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  5. "Es ist doch Nacht, oder?"

"Es ist doch Nacht, oder?"

Translation:It is indeed night, right?

January 7, 2013

61 Comments


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

The native German intern staying with us says this answer is wrong... doch does not mean still here. I'll report it in the proper way, just wanted to mention the data point.


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

The translation is wrong. It is still night, isn't it - "Es ist immer noch Nacht, oder?" The shown German sentence contains nothing which could translate to "still", at most replace "still" with "right now". The correct trnaslation is: "It's night, isn't it?".

Edit: Glad the translation got fixed, just leaving this here as a reference.


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

Doesn't "doch" serve that purpose?


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

Nope, 'doch..., oder?' expresses doubt here. 'Es ist Nacht' would be a regular statement, while 'Es ist doch Nacht?' either doubts a previous sentence in the context or the speaker's own statement (then, 'oder' helps). In the former case, the ? is rather formal, you might not pronounce it or pronounce it like a !.


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

Ah, so the two words go together. Thank you!


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

Not necessarily. In this case, they support each other, like those doubled emphases we had recently.


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

Thanks. I think I get it. So . . . it sounds as though "doch" brings in a note that in English would rely on a tone of voice, a raised eyebrow, or something like that--and would risk being missed completely. Interesting.


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

People like to change the channel, one way or another. I can't speak for the general public, but often they want to call for ad-hoc answers and immediate conversation. But I wouldn't assume that's due to the lack of tone in the conversation. Tone of voice is important here, too. But I've never witnessed misunderstanding when it was missing. But your question is so universal, I can't tell you anything absolutely binding. In German, you might have the ability to add different tonings to your written language, even in a formal context. Maybe that helps and actually makes a difference. I don't know.


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

Thank you. I'm still trying to figure out whether there are words in English that will do a job like this. In German, I suspect the language itself carries meanings that in English depends on other things. Question: as e-mail and therefore written communication has become common, sometimes--especially in business communication, when a certain amount of back-and-forth to work out a problem has occurred--it can sometimes be smart to pick up a telephone and call the other person. Misunderstandings and tensions that build up during the e-mail conversation can dissipate or be avoided when one is talking, because one responds more to tone of voice and other vocal nuances that are not wholly in the words themselves. Is that also the case in German, or does that change of channel never seem necessary? (And does that question make any sense?)


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

Still working on this one, and the element of doubt you mention. Is the implication something like "You heartless monster, what do you meanI can't sleep any more? It is still night, isn't it?"


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

That would be the first case, where you might pronounce a !, in my opinion. Here lies the element of doubt you asked about, yes. For the other case, that's more like 'What do you mean, getting ice cream? It's still night, isn't it?' – Both have a different kind of surprise, if you look closely. The first being pointed more towards the other speaker expressing doubt, the second being really puzzled inside.


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

I put "But it is night, or" and the answer was accepted. I assumed doch here means but


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

So this is a valid German sentence, and a bad translation.?.?


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

im thinking how ·though· is used in english.

It is expensive though

It is night though, isn´t it?

( though sees to have this same elastic , hard to pin down "doch"


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

Good call! You got me wondering, and look here: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/countingstars13

"Is it still night, or?" is listed as a correct translation. As a native English speaker, I'm annoyed by this because nobody would ever phrase a sentence like this... :/


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

It's funny because I have a German friend who will constantly say that in English, tacking on "or" at the end of sentences. Anyhow, I mentioned this in another comment, but "oder?" is kind of the short form of "oder nicht?" and we definitely say that in English, perhaps not in written language but at least colloquially. "It's still night? Or no?"


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

I've heard a lot of Americans end sentences with a drawn out "or" and a questioning tone of voice.

"So do you wanna get something to eat orrrrr...?"

I think it leaves a space for the other person to insert their preference.


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

The translations I got from Duo when I failed were: "Is it night, yes?" and "It is still night, isn't it?". I am not a native English speaker but to me these sound ok. Although if I would have translated the sentence literally, using the definitions from Duolingo, it would have come out like you said: "Is it still night, or?", but it did not make sense at all. I think this was not the appropriate sentence to practice these words (“doch” and “oder”) because as other people commented above these words may have different meanings, other than the literal translation, depending on how they are used; in this case it seems the use of “doch” and “oder” expresses doubt. I still do not really get it but if you read above you might jajaja :D


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

To me it should be understood as "is it night after all, or what?" But yeah, "is it still night, or?" is totally weird. should be reported.


