"Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt."

Translation:The straw that breaks the camel's back.

December 19, 2013

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This lesson has taught me that i first need to learn English idioms!


I actually liked the literal translation better. We use it commonly in Spanish; La gota que derramo el vaso.


And in norwegian: "That was the drop that made it overflow"


Croatian also - "kap koja je prelila čašu" (the drop which made the glass overflow)


Same here in Serbia. Pozdrav Balkanskoj braći :)


So is Slovenian. Kaplja čez rob. A drop over the edge.


In Bulgarian as well - "Чашата преля!" (The glass overflow.)


In portuguese is also quite similar "that was the last drop of water"


Same in romanian and russian.


In hebrew it's "The straw that broke the camel's back", not the other one with the drop


and French :)


and Vietnamese


.. And hebrew, literally

  • 1202

Maybe a last drop of patience?


How's this is Romanian?


picatura care a umplut paharul


Ultima picatura= the last drop (of water)


Picătura care a umplut paharul


....And Hungarian...


In hungarian: Az utolsó csepp a pohárban.


Az utolsó csepp a pohárban - nem teljesen ugyanaz magyarul.


In Bengali " বোঝার উপর শাকের আটি ". It sounds like "Bojhar uupor shaaker aati" the meaning is almost the same.


Yes similar that in spanish


That is absolutely close to the drop and the full barrel. Thanks,


Same here: La gota que derramó la copa. :')


oh so that is what it means? Now I understand!


Same thing for Italian


Same thing in serbian language


The only difference is that our drop makes the glass overflow, not the barrel. :D


In french we say La dernière goutte qui fait déborder le vase


Same as in spanish, in Arabic; "القطرة التي أفاضت الكأس"


Indeed it's (in SPAIN not South America) --> La gota que colma el vaso


I thought the same


I agree. It was fun to puzzle out the actual context

  • 2180

La gota que colma el vaso in Spain


It means that there are tons of bales on the camel's back, but when you put one more on, the camel's back breaks.


Actually, in literal terms, it means the drop that makes the barrel overflow.

[deactivated user]


    So i did actually translate it correctly (literally)


    one tiny, weightless thing after another, till one makes it go past the limit is what they all mean


    The camel's back does not actually break. When it perceives that it is being overloaded, a camel will kneel down and not get up. Adding that one more item for it to carry can cause it to act as if its back is going to break; hence, the expression.


    Thanks! As I have never heard the English one, I had no clue what it meant.


    Ohh I didn't get it at first.


    Just in case, anyone needs it. Wikipedia says -

    The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, alluding to the proverb "it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back", describes the seemingly minor or routine action that causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions.


    I laughed out loud because, don't get me wrong, we're supposed to know English to take this course! Hahahaha Of course, sometimes there are idioms in English that we don't know.


    Lol no kidding i never heared of this camel thingy


    We use this idioms in the arabic langauge concerning Englisch


    I think it's absurd that "The drop that brings the barrel to overflowing" is not accepted.


    I have similar feelings on "Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen." The direct translation makes enough sense, so why not associate it with that phrase. I think even an invented phrase that was grammatically correct but covered the same core concepts would work better; like "No man is born a master." or "Skill does not fall from the heavens." ohh - or "Their is no master heaven-made". It seems to me bizarre not to take advantage of the similarities between english and german. It's like translating "Angst verleiht Flügel." to "The fearful worker is the faster worker." rather than "Fear gives a man wings." or even better "Angst lends wings.", then the reader can see, word for word, the meaning: Angst, like Angst (slight fearful pressure); ver - leiht, like lend; Flügen, like flying. I just don't get it.


    this problem occurs with great frequency for every language on this site

    i think that it would be great if we could include the direct literal meaning and then maybe also the equivalent because what good are these phrases to me if i can't understand them by their culturally intended terms


    On the Android app, the answer is all but spelled out for you; you just have to arrange the words correctly. A bit too easy, I think.


