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Recently I moved to the Konstanz area, and what I noticed is people saying "Das ist kein Thema" for everything.

So, what exactly does it mean? And when to use it?

22

Usually, this is used in the sense of "no problem".

"Kannst Du mich bitte heute abend vom Kino abholen?" -- "Klar, kein Thema."

"Das ist aber ganz schön teuer." -- "Geld ist kein Thema."


It can of course be used literally, for example when someone is reprimanded for bringing up a topic they shouldn't have:

"Gestern hatte ich scheußlichen Durchfall." -- "Das ist kein Thema für den Esstisch!"

...or when discussing a list of topics:

"Sprecht Ihr dann auch über Umweltverschmutzung?" -- "Nein, das ist in der Konferenz kein Thema."

  • And is this like local thing, or do people all over Germany use it? Cause I never heard it before – BЈовић Sep 16 '13 at 15:29
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    @BЈовић I guess it's all over Germany. – Em1 Sep 16 '13 at 15:38
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    It is possible that this has its origin in some local area but is used all over Germany. synonymously used phrases are "Kein Problem" or "Kein Ding" – user22338 Jul 5 '16 at 11:12
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The basic meaning is "This is no topic requiring further discussion". It can be used in many contexts, such as to avert expressions of gratitude, or to acknowledge a request. Similar phrases that also cover a wide range of uses include kein Ding (regional) and kein Problem.

Kannst du das bis morgen mittag erledigen? – Kein Thema.

Vielen herzlichen Dank dafür! – Kein Thema.

Tut mir leid, daß ich so spät bin. – Kein Thema.

  • +1 for kein Ding – fifaltra Dec 29 '13 at 9:22
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    Zur Abwehr von vermeintlich unangebrachtem oder unnötig ausuferndem Dank kenne ich auch seitens der älteren Generation Keine Ursache. – guidot Aug 27 '15 at 14:32
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    @guidot: True, but the phrase is limited to that use case. You couldn't use it in my first or third example. – chirlu Aug 27 '15 at 14:38
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the meaning is: that's not an issue :)

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    Though short (and someone even downvoted it), this is actually the best answer so far. "Das ist kein Thema" is one in a long row of anglicisms that appear primarily in the speech of business people. It clearly started as a poor translation of "That's not an issue". – user2183 Oct 20 '15 at 23:44
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As far as I remember, it was invented in west germany in the early nineties or maybe even before that. I have never heard it in the eighties.

Don't overuse, since some people hate it, and it's not really useful anyway. It means something like nevermind, indicating that some issue does not need further discussion. But it can not be reliably understood as either yes or no.

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You are totally right concerning your confusion. Kein Thema is a buzzword; actually it is hip to use boring silly two-word sentences: Kein Thema, nicht dafür, kein Problem. Horrible!

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    It's not a buzzword at all. But it is colloquial speech. – Chieron Jul 5 '16 at 10:49
  • Interesting. The question mentions "Das ist kein Thema." which is a full sentence, and you complain about the shortened form "Kein Thema." But nobody asked for an opinion if such sentences (or fragments) are good style or why someone would say it. You totally forgot to answer the actual question. -1 for that crap. – Em1 Jul 5 '16 at 12:15
  • Good that the people from Northern Germany who would say something like nicht dafür would use da nicht für. Three words, no matter! – chirlu Jul 5 '16 at 16:17
  • The other answers covered the meaning already, so this one is more about style. Maybe buzzword is the wrong classification here. That would be a question of another forum. As „Das ist kein Thema“ if often shortened to „kein Thema“, the meaning is equivalent and if one of them is a buzzword(sequence), then both are. No matter the correct classification, „…kein Thema…“ has been overused a lot and should only be used if absolutely necessary, ie, never. It was hip with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. For the rest, it just sounds outdated and blasé. – Ralf H Jul 14 '16 at 18:13

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