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I was wondering if somebody could help me out here. I've done numerous google searches, but can't seem to find anything concrete. In English, we would say, "A team played with resilience" or "A team played with persistence", meaning, they played hard and didn't give up. But it seems that in German, you wouldn't play "mit" resilience or persistence, so I was wondering how one could express this. Here are my attempts:

  1. Das Team hat beim Spiel grosse Belastbarkeit gezeigt.
  2. Das Team hat beim Spiel grosse Beharrlichkeit gezeigt.

Would these be reasonable translations to what I was hoping to achieve?

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  • so your main intention is to say they empowered the very last bit of themselves, grow even bigger as anybody could imagine instead of playing rough without mercy? Jun 26 '20 at 13:41
  • I am trying to say that the team played with a lot of "resilience", which means, they didn't give up, they kept giving a lot of effort, they never got discouraged..
    – Mark
    Jun 26 '20 at 13:58
  • Not a full answer, but a possible interpretation depending on context: 1.) They won. 2.) They lost. 'beharren' or 'bemühen' are sometimes used as a synonyms for failure, but that would strongly depend on the context.
    – user41853
    May 18 at 8:33
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Another option: "zäh"/"Zähigkeit" (lit. "tough"/"toughness")

For example:

Die Mannschaft hat zäh gekämpft.

Die Mannschaft hat im Spiel große Zähigkeit gezeigt/bewiesen.

I would use "Beharrlichkeit" if I wanted to say that the team kept trying to net a goal, even after several unsuccessful attempts.

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  • Thanks! Would you say that "Belastbarkeit gezeigt" sounds completely wrong?
    – Mark
    Jun 26 '20 at 20:37
  • To me, "Belastbarkeit" means physical or mental rubustness, but it does not quite fit for a team that doesn't give up. it would fit for a team that showed physical strength throughout a match. It's more about ability than about actual behaviour.
    – RHa
    Jun 27 '20 at 12:11
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It is always difficult to translate a phrase 100% accurate with all of its meanings and nuances. But there is one that I think fits well in this case.

Die Mannschaft hat nie aufgesteckt. (The team never gave up.)

It is used when a team has played with everything it has to the end. Mostly in vain because it lost the game (but sometimes as a reason why it won/tied after a being behind). Nonetheless, it always emphasizes the fighting spirit, the commitment and the attitude of the team.

@Philipp's comment reminded me of another phrase:

Die Mannschaft hat Moral gezeigt/bewiesen.

Sometimes used together with the first phrase, when it comes to sports, e.g.

Die Mannschaft hat nie aufgesteckt und (große) Moral bewiesen.


PS: 5 Euro ins Phrasenschwein ^^

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  • 3
    Aufgesteckt: nie gehört ;-) Aber der Duden kennts
    – Philipp
    Jun 26 '20 at 16:13
  • @Philipp Ich kenne das auch nur aus dem Sportumfeld ^^
    – mtwde
    Jun 26 '20 at 16:28
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Maybe what you're looking for are words like "ausdauernd" or "unnachgiebig".

Das Team hat ausdauernd gespielt.

Also you could exchange "spielen" with "kämpfen" to express the struggle:

Das Team hat ausdauernd gekämpft.

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I think that RHa's

Die Mannschaft hat zäh gekämpft.

is a very good and idiomatic answer. I just would like to add two alternatives:

Die Mannschaft hat tapfer gekämpft.

Die Mannschaft hat sich teuer verkauft.

Both phrases indicate that they had only little chance but still kept on fighting.

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It may be possible to translate the text, but the result will not be very German. Resilience and persistence may play a role in German sports, but what determines the character of their play is an absolutely brutal and powerfully loyalty based level of organization.

To illustrate: In what is arguably the most active and internationally common sport on the planet, soccer football, the German national assembly is even by its competitors commonly referred to as "Die Mannschaft" A word for which "The Team." is only a poor translation. In comparison to that, resilience and persistence are matter of fact accessories like... shoes?

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  • Was für eine klischeehafte Verklärung und Generalisierung! Abgesehen davon ist in der Frage von der dt. Nationalmannschaft gar nicht die Rede. Die Antwort geht an der Frage vorbei und scheint etwas zu sein, was Du schon lange mal loswerden wolltest. May 18 at 14:47
  • @userunknown You seem to be missing the point entirely. Why that aggravates you so much is something else and a complete a mystery to me, but I can't understand everything. Sticking to the question, I suggest you try reading it again. Then read all the answers. My answer relates to that. Linguistically the answers satisfy, but for some reason they loose connection to the fact language is a people thing, resulting in explanations that are correct, but meaningless. I tried to point at that lack of meaning. No need for that to get you mad at it. Its just different. Not dangerous.
    – Berend
    May 18 at 16:41

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