    Memrise does a great job of doing this, they give you the literal translation as well as the more idiomatic one.


    Same thing here!!


    Same here, not being a native English speaker, "the drop that overflows the barrel" makes a lot of more sense for me, as we have something similar in our language. At least, substitute that camel with a horse or ass :) or something more domestic...hehe. But well, the lesson is about learning English idioms...


    Yeah half of the battle with Duolingo is that is a two step process: 1. translate the phrase from one language to another, simple enough 2. translate the translation to which specific phrasing duolingo actually wants, this usually is a guessing game

    It would be nice if duolingo allowed all equivalent sentences. They are all equivalent after all. And would accomplish step 1 without the need for step 2.


    Very true. The way it is now, we don't associate the right English words to the German ones. We should be able to give a completely literal sentence as a correct definition so we can increase our vocabulary as well, which is what we need more, rather than linking it to an English idiom.


    Agreed. The German idioms make great sense on their own - why try to tie them to English idioms that translate differently?


    I wish they would give us both the idiom and the exact translation. I want to know the grammar and vocabulary, but I also want the idiomatic phrase in the language I am learning.


    Yes, this! Why should it only be one or the other!?!


    I agree, and well-said, quentin.huon. Learning correct vocabulary should be the goal. I agree, and I'm a native English speaker and teacher! Plus, there is no pre-teaching of the advanced vocabulary we encounter in these idioms, so any accurate literal translation should be accepted -- or idioms should not even be introduced at this low acquisition level of the language.


    It was suggested as a possible translation today, March 7th 2016


    That's good. Using equivalent phrases instead of literal translations just isn't that practical for actually learning the German phrases.


    I'm so glad they fixed it so it's accepted now ^.^


    In Serbian: "Kap koja je prelila čašu" :)


    yes, in Macedonian we also say "Kapkata koja ja preli chashata" which literally means "The drop that made the cup overflow"


    "bardağı taşıran son damla" in turkish.


    Same in Dutch: De druppel die de emmer doet overlopen.


    Yes, in Vietnamese it is "giọt nước làm tràn ly" which also literally means "the drop that makes the glass overflow". It is quite similar to "the drop that makes the barrel overflow" in German. I can see the similarity of many languages here.


    In portuguese is the same idea: the water drop


    Also, literally this says, "the drop that the barrel's overflow brings"?


    In Ukrainian this proverb spells like "Остання крапля у чашi терпiння" [ostann'a krapl'a u chashee terpinn'a] — "The last droplet in a cup of patience".


    Also, in Italian, "La goccia che ha fatto traboccare il vaso" = "the drop that spilled the cup"


    Yeah! Same in french : "c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase" ! :-)

    [deactivated user]

      In Hindi its "Ab aur sahaa nahi jaata"(अब और सहा नहीं जाता) = Cannot tolerate (this) anymore.


      In Polish: "Kropla, która przepełnia czarę" = "The drop that makes the cup overflow". And BTW I really love Serbian and Macedonian - they both sound gorgeous and I'm glad that I understand quite much from them :).


      In Turkish the equivalent of this is "Bardağı taşıran son damla." Literally meaning is "The drop that overflows the glass."


      Duo, teach me the literal translation instead of translating it to another idiom in my language.


      None of the words in the sentence are camel or straw, or back, or break. Besides the meaning behind the idiom there's absolutely nothing in common. Can we please maybe use this opportunity to learn German words and idioms? Nothing about camel and the straw helps me remember German words for drop and barrel, and the idiom itself, except that there's something similar somewhere.


      This lesson is pretty much worthless without the literal translation of the sayings.


      Woohoo! First Idiom that I guessed the right English equivalent on!


      Why is there a "der" as well as a "das"?


