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German: mixed up phrases 1 [Nov. 18th, 2005|12:44 am]

[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]

"Du kannst nicht zwischen zwei Stühlen tanzen." -german talkshow on TV, random idiotic woman-

No, indeed you can't. You don't "dance between two chairs".

There are two phrases:
(1) "Zwischen zwei Stühlen sitzen"
--> "To sit in between two chairs" = Describing a situation when one is torn between two choices and finds oneself unable to decide, thus remaining in the middle, avoiding to choose.

(2) "Auf zwei Hochzeiten tanzen"
--> "To dance on two weddings" = Describing the behavior of someone indecisive, who is unable to decide and thus "plays a double game".

Both (1) and (2) are used interchangeably, because the meaning is very similar. However, it is wrong to merge them into one phrase, because it is distorting when one bears in mind the origins of these two independent phrases.

According to what is demonstrated on TV daily, it is common for members of lower social standing to confuse these facts and mangle perfectly fine phrases into meaningless, ridiculous, and at best morbidly amusing new (word) creations.
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[Saying] [Sep. 28th, 2005|05:13 pm]

"One shouldn't look a gift horse in the face."

"Einem geschenkten Gaul schaut man nicht ins Maul."
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Translations // naughty German pillow talk for saramichiru [Jun. 20th, 2005|09:22 am]

Some naughty German pillow talk was requested, regarding Weiß Kreuz fanfiction.

"I've wondered what the master seducer would sound like toying with crooning to his victim partner in his native tongue. So I was wondering if you would be able to do me a favor? Something along the lines of listing off a bunch of interesting phrases in this venue, anything you can come up with, from sweet to sultry to sadistic... After all, what he'd say would depend on if his prey partner is Brad, or Youji, or Aya, or Omi, and what position they have..."

Ahh! First of all, IMO german pillow talk sounds terrible. I believe german is not at all suitable for "Dirty Talk", because it sounds either rude or obscene, or simply dumpy. Unlike english dirty talk which is totally hot. So the answer could be that they - especially with an english partner - might be tempted to talk dirty in english because it sounds dirty, without slipping into cheap porn talk. Of course, blunt german talk can be a turn on as well when you're not a native german. XD

German sex terms are partly quite mechanical, the prime example being "Geschlechtsverkehr" (gender/sex traffic o_O;;) for "intercourse".

Anyway, I haven't had the time to think up interesting phrases, but for now here are a few suggestions for the samples which you supplied - some would never be said using the literal translation (too formal), so I provide a few choices of equal meaning and their respective reverse translations. (Unlike english, german seems to have more precise nuances when it comes to expressions, much is taken literal and the change of a word can make a big difference, but I could be biased XD)

- Those flowers suit you.
a) Diese Blumen stehen Dir gut. [in way of "these flowers look good on you".]

b) Diese Blumen passen zu Dir. [more personal. more along the line of "these flowers fit you (your personality)]

- I bet you wish you knew what I was saying, don't you?
a) Ich wette, Du wüßtest gerne, was ich sage, richtig? [literal translation and correct, however, one wouldn't necessarily append the "richtig?" after the comma. This negative ratification is a style found in the english language to indicate a rhetorical question, but there isn't a stylistic counterpart in german. We would -if at all- rather append a "right?" at the end (to ask for confirmation), which is what I did in the sample.]

b) Du wüßtest wohl gerne, was ich sage, hm? [more colloquial and easy going, and more likely to be said. You can also say "Du wüßtest wohl gerne, was ich gerade sage, hm?", where the "gerade" or "jetzt" means "now"/"in the moment".]

- Let me hear you beg for it.
a) Ich möchte hören, wie Du darum bettelst. [literal translation.]

b) Ich möchte hören, wie Du darum bittest ["bitten" rather than "betteln" means "to ask for". when the tone isn't very rough or dominating ^_~]

c) Bitte mich darum [would literally translate back to "ask me for it"]

d) Ich möchte Dich betteln hören! [would most likely be said! Meets "I want to hear you beg for it!". You can also say "Ich möchte, daß Du bettelst!" = "I want you to beg!".]

e) Bettel! (or) Fleh mich an! [imperative short form]

- Feels good, doesn't it?
Fühlt sich gut an, nicht wahr? [and if you add a "Das" in the beginning, it's like "That feels good..."]

