65 votes

How to say “by the way” (BTW) in German?

Übrigens, das ist meine Handynummer.
user29142's user avatar
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58 votes
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How to say “by the way” (BTW) in German?

When you want to use an abbreviation, you can use BTW, as it is known in German, too. But note, that you should use it only in a very colloquial way, like in messengers, SMS or private e-mails. Never ...
IQV's user avatar
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58 votes
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Isn't it demanding to ask for something with "Ich möchte"?

"Ich möchte" doesn't really correspond to "I want", but more to something like "I would like...". "I want" would be more something like "ich will", ...
Henning Kockerbeck's user avatar
49 votes

How to say “by the way” (BTW) in German?

There is no abbreviaton that perfectly matches "btw", but there are a few single-word-options; in decreasing order with regard on how generally they can be used to translate "btw" in my opinion: "...
Frank Hopkins's user avatar
43 votes
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German equivalent of the phrase "poetic licence"

I think "poetic license" and "artistic license" are best translated as "dichterische Freiheit" and "künstlerische Freiheit". Those phrases literally mean "poetic liberty" and "artistic liberty" and ...
fragezeichen's user avatar
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40 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

A possibility to express "leading away from agoal instead of towards it" would be kontraproduktiv "Self defeating" literally translated is "selbstzerstörerisch", but this would not express the ...
IQV's user avatar
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35 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

We also have the idioms ein Eigentor schießen (colloquial) sich ins [eigene] Knie schießen (colloquial) der Schuss geht nach hinten los (colloquial) sich ins eigene Fleisch schneiden (...
Pollitzer's user avatar
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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
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34 votes
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German idiomatic equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

I cannot think of a really close equivalent, because your proverb shows an attitude that is not well received - at least few people would publicly admit they feel this way. The closest one that comes ...
Volker Landgraf's user avatar
31 votes
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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
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30 votes
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What's the saying for when you have the exact change to pay for something?

You could say: Ich habe den Betrag/das Geld passend dabei. or short: Ich hab's passend. Passend means the amount of cash you have fits exactly what you want to pay.
amadeusamadeus's user avatar
28 votes
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Looking for a German quote about politics and opinions

Es kann nicht die Aufgabe eines Politikers sein, die öffentliche Meinung abzuklopfen und dann das Populäre zu tun. Aufgabe des Politikers ist es, das Richtige zu tun und es populär zu machen. Is a ...
tofro's user avatar
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27 votes

How to say “by the way” (BTW) in German?

Zwei stilistisch einwandfreie Varianten sind "übrigens" und "apropos". Übrigens, hier meine Telefonnummer Apropos, hier meine Telefonnummer. "Apropos" ist aber selten und für den Alltag ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
27 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

A similar established phrase is sich selbst im Weg stehen which means: oneself being an obstacle on the way to the target. It does not imply that you made the situation worse yourself, however. I'...
guidot's user avatar
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27 votes

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

There is a common German proverb from a slightly different angle: Der Ehrliche ist immer der Dumme. translating to "The honest one will always turn out to be the dumb one", or paraphrased: "Acting ...
Annatar's user avatar
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26 votes

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

Das lateinische Advocatus Diaboli ist ein im Deutschen durchaus geläufiger Begriff mit der gesuchten Bedeutung. Er wird zwar selten verwendet, es gibt aber immerhin einen Wikipedia-Artikel1 dazu. Die ...
RHa's user avatar
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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
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25 votes
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German phrase for 'suited and booted'

Probably the most literal translation, which also fits from the "temperature" is gestiefelt und gespornt (literally "booted and spurred"). This has, like the English, a military background.
tofro's user avatar
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21 votes

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

There is an idiom referring to the ten commandments. Das elfte Gebot heißt: Du sollst dich nicht erwischen lassen. The eleventh commanments reads: Thou shalt not get caught. One variation is ...
mtwde's user avatar
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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 ...
Em1's user avatar
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19 votes
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How to tell someone politely that they have a wrong number?

Yes, it works. The most popular way to say this is: Sie haben sich verwählt. An example dialogue: Guten Tag, ich möchte bitte Jonas sprechen. Wen? Jonas? Hier wohnt kein Jonas, ich glaube, Sie ...
Liglo App's user avatar
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19 votes
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A German equivalent for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

You already found the answer: There is no German idiom, that for 100% matches exactly that English phrase. So the best you can get, is this: Wenn's nicht hin ist, dann reparier's nicht! Here hin is ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
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 ...
Andreas Heese's user avatar
18 votes

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

Geläufiger als der lateinische Begriff ist "Des Teufels Advokat". Dabei betont man, dass nur die Rolle eingenommen wird, und es nicht die eigentliche Meinung ist: Ich spiele hier mal des Teufels ...
npst's user avatar
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17 votes
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German idiom for "in so.'s infinite wisdom"

In seiner unendlichen Weisheit is correct and idiomatic, i.e., it is actually used by native speakers. However, there are two other idiomatic alternatives you might want to consider: In seiner nicht ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
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17 votes
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How do you say "to play Devil's advocate" in German?

For the given context I would use: Ganz provokant gefragt: Warum... (Provocatively asked: why...) Überspitzt formuliert would be an alternative. Both reduce the full sharpness by admitting it; ...
guidot's user avatar
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16 votes
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German equivalent of the phrase "That reminds me"?

Das erinnert mich. does not sound plausible at all, but feels rather incomplete. When reading that, I want to ask Woran erinnert es dich? Possible phrases are Da fällt mir ein, ... Wo wir gerade ...
hiergiltdiestfu's user avatar
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 ...
Carsten S's user avatar
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16 votes

Is a literal, figurative, or idiomatic translation for "I only have eyes for you" most appropriate?

Your translations are unfortunately wrong in meaning and/or grammar. The best attempt at translating this sentence would be the well known Ich habe nur Augen für dich!
mtwde's user avatar
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16 votes
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German equivalent to "I rest my case"

Lets take a look what "I rest my case" means Cambridge Dictionary says: said when you believe that something that has just happened or been said proves that you are right or telling the truth ​ ...
mtwde's user avatar
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