Questions tagged [german-to-english]

Übersetzung Deutsch nach Englisch - Questions on translations of a single word or phrase from German to English.

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75
votes
17answers
305k views

What’s the difference between “Ich habe dich lieb” and “Ich liebe dich”?

What’s the difference between Ich habe dich lieb and Ich liebe dich? Both are defined as “I love you” in many dictionaries, as I’ve checked.
32
votes
2answers
20k views

Meaning and origin of 'Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof'

What does the following sentence mean and what is its origin? Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. I've heard this expression from some friends – I guess it's what you say when you don't really understand ...
25
votes
5answers
25k views

Difference between Erfahrung and Erlebnis?

They both translate into "experience" in English.
23
votes
6answers
42k views

Meaning of 0815 and ger/eng alternatives?

Does 0815 simply mean something is very standard and common, or does it carry any connotations? Where can one use it, e.g. for description of processes, objects, persons? Can you give alternative ...
21
votes
2answers
14k views

What's the meaning of “Deine Mudda”?

In Germany, I hear a lot of jokes containing "Deine Mudda", but I don't understand them. What does this mean and what kind of jokes are containing them?
21
votes
1answer
639 views

Is unwillkürlich the opposite of willkürlich?

My dictionary translates willkürlich as arbitrary and unwillkürlich as involuntary. I do not understand in what sense these concepts are opposites. Could someone give an example where this becomes ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

What means my car's displayed diagnosis “KÜHLMITTLE NIEDR MOTOR ABSTELLEN”?

I'm French and I purchased a used (2001) Volvo V70 which was initially buyed in Switzerland, and where diagnosis are displayed in German, so for me it's often a painful task to understand what the ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

How come that “stimmt so” means “keep the change”?

I would like to know how do those 2 words, stimmt and so, when used together, mean keep the change?
18
votes
11answers
4k views

How to express “fizzle out” in German

I'm am struggling with the right way to express, "to fizzle out", in German. Let me give some example sentences: We were very good friends at first, but over the years, our friendship fizzled out. ...
16
votes
8answers
14k views

How would you translate “fremdschämen”?

I was hanging out with friends tonight and we were watching a documentary on (Australian) TV. There was this obnoxious main character. For all her actions habe ich mich fremdgeschämt, but I wasn’t ...
16
votes
2answers
31k views

“So” in German - meanings and usages

Does "so" have similar usage and meaning in English and German? so ein schönes Lied! das tut uns [ja] so leid! so? Das wäre aber sonderbar du darfst nehmen, so viel wie du willst. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder

I recently got a Deutsche Grammophon CD with recordings of songs by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. When reading the texts, I noticed the translation of the title of one of the songs. Intuitively I knew it ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Help with making out handwriting-like engraving on a silver cigarette case

Bought a silver cigarette case with this engraved on it: I tried to translate it myself, but I don't know the language at all and couldn't really match up any letters. I believe it's German ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

“Verwesern” title, what does it mean? [closed]

I recently needed to translate some old texts from King Frederick I of Prussia and his son Frederick William I. I saw several times a word Verwesern between a list of honorifics, but translating this ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Can “Kristall” mean “broken glass”?

The loanword "Kristallnacht" is most frequently described in English as "the night of broken glass". It's also called "crystal night", but that doesn't make sense to me because the night didn't ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

What is “Zum Tragen kein Problem” on the bag of a Swiss bakery trying to tell me?

What is this text on the bag of a Swiss bakery trying to tell me? Die Verpackung aus Papier: Zum Tragen kein Problem. L'emballage en papier: Un moyen de transport. I don't get what they ...
13
votes
6answers
522 views

Translation of “Deutschländisch” into English

How would you translate "Deutschländisch" or "deutschländische Deutsch" into English? Example context from Sprachpflege an Schulen: Österreich kämpft gegen deutschländisches Deutsch Darin geht es ...
13
votes
1answer
591 views

Use of the common English abbreviation for German term

In my text I have a German term "Entscheidungsbaum" for which there is no common abbreviation. Much better known is the English term "Decision Tree" and its abbreviation "DT". My first approach was ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

“Du hast es gut”, small talk meaning?

A colleague of mine at work is from time to time saying me just "Du hast es gut" and laughing... I asked him a couple of times what does it mean as I am not native and couldn't find any info regarding ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Can anyone translate the writing on the back of this postcard from 1936?

It is a postcard from 1936, with Hitler shaking hands with a lady with the military behind them.
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “heutig” in this sentence?

A recent Slow German Podcast contains the following sentence: Das Mittelalter dauerte im heutigen Deutschland von ungefähr 800 bis ungefähr 1500. I do not understand the use of the word heutig in ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How to correctly translate ‘einfallen’?

I’ve almost never encountered the word einfallen before, so it’s no wonder I don’t understand its meaning in the sentence: Mir fällt die Telefonnummer einfach nicht ein. Dictionaries do everything ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What do colleagues say to each other before lunch time?

I am working as an intern in a company in Germany. I noticed that as the lunch break starts, everyone says something to each other before going to the canteen, which sounds something like "Macht Zeit" ...
12
votes
3answers
658 views

What does “beanspruchungsgerecht” mean?

This is the context: Vorteile des Werkstoffs: Grauguß Im Gießverfahren leicht formbar, deshalb kann man Gußgestelle ohne Mehrkosten beanspruchungsgerecht gestalten I understand that ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How do you translate German wordplay into English?

This is a somewhat generic issue, I suppose, in that it affects both English-to-German and German-to-English translation. Today I came across what I thought was an example of good German wordplay: ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the appropriate usage of “Gemütlichkeit”?