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

Ha, it's what I came up with! It was all I could figure out, and I was sure it was wrong.

I agree, nobody would ever phrase a sentence like that... unless they were totally stumped.


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

Maybe it depends on what type of English you speak (ex: British or American). I am also a native English speaker and I sometimes will end questions with "Or?" if there is another option. For example "Do you want to want to go eat or?"


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

For those saying the translation is wrong, bear in mind that "still" doesn't necessarily mean "even now": think of when we say something like, "Still, is it night?" One of the glossed translations for this is "all the same", which is how we use "still" sometimes. The meaning is something along the lines of, "Is it night after all or what?"

I do think it's misleading that it's posed here in a question having to do with time, because that is ambiguous, and the word order, while technically a possible translation, really sides with the wrong meaning of "still" in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DexX
  • 309

I feel like my translation or "Is it still night, or what?" should be accepted. Anyone care to explain why it's wrong?


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

I think "or what" sounds way too aggressive for what "oder" in that position means. German language uses "Oder" the same way we use in English when we want to confirm something. For example: I have eaten, haven't I? (ich habe gegessen, oder?) or It's raining, isn't it? (es regnet, oder?). you use both sentences to try to confirm your findings. You could say "I have eaten, or what?", or even "It's raining, or what?", but there would be a slight difference between them and "I have.... haven't I?". Can you "feel" the difference? It's not wrong, I guess. But it's just not the role "oder" plays in those sentences. What do you think?


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

Maybe it’s about the “Formality”. “or what?” is not very formal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JTO-MTL

"Is it still night, or what?" was my translation as well, and I agree with DexX.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erickp26

My German girlfriends says they "doch" is used more like saying yes when the other person is saying the opposite an example here: Mom: du muss schlafen Kid: nein Es ist nicht so spät Mom: doch, es ist spät!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chris.beaton3

Not sure how I was supposed to get this one right? I didn't get an explanations of doch being used to express uncertainty (as discussed below), or ending sentences with nothing but "oder". Have I missed something?


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

It is night, isn't it? It is still night, isn't it? Worked fine for me.


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

could one say, "but it is yet night, or not?"


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

You wouldn't say that in English. It isn't exactly ungrammatical, but I'd have to work at it to figure out what you meant.


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

im confused - oder means is it? or isn't it... cuz earlier i came across a sentence on duolingo which went like oder nicht so i came to associate oder with is it? and oder nicht as isn't it but now its getting contradictory as duolingo says oder = isn't it... please someone clarify...


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

Well, "oder" just translates to "or," so it's just a question of, "is what I just said false?" I skimmed the discussion above about "doch," but I've always learned "doch" to be the equivalent of contradicting a negative statement, like "actually yes it is." So this sentence gave me the impression that the original assumption was that it wasn't nighttime anymore/yet, and the speaker is like, "wait, actually, it IS night, isn't it?"

Example to clarify what I mean: "Du hast eine Tochter?" "Nein, ich habe keine Tochter." vs "Du hast keine Tochter?" "Doch, ich habe eine Tochter."

"Oder" then would come to be "isn't it" or "is it" depending on whatever the sentence was that preceded it. In this case, the sentence was affirmative, so "oder" would be negative. Really, it's just a semantic nuance, since it just really means, "or."


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

I just asked a German friend of mine about "doch" used mid-sentence like this. This was the explanation he gave me:

"Doch" is more often used to counter somebody, and you imply with it that it wouldn't work out / matter right now. Like, "I need my sunglasses!" "Es ist doch Nacht, oder nicht?" Or, "Ich moechte Schokolade!" - "Aber es ist doch schon Mitternacht." - "Doch manchmal hab ich spaet in der Nacht Lust auf Schokolade."

I'm trying to process that still ;P


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

Thank you, that makes a lot of sense!