- I like you this way.
a) Auf diese Weise mag ich dich [literal :/]

b) So mag ich Dich. [better. "That's how I like you"]

c) So sehe ich Dich gerne. ["I like seeing you this way"]

d) Ich mag Dich so wie Du bist [when not meant in a naughty way "I like you the way you are"]

- That's right... you want more, don't you?
a) Genau so... Du willst mehr, nicht wahr? [The literal translation would have been "Das ist richtig..." or "Richtig so...", but that's a bit formal somehow.]

b) Ja, so... Du hast noch nicht genug, was? [or "...Du hast immer noch nicht genug..." which hints at the recipient being insatiable/ not satisfied yet. XD]

- Oh, you mean like this?
Oh, etwa so? [shortened from "Oh, meinst Du etwa so?" We tend to shorten things... ;)]
So? *suggestively raised brow* [That is IMO very likely as well ^^]

Literal translation would have been "Oh, Du meinst (ich soll ...) auf diese Art un Weise (machen)? ["Oh, you mean (I should do it) like this?" / "Oh, you want me to do it like this?"] It's got a slightly different meaning

Isn't that weird? If I translate it literally, the meaning changes, so that the actual german equivalent to your sentence would comply with a varied english phrase. Talk about language barriers and misunderstandings...

- Nobody will hear you but me. Scream all you like. I like it when you scream.
a) Außer mir wird Dich keiner hören. Schrei soviel Du willst. Ich mag es, wenn du schreist. [literal. You can also say "Außer mir wird Dich ja doch keiner hören...", this complies with "Nobody except me will hear you anyway..."

b) Es macht mich an, wenn du schreist. [also "Es törnt mich an..." or "Es macht mich heiß..." for "being turned on" by the screaming.]

- More.
a) Mehr. [direct translation]

b) Weiter. [in sense of "Go on".]

In case that is meant as... encouragement while fucking making love *cough*, you could encouragingly scream "härter"/"stärker"/ "tiefer" for "harder!" or "deeper". ^_^;;

Aha ha ha. Helpful? Any more?

German corrections etc accepted as usual. Everything's up for discussion, after all it's up to the individual and the situation what is most appropriate. :P
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Corrections for natsumeuntied [Mar. 27th, 2005|04:34 pm]

Read in a WK fic (Schwarz; Schuldig, Crawford)

“Ein Traum, nichts mehr.”
--> "...nicht mehr." would be used. "Nichts" does translate to "Nothing", but when you want to express the equivalent to "nothing more" you can't use that word. You use "nicht" instead, which would literally be translated back into of "not more, although it has the meaning of "nothing more" Weird, huh? ;)

"Sie lügen."
--> Correct as it is, but I doubt they'd use the formal form of 'you'. "Du lügst" would be appropriate, considering how they interact with each other.

“Lügen Sie nicht zu mir.”
--> Factual not incorrect but really awkward and never(!) used except maybe by uneducated germans without any feeling for correct language style. It isn't that inacceptable when used by foreign speakers though! ^_~ Must be: "Lügen Sie mich nicht an." Again, I'd say "Lüg mich nicht an" as not-formal form of 'you'. Especially when swearing or being emotional you wouldn't use the formal way. You can, but few actually do. ^_~

"Gehen zur Hölle"
--> Minor thing missing: "Gehen Sie zur Hölle" or "Geh zur Hölle"

Questions? I'm always willing to help or explain, whenever I can :)
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translation [Feb. 21st, 2005|02:03 pm]

just translations for a yaoi drabbleCollapse )
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Saying 1 ::DE:: [Feb. 21st, 2005|11:56 am]

The new series of german sayings. I occasionally use some and try to translate them, which probably leads to bewilderment on your side ^_^;; So - if you're learning german you might want to add them to your vocabulary.

Saying: "Es stinkt nach Eigenlob!" or "Eigenlob stinkt!"
Literal translation: "It's smelling of self praise!" / "self-praise stinks!"
Meaning/When to use: Typically said when someone flatters/praises himself, which is understood as impolite.

Is there a proper english equivalent? Tell, because I wouldn't know. :D
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