      The second 'der' here is the relative pronoun, referring to the drop. If you'd look at the literal translation: "The drop, who/that brings the barrel to overflow", the second 'der' is translated to 'who' or 'that'


      O equivalente em português seria "a gota d'água"... Até parece, já que palha (straw) e gota d'água são coisas quase insignificantes, mas que com o tempo pesam ou transbordam!

      The equivalent in Portuguese would be "the water drop" ... It seems, as straw (straw) and water drop are almost insignificant things, but that over time overweigh or overflow!


      yes. the equivalent to "a gota d'água" is "the final straw"


      wow... the hints really confused me! Usually I can piece it together, but this one was tricky


      That's also a very well known idom in Arabic " القشة التى كسرت ظهر البعير"


      Nice, I don't even imagine how to read these characters! (I'm Brazillian)


      I think its odd to translate 'the drop that makes the barrel overflow' into yet another idiom, when the imagery of the original expresses its meaning perfectly clearly.


      Duo did a good job of illustrating the power of small things (drops, straws, or in this case, repetition) in this lesson as their insistence on using this phrase four different times enabled me to learn it but almost broke my back in the process.


      Intriguingly, it almost made my barrel overflow.


      You know what? At the end of the lesson it appeared for a fifth time!


      In Turkish, we say "Bardağı taşıran son damla" which roughly means last drop to overflow the glass.


      In french I think we'd say "c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase " which literally means it's the droplet that overfill the bowl


      Same in romanian. "Picatura care umple paharul"


      How did you get "bowl" from "vase"? https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/vase https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-french/bowl It is interesting that the German uses barrel, when so many use "glass". The expression is quite old. "Vaso" in Spanish means "glass", but in French the word for glass is "verre". The meaning in Latin "vas" was originally "container, vessel" and the English "vase" sticks closer to that as well as the French. https://www.etymonline.com/word/vase


      This should also provide the literal translation! After all, that is the fun of idioms, no?


      So the literal meaning would be "The drop that grasping too much brings"?


      The hints are wrong on this one. the verb "fassen" means to grasp; but that has nothing to do with "das Fass", which means barrel, keg. Überlaufen is overflow. So literally this means "The drop that brings the barrel to [the point of] overflow."


      This is more helpful than the equivalent English phrase. Now I know what fassen means and what Überlaufen means.

      [deactivated user]

        Yes, I got marked correctly by writing "The drop that makes the barrel overflow" :)


        Oh I don't know about "nothing to do with 'das Fass'". Hypothetically, isn't it possible that whoever invented the barrel might have come with it in efforts to find something capable of "grasping" a lot of liquid (for lack of a better word)? -- if they had been english the new thing might have been called a water grasper. I like knowing that possible connection between words --- even if I may be grasping at straws myself -- it helps!


        Yeah, to grasp or to hold (grasp is almost archaic in English) would make sense with a barrel. Today we say a barrel holds water, so it makes sense that they could describe a barrel as a "grasper".


        "The drop that overflows the barrel" and yet duolingo doesn't accept it.


        It will accept: "The drop which causes the barrel to overflow"


        Can Tropfen be used to refer to a drop as in a fall, or is it only liquid drops?


        I'd rather they just literally translated these into English rather than give us the equivalent English phrase, makes it slightly less confusing


        The most joy from learning idioms comes from understanding their literal meaning, and then their metaphorical or allegorical meaning. That brings a smile and appreciation of another culture. I see little value in translating them only to the approximately- equivalent idiom in another language.


        I agree with you, ridgepablo. Everyone's culture is different, so trying to "make it like your own" defeats the purpose of learning another's culture or language! However, perhaps these lessons should appear in Duo at the very end of the entire study, when one (hopefully) has attained more knowledge of vocabulary, in order to make connections. Right now, at the very beginning of the course, I think it frustrates some. I'd just skip that Idioms lesson and return to it, for memorization, when all the other lessons have been completed!


