"Wir werden handeln."

Translation:We will take action.

November 11, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Why not we will handle it? Isn't that the same as we will take action?


No, it isn't. "Take action" is more like "do something" -- there is no object as in your "handle it".

For example, "The house is burning! We have to do something!" = "We have to take action!" = "Wir müssen handeln!"


One of the definitions of handle is to manage (a situation or problem) which is equivalent to take action. In English, there is no need to physically manipulate something with your hands for you to handle it.

Using your example:

Homeowner: "The house is burning! We have to do something! We have to take action!"

Firefighter: "NO! It's dangerous in there. Let us handle it!"


OK, but that's still not quite the same because there is an object to the verb -- the firefighters are handling the situation.

"Handeln" in German doesn't have this connotation of "managing (a situation or a problem)".

In fact, if the firefighter had said, "Lassen Sie uns handeln!", it would be understood as "You and me, let's do something!" rather than "You do nothing - just let us do the work!".

"Let us handle it" would be more "Lassen Sie uns das machen/übernehmen".


I would argue that my use of a direct object isn't always relevant in the English translation. Especially if to take action works. The verb there is take. What are you taking? Action. That's the direct object.

Handle is one of those that requires an object in English as well. You said to take action means to do something no? Once again, do is the verb and something is the object. In English you would never say "We will do." because you NEED the object. Therefore, "We will do it." or "We will do something." is the appropriate way to translate.

Just like "Ich bin Arzt." has no pronoun, but when you translate it to English you must use the pronoun a to make it work.

"Handeln" in German doesn't have this connotation of "managing (a situation or a problem)".

Now if you're saying that's not really how the word handeln is meant to be used, that's fine. However, in these links to handle is one of the translations it shows for handeln. In English, to handle can mean to manage a situation or problem.



If to handle doesn't really work in this situation, where does it work with handeln? Are both of these sites wrong? Also if my use of a direct object is wrong, why isn't the appropriate translation "We will act." instead of "We will take action." The first one doesn't have a direct object. Wouldn't "Wir werden Aktion übernehmen." be more acceptable?

[deactivated user]

    The dict.cc entry is wrong, and the Pons entry says "händeln" (a Germanised anglicism), not "handeln". Note that dict.cc is notoriously unreliable.


    I agree completely. In modern English dialect, to handle something can be identical to "to take action."


    Thanks for clarifying that. I'm guessing Handeln is more of a declaration of doing, rather than a declaration that you doing something?

    Also, would a better way of saying "We will handle it" be something more like "Wir werden damit umgehen"?


    We will act. Is too correct.


    according to wiktionary, the first two translations of handeln are: 1. to trade, to deal 2. to negotiate, haggle


    That's kind of interesting. In English we say we'll/I'll "deal with it". Which has nothing to do with trade, despite the usage of "deal" as selling. Would that be a better translation than "take action", which I've never heard anyone say in my life?


    So? Some words have multiple meanings.

    Without any further context, I would assume that this is meaning 3: "to act, to take action".

    The first two could also be possible.

    But "we will handle it" is not.


    I just wanted to write general comment about different source of translations than Duo's.


    Those are correct but there's no direct subject. It's the difference between 'we will do something' and 'we will do something with it'

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, I think of it first in the business sense. I translated this as "We will deal" and it was marked wrong. I'll report it. Thanks for confirming my sense of the word.


      In American English it is very common to use the expression "we will handle it" to mean we will take some sort of action. It has nothing to do with manipulating an object. The expression "I will take action" is far less common.


      Yeah, I'm kinda frustrated with the grammatical arguments, and arguments about the semantics of the words. The real question is how the phrase is often used. What are the common contexts of the German and English phrases?


      What is wrong with we will deal with it?


      DL is correct but so many times there is no context. My first thought was relating to trade, as in selling goods in a business, and likely is related to the noun, "Der Handel."


      I can't agree with the suggestion of «we will haggle» , haggle is used when you don't agree with the price of something, it implies to haggle with somebody about something and I believe «handeln» has a much larger sense.


      "we will act" also correct.


      The audio simply won't play for me, does anyone else have this problem?


      What's wrong with the common expression 'We will take care of it' which means 'We will handle it'


      We'll sort it?


      We'll sort it?


      handeln is just to take action -- not necessarily about anything specific, and not necessarily leading to successful resolution.


      Would "We will take care of it" be an appropriate translation of handeln here?


      No, not necessarily. handeln does not necessarily imply any particular "it" to be "taken care of". It just means that you will act or take action.


      I can accept that 'Wir werden handlen' is not 'We'll handle it.' or even 'We'll manage." both of which have an oppressed tone.

      I also agree with a previous comment that the English use of 'it' or similar for an object can be superficial and infinitely vague, included just because the verb is normally transitive. If meaning is translated, the addition or not of an object is immaterial. (But still, I'm generally in favor of translating the superficial structure when possible.) When a person acts, more so if they 'take action,'* there may be an object on which they act, so there is an overlapping semantic range, even if there is an object, even if no object would be a better fit.

      *I think we usually 'take action' 'on it,' otherwise we just 'act.' even the 'take action' is not superficially parallel, using a filler verb and an object instead of a more relevant verb. (Makes me thing of the French "s'agir.") So if 'We'll take action." Then why not 'We'll do something."?


      is handeln the same thing as "execute" Ex. We will execute


      Not really. "Wir werden handeln - we will take action" does not imply any plans or results, just the mere act.


      Why did it tell me that the correct answer was "We will bargain" when I got it wrong, when the translation here is "We will take action"? Bargain and take action are not synonyms . . . .


      They are not synonyms, but they are both meanings of the German word handeln.


      Something that might be helpful here is the use (semantic range) of "handeln" when transitive versus the use (semantic range) when intransitive. (Got the hint from my in house native German.) If this is the case is not about a random choice of definitions from the dictionary. The intransitive must mean 'action', and it can't mean 'trading' without an object. Would that be correct?


      Taten sagen mehr als Worte


      I know it's a bit broken in english, but would the translation 'we will trade/haggle-ie, we will trade x for y; or to save money, we will haggle the price-' work at all? (if not, what are some better words to use?)


      as a matter of fact it is clearly wrong not to accept handle as translation of handeln.


      I've discovered something (from a linguistically apt German native) that the moderators might not be explaining so well, although they have explained it emphatically: in the intransitive form it must mean 'action.' If it was transitive it could follow other definitions. Another thing I might add (same source) is that the given German is emphatic while "We'll handle it." is not, or at least not necessarily.

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