Doch always seemed like a word people throw in at random, makes you sound very German: " Die Katze isst doch die Ente. Doch, sie mag Schokolade, doch!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/12o13

in a different comment someone said that putting oder after a sentence like in this example cast's doubt on the rest of it. so "Es ist doch Nacht" would be "It is still Night", while "Es ist doch Nacht, oder?" would be, "It is still Night, isn't it?"


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

Why not "It is really night, isn't it?". Not good English?


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

Well it's not exactly an exact translation (which usually DuoLingo expects)


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

I'm wondering if the German "doch" functions a bit like the French word "donc." Can anyone enlighten me?


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

´´It is still night, or?´´ is correct but ´´Or is it still night?´´ is not? Are you serious?


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

yes, Germans use "oder" at the end of their sentences as a short form of "oder nicht?" In the first sentence, "It is still night, or?" (implying, "It is is still night... or no?" or "It is still night, isn't it?") leans towards impression that you believe it is still night, but you leave some room for doubt. The "doch" further reinforces that you believe affirmatively that it is night.

In the second sentence, "Or is it still night?" leans toward the impression that you either believe it's already daytime or really have no idea. You would probably translate that to be something like, "Oder ist es noch nacht?" and I believe the use of "doch" would be inappropriate in this case.


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

Thank you for explaining. I had a bit of a rage quit moment but now that I've cooled down I feel silly. The uses of "doch" are still throwing me for a loop, but your response has brought me one step closer to getting the hang of it. There are a lot of different definitions for the word "still" in English; I just don't notice them because it's my mother tongue. "Doch" is just one of those words with a lot of applications and subtleties that will take time and practice to learn. Much appreciation :)


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

lol no problem. I am also still struggling to get the full subtlety of "doch." A lot of German words and phrasing feel intuitive in use for me, but this one I still have to think about and cannot just pepper into a sentence without feeling really self conscious.


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

The "doch" is the same "Será?" in portuguese?


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

Not really, corredorX. Doch is an interjection that can mean different things according to its usage. In this case, it would be something like "Já" in portuguese. "Já é noite, né?". Doch can also express an opposite idea, when you don't agree with what someone says. For example. If I told you: "ach, ich kann kein Deutsch", and you disagreed, you'd say to me "doch", which would mean something like "Yes, you can".


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

Muito obrigado !


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

Oh the joy of German - I saw "doch" and I saw "oder" and, based on my limited experience here, droped them both as being superfluous :p.

My answer "It is night" The KISS approach to German :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

While 'doch' is often superfluous, 'oder?' at the end of a statement is the same as tacking on 'isn't it?' onto an English statement. It seems to be very common to insert 'doch' into a question like 'Es ist Nacht, oder?' to emphasize doubt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manny4us

Is "doch" needed at all in this question?


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

So just to clarify, doch is used when you're contradicting somebody (ie. the example someone posted, "I need my sunglasses." "But it's night."), and oder on the end of the sentence means something similar to 'or what'

Is that even close to correct?

(fyi I wrote 'but it is night, or?' and that was accepted even though it makes no sense)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

It's only used to contradict someone asking a negative question. For example, if someone asks 'Gehst du nicht nach Hause?' (Aren't you going home?), if you are going home, you answer 'Doch', and NOT 'Ja'. It's actually a pretty good system that a lot of languages have, English is very ambiguous in situations like this.

Other than that usage, 'doch' adds emphasis, it's what is called a modal particle (which we don't have in English, which is why it is so confusing to translate). That's all it is doing here: emphasising the doubt in the question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lull0000

Hello. = )

So I entered "However it is night, right?", but it didn't count and the correct answer is "But it is night, right?" Why can't I use however in this context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJ1856

Can you express the same idea with Es ist Nacht, nicht wahr?


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

Yes, you can. If you would translate: "It is night, isn't it?" to German you would probably end up with: "Es ist (doch) Nacht, nicht wahr?"

It's fine, -same meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJ1856

Thanks, I wasn't sure whether 'nicht wahr' was old fashioned as I haven't seen it here on DL.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antspants01

I seriously dislike doch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emma.walto

I put it is definitely night right? But it wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesworks75503

Why is ''Isn't it still night?'' not considered an acceptable translation of the sense of the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aself69

It is, in fact, night, or isn't it?

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