        We use the both idioms in Arabica. القشة التي كسرت ظهر الجمل. The straw, which break the camel's Back. القطرة التى اتضحت الإناء. Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt. Arabic langauge beautiful langauge


        The english version of it matches the Arabic's perfectly, the only difference is that we say it in past tense form, so it's more like "the straw that broke the camel's back" , otherwise the german verison of Drops and barrel is brand new to me !!


        The English is more common in the past tense as well. But, as a translation of the German, they put it this way.


        Thanks for the tip !


        Does this mean 'to exceed a point of something',like when in English people say i've had it up to here with you[shows above head to know i've had it plenty]. I can only relate it to my native's ˝Kap koja je prelila čašu˝ (Literally - The drop that spilled the glass...but one does not really spill the glass,rather it means that the water is spilling over/out)


        I want it to accept, "The drop in the barrel that brings the flood." In fact, I wish this is how we said it in English, too!


        And in Hebrew: "הקש ששבר את גב הגמל"


        Um, yeah! What he said! :)


        I'm married to a German woman and I like the literal translation better. "The drop that overflows the barrel."


        Finally finished Idioms after more than 10 attempts! Don't know how anyone can translate 'colourful dogs' or 'doves on the roof' based on the clues


        The hints are almost useless for idioms since they are hints for words. I did correctly guess "A bird in the hand ..." from "doves on the roof" but from the context of the phrase, not the hints. :-)


        waste of lingots if you ask me...


        wow. what is the word by word translation of this sentence


        I thought there was another word for "das Fass". I figured what it meant but was still trying to translate it and ended up with "the drop whose grasp brought overflow".


        This translates almost perfectly to the italian "La goccia che fa traboccare il vaso", the drop that spills the vase.


        Also in Spanish "la gota que colma el vaso"


        The drop which causes the barrel to overflow!


        As a native English speaker I prefer to learn the exact translations. This expands my associative vocabulary and insures that I know and understand all the words I'm speaking.


        In Czech: ''Poslední kapka.'' (The last drop.)


        It's interesting, In french we have one that goes as follow: "La goûte qui fait déborder le vase"

        I've never heard of a "straw" that breaks the camel's back. We learn new things every days.


        This is the way I try to translate and keep original wording in this one:

        The drop [, the one] which barrel to the overflow brings.

        It sounds weird, but it's better mapping words and teaches me German sentence structure. Any advice/thoughts?


        What is the sense of this sentence? In spanish we say: "that is the drop that spilled the glass (esa es la gota que derramó el vaso). That sentence means something like that?


        Where did our English idiom come from though? We don't even have camels!


        Interesting, in Japanese it goes instead: "Ant's nest breaks a dam"!


        I never even knew what this idiom meant until now, and thought I'd share my epiphany with everyone.

        To understand it we have to first recognize that what's being added is practically nothing. A piece of straw, or hay, is practically weightless. A single drop of water is practically weightless. But when you collect a whole bunch of it, "bundles of hay" or "a barrel full of water drops" the breaking point is the "final straw" or "the last drop" that finally "tips the scales"

        Essentially. It's negligible alone, but the one more piece added was all it took to cause the system to collapse.


        "The straw that breaks the camel's back?" I can see how it relates to ''The drop that causes the barrel to overflow'', as in....the one thing that piles up on top of the others to create an issue. Would that be it?


        Really? It doesn't accept "which" instead of "that"?


        Idioms are usually set phrases where you don't really rephrase it, even though the two phrasing are identical in literal meaning.


        I put "The mouse that sunk the boat"


        English: The mouse that sank the boat.


        I tried "the drop that spills the cup" but it didn't allow it


        I said "the drop that overflows the cup" , I thought that was (a sort of) an English idiom as well?


