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  5. "Hilfe, das Pferd frisst die …

"Hilfe, das Pferd frisst die heilige Kartoffel!"

Translation:Help, the horse is eating the holy potato!

October 13, 2015

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrioLinguist

I can't help but chuckle at Duolingo's nonsensical sentences :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindaB_Duolingo

Thanks for sharing this. I remember seeing a similar story, from America, where someone had seen a holy face on their piece of breakfast toast. I couldn't remember if they had decided it was JC himself or the Virgin Mary ... so I Googled Holy Toast.

What I got was a lot of adverts for a stamp you can buy to emboss a picture of either one on each piece of toast you make ... and then, I guess, you eat it.

And now I'm speechless.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

Wow! Or should I say holy s***! ? I think you can't translate the last English idiom directly word-for-word into any other language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindaB_Duolingo

Now that got my interest, so I ran it through Context Reverso. Apparently, you can translate it word-for-word into German - but the French have their own variations on a theme .... none of which I plan to repeat here.

Maybe we should stick to heilige Kartoffeln :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

Agreed, let's stick to the potato :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mokurai

You can work with The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch if you like.

Hilfe! Die Killerkaninchen von Caerbannog frißt die Heilige Handgranate von Antiochia!

Kaboom!

Oh, OK, macht nichts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

Well, you can perfectly say "Je suis sans voix" (I'm left without a voice), which is a good and wholesome approximation (You meant "I'm speechless, or am I confused?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon554215

Somehow I knew this was going to be a real thing. I thought it was maybe some stage of the St Martin's Umzug that I hadn't noticed due to it being a) lit by torches and b) pouring with rain, every single time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArvindhMani

How does this sentence use frisst over isst? I thought fressen meant "to eat (meat)" or the like.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mawaffles

Fressen is used to talk about an animal eating while essen is used for humans. That is why frisst is used in this sentence and not isst.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArvindhMani

Oh, so it has nothing to do with what is being eaten? Thanks! I did not know that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mawaffles

Nope, it doesn't matter what it is eating. You're welcome, I hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Of course, I suppose you can say a person "frisst" if you want to insult him over the way he eats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mokurai

Ja, er frißt wie ein Schwein.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barb1468

Except if somebody eats very much and/or very messily. Then sometimes, in coloquial speech, "fressen" is used. (Has a rather negative vibe, though!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wrruggiero

Fressen refers to when an animal eats. It can be also used as an insult, for example "Halt die Fresse".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AFulgens

Or as a juvenily joke: "[Sollen wir] fressen [gehen]?" (heard the question "Fressen?" instead of "Essen?" from some "funny" colleagues)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/water_color

Well, if you are a vegetarian... then maybe you'll use it so in a certainbl situation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UmaDas1

What exactly is a holy potato?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AFulgens

It is a potato which is holy. For a real-life "example" see the most positively rated comments in this thread.


[deactivated user]

    What I found most interesting is that, despite ending in 'el', Kartoffel is feminine


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ursulias

    https://www.deutsch-als-fremdsprache-lernen.de/deutsche-grammatik-substantive-grammatisches-geschlecht/

    https://www.cafe-lingua.de/deutsche-grammatik/genus-grammatisches-geschlecht.php

    https://www.uni-due.de/~lge292/trainer/trainer/seiten/s525.html

    I was just about to write, there is no gender rule concerning the ending "-el" . But then I found the third link - which I think is incorrect. It seems that you can find that somewhere on the internet.

    But: The ending "-el" does not really help you to know the gender. Examples:

    das: das Achtel, das Gemetzel, das Gedudel, das Überbleibsel, das Rudel,

    die: (see PeterPan173079) , die Hantel, die Schüssel, die Gabel, die Rassel,

    der: der (Stoff-) Wechsel, der Dussel, der Tölpel, der Schlüssel ...

    As you can see by the given examples, the ending "el" is not specific.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPan173079

    Oha! The third website you dug out, Ursulias, should better have been buried. It makes it look like all there are many endings of words in German that cause a word to have a specific gender. That's wrong. Some of the longer ones like -keit may have no or very few exceptions. All of the listed shorter ones have exceptions.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPan173079

    It's not that rare: die Wachtel, die Schachtel, die Fackel


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LokiOdinson4

    This is the second sentence I've come across with holy potatoes!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enigmajf

    how would you change this sentence into imperative in German? would it be "Hilfe dem Pferd die heilige Kartoffel zu fressen" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    how would you change this sentence into imperative in German? would it be "Hilfe dem Pferd die heilige Kartoffel zu fressen" ?

