16

Is there an equivalent for the English phrase "Try me!" in German?

The only translations I could find/come up with are:

  • Wetten?
  • Wetten, dass?

I can't help but feel like this is not the best phrasing possible.

"Try me!" is a more direct challenge to test a statement in question etc. (which is what I'm looking for).

"Wetten?" seems like a kind of indirect approach to me, diverting to a (hypothetical) bet, away from the actual topic at hand. It simply appears to lack the sense of directness, even though at least it's equally short.


Edit:

To come up with an example:

Speaker 1: Hey, what's wrong with you?

Speaker 2: Well, if I told you what just happened to me, you wouldn't believe it anyway...

Speaker 1: Try me!

Let's test some of the suggestions:

Wetten[, dass]?

Speaker 1: Hey, was ist denn los?

Speaker 2: Naja, wenn ich Dir erzähle, was mir gerade passiert ist, glaubst Du es sowieso nicht ...

Speaker 1: Wetten[, dass]?

This one works - kind of - and is probably the best answer so far. What bothers me is that this is a question. Why does it need to be a question? Why are they suddenly talking about a bet? English doesn't need that, does German really require this indirectness?

I guess I'm looking for the most straightforward, confident way to challenge the other speaker, if possible in imperative mood.

Also, you'd need the colloquial form "Wetten [dass] nicht?" here, I think, to make it grammatically... um ... "correct".

Versuch's doch!

Speaker 1: Hey, was ist denn los?

Speaker 2: Naja, wenn ich Dir erzähle, was mir gerade passiert ist, glaubst Du es sowieso nicht ...

Speaker 1: Versuch's doch!

Not sure about this one, specifically about turning "me" into "es". It sounds like the question is whether speaker 2 is able to talk about what happened. ("Es" refers to "erzählen", right?), but that's not in dispute.

"Try me!" would mean in this case: "Find out if I really wouldn't believe you if you told me what just happened (because I don't think so)." It's about speaker 1's ability to handle the answer.

Mal seh'n. / Warten wir's ma' ab. / Wird sich zeigen. / Wer weiß? / Du wirst schon sehen.

Speaker 1: Hey, was ist denn los?

Speaker 2: Naja, wenn ich Dir erzähle, was mir gerade passiert ist, glaubst Du es sowieso nicht ...

Speaker 1: Mal seh'n. / Warten wir's ma' ab. / Wird sich zeigen. / Wer weiß? / Du wirst schon sehen.

Those versions are certainly okay, but they don't challenge the other speaker as strongly. They're like "eventually, we'll find out," not "let's find out now."

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  • 3
    Depending on the situation you're in, "Try me!" can have various translations like "Wetten?", "Ach ja?" or "Versuch's doch!". Describing what you want the translation to express would help a lot.
    – npst
    Sep 10 '13 at 21:57
  • 1
    A restatement of this English idiom is something like "Test me."
    – Tom Au
    Sep 10 '13 at 22:40
  • 3
    @alk Both "Versuche mich" und "Probier mich" are not idiomatic. And they sound weird.
    – Em1
    Sep 11 '13 at 7:16
  • 4
    @alk: "Probier mich" would translate to "taste me", "Versuche mich" would translate to "seduce me" unless the context would make a very strong effort to suggest otherwise. Sep 11 '13 at 12:52
  • 1
    @userunknown Der Unterschied ist, dass es jetzt nur noch ein Bruchteil an möglichen Übersetzungen gibt im Vergleich zu vorher. Jedoch immer noch viele. Denn auch im Englischen könnte man 'Try me' durch viele andere Dinge ersetzen.
    – Em1
    Sep 12 '13 at 9:27
17
+50

There are different cases where "Try me!" could be used and thus the translation differs.

Most likely (in my opinion) is the usage as an implied threat:

"I'm gonna take your wallet now." "Versuch's doch!"

It's possible to be used as boasting, too, i guess

"You can't run faster than me." "Wetten, dass?"

