Questions tagged [idiomaticity]

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What is the best way to say "a large number of [noun]" in German?

In my current project I want to translate the phrase "a large number of tents are set up." This is part of the text of a video game, specifically the narration. But looking at dict.cc, I see ...
odduse_of_language's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Is it considered bad stylistically to end a German sentence with a clause without a verb?

In my current translation project I have several sentences which end with a clause without a verb. I would like to do this in the corresponding German as a way to be concise and avoid putting too many ...
odduse_of_language's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
114 views

How can I say "lying in a heap" in German?

In my current translation project I have the phrase "there appears to be something lying in a heap," referring to a rope ladder which is sitting on the ground at a certain point in an ...
odduse_of_language's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

Idiomatic informal writing to formal acquaintance? [closed]

With my limited knowledge of Deutsch, I'm attempting to write a "get well soon" greeting card to a native German speaker from Frankfurt. Below is what I wrote as a first draft, but I have ...
Henry DeYoung's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Here comes the sun auf Deutsch?

There's a song sung by a Slovenian band with German lyrics where I don't believe they've got the German quite right. They're wanting to say "Here comes the sun" just like the old Beatles ...
147pm's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
196 views

Vati und Mutti? Still used?

I saw this discussion of Vati and Mutti. But I didn't see a resolution of whether they are still in use. One comment said they're used, others disagreed. One even said it's ironic negative to say ...
147pm's user avatar
  • 533
4 votes
0 answers
67 views

How to express the idea of an object "stripped" of everything but the object itself, e.g. a stripped van or bed [closed]

I'm a native german speaker, but I'm struggling to find a usable translation for "stripped van". Is there german idiom similiar to the english stripped, in the sense of strip past tense: ...
ChrisC's user avatar
  • 141
0 votes
1 answer
189 views

Idiomatic way to express sentiment of "I thought you'd never ask!"

In English, sometimes people exclaim, "I thought you'd never ask!" if they had hoped the other person would express interest in something particular, but said expression was late in coming. ...
laur34's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
206 views

Answering Wo wohnst du?

If the answer I want to give is I live near X metro station. I would answer by saying Ich wohne neben dem U-Bahn Station X. I have only learned a few accusative, dative and two-way prepositions so ...
Jorge Alberto Pineda's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Difference between two possibilities for a warning label

The tripmeter on my car must not be reset when the vehicle is moving; otherwise it may break. I am wondering what an appropriate warning label for this quirk of German engineering would read, in ...
Jared S's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
275 views

German idioms like "Draining the swamp"

Are there any (incriminating) idioms in German similar to "Draining the swamp", which is American for "weed out all the bad guys"? Besides similar phrases, is this idiom itself ...
user610620's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

no days off : translation?

In short: What would be the idiomatic German equivalent of "no days off!" if it means "you have to work/exercise every day"? Is there anything better than "Kein Tag ohne ...
suizokukan's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
692 views

Best way to say 'to move up' as in 'reschedule for an earlier point in time'

Let's say I would like to reschedule an appointment, but to make it sooner, rather than later. I would like to know the most natural way a German speaker would say this. I'm familiar with "...
laur34's user avatar
  • 309
2 votes
4 answers
885 views

non-binary/gender independence in formal greetings

One formal greeting is: "sehr geehrte Damen und Herren", however this greeting implicitly excludes those who don't identify as either male or female. My question is if there is a standard ...
N A McMahon's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
131 views

Übersetzung eines russischen Idioms, Wortlaut "Wo kam er auf meinen Kopf her?"

Ich tu mich schwer eine gute Übersetzung für ein Idiom zu finden. Im Wortlaut heißt es: Woher kam er auf meinen Kopf? Der Sinn dahinter ist in etwa "Wo kam er bloß her, jetzt muss ich mich mit ...
Photon's user avatar
  • 464
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

German proper name or funny paraphrase for a slightly stupid dragon (Zmey Gorynych)

I’m trying to translate a sci-fi novel from Russian to German as a new hobby. Sometimes there are expressions which allude to cultural references which do not exist in German. In general, the novel’s ...
Photon's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
910 views

Is there a German phrase literally resembling "you can eat it" that means "food is good"?

Someone had told me that when asked "how's your food?" in Germany people sometimes responded with something along the lines of the German equivalent to "you can eat it", to mean ...
GZ-'s user avatar
  • 111
-2 votes
1 answer
373 views

Is "sich um … handeln" or "umgehen" correct?

I checked the dictionary and I came across texts in the books and I have also seen examples, wherein people used sich handlen um for handling problems, dealing with problems, or to cope up with it. ...
Noisha Studieren's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
203 views

The correct usage of "to charge/debit somebody's credit card"

I have recently had confusion on how to correctly express the term "to charge/debit somebody's account/credit card" in German. I have always known "belasten" as the correct term ...
Mark's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
258 views

Why is "while speaking" translated "beim Sprechen"?

