"Eine Hand wäscht die andere."

Translation:You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

December 23, 2013

337 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Raz805

"One hand washes another" is also accepted.

January 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kimeraweb

Into spanish we have exactly the same translation, "One hand washes the other".

Just interesting to share ^^

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ionosuke

it comes from ancient Rome: "Manus manum lavat"

May 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna_Bilbao

Which Romans took it from Greek. Τό'να χέρι νιβει τ'άλλο

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kamcurridibaz

Pay debts

October 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ProjectHopeless

I think you broke me. Help, I'm laughing too much XD

January 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Indra927477

Exactly the same in Latvian: Roka roku mazgā. Like the Latin: Manus manum lavat.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/felipebehne

Portuguese as well

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mariabrutt

In Brazil we can say: One hand washes the other, and both wash the face.

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Milan_P.

Ruka ruku mije, obraz obadvije. :)

November 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/yegomosc

Ręka rękę myje

February 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanBosh

In Bulgaria it is the same exact way. And we have a very popular child song whit the same words :)

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/aliadib2

We have the exact same in turkish

November 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MusoNilo

In Turkish we have "Bir elin nesi var, iki elin sesi var." meaning literally "One hand has nothing, two hands have a sound."

November 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/pelefthe

Same in Greek

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasmina_S

Could you, please, write it on Portuguese

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mariabrutt

"Uma mão lava a outra, e as duas lavam o rosto."

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasmina_S

Thanks :)

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/leao_gloria

Que legal, sou mineiro e acho que nunca ouvi falar a continuação.

June 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mehdi.Abbassi

Exactly same here in local Turkish in north-western Iran! "æl æle yuvār, æl dæ geyidær üze yuvār!"

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jonbulica99

Same in Albania

January 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RumarroR

Russian too

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MilanAnti

Serbian also

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/luisfefea

English, you had ONE job...

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mehdi.Benhenia

In Arabic we say: «on hand can't applaud by itself» (يد واحدة ما تصفق) As well in French: Une seule main ne peut applaudir.

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gilbertwat

In cantonese, we have a hand cant clap itself, 一隻手掌拍唔響

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/writingfish

In mandarin Chinese it writes"一个巴掌拍不响。“just the same meaning :)

November 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/blackswindler

in polish the same: ręka rękę myje :P

December 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OgnjenG.

Ruka, ruku mije! :)

August 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LiorErez

Hebrew too

October 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/UrbanLegend13

Can you write it in Russian please!!

August 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KirZhukov

рука руку моет

August 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zirrex

But in Russian it is also often used with negative connotations, meaning that one bad man covers another as long as they are parts of the same criminal or corruption group.

August 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/h2N5

" рука руку моет " but translate this inglish say " ты мне - я тебе "

September 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Indra927477

You are right Zirrex. Also in Latvian there is the negative meaning. Not only criminal but in general: if one has done smth not so good and the other covers it to get some benefits of that.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shoubhikrajmaiti

In Bengali too. 'এক হাতে তালি বাজে না' ---It needs two to clap.

December 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pellucidon

There's also the Zen question : "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

For some reason I'm thinking of the Bap song, sorry about the mistakes, please correct: "Ich geh unheimlich gern mit dir in die WaschSalon, Weil du hast ahnung von der Technik was ich nicht verstonn" (I think verstonn = verstehen in Kölsch).

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Amy5400

Same in Urdu and Arabic!

May 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/raqps

Same in Slovene language: "Roka roko umije."

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ThePersephonies

Não conheço o ditado em português o.o

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Orsoja

In hungarian too: Kéz kezet most.

September 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Daventura_HUN

Kéz kezet mos

February 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/masterdrx

In Italian it's the same

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Emanuelaaaaaaaa

Come si traduce in italiano? Danke

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Duolessio

Una mano lava l'altra.

April 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlonBrand

So does hebrew "יד רוחצת יד" (yad rohetset yad)

October 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gwoi10

We also have that in Afrikaans

September 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gecvddf

Daai is baie waar, "Een hand was die ander"

August 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KazimierzB

In Poland the same too

September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/catfisher01

How do you say it in Polish, if you don't mind me asking?

December 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/linamkraw

arabic too

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nanduyv

Siiii. Esa traducción me gusta más

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JirkaBadatel

"Ruka ruku myje" - Czech

June 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AllekCezana

Auf Portugiesisch auch: uma mão lava a outra

October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GeraldoTaraj

Also in Albanian the same... "One hand washes the other, both they wash the face."

May 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sikhosiyotula

Zulu also has exactly the same saying, "hands wash each other". Although, the connection in Zulu has less to do with, you helping me and me helping you on return, but more to do with communities working because of cooperation from all parties.

June 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Roberta205298

In Italian we have it too! :)

December 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AbdallahEl528006

In Arabic it's "One hand can't clap"

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Barmaleykin

In russian too

September 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mummele

Also in Portuguese.