There's also the meaning of temptation

"Test me, O LORD, and try me" "Prüfe mich, HERR, und versuche mich"

If someone is offering a job and you're applying in a casual way:

"Well, if you don't have anyone else, probier's mit mir"

If you're an ice cream:

"I'm delicous, probier mich"

7
  • 5
    Actually you bring up a good point. You cannot simply translate "Try me". Context is everything. E.g.: "What's going on? - You won't believe it. - Try me." -> How about: "Mal seh'n." or "Warten wir's ma' ab." - "Wird sich zeigen." or "Wer weiß?!" or simply "Vielleicht?!".
    – Em1
    Sep 11 '13 at 10:24
  • 1
    Excellent points! How about "Du wirst schon sehen."?
    – Mac
    Sep 11 '13 at 11:02
  • 2
    +1 for being an ice cream. :-D Comprehensive answer.
    – tmh
    Sep 11 '13 at 19:41
  • To test a statement in question passt nicht zu den Antworten 3, 4 und 5. Sep 12 '13 at 2:44
  • I'm going to accept this answer for now. It seems that "Wetten?" is as close as we can get to a literal translation. This answer was the first to suggest this translation and the answer also explains when the translation is appropriate and when it is not.
    – tmh
    Sep 19 '13 at 18:30
10

Ok, as far as I can see, OP is looking for a German phrase that unites as many of the English one's characteristics as possible.

These are (so far):

  • short
  • idiomatic
  • informal
  • not a question
  • refers back to speaker
  • no introduction of new topic (e.g. a bet or something)
  • expresses direct challenge to test a preceding statement (as opposed to "wait and see")

The problem is that we have here a set of properties that very narrowly circumscribes a particular phrase. It actually sounds like a sort of riddle with the answer "The phrase 'try me'".

Unfortunately, this is an approach that virtually never works across languages. It's a bit like looking for an English equivalent of "Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund" and rejecting "The early bird catches the worm", because there are no precious metals, too much wildlife and the entire thing doesn't rhyme.

This does not work, I'm afraid.

We'll have to sacrifice a couple of the characteristics and concentrate on those that are most important in the given context.

To me, in the context of the original question, these would be:

  • short
  • idiomatic
  • informal
  • not a question [this "same structure" requirement is one of the first that needs to go when translating]
  • refers back to speaker [basically "same structure" again]
  • no introduction of new topic (e.g. a bet or something) [ditto, only on the content level]
  • expresses direct challenge to test a preceding statement (as opposed to "wait and see")

So, what we're left with strongly suggests Wetten? and most derivatives,
or Emanuel's Das denkst Du


For completeness' sake, but not really adding to the matter in hand:

OP's objections to Wetten? etc.:

a) in the edit:

This one works - kind of - and is probably the best answer so far. What bothers me is that this is a question. Why does it need to be a question? Why are they suddenly talking about a bet? English doesn't need that, does German really require this indirectness?

Sorry, the "same structure" thing does not work.

I guess I'm looking for the most straightforward, confident way to challenge the other speaker, if possible in imperative mood.

This is it. It's the most straightforward and confident you'll get. There's no imperative equivalent, because this apparently worked well enough in German so that there was no need for one to be established.

Also, you'd need the colloquial form "Wetten [dass] nicht?" here, I think, to make it grammatically... um ... "correct".

Not really. This little phrase covers both cases, exactly like the closer English relative: "[Wanna] bet?". Both just state a challenge of the preceding statement.

b) in the original question:

"Try me!" is a more direct challenge to test a statement in question etc. (which is what I'm looking for).

see above.

"Wetten?" seems like a kind of indirect approach to me, diverting to a (hypothetical) bet, away from the actual topic at hand. It simply appears to lack the sense of directness, even though at least it's equally short.

One could argue exactly the opposite: that the English is less direct, because it diverts the issue (challenge of the statement) away from the statment and towards the person of the speaker. "Wetten?" firmly keeps the focus on the statement in question.