Can someone explain this sentence to me and why it works, and write the explanation in English? Sophie Newman drückte beim Sprechen den Finger auf ihren Bluetooth-Ohrstöpsel. Obviously, to me, I ...
user47996's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

"Schmiedeeffekt" auf Deutsch

Ich übersetze für einen Blog einen Text aus dem Ukrainischen ins Deutsche und habe aber eine Herausforderung mit der Übersetzung des Ausdrucks "Schmiedeeffekt". Der vollständige, übersetzte ...
ofey's user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
2 answers
226 views

Choosing “die Würstchen warm” “over “die warmen Würstchen”

I have seen that in both German and English, adjectives can appear before and after the noun. Example: (1) Er isst die warmen Würstchen. – attributive use of adjective (my version) (2) Er isst die ...
Satish Vasan's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
59 views

Verbesserung in Prozent als Bereich für mehrere Fälle angeben

Ich möchte ausdrücken, dass eine Methode in der Lage ist in fünf betrachteten Fällen ein besseres Ergebnis zu liefern, welches in einem Bereich zwischen 1 % und 14 % liegt (also z.B. 1 %, 4 %, 6 %, 10 ...
Emma's user avatar
  • 269
2 votes
1 answer
188 views

How to use "gebären"?

gebären = to give birth Sie gebar ein Baby. (She gave birth to a baby.) When we talk about non-living things, can we still use the verb gebären in a figurative way? Die Stadt gebar eine neue Kultur....
Noisha Studieren's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
100 views

Kasus beim 'wie'

Ich habe in Thomas Bernhards Roman Korrektur das Folgende gesehen. An ihr hing Roithamer mit der ganzen Liebe, die einem Menschen wie er möglich ist ... Meine Frage ist nun, ob das 'er' das einzige ...
Fraeulein Hoeller's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
231 views

Seeing a man about a dog: idiomatic approaches to avoiding personal explanations

There is an expression in (British) English along the lines of I have to go and see a man about a dog. It is the thing you might say, for example, when leaving a gathering of friends at the pub and ...
CrimsonDark's user avatar
  • 1,407
0 votes
1 answer
135 views

Why does ‘Geh mal schnell’ have no ‘e’ in this example?

The Goethe Institut A1 wordlist has, as the example of usage for die Bäckerei, the following sentence: Ich geh mal schnell zur Bäckerei. Why geh, or is the whole sentence merely a rendition of ...
CrimsonDark's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
161 views

Could I use "Ich mag mit meinen Mitschülern sein" instead of "Ich bin gerne mit meinen Klassenkameraden zusammen"?

Could I use "Ich mag mit meinen Mitschülern sein" instead of "Ich unternehme gerne was mit meinen Mitschülern zusammen"? They both sound the same and seem grammatically correct. ...
Aaron74567's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
973 views

How to say "I can't believe what I am looking at/seeing?"

There are many areas of the German language I struggle with due to the uncertainty of expressing certain nuances of the actual sentiment of the sentence I am trying to express. One of the biggest is ...
Robert Oschler's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

question with 'wie lange/wie viel...'

I have a question on how to correctly say 'how long is it until.../ how many days till.../ how many days are left till...' in German and which one is more common. For example should I say how many ...
lulu mirzai's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
1k views

"Im Konflikt sein" vs "im Konflikt stehen"

Wann sagt man "im Konflikt sein" und wann "im Konflikt stehen"? Beispiele aus dem Netz: Kann man mit einer ganzen Gruppe im Konflikt sein? Kann man im Konflikt mit jemanden sein, ...
user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
124 views

Ein Märchen zum Kind vs Ein Märchen dem Kind (erzählen)

Ich habe im Internet gelesen, dass man manchmal den Ausdruck ein Märchen zum Kind erzählen verwendet anstatt ein Märchen dem Kind erzählen. Gibt es einen Unterschied in Bezug auf die Beudetung ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Jumps up and down

As an English-speaker I would be tempted to translate "Jack jumps up and down" into Jack springt auf und ab, but the English use of "up and down" seems idiomatic and my literal translation might be ...
147pm's user avatar
  • 533
1 vote
2 answers
293 views

Idiomatic for “I suppose”, “I imagine”, “I guess”

I'm having trouble finding a good idiomatic German phrase for "I suppose that...", "I imagine that...", "I guess that..." as the typical start of a statement that is ...
pablodf76's user avatar
  • 227
15 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is the German equivalent of the proverb 水清ければ魚棲まず (if the water is clear, fish won't live there)?

