Nur so am Rande gesagt/angemerkt/bemerkt.
  • 9
    Oder Ich sag's ja nur. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 6 at 20:36
  • 3
    Nur so zur Info wäre noch eine Variante, die mir spontan einfällt. – Volker Landgraf Jun 7 at 6:51
  • 2
    I would add "Ich mein ja nur" to the list of similar expressions. To me personally that would be the most natural variant. – Emil Jun 7 at 9:16
  • 1
    Hier passt auch "nur mal so" – npst Jun 7 at 11:28
  • 6
    @πάνταῥεῖ Ich sags ja nur hat für mich einen stark defensiven Charakter und würde von mir in diesem Kontext definitiv nicht verwendet werden. Bsp 1: Heute Abend läuft X im Kino. 2: Ich hab keinen Bock auf Kino 1: Ich sag's ja nur... – Kami Kaze Jun 7 at 12:05
16

just saying is a filling phrase which does not have a close correspondent in German

In most cases, just saying is a filling phrase and could well be omitted without hurting the meaning. However, just saying is a pretty common filling phrase in English. For translating it, it is important to understand that it is much more common in English than any of its translations are in German. So, even if there are translations such as

  • Ich sag's nur.
  • Will ich nur mal gesagt haben.
  • Wollte ich nur mal gesagt haben.
  • (Nur) Um's mal zu erwähnen.
  • Um's mal erwähnt zu haben.

which are even idiomatic in German, you would most probably just omit it in German. That's why I think the closest translation is - as mtwde has already figured - actually

  • Übrigens

because this is the very normal way of introducing some information which might not be super-relevant, just as by the way in English.

You should try to translate the communicative function

Even if just saying is "just" a filling phrase, it surely has a communicative function. For translating, it is more important to keep this function than to translate the mere words: What are situations when just saying is used, and what is the intention of the speaker using it in that certain situation? Unfortunately my English skills are not good enough to make this analysis for English, but if you would provide such an analysis in your question, we could help you finding idiomatic correspondents for each situation in German.

Using just saying as a means to suggest something

For the context of making a suggestion, a German way of fulfilling this communicative function could be to make it a question:

There is a restaurant nearby. Just saying.

Hast du schon von dem neuen Restaurant um die Ecke gehört?

Schwarzenegger, has a new movie out. Just saying.

Hast du schon den neuen Schwarzenegger-Film gesehen?

Obiter Dictum

I believe German not having such a common filling phrase which corresponds to just saying is the reason, why just saying is used as an anglicism in German, especially amongst younger folks. Here, using the anglicism does not only import the (translatable) words, but also imports the habitualness of the filling phrase from English into German.

  • 1
    I did not expect German to use so many anglicisms. It is definitely something to look into when learning the language. Very nice answer. – Alejandro Camus Jun 7 at 12:57
  • 4
    Good answer. +1 for mentioning the communicative function. Probably the most important aspect. – mtwde Jun 7 at 13:31
  • In English, and in the context given in the question, "Just saying" means "I am hinting that we should go to the place / do the thing I just mentioned, but I don't want to explicitly suggest that" in a slightly jokey way. You can also use "Hey, I was just saying!" if someone reacts badly to a suggestion you make: "Let's go swimming!" "What? Get our hair all wet right before we go out for the night? Why on earth would we do that?!" "OK, OK, I was just saying!" – Vicky Jun 7 at 13:36
  • 3
    @Vicky as a native American English speaker, I feel that the expression means that you're not making the suggestion because you want it, but that you think it might be helpful for the other party. If you mention that there's a nearby restaurant, "just sayin'", you're not going to feel miffed if the group decides they don't want to go there, or don't want to eat right at that moment. The suggestion is strictly for their benefit. – user151841 Jun 7 at 20:11
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    @jonathan.scholbach Yes, as a native American English speaker, I hear an added "Just saying." as meaning "It's not that I especially want to act on this. I merely thought it could be helpful information. It's fine with me if we act on it or not." Though in some situations with enough context and/or a sarcastic tone, it could instead be used to throw humor on how much I do want to act on the info. – aschepler Jun 8 at 14:36
4

I don't really think, we have this figure. I mean, yes "ich mein ja nur" works pretty well as a translation, but it could be perceived as passive aggressive.

If we're hungry and I want to suggest a restaurant, I'd rather use something like "Es gäbe auch ein Restaurant in der Nähe".

I.e. I'd choose a formulation/proposal with a subjunctive.

3

A phrase that I would use and I haven't seen in another answer yet is, "nur so nebenbei", literally "just as an aside."

0

"ich mein ja nur", everything else doesn't make sense.

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