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

Really bad executed

Special expressions that have a meaniing beyond its literal meaning are not something that can be taught properly through your teaching style. What you could do however, is to have the expression, and below it an explanation (possibly in German) of what it means, like for example: "Ich verstehe nur Bahnof" and bellow something like: "Expression with wnich the person states that something's obvious."

December 20, 2013

18 Comments


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

We REALLY REALLY need context. Without context, idioms are useless to us.

December 24, 2013

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

I agree that this skill is really bad. English not being my mother tongue, I don't know either of the idioms so translating them is nearly impossible. And even if I knew one of them, how am I to discern that "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof" is to be translated as "It's clear as mud" (or something like that). Another thing is that Duolingo accepts some literal translations, yet it only accepts some of them even though they are synonymous (i.e. accepts "Tomorrow, tomorrow, just not today, that's what all lazy people say", doesn't accept "All lazy people say tomorrow tomorrow, but not today" or "Tomorrow, tomorrow, but not today, that's what all lazy people say" (by the way I still don't know the English equivalent to this one)).

December 20, 2013

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

As an American I would say, "Don't put off until/till tomorrow what you can do today." Most people will speak till, but write until, because till is old fashion for most dialects of English. I haven't done the lesson yet, so I don't know if that's accepted.

December 21, 2013

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

agree with you.. I completely missed the point of "the Bahnhof" statement, and reported an incorrect translation (clear as mud).... duh !! maybe a separate lesson on idioms and proverbs would be useful

December 21, 2013

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

Really badly executed is better, though I don`t really agree. Better would be, "really poorly executed".

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ayrek7

I agree this needs to be changed. I am not a beginner when it comes to German but a little more needs to be added to this to help people understand. They are not literal translations.

December 20, 2013

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

I just did a lesson in French idioms and it's way better than the German one. Maybe the lesson here will get better as we report those mistakes that should have been accepted. Also, in the French lesson, there are often translations of the whole sentences instead of words, which shows you the English equivalent. Perhaps it gets better here as well (or already got better). We just have to report these problems.

December 25, 2013

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

That's one thing I think Duolingo HAS to include, the translation of phrases rather than the translation of words, otherwise, how do you translate the "de" in "ela gosta de..." when in english we only say "I like..."?

December 25, 2013

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

I agree, I got really frustrated at this, with near misses like "As cheap as chips" (Not "it's as cheap as chips" and "As clear as day" (not clear as mud).

December 24, 2013

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

Because the ironic thing is, mud isn't clear and chips aren't cheap.

January 2, 2014

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

I have to say that I found this very helpful. These expressions are part of the daily life of all languages, but most books do not tackle them. "Clear as mud" is used so often, and I can see easily whence comes "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof". Must be said pretty often by foreigners asking questions in German. I only heard you say Bahnhof, ja?

December 22, 2013

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

I want to swim against the tide here and say that I thought these lessons were very fun. Sure, the first time it's confusing, but they present a very valid mental challenge and help us see the similarities and differences between common English idioms and German ones. Memorize these and you will have fun using them. Halt die Ohren steif! (One of my favorites). And kudos to the Duolingo team for offering these bonus lessons.

December 23, 2013

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

I don't see how "guessing with no chance of getting it right 9 out of 10 times" is a mental challenge. It's really cool to learn typical phrases from other countries, but not through the duolingo system which is very limited in teaching idioms and is mostly based on almost literal translations.

December 24, 2013

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

Agreed. For those of us who get to practice our German only occasionally, this is terrific. Halt die Ohren steif, is that keep the chin up. Think so.

December 24, 2013

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

Thanks for the frank going against the tide :) I agree with you and think it's a great tool even if a little imperfect at times! I also hadn't yet got to learning 'Halt die Ohren steif' but being a native Brit, I love it ;) Also I think for the non-native speakers some seem to be a little confused about it being clear as mud...

It's meant to be a little sarcastic (which is a very culturally British thing) so actually if you are annoyed with something because it ISN'T obvious then you will say in an annoyed way: 'ugh it's as clear as mud!'. Meaning: 'this doesn't make any sense to me at all'.

Therefore you can link this to 'I can only see the train station (and no trains, or no surrounding town/village etc. and so I don't know why there is a station, perhaps?)'. Or clear as mud can be a jokey way of saying 'I didn't get it at all/there's a problem' etc. So if you don't understand something and would like someone to explain it again they may ask 'so is that clear?' and you will respond: 'umm... about as clear as mud...' i.e. no, please can you explain it again/differently. Not meaning to be pedantic but inspire positivity.

Idioms are always going to be hard when it's two languages that aren't your mother tongue, but by making mistakes we learn to get it right because it is annoying to get things wrong! :) Halt die Ohren steif, Leiben!

January 19, 2014

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

I think it's useful to present idioms, but the way this lesson is constructed, it's just discouraging. "Translate this expression into English". Right, I have never seen it before, it makes no sense, and there is zero chance I'm going to guess right. There's got to be a better way to present them.

January 26, 2014

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

i see thanks

March 8, 2016

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

okay I tots mcgoats agree

July 6, 2016
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