        Um, no, it's not really idiomatic in my experience. And while it's possible that other countries' English might vary, I probably would not use "overflow" transitively--that is, with an object-- in this context. (I might speak of the contents overflowing the vessel or a river its banks but not in the sense of the subject causing the object to overflow)

        But I do think this makes more sense than the English scenario of straw on the camel's back. How common are camels in English speaking countries, anyway? ;)


        In the USA I've never heard use of the drop overflowing saying, although I understand it. We always say the straw that broke the camel's back.


        Actually what does it mean?


        "That's the last straw!" Is far more common, at least in America. But it does refer to "The straw that broke/breaks the camel's back."


        It literally means: The drop that overflows the barrel. It's referring to a very small thing that 'breaks' or 'overflows' something already full of stress. The idiom "The straw that breaks the camel's back" is referring to a camel that has lots of straw (hay) on his back. The weight is overpowering, but he can bear it. However, when the last piece of straw is placed atop the pile, the entire weight crushes the camel's back.


        This literally translates to: The drop that overflows the barrel. Pretty interesting.


        This illustrates a classic problem with the translation of idioms: They often don't make any sense themselves--they may need interpretation even in their own language. To say that 'the last drop will overflow the glass' or words to that effect should be accepted, imho! If one knows 'tropfen' and 'fass', one can be totally at a loss of guessing this translates as a straw and a camel!!!! What to do if one is teaching the language????


        I'm not sure how this helps as it's nothing like the translation!...


        "The drop that overflows the barrel", what does that mean? Non-native english speaker here


        Well, I don't know if it helps a non-English speaker; but it's an idiom similar to "The straw that broke the camel's back"... a way of saying, "Ok, that is the last straw! You've gone too far!"... not the best analogy but essentially it means you've pushed things to the breaking point.


        It's using similar proverbs as the answer, but not the literal translation (which also makes sense)?!


        "The drop makes the barrel overflow."

        hasn't accepted pfff.... "that" is optional not vital


        This is quite confusing unless you really think about the literal translation


        I will never get my head around these proverbs the words bear no relation to the meaning!!!!


        We have a book about in English - The Mouse That Sank The Boat


        the answer makes no sense, and has nothing to do with the German. The answer should resemble what the German says....that the drop makes the barrel spill over. Nothing whatsoever about a camel or his back. Please offer a better answer!


        Not a native Englsih speaker but in the +15 years living in an English speaking country I have never heard about "the camel and the straw" idiom. Weird.


        What about "the turkey and the straw?" Haha, we use "that's the last straw!" A lot more often, referring to "the straw that broke the camel's back."


        Yes, "That's the last straw" is a much more common expression.


        I guess it's not that common an expression, Ken535287, but now that you're familiar with it, it may just start turning up all the time.


        القشة التي قصمت ظهر البعير


        القطرة التى افاضت الكأس

        [deactivated user]

          أو القشة التي كسرت ظهر الجمل


          And in persian it is: drops make an ocean


          And maybe its : the bowl of patience finally went overflow


          Where is the word that says camel in this sentence?


          To be honest, I wish this lesson would of taught the literal translations for these sayings


          So is this where the phrase "that was the last straw" came from?


          In Chinese, it has the similar idiom with the literal translation. 不积小流,无以成江海。


          And in Turkey "Bu, bardağı taşıran son damlaydı."


          Can anyone tell me why two definite articles back to back here ie der das Fass


          The "der" means "that," referring to the drop - "The drop that..." "Das" means "the," modifying "Fass," "the barrel."


          I am entering the right answer but it is still showing I am wrong. Kindly resolve the glitch


          "Eramos pocos y parío la abuela"


          So actually it's English being different from everyone else on this one It seems many languages quoted here have a similar idiom involving a drop of water that make a container overflow i like the image with the camel it makes a lot of sense to me


          They've done a lot of work on this section, I'm noticing. I had skipped the lesson before, because the vague interpretations were driving me mad, but today I'm seeing that they're accepting the more literal translations now. Awesome!




          I like the more literal translation better. As I phrased it the first time (from reading the individual words and deciphering how I would translate it), and got it wrong according to Duo:

          "The drop that brings the overflow."

