Can someone explain the sense behind the expression „nichts wie raus hier“? I found it in Café in Berlin (a graded reader designed for German learners) which says it means “let’s get the hell out of here”. I’ve googled to try to find an explanation based on the literal meaning. But I even have trouble coming up with what that would be: “not as out of here“? “not how out of here“? “not like out of here“?
It seems your (only) problem is the part "Nichts wie...".
This is used in a number of phrases in casual oral communication.
Thieves after noticing that they were being spotted by the home owner:
Nix wie weg!
(Nix is a popular casual/oral short form of nichts)
People in a house that caught fire:
Nichts wie raus hier!
People in the garden, surprised by a sudden thunderstorm, and finding it the best option to quickly retreat into the house:
Herrje, ein Gewitter! Nichts wie rein!
The full meaning would be something like:
Es bleibt uns nichts anderes übrig, als hier schnell zu verschwinden (or what ever action is needed)
Or if you insist on having the wie used in the long sentence, take
Nichts ist jetzt so geraten wie hier schnell wegzugehen.
But of course in cases of emergency you prefer shorter (and less twisted) expressions, therefore Nichts wie...
A bit less expressive you could also say:
It literally means "Nothing (is (as good)) as/like (going) out (of) here". Similar constructs can also be found in English, eg "Nothing like a hot bath now!", or Latin "Nihil nisi...." (nothing if not....).
Alternatively, it could be a contraction of "nichts (zu tun) wie (=als) raus hier (zu gehen)", "nothing (to do) than out of here (walk/go)".
Very strictly speaking, all these are subtly incorrect: "raus" is a simplification of "heraus" (out TO HERE = out of there), not "hinaus" (out TO THERE = out of here). In practice, used interchangeably.