Skip to main content
52 votes
Accepted

What's »Aldää« in »Ey jo, was geht, Aldää?«

Tofros answer is not wrong, but imho there is a different angle to it. First of all "Aldää" is phonetic spelling for "Alter". This is German slang. It used to be teenage slang but by now it's pretty ...
André Stannek's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

What is the appropriate German phrase for letting you pass crowded areas?

Most people just say Entschuldigung which just means "excuse me" or "sorry". Sometimes you hear just the colloquial shortened version Tschuldign which sometimes gets condensed to even more ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
40 votes

What is the equivalent of "if you say so" in German?

Short answer: Wenn du meinst. or Wie du meinst.
mtwde's user avatar
  • 14.2k
35 votes

What is the German equivalent of a rhethorical “What can I do?”?

I think there is no ideal translation in German, but some that come close: Da kann man nichts machen. or Da bin ich machtlos. would be fitting, So ist das Leben. (That's life) would work ...
miep's user avatar
  • 2,343
34 votes
Accepted

Is German on social media very distinct from standard German?

I grew up near Graz, in the south-east of Austria. The first language that I learned when I was a little child was the local dialect. This dialect has no genitive case, dative and accusative case are ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
33 votes

What is the most ‘understandable’ way to order sparkling water in German?

In Germany, Mineralwasser typically refers to carbonated sparkling water. Many people, including me, who were raised in Eastern Germany, would call all carbonated sparkling waters Selters, even though ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Is the word “Schwein” necessarily an insult?

It depends on the context. If you call your neighbor, an officer, or someone else in the street a Schwein, it's an insult. If a parent tells their child he or she is a Schwein, it usually means they ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 9,164
31 votes
Accepted

What is the German equivalent of a rhethorical “What can I do?”?

You could say something like (Aber) was kann/soll man/ich machen/tun? See e.g. https://context.reverso.net/%C3%BCbersetzung/deutsch-englisch/Was+soll+man+machen
Lykanion's user avatar
  • 1,314
30 votes
Accepted

How do native German speakers usually express skepticism (using even) about a premise?

It's just the same as in English language. Most of the time a rethorical question is asked like in your examples. Even would be translated simply as auch [wenn] or (with a bit stronger emphasis) ...
πάντα ῥεῖ's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

How does "zuerst glühen wir vor" translate to "first, we'll have predrinks"?

"Vorglühen" literally means "pre-glow" or "pre-ignite". The term describes the pre-heating phase when cold-starting old diesel engines. In your context it's a slang term ...
David Böhme's user avatar
  • 1,021
27 votes
Accepted

What would be the way to say "just saying" in German? (Not the literal translation)

I would translate it as (Nur) Ums mal zu erwähnen. / Ums mal erwähnt zu haben. or Wills nur mal gesagt haben. or Falls ihrs noch nicht wusstet. / Nur damit ihrs wisst. But to be honest I ...
mtwde's user avatar
  • 14.2k
26 votes
Accepted

When speaking, how do you change your mind mid-sentence?

You can choose one of the following. I'd say that "wobei" is the more common one and actually expresses the change of mind, but the other formulation ("oh wait!") is also in use. ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
26 votes

What is the German equivalent of a rhethorical “What can I do?”?

What comes closest IMO is Was bleibt mir anderes übrig? literally "what else is left for me", as in "what alternatives do I have?".
daniu's user avatar
  • 361
24 votes

What is the equivalent of "if you say so" in German?

Not much difference from the english phrasing. Wenn Du das (so) sagst (meinst)? Probably a slight difference with the tone telling so.
πάντα ῥεῖ's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Dialect of a story from the "Koch-Buch für die Deutschen in Amerika" (1897)

This sounds clearly Swabian - a few indicators are Metzelsupp (used in Southern German dialects), S' Kürbsamärtes Hansjörg (common way of naming, i.e. genitive of family name followed by first name ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24.1k
21 votes

What would be the way to say "just saying" in German? (Not the literal translation)

Kann man fast wörtlich übersetzen: Ich sag's nur. Wie πάντα ῥεῖ anmerkt in vielen Variationen denkbar: Ich sag's ja nur. Ich sag's nur mal. Ich erwähn's nur. Wollt ich (ja) nur mal gesagt (...
user unknown's user avatar
  • 23.5k
19 votes
Accepted

Is there an expression that translates to "building character" in German?

In the context of exposure to cold and rain I probably would have said: Das härtet ab! With this meaning of abhärten in mind: to toughen s.o, to build up s.o.'s resistance, to make s.b. stronger
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.5k
19 votes
Accepted

How do you say "half the time …, the other half …" in German?

I suggest, as an idiomatic translation: Johanna: Na, wie geht's bei der Arbeit? Jakob: Furchtbar. Den halben Tag ärgere ich mich mit Kunden rum, die andere Hälfte geht mit Meetings drauf. ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

German equivalent to using the word "well" as a bridge between two ideas

There are a few options. "Nun" is among the more formal options. It can be used in written language: Well, neural networks are ... - Nun, neuronale Netze sind ... "Also" is less ...
David Böhme's user avatar
  • 1,021
17 votes
Accepted

Ein Restaurant verlassen, ohne die Rechnung zu begleichen

Wenn man ohne zu bezahlen aus dem Restaurant geht, so spricht man von die Zeche prellen Die Redewendung "mit Franzosen" dagegen wäre sich (auf) französisch verabschieden / empfehlen Dies ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24.1k
17 votes

When speaking, how do you change your mind mid-sentence?

We also use »das heißt«, often abbreviated by »d. h.«. Ich mag kein Eis, weil – das heißt, nein, ich mag Schokoladeneis, aber die anderen Sorten nicht. Another valid part of the correction culture ...
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
17 votes

How do you say "half the time …, the other half …" in German?

You could use "Die Hälfte der Zeit ... die andere Hälfte der Zeit ..."
gsharp's user avatar
  • 313
17 votes
Accepted

Is there a German colloquialism to define a person working mainly with papers and documents?

Jonathan Scholbach has given two good examples already Let me add a third: Bürohengst, which compared to Sesselfurzer carries more connotations of pedantry rather than laziness. It can refer to ...
xyldke's user avatar
  • 680
16 votes

Is there an expression that translates to "building character" in German?

You can say: Im Regen zu sein stärkt den Charakter. Being in the rain strengthens the character. (also »festigt« instead of »stärkt«) But German native speakers won't say something like this ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

What does 'vong' mean?

Well, it obviously is some reference to "Vong speech", a rather remarkable variety of German that has its roots in a popular Facebook group and was further popularized by companies desparate to reach ...
johnl's user avatar
  • 7,718
15 votes

What would be the way to say "just saying" in German? (Not the literal translation)

just saying is a filling phrase which does not have a close correspondent in German In most cases, just saying is a filling phrase and could well be omitted without hurting the meaning. However, just ...
Jonathan Herrera's user avatar
  • 16.8k
15 votes

What is the most ‘understandable’ way to order sparkling water in German?

Collection of regional usage For sparkling water there are various terms in German, and the common use in everyday life varies considerably in the various regions of the German speaking part of the ...
14 votes
Accepted

Usage of "Hab" during conversations

Imperative The form »hab« in fact is an official conjugation of the verb »haben« in standard German. It is one of the two possible versions of the imperative singular (see »haben« in Wiktionary, ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
14 votes

How do you say "half the time …, the other half …" in German?

I'm not convinced that the English sentence implies the time slices are equal or even similar-sized, it just seems to mean, that no time is left after considering both. Therefore in German I would ...
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible