Questions tagged [phrase-request]

Suche geläufige Wendung - Questions on finding a phrase that fits a meaning.

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44
votes
2answers
9k views

What is a good translation for “I wish!” ?

Often times, a situation comes up and I want to use the expression "I wish!" For instance, somebody asks me: "Is that brand new car yours?" or "Was that you who I saw winning $1000?" However, I don't ...
42
votes
9answers
25k views

How to say “BTW” in German?

How can I write a by the way shortly in German? For example: BTW, that is my mobile number → _____, das ist meine Handynummer.
23
votes
10answers
7k views

Is there a German equivalent for “self defeating”?

How would you express "self defeating" in German? Specifically, to express that someone is taking a perspective or actions that are actually leading him or her away from their goal instead of ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

How do you say “to play Devil's advocate” in German?

In English, I use the phrase "to play Devil's advocate" quite often, it allows me to ask difficult questions without challenging the other person's position or status too directly. The nicest ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

“Don't all shout at once” in German

Suppose you are giving a talk, or some sort of presentation, and every now and then you ask a question, in order to give the audience an opportunity to take part in the discussion. Now, it often ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Does German have the “must we not” formation?

If I say, in English, “Must we not speak German?”, I will be understood as asking whether it is true that we must speak German. It’s a strange phrase, as it means the opposite of the literal ...
19
votes
7answers
39k views

How should we apologize in German?

The most common phrase in german phrase book for apology would be es tut mir leid or tut mir leid to mean "it does me suffering". From the questions on the difference between "entschuldigen" or "...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

German idiomatic equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

A Chinese expression goes: 能骗就骗 (Néng piàn jiù piàn.) (If you can trick/cheat, then trick/cheat.) The idea is that there is no reason to be honest just for the sake of being honest. That is, ...
16
votes
1answer
921 views

How does one refer to a changed name in German?

In America, there was a very famous investment writer named Benjamin Graham, who was Warren Buffett's teacher. But his birth name was actually Benjamin Grossbaum, a German name he changed during World ...
15
votes
4answers
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
11k views

Expressions to congratulate on October the 3rd (Day of German Unity)

Tomorrow is the third of October, the Day of German Unity or the national day of Germany. What expressions do Germans use to congratulate each other on this day?
15
votes
4answers
21k views

“Dibs” im Deutschen?

Im Englischen gibt es den Ausdruck "to have dibs on sth.", auch einfach als Ausruf "Dibs!" gebraucht, der bedeutet, dass man ein Vorrecht auf eine bestimmte Sache beansprucht. "Dibs" ist ein Wort der ...
14
votes
7answers
951 views

Wort oder Redewendung für plötzliches, spontanes Vergessen

Auf ELU habe ich heute eine Frage gelesen, in der nach einem englischsprachigen Wort gefragt wird, das für die folgende Situation zutrifft: You are talking to an acquaintance when another ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a German analog for the English expression, “It's not rocket science”?

I never heard Raketenwissenschaft in this context in Germany. Is this a case of anglicism, or are there better suited German synonyms for this expression?
14
votes
2answers
16k views

How to say “I see” in German

"I see" is a phrase that's used very often in a conversation in English. A: How much does the book cost? B: 50 dollars. A: I see. Is there an equivalent in German? I'm quite sure it's ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

International interpretation of “Public viewing” [closed]

The phrase "Public Viewing" was created and established during the world championships in 2006 in Germany. It describes the viewing of an event (like a football match) in a public crowd. As ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to ask kindly in German not to bring any gifts?

How do you ask friends and family not to bring any gifts on an invitation card? It should be short and explicit, but friendly and with style. Phrases like Wir bitten von Geschenken abzusehen. ...
13
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there a good translation for “Dark horse”?

Ich habe gerade versucht, den englischen Ausdruck "Dark horse" zu übersetzen, und es hat gar nicht funktioniert :). Obwohl das immer witzig ist, kann jemand mir helfen mit einer Übersetzung?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How to tell someone politely that they have a wrong number?

How can I tell someone politely that they have a wrong telephone number? I found this wording on HowDoYouSay: Sie sind falsch verbunden. Does it work? Are there any other ways of saying it?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Looking for a German quote about politics and opinions

I am searching for a German quote I read some time time ago. Here is what I remember: It is about politics The general meaning was something like this: Don't adopt the opinion/beliefs of the public....
13
votes
4answers
846 views

Expression for someone with very broad and detailed knowledge

Are there any well-known German expressions for someone who is very board and detailed in knowledge? for example: He is a human database
13
votes
2answers
1k views

German idiom for “in so.'s infinite wisdom”

I want to translate (something like) the following: Chris, in his infinite wisdom, has... In English, in so.’s infinite wisdom is a sarcastic way of saying that you think what someone did was ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Expressing “getting into something” in German

I'm having trouble expressing "getting into something" in German. I mean this in the following sense: At first I didn't like the book, but then I began to get into it (started to enjoy it). I could ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say you go first in German

I have seen a lot of people who don't buy a lot of things from the supermarket and usually I am in front of them queue. I want to know how to say you can go to the cashier before me in German.
12
votes
4answers
50k views

How to say “That sounds good to me” in German?

I was wondering about the options for saying That sounds good to me or just Sounds good in German. I initially thought something along the lines of "Das klingt mir gut" oder "Das hört mir ...
12
votes
7answers
25k views

Deutscher Ausdruck für „guilty pleasure“?

Im Englischen gibt es den Ausdruck „guilty pleasure“ (Wikipedia, Wiktionary), mit dem man beispielsweise einen Film bezeichnen kann, den man sehr gerne sieht, obwohl man weiß, dass der Film schlecht ...
12
votes
2answers
714 views

Gibt es eine deutsche Phrase, die dasselbe bedeutet wie “It is an ill wind that blows no good”?

Gibt es eine deutsche Phrase, die dasselbe bedeutet wie "It is an ill wind that blows no good"? Is there a German phrase that has the same meaning as "It is an ill wind that blows no good"? This ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

German equivalent of the phrase “poetic licence”

In English there is a phrase, "poetic licence". This means that the author's statement is not strictly true, but has been exaggerated or embroidered a little for the sake of dramatic effect. A similar ...
11
votes
6answers
24k views

Erwiderung auf eine Entschuldigung?

This question also has an answer here (in English): What should I reply for "Sorry" / "Entschuldigung"? Gibt es, ähnlich wie es für „danke“ das Wort „bitte“ gibt (und umgekehrt),...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

German equivalent to “I rest my case”

Is there a German equivalent to "I rest my case, your honor". It is something typically said by the defense or prosecution in court when they are ready with questioning a witness.
11
votes
2answers
380 views

A phrase list for the curious case of the “Genitivus Absolutus”?

Hendrik's answer on my question brought me back to the feared and famous Ablativus Absolutus (at least on my school mates). Wikipedia states that there are relics of it named as Genitivus Absolutus. ...
10
votes
8answers
22k views

Is there any other way to say “I don't care” in German

Is there any other phrase to express "Das ist mir egal" (I don't care) in German?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Your point being?

How would you translate "your point being?". Best thing I can come up with is "Und?". But that only works if the context is there. Is there some more "correct" translation?
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Can you remind me again?

In English one often says things like What was that movie you were telling me about again? or Could you tell me your name again? The word "again" is a polite courtesy to tell the listener that ...
10
votes
3answers
287 views

Terms for “Nicht-Verstehen signalisieren”

As I read here: The first two sentences are classified as "Nicht-Verstehen signalisieren". Are there other widely known terms or interjections to signal you didn't understand something?
10
votes
3answers
298 views

“Film” verhält sich zu “Verfilmung” wie “Computerspiel” zu..?

Wenn ein Film produziert wird, der auf einer Literaturvorlage, Comic, Computerspiel etc. basiert, dann nennt man das "Verfilmung". Wie nennt man analog das Produzieren eines Computerspiels, das z.B. ...
10
votes
3answers
534 views

What is an appropriate translation for “in flight”?

Some colleagues from the US overly use the term in flight. Here's an example from an email: Notify them that your changes are in flight. They will need to update their code once your change is ...
9
votes
8answers
313 views

Bedienungsanleitung – Alternative zur Überschrift »Für Eilige«

Ich schreibe an einer Art Anleitung, der ein Abschnitt für Nutzer vorangestellt ist, die nicht die Zeit oder Muße haben, sich durch die Anleitung zu arbeiten. In diesem wird eine Methode beschrieben, ...
9
votes
5answers
8k views

German alternatives to “Shit happens”?

As this metaphor caused some meta-discussion, I would like to know what it exactly means to the majority and what the german counterpart is: My understanding of this metaphor: It's basically ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

German phrase for something going wrong during a demo?

Several years ago I worked in Germany and discussed a phrase in German which doesn't really translate to English well. Basically, the phrase was something like, "things will always go wrong during a ...
9
votes
3answers
289 views

How can 'label propagation' be translated?

'Label propagation' is a technique to classify nodes. So you have a graph and some nodes (in this case the nodes are named with "1", "2", "3", "4", "5" and "6") have labels (e.g. if your graph is a ...
9
votes
2answers
185 views

German equivalent of the Japanese expression 黄色い声援, “let out a yellow cheer”

In Japanese, we use the expression 黄色い声援, "(let out) a yellow cheer" to describe a collective ecstatic exclamation that extremely enthusiastic female fans utter at the sight of a famous actor or the ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

What is a good German idiom for “straight and narrow?”

I’m referring to the tendency of some people to follow a straight, unbranched path, with no deviations. For instance, waiting for a stoplight to change to green even at midnight even though there are ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

German equivalent of the phrase “That reminds me”?

Is there a German equivalent of the phrase "That reminds me"? An example usage in English (taken from Macmillan Dictionary): That reminds me. I must take the chicken out of the freezer. Does ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

“Is this the best you got?” in German

How would you say: Is this the best you got? in German? It’s supposed to have a condescending tone.
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Derogatory way to refer to a smoker

In English, one might say He smokes like a chimney. Given the incredibly creative German insults that I've come across (see this German.SE question), I'd like to know what (derogatory) terms/...
8
votes
4answers
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 (...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What do you call being “on hold” on the telephone in German?

In the situation that someone (in the room) might ask you, Sind Sie am Telefon? and I am indeed on a call but being on hold, and thus I can still speak while waiting to be put through, I'd like to ...
8
votes
2answers
634 views

How does one say “in a manner of speaking” in German?

Google translate gives "in eine Weise zu sprechen" but that strikes me as a literal translation that doesn't have the right "ring" to it. Is that, in fact, the best translation or is there a better ...
8
votes
2answers
754 views

Looking for a trauerspruch

I am looking for a phrase/saying/quote in German that has a special meaning to a relative who is terminally ill. I don't have much to go on, here is what I know: My relative thinks he (most probably) ...