"Gemütlichkeit" ist für die Deutschen ein positives Wort aber es gibt nicht nur eine Erklärung für das Wort, Alle haben eine individuelle Lösung. Here are my questions about the term: I'd translate ...
12
votes
1answer
183 views

“Sie bleiben überhaupt gern unter sich.”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? Die Meiers bleiben sehr gern unter sich. Die Meiers bleiben überhaupt sehr gern unter sich. I know that both mean something like ...
11
votes
7answers
476 views

Is there a non-regional German expression for the Swabian term “Gschmäckle”?

Is this term only well-known in Southern Germany or also in the deep North? Is there short alternatives for modern High German? Does anyone know a similar English short expression?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “Das wärmste Jäckchen ist das Cognac-chen”?

I have heard this from my German friend. I know what it means in English but I don't understand the context in German. They said it's really hard to explain properly. Is it bad? I hope not.
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Need help to read Fraktur from a 18th century book

I am reading Euler's German translation of his work on differential calculus entitled Vollständige Anleitung zur Differentialrechnung (Complete instruction on Differential Calculus). I am struggling ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What does “die Augen aufschlugen” mean?

Native English speaker here, trying to learn more German by reading Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, and I came across this sentence: Als Mr. und Mrs. Dursley an dem trüben und grauen ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How to translate “schön blöd” in English?

What does "schön blöd" mean? Is it offending, but meant as a joke? Or does it mean someone is awfully stupid? In which situation would/could Germans use it?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Translate late 1800's postcard to English

I have a postcard from the family of my 3-times-great grandmother written in old German that was sent to some of their family that came to America. The picture was taken in Hechingen, Germany. My 3-...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

When did pathetic and pathetisch divert in meaning?

It seems clear that the two words have the same origin, yet pathetic and pathetisch seem to have significantly different meanings (or don't they?). Pathetic is very negative with synonyms like ...
11
votes
2answers
9k views

“anders” vs “unterschiedlich” vs “verschieden”

What exactly is the difference between these three? They all seem to mean 'different' although in different ways, and I can't quite work out what the difference is. My understanding at the moment is ...
11
votes
2answers
253 views

What is the meaning of “Schlängelgang”?

What does "Schlängelgang" mean? I wasn't able to find it anywhere. This is from Fontane's Stine: Ich verstehe mich ein bißchen auf das menschliche Herz; denn sieh, wer jahrelang auf dem Krankenbett ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the author want to convey by ending his letter with »Tschüssikowsky«?

The article “Ich hab Urlaub - und Sie nicht” from Der Spiegel provides examples of Christmas out-of-office autoresponder email messages. One example, illustrating a potential ending to an email ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does »an der Hacke« mean?

The expression an der Hacke appears in the name of this article from Der Spiegel: “Schulz und die SPD. Richtig was an der Hacke”. It appears again in the following paragraph: "Jetzt haben wir erst ...
10
votes
3answers
923 views

How to translate “Tanzverbot” to English?

How would you translate the German word Tanzverbot? More interestingly, why can’t I find any (“official”) translation online, nor a Wikipedia article about the issue, even though (probably) Germany is ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

Origin and meaning of “Toten Hosen”?

There is a German music band called "Die Toten Hosen". Is it a metaphor or just a creation by this band with no deeper meaning?
10
votes
3answers
424 views

Translation of “gut x kilometer”

What's the English translation of "gut dreißig Kilometer"? As in: Es befindet sich gut dreißig Kilometer außerhalb von London? I'm not sure whether it's 'a good thirty kilometres' or 'some thirty ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you say: “Freundschaft, Genossen!” in English? [closed]

While thinking about this question: Are "friends" and "Freunde" false-friends? I realized that there is one use of "Freund" that does not indicate a lot of closeness: How do you ...
9
votes
3answers
718 views

What does “Ich wusste, dass aus dir mal was wird” mean?

I was watching a German Netflix show and I cannot understand this phrase. I searched the internet and this is not an idiom. Can someone explain why the phrase, specifically the "dass aus dir mal was ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the English translation of “Bemerfungen”?

I've tried google and bing translate as well as asking my uncle (a native German speaker, born in Germany). None have a translation, my uncle's response was the word Bemerfungen has me stumped. It ...
9
votes
3answers
815 views

Doubt concerning the usage of the phrase ‘Was hat sie?’

I’m learning German using an app called Duolingo, wherein it asked me to translate the above question to English. I guessed What does she have? This answer was not accepted. A Google translate ...
9
votes
5answers
374 views

“Senkenden Hauptes schlief sie langsam ein” — is this grammatically correct?

Especially I would like to know when this is a correct complete German sentence: What type of grammatical structure do the first two words belong to? Is it common to speak that way? I refer to the ...
9
votes
1answer
566 views

Can someone translate a German rhyme into English for me?

I found a beautiful German antique apothecary glass jar that has a rhyme on it, written in what appears to be an old form of German. Can anyone translate it for me: Do ho ich müß'n sechs Pfoff'n ...
9
votes
2answers
359 views

What is a good translation of “Rüstzeit”?

I'm looking for a concise translation for "Rüstzeit". This is the time taken to reconfigure a machine for a new batch of work. (Installing new tools, new NC program, etc.) "Setting up time" is one ...
9
votes
3answers
930 views

What does “an die bemooste See” mean?

Gestreckt auf wildes Kraut, an die bemooste See." - Andreas Gryphius, Einsamkeit Does he mean a lake (dialect?) or is the lake mossy?
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Englischer “Erklärbär”? [closed]

Der idiomatische Begriff Erklärbär hat seinen Ursprung laut Wikipedia in der Wochenshow, also keine allzu alten Wurzeln. Wie könnte man diesen Ausdruck am besten auf Englisch ausdrücken? Bemerkung: ...

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