34 votes
Accepted

Natural way to deny help from a shopkeeper

The problem with your attempt is that sich etw. anschauen (in contrast to to look) needs to have an object (and also requires sich, being reflexive). So the minimal correct alternative would be: ...
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  • 21.5k
24 votes
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Asking about the weather using 'was'

Wie ist das Wetter heute? How is the weather today? Was für ein Wetter haben wir heute? literally: "What kind of weather do we have today?"
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  • 46.4k
21 votes

How can I render the “that” in “Don’t be like that”?

I do wonder why your friend couldn’t tell you that you already had the perfect translation for ‘Don’t be like that’ — it is: Sei nicht so. So is the perfect, idiomatic and complete translation of ...
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  • 38.1k
21 votes
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Räte-Ideen: looking for a translation

Gegen Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs wurde in der sogenannten Novemberrevolution von 1918 Kaiser Wilhelm II. gestürzt. Deutschland war jetzt keine Monarchie mehr - aber was stattdessen? In dieser Zeit gab ...
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21 votes
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Meaning of expression "Bist du los?"

In general, "Bist du los?" means "Have you departed?", as it is a shortened way of saying "Bist du losgegangen?" This shortening appears in many related forms: Bist du ...
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  • 8,097
20 votes

Does German have the "must we not" formation?

The sentence is understood the same way in German. And you’re right that you cannot move the nicht in the second position. Same is true if you replace must/müssen with should/sollten. Shouldn’t we ...
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  • 38.4k
19 votes
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What's the difference between "noch" and "immer noch?"

Sie isst immer noch. Both immer and noch are used as modal particles in this sentence. I introduce the modal particle gerade to show the difference. Sie isst. → She eats. Sie isst gerade. → She is ...
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  • 46.4k
19 votes
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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
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  • 69.8k
18 votes

German equivalent of “It works”

The most commonly used expression would be Es funktioniert! Sometimes it is phrased colloquially as Es geht! or Es hat geklappt! or Es läuft! The latter is mostly used when you managed ...
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  • 281
18 votes

What does “italienisch konstruiert” mean?

Das Zitat stammt aus dem E-Mail-Roman »Gut gegen Nordwind« vom österreichischen Autor Daniel Glattauer aus dem Jahr 2006. Der Roman wurde mittlerweile schon in mehr als 40 verschiedenen Theatern als ...
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18 votes
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Deutsche Redewendung für „Sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya“

Spontan würde ich einen auf Friede-Freude-Eierkuchen machen dazu sagen. Die Sequenz einen auf ... machen bedeutet umgangssprachlich so tun, als ob, etwas vorspielen, Friede, Freude, ...
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  • 23.7k
18 votes
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Does German have the "must we not" formation?

In your German version, there are subtle differences in meaning than in your English version. Must we not speak German? I understand the meaning as: is it not enforced or encouraged that we speak ...
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17 votes

How to render "have ideas above his station" into German

Das ist absolut nicht seine Kragenweite. Der spielt nicht in ihrer Liga Die ist ein paar Nummern zu gross für ihn are commonly use to express "above one's station" (which I haven't really ...
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  • 57.3k
16 votes
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How do you say "he will be on TV"?

Colloquial: Ich bin im Fernsehen. (I am on TV.) Ich werde im Fernsehen sein. (I will be on TV.) Er/Sie/Es ist im Fernsehen. (He/She/It is on TV.) Er/Sie/Es wird im Fernsehen sein. (He/She/...
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16 votes

Does German have the "must we not" formation?

If you ask Müssen wir nicht Deutsch sprechen? then it will be understood that you thought that the German is to be spoken, but for some reason you are not sure or realise that you were wrong, and ...
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  • 19.1k
16 votes
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What does »an der Hacke« mean?

In my communicative environment, the expression Du hast wohl einen an der Hacke is used to express doubt about somebody's mental health, or simply: "You seem to be a fool". However, as Mr. Schulz ...
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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 ...
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15 votes

Is there a word for “hey” or “oi”?

The usual word for that is he (often with a lengthened e and then spelt hee, heee, heeeeee or similar): He, kannst du mir sagen, wie spät es ist? Heee, was machen Sie denn da? There are also ...
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  • 19.5k
14 votes

How does a German say "Nice to meet you"?

I disagree with the previous answers, in part: I argue that in German there is no direct translation of "nice to meet you", because German speakers do not express it like that. Clearly, German-dubbed ...
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  • 506
14 votes

How would I say, “a story about the time that...” in German?

The most idiomatic way I can think of is Hab' ich dir mal erzählt, wie ich eine Gitarre umsonst bekam? which literally translates to Did I ever tell you, how I got a guitar for free? If you want ...
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  • 16.4k
13 votes

Expression of extreme surprise (possibly vulgar, but without being insulting)

According to dict.cc Was zum Teufel ... Was verdammt ... Was zur Hölle ... I bet there are some even "umgangssprachlicher".
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  • 3,582
13 votes
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What is “Hacke, Spitze, eins, zwei, drei”?

Hacke, Spitze, Hacke, Spitze, eins, zwei, drei is an old childrens play-verse/song that exists in plenty of varieties, sometimes also "Hacke, Spitze, hoch das Bein!" or "Ein Hut, ein Stock ein ...
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  • 23.7k
13 votes
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Is "es macht mir Freude" correct and used?

Two things: "X macht mir Freude" corresponds more closely to "I like doing X". "X makes me happy" would be "X macht mich froh/glücklich". And to express "I like...", "Spaß machen" is somewhat more ...
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13 votes
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Expression for "little people"

Personally, I’ve never encountered little people being used that way in English, but I’m not a native speaker and since there are some similar phrases in German I’ve no doubt it can refer to unknown ...
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  • 9,023
13 votes
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Wie sagt man "to scroll" auf Deutsch?

You use the anglicism scrollen which is declined as the verb rollen. In your case of wasting time you could use the prefix rum- (short form of herum-) which is generally used for verbs which express ...
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13 votes
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German equivalent of the French expression "n'avoir rien à envier à personne"

I think you mean jemandem in nichts nachstehen which is used to express equality, both positively and ironically.
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  • 15k
13 votes
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Can "Es tut mir leid" be used to express empathy rather than remorse?

Short answer: Yes, just like the English I'm sorry you can use es tut mir leid both for apologizing for something that is your fault and for expressing empathy. Long answer: Everyone of your examples ...
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12 votes
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What is the literal meaning of "Hau ab!"?

"Hau ab!" is the imperative of abhauen, which has the colloquial meaning (among others) of to escape quickly. The Duden derives it from hauen, which means to beat and is said to refer to beating a ...
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  • 18.8k
12 votes
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»Das geht leider nicht« vs. »Es geht leider nicht«

The literal translation of the two is: Das geht leider nicht - Unfortunately, this is not possible / Unfortunately, this won't work Es geht leider nicht - Unfortunately, it is not possible / ...
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  • 752
12 votes
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Wie sagt man “according to our policy”?

Ich würde das Wort Richtlinien verwenden. Wird gerne mit der Präposition gemäß (+ Dativ) verwendet. Also zum Beispiel: Gemäß unseren Richtlinien
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