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I wrote my supervisor that I have an appointment and probable I can come late, and she has responded:

Vielen Dank für die Mitteilung. Mach das so.

What is a meaning "Mach das so"? How can I translate it?

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    In what way does a translator or dictionary not give a good answer? deepl.com/translator#de/en/… May 16 at 7:49
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    so is lacking context, so no general answer is possible. When writing a proposal and the response is Mach das so, it could be translated as I agree, accepted or even okay.
    – guidot
    May 16 at 15:07
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    In English: "Thank you for letting me know. That will be fine." (But this is by no means a literal translation.)
    – TonyK
    May 16 at 20:41
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    The two sentences have very different style: "Vielen Dank für die Mitteilung." is quite an official and non-committing confirmation (only thanking for the note and implying it was good to tell, but not saying whether the contents are good or bad). The second sentence is much more informal and instead of a "Let's do it that way!" it is a "You do it that way!". It is kind of okay, but you keep much of the responsibility (in the positive sense for deciding/suggesting/solving/assessing the situation, and negative sense for getting into that situation) for coming late or what you suggested instead.
    – Sebastian
    May 17 at 12:13
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    Sometimes the second sentence is used as constrast to your request, when the topic was not so important and the suggestion very long-winded. Or when she cannot assess the situation herself and trusts that you choose how to handle it best.
    – Sebastian
    May 17 at 12:18

4 Answers 4

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Mach is the imperative form of machen, which can mean to do or to make in German depending on the context. Therefore, we can translate it to Do that so., which still doesn't fit. so can mean so or more often like that. So we get

Do that (A) like that (B). 
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    I'd say "Do it like that" is more immediate, but both sentences are very similar in meaning anyway
    – Hobbamok
    May 16 at 19:52
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    @Hobbamok I agree, but I wanted to make the translation accessible. I should have added a 4th step with this as the final result. May 16 at 20:00
  • I think the canonical translation would be "Make it so" - as per Star Trek TNG ;)
    – TomTom
    May 18 at 11:59
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Captain Picard, sitting in his chair, raising his finger as if about to give a command. Caption at the bottom: MAKE IT SO

It simply means, "do it like this", as proposed, as we talked about, in this manner, ...

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    Fun fact: If you type "Make it so" into English Wikipedia it redirects you to the article on Jean-Luc Picard. That said, the phrase "Make it so" is rather idiosyncratic in English, while I gather Mach das so is more idiomatic and usable in more situations.
    – RDBury
    May 16 at 10:39
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    PS. According to German Wikipedia, Picard says Machen Sie es so, which is almost the same but in the polite form. It also uses es instead of das, but that seems to be a minor difference in meaning.
    – RDBury
    May 16 at 10:59
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    I always understood "Make it so!" to be short for "Make it become like that!", i.e. "Sorgen Sie dafür!", regardless of the means.
    – Bergi
    May 16 at 21:00
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    Bergi is absolutely right. Picard's "Make it so" and "Mach das so" are completely different. More common in early 21st century English (which is NOT what Picard speaks) would be "Make it happen".
    – gnasher729
    May 16 at 23:54
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    Captain Picard also says it after a group discussion. This would imply the "as we just discussed". Where we translate it as "make it happen", "do it", or "get it done", does not really make a difference in the overall outcome. In any case, the proper translation is given below the image, which mainly serves as a funny remark. May 17 at 11:40
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"Mach das so" means "sure, go ahead" or "do it as you proposed".

I would not use the phrase myself in a business context. It's not vulgar or off-putting by any means, but to me it has a weird connotation - as if the person couldn't care less, or was even ever so slightly annoyed by being bothered. Maybe just flippant. But do not start to overthink what your supervisor thinks, though, it may very well be that that is just a personal interpretation of my own.

Interestingly, B. Raabe commented about the variation of "Ja, mach das ruhig so" - this would be a perfectly benign sentence with the same meaning as before, but with no informal, neutral or dismissive connotation whatsoever. So we can assume that the supervisor meant it that way and just typed quickly and sparingly to get to the next mail.

And with lalala's comment this almost turns into a community post... the variation "dann mach das halt so" is definitive displaying that someone has had enough of arguing and is conceding the point in an annoyed manner. Definitely not appropriate in a business context, nor in any other, if you want to comport yourself in a gentle(wo)manly manner!

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    I agree that it is somewhat informal, maybe even dismissive (but in a neutral way). To me this sounds like "I read your Mail on my phone, understood the information, am fine with your proposition, and will now continue to the next Mail". I suspect that this is just conformation without putting anymore thought/time into it. (Vgl.: "Ja, mach das ruhig so")
    – B. Raabe
    May 17 at 9:52
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    I agree. I believe one subtext of "Mach das so" is that the speaker conveys that he agrees to the suggestion AND that enough discussion was held or explanation given and that there is no point in continueing to dwell on the matter. May 17 at 10:44
  • Your issue with it in a business setting is that it's too commanding.
    – VSO
    May 17 at 20:34
  • @VSO no, I don't necessarily think so. It really depends on the conversational context. It can be a rude command. It can be an encouragement and confirmation of your own judgement and suggestion. May 18 at 8:28
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    @lalala yes indeed. But there the critical difference is the word 'halt' which indicates a quite different attitude of the speaker towards the recipient than without that word being used. May 18 at 15:15
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This literally translates as "Thank you for the information/notice/message. Make it so" - so it would be roughly equivalent of "make it happen" or "do it like that" in English.

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