One last note: The "es" in "Versuch's doch!" refers to the thing speaker 2 is doubtful about. Which is speaker 1's ability to believe, not his own ability to talk.


OK, I now realize all this has certain rant-like qualities. This is unintentional. I actually found the question and the answers so far quite intriguing - so I hope, tmh, that there is no offence taken, since there definitely is none meant :)

5
  • Thorough analysis. This narrows it down further. A German phrasing that "refers back to the speaker" would be the most interesting answer, because apparently this is what's most difficult to express in German.
    – tmh
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:27
  • @tmh: Lol, how persistent :) Is there any particular reason why the translation has to be a directionally parallel construcion?
    – Mac
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:46
  • my very last attemp would be "Gib's mir!"... if that's not ok, than I think there just isn't anything
    – Emanuel
    Sep 14 '13 at 19:44
  • or just "Doch, würd/werd/kann/versteh... ich":D
    – Emanuel
    Sep 14 '13 at 19:47
  • @Emanuel "You can't run faster than me." - "Doch!" That would work. "If I told you what just happened..." - "Gib's mir!" That might work in a jokingly way.
    – tmh
    Sep 18 '13 at 18:37
4

Here are my suggestions:

(Dann) lass es (doch) drauf ankommen!

Maybe this is better for things that involve physical action ... or at least something more active than just listening. I 'll go ahead and contrive an example:

So I have this spare ticket for the opera and I don't know what to do with it ... but I don't really want to give it to you considering that you told me you HATE opera. I want to give it to someone who will actually have a good time...

Another possibility is:

Das denkst DU

with a strong emphasis on DU...

and a third suggestion is:

Glaubst du?!

said in a way that clearly indicates that the speaker considers the believe wrong.

3
  • What also came to my mind is an ironic "Na, wenn du meinst." or "Na, wenn du das sagst, dann wird das auch so sein." which is somewhat similar to "Glaubst du?!" or "Das denkst du".
    – Em1
    Sep 13 '13 at 13:15
  • These are all valid suggestions and it's certainly good to mention them as possible translations, too. But they make one thing clear: A translation with "du" seems easier to achieve - so what's more interesting: Can you keep the "me" reference somehow?
    – tmh
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:31
  • 1
    "Das denkst DU" is my absolute favourite. Perfect.
    – Mac
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:37
2

I was somewhat astonished, nobody suggested this before:

Stell' / Stelle mich auf die Probe!

1
  • That's indeed enjoyably close to the original English verb, to try! I guess in some cases it is spot-on, while in others it may be a little bit lengthy/chunky/formal for some colloquial situations, maybe that could be elaborated on a bit. For the latter contexts – especially when teasing or competing – how about cognate probier's aus (also the friendly/positive version of versuch's doch)? May 7 at 23:28
1

Sorry for answering a question probably nobody cares about anymore. I just happened to stumble upon it asking while asking the same question.

I think for the challenging version of "try me" that OP is looking for

  • Finde es heraus!
  • Finde es doch heraus!

or a more colloquial version

  • Find's heraus!

would be most appropriate. Especially the more colloquial version sounds more challenging.

Other than that I think that "Wetten doch!" sounds more challenging than "Wetten [dass]?" if that's what you're looking for.

1
  • Your answer is appreciated either way. :-) The fact that people like you are searching for an answer, shows that the question is still as relevant today as it was seven years ago.
    – tmh
    May 7 at 18:14
0

To test a statement in question, I'd translate a Try me! button in a game with

Überprüfe das!

or Prüfe das!, Überprüfe es! or simply Zur Lösung

0

Possible translation for the given example should be trau mir, short for vertrauen, or zutrauen.

Speaker 1: Hey, was ist denn los?

Speaker 2: Naja, wenn ich Dir erzähle, was mir gerade passiert ist, glaubst Du es sowieso nicht ...

Speaker 1: Vertrau mir ...

