"Man kann auf meinem Sofa schlafen."

Translation:You can sleep on my sofa.

January 3, 2013

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sk8rMom
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"You can sleep on my couch" is "DU kannst auf meinem Sofa schlafen," if you really want to be technical about it. I'm sorry, but I get annoyed when MY translations are too "loose" but these translations are ok.

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chubbard

Yes, you're right. And I have to say, a lot of the translations in the lesson material are pretty weak. I completely understand your frustration, but I don't know what to recommend other than pounding your fist on your desk and swearing a lot (Ty it! That's what I do!).

(U.S. speakers at least) often translate "man" as "you" meaning "anyone" or I guess more like "a nondescript person" as opposed to "you" a particular, specific person. This is really confusing in English because we have one word that does it all -- "you". In German, if they mean a particular, specific person they can go with "du" or "Sie" (or "Ihr" if they mean a specific group of people), and if they mean "a nondescript person, nobody in particular", they can go with "man".

In the real-world translations, I often translate "man" as "you" myself (because that's what I'd say if I were expressing the equivalent idea in American English). But this is probably more appropriately translated as (or at least less confusing if translated as) "one". Like "One can sleep on my couch." (meaning "one" in the sense of a person, but not any particular person). In fact, I do often see "man" translated as "one", and I even translate it that way myself once in a while when that sounds better to me or when I want to make sure the reader understands that I don't mean "you" as in "specifically 'you' the reader".

And of course "one" works fine in American English too, but it sounds a little stuffy.

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/langtonian
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This must be very confusing for non-English speakers. Strictly speaking, the correct translation for "man" is "one". But in English that has totally the wrong tone. I generally use "one" in these exercises and "you" in the real-world translations.

March 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

if one can use "one" instead of "you" then use "man" in German. I find this the easiest of the nine potential translations of you to use mid conversation (man/du/dich/dir/ihr/euch/Sie/Ihr and Ihnen)

May 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JStewart12

Can anyone tell me if "man" here is used in the same manner as "on" in French? Like in "On mange beaucoup"? It seems to be very similar.

July 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

Yes it is the same ..... but be careful. In spoken french "on" is very very often used instead of we/nous. You can never do this in German, we is always translated as "wir"

July 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/brianena

Thank you for this explanation, I totaly agree with it as also with langtonian's comment. Well, I was angry too, so I understand Sk8rMom too.

June 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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In these cases there are two things to be done. One is to report it. The other is to turn to the community where you may find you are right so calm the frustration. Then as mentioned above use one for the real world and one for DL. This is after all a computer generated program and it will have its quirks.

October 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/VinciusdeS1

Please! You English people sleep "in" the bed but "on" the sofa? I speak English for more than 10 years and I still strugle with your place prepositions. In Portuguese we can get the job with only one, "em".

April 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielStermer

I think we say "in bed" because you are covered by a comforter and sheets, although that's the only explanation I am able to give. :)

April 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertDouglass

I agree with Sk8rMom, "Du kannst auf meinem Sofa schlafen, because you cannot sleep on my Sofa unless I know you personally:-)

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kdn
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"Man kann" I would not translate with "They can", but "Somebody may".

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LB_StorM

And I would not translate with 'somebody may' (jemand darf), but 'one can' or 'you can'.

March 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/surajramjee

what is it "schlafen" and not "schlaft"?

April 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/notapolarbear

schlafen is in the infinitive because kann is already the conjugated verb

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/muaddib32

Perhaps a valid translation might be "Someone can sleep on my sofa" as it sounds less formal than 'one'

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

Not really. "someone" has a different meaning If you dislike using "one" in English then use "you" but you must use "man" in German.

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/muaddib32

It's not that I have anything against 'one'. I use it often e.g. 'One must have a bath once a week, whether one needs one or not' (but not in the peculiarly upper class British manner of referring to my own actions 'One must toddle, off. Toodle-oo'). It's just that a cannot think of an occasion in which a native speaker would say 'one can sleep on my sofa'. I might say 'My sofa can sleep one' to indicate that it can be used as a bed if necessary, or if I have a group of friends over I might say 'Somebody can sleep on the sofa' or 'One of you can sleep on the sofa'. I guess, an upper class British man might say it, but only reluctantly after a long discussion with his friend about the ongoing difficulties he is having with his wife, 'One can [always] sleep on the sofa'

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/-rolf-

I always translate "Man" as "one", even if it makes for clumsy english.

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kagandilli

Can we say it like "Man kann schlafen auf meinem Sofa"? or these "second verbs" must be at the end of the sentence no matter what?

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RatedPGJax

Duolingo, please try to give us the most standard translations for now. We can learn the nuances of the language later. Thanks

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
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I'm pretty sure if you use this sentence you don't have to be formal about it. Use du kannst -_-

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nctb91

"it is possible to sleep on my sofa" can be correct? DL gives me error

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielStermer

I don't think so. That would be, "Es ist möglich auf meinem Sofa zu schlafen"

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nctb91

danke!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WaterBomb
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You can sleep on my sofa.... but not the other bed, because the dog is sleeping there.

March 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lizzie230317

It is not a personal sentence. The perfect translation would come in Spanish; "En mi sofa se puede dormir". In English: "It is able to sleep on my couch". That is the right translation.

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lizzie230317

I am a Spanish language speaker. I can also English, German and Russian. The word "man" has no translation in English, however in Spanish is perfect possible with the words "se puede" instead of "man kann"

August 19, 2018
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