    Nearly -- "Help the horse eat the holy potato" would be Hilf dem Pferd, die heilige Kartoffel zu fressen: no -e on hilf!.

    (Often, the informal imperative has two forms, one with and one without -e. But helfen does not; it only has the one without the -e. I think this is common in verbs that change -e- to -i-; similarly, we say iss! but not isse! or esse!.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziyitao

    Wait but "Hilf dem Pferd die heilige Kartoffel zu fressen" is not the same as "Hilfe, das Pferd frisst die heilige Kartoffel." though. The first is an order requiring one to help the horse to eat; and the second is asking for help, because the horse is eating; unless I am misunderstanding the original sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albur_Godwin

    Right; I guess you could retain the meaning by adding mir, uns or any other term of address according to context.

    Hilf mir, das Pferd frisst die heilige Kartoffel!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Twinkle_M

    Duolingo keeps finding me sentences to laugh at ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malvazija

    I don't think you should make fun out of peoples believs, it's only that christians are not agressive,but remember what happened to Charlie hebdo.Just a thought.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ursulias

    @Malvazija: that would be soooo fantastic - if only it was true. Christians - and I am sad to say so - are not less aggressive than any non-Christian. History shows that religion does not create peace.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

    Tribes are tribes regardless of their religion or lack of it. The wars with the greatest amount of loss of life and destruction had nothing to do with religion.

    The current wars that we are interested in are about cultural differences some of which are reflected in their tribal religion. Most of the contention is about the local geography, how it is used and by whom


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rodjell

    Sometime I need help. I do not know why but I understand everything the man says but very little the woman says. Frustrating.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanMendes

    That cracked me up bahahah


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stenno1

    Maybe it is from Doitsuism, a religion based off the Hetalia character Germany, or "Lord Doitsu." The three most sacred items of the Doitsu religion are the potato, wurst, and beer, which form the "Holy Trinity" of the Doitsu religion.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barb1468

    Well... At least you don't have to count to three before using it? :-P


    [deactivated user]

      This sentence is gibberish; I do not find it amusing. Childish perhaps. Added to that, the woman speaker's voice is indistinct. Why does Duo make learning German more difficult than is necessary?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

      Actually, the sentence is pretty simple. Nothing difficult about it at all.

      At this level, Duo students have less vocabulary and grammar than the average German speaking seven year old. How could the examples be anything but childish?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimothySch15

      Duo gives sentences that are amusing to several learning levels, including younger users. Having a "curve ball" like this one challenges you to think about the grammer and vocabulary and not guess.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthewbaynham

      What is the point in learning this non-sense sentence?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

      None whatsoever. You don't learn a language by learning all the possible sentences which can be formed. However, the sentence does contain words like "help", "horse", "potato", frisst, holy etc. all of which might be useful.

      Especially if you ever encounter a horse eating a holy potato and require assistance.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      You're not supposed to learn it by heart :)

      Just to translate it, as an exercise in German grammar and vocabulary.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OldMacEagl

      Duolingo tries to prove deperately that the cliché is wrong that German has no sense of humour. OT: What's the "heilige Handgranate of Antiochia" from "Life of Brian" in the English original?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

      That's "The holy handgrenade of Antioch" from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". If I remember correctly they use it to destroy the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. https://youtu.be/QM9Bynjh2Lk (careful, NSFW)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rwtwm

      Is that the Gourd? I've not watched in in German so not certain.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwenVaughn0

      This sentence is so stupid that I got the answer wrong. It's not funny, it's pathetic. Afterwards I could feel the spirit of Humour as it died sail past me, weeping at the sheer idiocy of this sentence.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deutsch_Brot

      Chill out it's just a sentence it's not like it killed your family or something


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pablovinen

      Well we should see what the holy potato would say about it. If it could.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/idkhbtfm

      that was poetic, but like Deutsch_Brot said, its just a sentence! at least now we'll never forget how to say the individual words


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoHO1exw

      Couldn't agree more. Things you want to learn stick better in your memory when emotion is involved. Being upset, feeling insulted or laughing, seeing the humour and the relativity of the content of the phrases: as for remembering words, word order in a sentence, etc it is fantastic! Thank you Duolingo!!! Next time a phrase about the Spaghettimonster stealing noodles?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mokurai

      Unsinn! Alle Nudeln gehören dem Fliegende Spaghettimonster.

      rAmen.

      Nudeln sind sein Körper und Sauce ist sein Blut. Wir essen sie zur Erinnerung an ihn.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

      That's funny. And simple enough for me to get the joke. Good one.

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.