March 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DerZorz

In portuguese too

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Javi-Er

I never heard that. Which spanish speaking country are you from? (me Chile/Spain)

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/H-Skoo

And it's already an idiom in English, I don't see why the main suggested translation has to be a phrase that means the same thing but uses a totally different metaphor :S

August 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KaiMaxfield

I haven't been around much, but in my miniscule realm of conversation, it is far more common to hear, ''You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.'' I really wouldn't have had a clue what ''one hand washes the other'' even meant. But that's just me from Utah.

August 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AngeCelte.g10

In my own small world, as a French Canadian, Duolingo's equivalent is faulty... I may be wrong, but I checked my French, my English and my German dictionary, haven't found an answer, but for me, One hand washes the other means some kind of forgiveness... The scratching version means what in French we say "Un service en attire in autre" or help me and I'll help you... Far from my idea of forgiveness...

October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/owl420028

The meanings seem a little different in English as well.

Duo's translation "...I'll scratch your back" is a kind of a proposition, while "one hand washes the other" is a description of at least two individuals or groups engaging in mutually beneficial activities.

The meanings are similar but the first is someone asking for help and the second is someone describing why or in what way some people are helping each other.

May 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/crs002

In my small Pennsylvania world, both phrases were equivalent, but one hand wages the other was more prevalent.

April 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Daria323991

Some worlds are just better than others :) Thanks for your idea

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iamtwinkle

What is the metaphor?

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/fyggs

Metaphors use imagery to compare two seperate things or ideas. A lot of idioms are metaphors. The two idioms being discussed here are also metaphors.

February 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jenjojo

In Chinese, we say "Fish help water, and water help fish"(魚幫水,水幫魚). Very interesting, right?

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/adlihtam

How do fish help water?

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Charplin93

You need to learn something about the earth. :P Look up stuff about aquariums and nitrite cycles.

March 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Duolessio

So does traditional Chinese have knowledge of nitrite cycles?!

April 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FranciscoLitvay

The same metaphor but in a different context :D cool

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/yegomosc

Yes really nice

February 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/linamkraw

in arabic we say "one hand would never clap"

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FERNAND001

Acyually that is possible if you hit your palm with your fingertips fast (except thumb)

September 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bjrddc

In korean "오는 정이 있어야 가는 정이 있다"

August 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hanhee3

아 진짜 한국어 찾고있었어요 와우

June 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/lye9595

무슨뜻인가 한참 고민했는데! 진짜 감사합니다!

July 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffreyIp1

In Chinese as well!

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/chattelg

一个巴掌拍不响

October 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Nora.Gol

Same in Persian.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlirezaHsp

Yes

August 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ArvindhMani

It marked me wrong for this! .. Apparently "One hand washes another one" is the correct way. Lost a heart. But reported it

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jgross173

One hand washes the other should also work...

February 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RubenArmen3

That's closer to the actual German sentence.

June 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hkRv1

To be honest to me this sounds the better translation than the one they give. That one just confuses me so much

September 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/noncapisco14

I think, the idiom has a Latin origin (manus manum lavat ) and the original idiom is about corruption. Accompliances will defend each other. "One hand washes the other" seems to be the best choice. Of course there are some idioms about mutuality, which can be acceptable , depending from the context...

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mariabrutt

In Brazil we have something like "wet someone's hand", meaning to give a tip in advance, so that the person will allow us to do, or will do for us, something that is not correct, for instance, in the restaurant you may "wet the maitre's hand", so that you get a table before other people. It is about corruption!

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Andermil

What? We do? I have never heard it before. :P

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamarth

That's exactly what confused me when I read the preferred answer and the comments. I've heard the Hungarian version only in the sense you explained, always with a negative connotation.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Neeeeeevi

In Croatian we say it shortly: "Ruka ruku mije" :)

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/matanov

And in Czech too: "Ruka ruku myje." :)

January 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lev.levitsky

... same in Russian ("рука руку моет")

February 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pawsierz

The same in Polish: "ręka rękę myje"

January 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/miraae

In Finnish we say "toinen käsi pesee toista kättä" :D

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Damian_Martinezz

Interesting but "Finnisch ist zu schwer"

January 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/caheinecke

In Portuguese it's "Uma mão lava a outra" :D

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pomagranite

I like yours because it sounds different than all of the slavic ones :P

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CMcV1

also hebrew has a vrey similare idiom "יד רוחצת יד" (yad roh'etset yad)

the literal translation is : a hand washes a hand

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/heshamwhite

"Eine Hand wäscht die andere." is way better than "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" I always though the English idiom is Disgusting :D

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fakejohndoe123

Native (US) English speaker here: Since these are idioms, I can't be sure of the exact translated meaning. But from the German words, this seems much closer to "One hand washes the other". I guess "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" has similar meaning, but all of the words are completely different.

I think hand-washing needs to be made the primary translation, and back-scratching could be an accpeted alternate answer.

