23

In English we have a very specific colloquialism/idiom to indicate our doubt in someone's premise. For example:

  • Joe: Wow, you've really lost weight!
  • Fred (who doesn't feel that way): If you say so.

Or:

  • Mary: I love Tom. He's so loyal and devoted to me.
  • Sarah (who saw Tom last night flirting with Jane): If you say so.

In English, the much stronger contradictory expressions like "are you kidding me?" or "you're crazy" almost demands a response from the other person to defend the truthfulness of their premise. But "if you say so" is gentler. Is there a German phrase that rides that edge of not outright disagreeing with someone in a confrontational manner, but definitely lets them know that you are not really convinced that their premise is valid? In other words, a common expression of implied skepticism?

38

Short answer:

Wenn du meinst.

or

Wie du meinst.

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  • 4
    Doesn't really fit: "Du hast abgenommen!" - "Wie du meinst." The one below ("Wenn du das sagst") is a much more likely response which also matches the connotation(s) of "if you say so" more closely. – Victor Mataré Oct 30 '19 at 18:09
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    "Wie du meinst" is used in the sense of "do as you like", or "take whatever conclusion you want". Its looking into the future. I would use the english term "if you think so" for it. – Karl Oct 30 '19 at 21:42
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    "Wie du meinst" is something different, I passively disagree, but do not care to object. – Volker Siegel Oct 31 '19 at 6:18
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    Agree with the previous comments, "Wenn du meinst." has the correct semantics, "Wie du meinst." is different. – Mathias Müller Nov 1 '19 at 9:12
22

Not much difference from the english phrasing.

Wenn Du das (so) sagst (meinst)?

Probably a slight difference with the tone telling so.

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  • 2
    In my opinion, "Wenn du das so sagst" implies disbelief, where as "Wie du meinst" or "Wie du willst" implies indifference. Or at least, there is a possibility of it being received that way. – MechMK1 Oct 30 '19 at 14:58
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    @MechMK1 And the English phrase doesn't? – πάντα ῥεῖ Oct 30 '19 at 18:12
  • Initially, I would have said "Not necessarily", but the more I think about it, the more I likely conflated "if you say so" with "suit yourself", as Bugfinger suggested below. It seems as if "wenn du das so sagst" likely best fits "if you say so". – MechMK1 Oct 30 '19 at 19:44
6

The literal translation of

"If you say so (..., then I won`t contradict you)"

is

"wenn du das sagst (... werde ich dir nicht widersprechen)"

is just right. An ironic comment about just the accuracy of the original statement.

"wenn du meinst" (like "if you think so") comments on anticipated future (re)actions of the other side.

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2

An alternative to

Wenn du meinst.

would be:

Wenn du glaubst.

They're basically the same, except that this version emphasizes the "if you believe that" part. But in the end both versions would work in this case:

  • Joe: Wow, du hast wirklich abgenommen.
  • Fred: Wenn du meinst/glaubst.
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-2

Very idiomatic: Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr.

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/dein_Wort_in_Gottes_Ohr

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  • 6
    Willkommen bei German SE! Danke für deine erste Antwort. Meinst du nicht, dass bei dieser Redewendung ganz klar die Hoffnung mitschwingt, dass das gesagte wahr ist? Das funktioniert vielleicht noch bei »Du hast wirklich abgenommen« (klingt etwas merkwürdig, aber ok), aber bei einer negativen Äußerung geht es nicht: A: Ich habe gehört, er hatte einen Unfall. B (zweifelnd): Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr. – Philipp Oct 30 '19 at 17:22
  • Wahrscheinlich, ja. Die Redewendung ist nicht gebräuchlich, wo ich aufwuchs. – Matthias Oct 31 '19 at 5:52
  • Wenn es wirklich das bedeutet, was der OP möchte, und auch die mögliche sekundäre Bedeutungen werden erklärt, ist diese Antwort IMHO okay (und wertet ein Upvote). – peterh - Reinstate Monica Nov 1 '19 at 18:13

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