The proverb's meaning is that just as fish prefer muddy waters and avoid clear streams, people generally do not associate with those who are too ideal in terms of ethics, manners, and habits. In other ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 1,065
2 votes
3 answers
5k views

Unterschied zwischen "künftig" und "in der Zukunft"

Sicher können diese beide Ausdrücke als Synonyme verwendet werden. Ich überlege aber, ob es eine bestimmte unterschiedliche Nuance zwischen beiden gibt. (1) Man sagt, dass in der Zukunft das ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
1 vote
1 answer
216 views

Translation of phrase from Ohio German

I know this is a stretch, but my father grew up Amish in mid-northeastern Ohio, and he tried to repeat a phrase to me that he said he couldn't quite translate to English, as we were comparing words ...
Travis Troyer's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the German equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

Literally meaning dried fish woman, the popular slang 干物女 is used to call a woman in her twenties or older who, as nicely summarized in Wikipedia, has many of the following traits: メールの返事が極端に遅い、短い (...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 1,065
1 vote
4 answers
865 views

What does "mir wurde ganz heiß" mean here?

I ran into the text below and I wonder the following: (1) Is the expression mir wurde heiß und kalt an idiom? I mean, is it a somewhat common way to express when something gives you the chills or ...
Zweifler's user avatar
  • 187
4 votes
5 answers
232 views

"If you kinda want something, you kinda get the results" auf Deutsch

"If you kinda want something, then you will kinda get the results you want." Ich habe einige Ideen, zum Beispiel: Wenn du es nur halbherzig willst, dann erzielst du auch nur halbherzige ...
user2874061's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
964 views

ein Problem angehen vs. an ein Problem herangehen

+Laut Wörterbuch könnte man sagen, dass ANGEHEN und HERANGEHEN als Synonyme verwendet werden können. Es scheint aber, dass ANGEHEN ein größeres semantisches Feld hat. In den folgenden Sätzen, zum ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
4 votes
4 answers
3k views

Nachfolgend vs folgend

Im ersten Augenblick scheint es, dass die folgenden Ausdrücke synonym sind, gibt es aber irgendwelche Unterschiede zwischen den beiden? (a) In der nachfolgenden Arbeit (...) (b) In der ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
5 votes
1 answer
209 views

Sich damit beschäftigen vs. sich widmen

Laut bilingualen Deutsch-Englisch-Wörterbüchern bedeuten sich damit beschäftigen und sich widmen + Dat. fast das Gleiche. Ich bin mir aber nicht sicher, ob die folgenden Sätze die gleiche Bedeutung ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Relativsatz innerhalb eines Präpositionalobjektes

Ich habe das folgende Präpositionalobjekt bei einem Artikel gefunden: über die damit verbundenen Erfolgschancen und Risiken nachdenken. Ich weiß, dass solche Konstrunktionen nicht selten zu finden ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

Aus diesem Grund vs. aus diesem Anlass

Es scheint mir, dass die folgende Sätze die gleiche Bedeutung haben. Jedoch glaube ich, dass es eine Nuance des Unterschiedes zwischen den zwei Sätzen geben könnte und ich kann sie leider nicht ...
Lalo's user avatar
  • 747
12 votes
2 answers
963 views

Werden Regeln gebogen oder gebeugt?

Kürzlich schrieb hier jemand: „[…] Stefan Zweig is bending the rules to his purposes […]“ Als ich daraufhin die Frage gestellt hatte, welche Regeln Zweig denn gebogen haben soll, hat man mich ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
218 views

How to express the following phrase "I don't like to do something"?

I have found several choices to express this phrase like "ungern etw machen", "nicht gern etw machen", "es nicht mögen, etw zu tun". Which choice of these sounds the most ...
user32804's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
436 views

"in a 4:1:3 ratio" in German

I'd say: Die drei Ingredienzien müssen im Verhältnis von 4:1:3 vermischt werden. ... to express the idea of: Mix them in the ratio of 4:1:3. --- {numbers following the word "ratio"} {or}: ...
Con-gras-tue-les-chiens's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Warum heißt es »mein Lebtag« und nicht »meinen Lebtag«?

Beschreibung und Beispiele Der Ausdruck Lebtag wird in der Redewendung »mein / dein / ihr… Lebtag [nicht]« verwendet, um auszudrücken, dass etwas das ganze Leben lang oder bisher noch nie der Fall ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 5,688
1 vote
2 answers
191 views

Does it make sense to use the term "beide zusammen" in poetry?

I just learned from an answer to this question that one should not use a construction like "beide zusammen" in normal conversation because it is awkward. But some years ago, I attempted a German ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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