I am currently browsing some German subreddits on Reddit, and I came across this meme on r/ich_iel. I unfortunately don't know enough German to fully understand it, so I got a bit of help from Google Translator. This meme template is just the English version translated into German, so phrases like "wie ein Geschäfts-führer" are just those translated literally into German. (Google Translator translated it as "like a managing-director", so a close equivalent to "like a boss"). What I was wondering about was the "in Wahrheit" part. Google Translate translates the entire sentence like this: "Actually goes on a date with a GUY like a manager", so "in Wahrheit" is translated like "Actually" (translated alone it translates it as "in truth", so probably not the right translation).

My question is, is "in Wahrheit" a phrase that means "Actually" in English? Thanks for the help!

enter image description here

  • 8
    Did you even read the meme? This is LGBTQ+ people joking about themselves, and I myself am one of them. I do not have any problem if POC people make a similar joke about themselves (I know they do, and that's perfectly okay). If you do not enjoy this type of humor, perhaps you are too old for this. Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 19:21
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    Actuality, truth, these are related concepts, aren't they?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 20:31
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    @PaulFrost He did not create the image. These "translation" are intended and suppose to be funny. (see also "like a boss" and "wie ein Geschäftsführer") there is no deeper meaning.
    – choXer
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 6:06
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    @PaulFrost Yes, i know what you meant. I just wanted to tell you, that it is a joke. It's a joke to translate these english term "1 to 1" to german. It's the whole point of these memes. It is a joke that is spread all around these german-meme-creators to use the english terms in a direct german translation. Therefore the bad translation is on purpose and the real Dattel in the last picture is there to empahzise these "joke". It's the anti-direction-internet-version of "It's not the yellow from the egg."
    – choXer
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 11:17
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    @choXer So the original English joke got a "meta-joke" in German in the sense of English for runaways. Perhaps our comments are useful for the OP ...
    – Paul Frost
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 11:35

5 Answers 5


(Er) geht - (in Wahrheit) - auf eine Dattel (...).

(He) goes - (in truth / in reality) - on a date (...). [Dattel - date ("humorous")]

The "aisle of thought" is correct, but not entirely accurate. I hope you can see from my marks that 'in Wahrheit' is "translated to" 'in truth' or 'in reality', but 'geht' is not part of the restriction, but part of 'go on a date'.

Edit: As @PaulFrost has noted (I naively assumed OP is aware of this because of "just those translated literally into German."):

Note that in the subreddit "iel ("im echten leben" in reference to "irl = in real life") (and also in many other german-language meme contexts), frequently used "internet terms" are translated directly. Consequently, instead of the familiar "like a boss", "wie ein Geschäftsführer" is used here (you have already noticed the similarity). The same is done with the word date and the homonymity of the word is used (Dattel = date, Verabredung = date). The comments in the iel-reddit follow these same principles.

I did the same in my answer and translated the German term "Redewendung" with "aisle of thought".

Humour is a matter of debate.

  • Oops. I was thinking of formulating of question, but I absolutely forgot that "geht" is a part of the going to date part. Sorry! So, "in Wahrheit" - "in truth", is it "actually"? Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 18:30
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    @TimotejLeginus Yes. (I think there are small nuances in meaning, but in this case "He is actually going on a date with a guy - like a boss" is the same as "He is - in truth / in reality - going on a date with a guy - like a boss" isn't it? [i would translate actaully with "eigentlich])
    – choXer
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 18:37

In Wahrheit means in reality.

Though here: Geht in Wahrheit auf eine Dattel means something like this: In reality, he is going on a date.

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    Welcome to German.SE. Unfortunately I fail to see how your answer contributes something that is new or better comprehensible compared to the existing answers. And maybe you have a link to a dictionary for e.g. further reading/understanding etc.? Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 14:15
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    It's more concise Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 22:18

"Wahrheit" means truth and actually means "tatsächlich" which is the adjective to Tatsache (a fact). So yes "in Wahrheit" is probably best translated with "Actually". Though you could also try it with "In reality" (in Wirklichkeit).

Disclaimer: Also you should be aware that the subreddit ich_iel is a horrible place to learn German. As what they speak would confuse even most Germans.

Basically the meta joke of that subreddit is that they attempt "translate" EVERYTHING into "German"! Where I use "translate" and "German" in air quotes because instead of translating it faithfully they find it hilarious to translate it most directly and impractically so that it is borderline unintelligible to any native German speaker and becomes kind of a guessing game in terms of what meme they translated. Like "wie ein Geschäftsführer" is German but makes no sense to a person who only speaks German because that's not a meme in Germany, you kinda have to be aware of "like a boss" to figure out what they tried to do there. Or like meme itself which is tranlated to maimai because apparently some older people pronounced it may-may in English so they identified the month of may and translated that to mai.

So a German person speaking German on that subreddit, using regular German words of English origin, especially if they have long entered the German language, is greeted with an ironic "Sprich Deutsch du Hurensohn" (Speak German you son of a bitch), while pure English speakers are usually treated way nicer to avoid confusion though.

So do not take that as a reference for how to speak German as it's basically Germans translating English memes in the most impractical way possible, requiring a solid grasp on English speaking meme culture and German language to understand what they try to do and to find it funny and not to confuse it for an actual translation.


I'm not a native speaker, but I can recommend the following two resources, both of which appear to answer your question:




"auf eine Dattel gehen" is not a common german phrase and will not be understood by 99% of german speakers.

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    You should probably re-read the question to get the whole context. "Auf <etwas> gehen" (like "Auf einen Kaffee gehen" = Meet with the intention to drink a coffee together) is a common enough German phrase. It is quite conceivable that frogs do with dates (!) what we do with Kaffee or other beverages ("Auf ein Bier gehen/treffen"). Furthermore, you seem to not have gotten the german/english play on words "Dattel"="date"
    – bakunin
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 22:48

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