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I'm struggling with the proper translation for "to raise one's voice".

The exact phrase is: "I will not raise my voice to him ever again"

The context is, two people (in this case, two men) are in a conflict, and are always arguing. One of them comes to the conclusion that it is far better to remain calm and not escalate the situation by raising his voice.

Deepl Translate suggests this:

Ich werde nie wieder meine Stimme gegen ihn erheben.

... but I think "to raise my voice against him" is not quite the same as "to raise my voice to him" ... in English, the "to him" has more emotional charge.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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    Perhaps some clarification of the English is in order. To "raise one's voice" typically means to speak loudly, especially because of anger. So to say you heard "raised voices" is the same as saying you heard a heated argument. German has a similar expression, "Stimme erheben," but I gather that's means something like "to speak up", for example "Wer seine Stimme nicht erhebt, macht sich mitschuldig." In any case, I think the question is more about using "gegen" in this situation; translating prepositions is tricky and often counterintuitive.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jun 12 at 11:38

3 Answers 3

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A German phrasing for a person speaking loud in a decisive and/or angry manner is "laut werden". Unfortunately, this intransitive form does not allow directly to name a counterpart. A complete sentence therefore needs some extra determinative clause:

Ich werde nie mehr laut werden, wenn ich mit ihm spreche.
Im Gespräch mit ihm werde ich nie mehr laut werden.
Ich werde ihm gegenüber nie mehr laut werden.


Beside the usage "jemand wird laut" in the above sense there is also "etwas wird laut" which can be used both in the literal sense of something starting to make a loud noise and – albeit a usage restricted mostly to journalism – figuratively for "something is voiced publicly".

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    This is IMHO so far the most accurate suggested translation Commented Jun 12 at 14:31
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    I would name a counterpart using "jmdm gegenüber laut werden".
    – Dodezv
    Commented Jun 12 at 14:35
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    @Dodezv ...while I am drawn to the first variant. I feel the english sentence is presented in the question as a proclamation, and its absoluteness is best captured in short, decisive phrases. A wider context might be needed to decide.
    – ccprog
    Commented Jun 12 at 14:48
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    Literally "become loud", which makes sense but not something you'd say in English. Also, there's no preposition; you don't "werde laut" to or with or against anyone, since that's implied by context or the rest of the sentences. DWDS lists some other meanings for the phrase as well, so exercise caution.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jun 13 at 8:08
  • Accepted. Thank you. I am realising that English idioms (such as "to raise one's voice") often don't have a direct counterpart in German. I make the mistake of trying to translate them directly - rather than considering "what do people actually say in real life situations like this".
    – mcaleaa
    Commented Jul 3 at 8:32
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The best phrase I see, which is in actual use is a free translation:

Ich werde mich nicht mehr von ihm provozieren lassen.

I does not convey, that the consequence would be shouting, but points to the causing person instead.

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    It fits in some circumstances, but for instance, if you regret getting angry at someone without being provoked by them, it doesn't.
    – Karlokick
    Commented Jun 12 at 15:41
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Main trouble in this translation is the dichotomy between English understatement "to raise one's voice" versus German directness "jemand anschreien" (literally screaming or shouting at somebody). Plus multiple meanings from a single English phrase to German situational phrases as pointed out in comments from RDBury.

To convey the English understatement see ccprog's answer. Additionally this meaning suits very well the English phrase "heated arguments".

To convey the reflection and decision making see guidot's answer.

"Jemand anschreien" in German culture means indirectly a loss of one's control over one's own emotions. Resulting in getting louder (to raise one's voice to someone) and going one step further. Most often coupled with an emotion of anger.

So both "laut werden" oder "jemand anschreien" can work in the stated situation of two men arguing. It kind of depends on level of emotion and emphasis to use either.

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