          Same basic meaning, same fundamental lesson... but, to me, a much more imaginative imagery and it feels more universal. (We've all added just a little too much to a cup or glass of something only to have it make a big mess. Whereas "the straw that broke the camel's back" is a little too abstract and harder to relate to. We only really know it because it's meaning has been explained to us, whereas the more literal translation of the line is almost intuitive in what it means.)


          In Portuguese: " Foi a última gota!" Literally- It was the last drop - meaning: Enough! Somebody can't bear something anymore.


          I'm glad that we can at least see the real words, but it's frustrating to mistranslate things in to English idioms that are all borrowed anyway. I would rather learn the idioms of the language I'm learning!


          Wow, I'm a native English speaker and I didn't know what that idiom meant!


          I would say the last drop make things move


          I will never get my hear round these proverbs!!


          The "official" translation of this is ridiculous. The meaning is equivalent to "last drop" and that is incorrect..


          Could someone explain the sentence structure here, please?


          Camel's Back = Back of the Camel


          قطره قطره جمع گردد وانگهی دریا شود Persian


          What would be the literal translation in english?


          In Portuguese I guess it means: Foi a gota d'agua


          I with this were tge liters English translation. It would help me learn more words.


          It was right, what did happen..?


          Bardağı taşıran son damla. In Turkish.


          The sentence was already put up in the answer except for " camel" and the " 's". And, it was still marked wrong.


          So what is the meaning of this idiom? Anyone could explain to me please


          The drop that overflows the keg.




          La goccia che fa traboccare il vaso?


          Question. Would this be approximately correct?

          "The drop that touches the cup brings an overflow to it"

          Es tut Mir leid . Danke.


          القشة التي قطمت ظهر البعير


          I see, this conversation is very interesting for me. Because, for the first time its dificult to understanding their literal meaning. Danke!


          "The drop that overflows the keg" is not accepted either. This really needs to get fixed, makes the fun module less than useful.


          For my nonnative English speakers, the most common way to say it in English is, “That’s the last straw.” You may have heard that before if not the full idiom.

          I find it so funny that all of these languages have sayings about a drop making something overflow. In my mind, I just picture a barrel with a drop running down the side. “Oh no! Wait... well that’s not too bad.”


          and in persian it is کفرمو درآوردی دیگه.


          and in persian کفرمو در آوردی دیگه.


          la goûte qui a fait déborder le vase.


          In persian: قطره قطره جمع گردد وانگهی دریا شود!


          how does a straw brake a back


          One straw does not, picture the straw piled already high on the camel and this is the one that is too much. It is an expression, of course. This is like the drop of water that overflows, just one too many.


          I don't see all the text


          Tying a German idiom directly to the nearest English idiom seems almost pointless to me, as there's not always going to be an exact equivalent idiomatic phrase for both languages. As has been mentioned here, a grammatically correct sentence in English which translates approximately the meaning of the sentence in German by using at least the same nouns and verbs would make a lot more sense.


          A literal translation would not necessarily give an accurate meaning.


          I srpski : To je kap koja je prelila casu.


          How about Persian or Japanese?


          I always knew the English as the mouse that sank the boat. Hmm, different variations in English?

          [deactivated user]

            and it's the same in Tunisian


            The error was marked the wrong place...


            If it wasn't for the people who know the exact translation, I'd be totally lost on how any of this makes sense. I jumped into this way to early


            Can someone please explain how this has anything to do with camels? I'm an English speaker, and this translation is far from accurate.


            This is not a literal translation. This translates one idiom for another. Even light amounts when accumulated beyond the limit of full, will cause disaster.


            In Serbian is same as in Croatian :) Greetings to Croatian! :)


            When i click on a word the text is so small nobody could read that


            I need an extra explanation for this idiom because I dont know the meaning of it either in English

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