"Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt."
Translation:The straw that breaks the camel's back.
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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 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
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.
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.
In Hindi its "Ab aur sahaa nahi jaata"(अब और सहा नहीं जाता) = Cannot tolerate (this) anymore.
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.
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!
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
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!
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!
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 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.
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? ;)
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 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????
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.
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.)
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.”
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.