This is a logical response, usually followed by an appeal to confidence. It is quite different from trying someone, and a challenging try me! rarely needs an appeal to confidence, but that's a trade-off you have to accept in translation.

It does seem to be quite fitting, given the following definitions:

Duden-online

  1. Vertrauen zu jemandem, etwas haben; … 2a. meist verneint oder fragend; etwas … 2b. meist verneint oder fragend; sich …

DWDS

  1. jmdm., einer Sache Vertrauen, Glauben schenken
  2. ⟨sich (nicht) trauen⟩ a) ⟨trauen + zu + Infinitiv⟩ sich wagen, etw. zu tun b) sich irgendwohin wagen

See there for usage examples.


By the way, the given example could even use anvertrauen "to confide".

Komm, vertrau dich mir an

The tone is very different, but you would of course see a similar, more serious tone in English the more verbose you make it (you can try me fair and square, come on?).

Which goes to show that the right intonation on trau mir would be more important to expression of the sentiment. This would most often have to translate back as "trust me", but consider this in the tone of "try me!", modulated like an assertive, rhethorical question, because we deny the actual question that you don't trust me!?! Distrust is completely out of the question.

Other examples would not translate well in that sense, but there's also jmd. etw. zutrauen.

A: Du schaffst es nie, den ganzen Kuchen zu essen. B: Trau mir mal ein bischen mehr zu! Es ist ziemlich einfach einen ganzen Kuchen angemessen zu rationieren ...

-1

Widerleg mich!

Ist mein erster Vorschlag.

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  • At least it's in imperative mood - which I think is fitting - but it sounds really formal. Probably too formal in most cases.
    – tmh
    Sep 11 '13 at 19:43
  • Ich hoffe sehr, dass Dir vorher noch ein paar andere, idomatischere Ideen durch den Kopf gegangen sind. Gefragt war nach der "most fitting translation", das Ganze mit einem einzigen Tag: "idiom". Da darf's ruhig ein bisschen näher am normalen Sprachgebrauch sein, oder? Nix für ungut! :)
    – Mac
    Sep 13 '13 at 7:28
  • @Mac: Ist denn "Try me" so nah am normalen Sprachgebrauch? Ich hatte das bisher auch noch nicht gehört. Und gemessen an der Kürze, dem imperativen Stil und dem persönlichen Bezug - all das ist in "Widerleg mich" abgebildet. Dagegen würde ich Versuchs doch sagen, wenn jemand sagt jedermann könne leicht über diesen Bach springen. Das mag manchmal passen - ähnlich wie "Wetten, dass?" welches aber eine Frage ist - die folgenden Möglichkeiten die npst auflistet passen m.E. aber gar nicht, auch wenn ich den Eiscremestandpunkt durchaus goutieren könnte. Sep 13 '13 at 12:33
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    Mein Punkt war eigentlich nur, dass "Try me" ebenso salopp und geläufig ist wie "Wetten?" - ich meine also das sprachliche Register. Zum inhaltlichen Einwand: im vorliegenden Kontext glaube ich, dass die wenigsten, die hier "Wetten?" sagen würden, ernsthaft eine Wette anbieten. Es handelt sich m.E. um eine Floskel mit der Aussage: "ich bin mir sicher, dass Du unrecht hast".
    – Mac
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:32
  • 1
    @Mac: Geläufig ist "Wetten" durchaus - da gebe ich Dir Recht. Ich habe jedoch nicht gesagt, dass die, die "Wetten" sagen ernsthaft eine Wette anbieten, sondern im Gegenteil gewarnt, der andere könnte diese Einladung ergreifen - und sei es rhetorisch/taktisch - und ungewollt auf das Scheinangebot eingehen. Um einer Antwort wie "50 Euro?" zuvorzukommen könnte man also geneigt sein eine andere Formulierung, die auch mehr Seriösität ausstrahlt, zu ergreifen. Sep 14 '13 at 2:51

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