March 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/-Jim_Dandy-

You can hover over the words for the literal translation, but this section is about idioms specifically so knowing what is equivalent in english (semantically not literally) is important here. Both might be nice to see tho, I hear you.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lily_Owen

Why does it only sometimes accept the literal translation- or rather why would it not teach me the literal translation and then show the English equivalent? This portion is really confusing in that sense. (Ends good all is good- was not an acceptable translation for another sentence.)

March 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeremy_A

Because they're idioms, and idioms don't always mean what they literally say. Like if you told someone "I'm only pulling your leg," and they didn't know what that idiom meant, but only knew a literal word-for-word translation in their language, it'd be confusing.

October 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DorotaJarosz

I was told the English idiom "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." lacks the negative connotation, which stems from the Latin meaning of corruption cover up "Manus manum lavat." Native German speakers, please confirm!

March 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidFutter

"You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" has negative connotations in English too, again relating to mild corruption, whereas "one good turn deserves another" would generally be thought of as positive. I've never heard anyone say "one hand washes the other" although bribery is sometimes referred to as "greasing someones palm", which will need to be cleaned off afterwards!

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sodbrennen

Definitely negative in German.

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/calvinlimuel13

although it could be

May 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Konrad-Michal

It is negative in Polish as well

August 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/-Jim_Dandy-

As a native american english speaker I would agree that there usually isn't that much negative connotation associated with the idiom. It can be used in legitimate situations of business/dealing.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaum

It comes from Latin proverb: "Manus manum lavat."

April 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/amanda.mck3

"One hand washes the other" is a saying here in the southeastern US. I feel like "you scratch my back..." still has a slight underhanded connotation

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Alt.N

So, is the German idiom used with a negative connotation? "One hand washes the other" in English is used to describe a deeper dishonest collusion. It's like a criminal organization exchanging favors for the police in exchange for being allowed to operate their racket. "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" often lacks sinister implications. It still may involve some "questionable" practice, but not necessarily.

May 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pat5120

In Thai, we say "หมูไปไก่มา" which literally means "Pork for you and chicken for me" Sounds weird but it means exactly the same as this one :)

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Xneb

Interestingly, Danish and German seem to share a lot of these idioms (such as this one: Den ene hånd vasker den anden).

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/omar_carballo

In Creole they have the same saying “ han waash han" its a bit hard to read but cool language

May 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/smaransubb

It accepts quid pro quo

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LoesVanBos

I went to redo the lesson just to test it out, it really does!

July 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/genauer_gesagt

I have long wondered what quid pro quo means, and now I finally know. Thanks!

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rabovszky

in Hungarian this sounds on short way : kéz kezet mos

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gemobis

In French I suppose it is: C'est un prété pour un rendu.

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jujubees

Thank you because I had no clue what the idioms mean :P

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AngeCelte.g10

Or: «Un service en attire un autre?»

October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zanshin13

"One hand washes another" - is a way better and closer to the original meaning

Правильный перевод - "рука руку моет". Привет согражданам! :)

March 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Prewettlover

Usually I've heard this phrase as "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." It's slightly less clunky than the one above.

January 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LauraB_71

In Italian we say it exactly like in German :)

March 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Fabio.Ocana

I'm brazilian and in portuguese we use the literal translation of this german statement: "uma mão lava a outra" (one hand washes the other). I was wondering if it is also acceptable/common in english. Does anybody know that?

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreaMart308193

In spanish too!!! Una mano lava la otra

May 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Fabio.Ocana

nice, hermano =)

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LoesVanBos

Mama Morton knows many English expressions for the reciprocity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoDS1lWdpjw

not sure that "If you want my gravy, pepper my ragu" is a valid idiom, though :P

May 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sam.vimes.

It should be lol!!

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ionosuke

It comes from ancient Rome: "manus manum lavat"

May 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gunayk1995

"Bir elin nesi var, iki elin sesi var" in Turkish

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BBrinton

I wish that they had given the idiom that this actually translates to (one hand washes the other) instead of the completely different one abut scratching someone's back! You would NEVER guess that without looking at the hints, it has nothing to do with the words.

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MHopley

Almost exactly the same in Zulu. "Izandla ziyagezana" - (the) hands wash each other.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kartulian

In Georgian: "one hand washes the other and both of them wash the face" - ხელი ხელს ბანს, ორივე კი, პირსაო (kheli khels bans, orive ki, pirsao)

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LewisPeng

In Chinese 有来有往,互相帮助?

March 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dwIP1

Maybe... Chinese seems doesn't has this kind of idiom 用口語講就是你幫我我幫你

March 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SS80121

Alright i was thinking 狼狈为奸, or something like bad people helping each other do bad things, or at least cover for each other, from what i read being discussed above... i am not a hundred percent sure i got what this original idiom means either

June 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/allison.hu2

好冷呀。。哈哈

May 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/saiedmomen

In Persian we have "one hand can't clap"

November 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dr.aya.faw

Here in Egypt the same meaning One hand can't clap :-)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob20020

I believe the actual meaning is "If you help me, I will help you"

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MechArt

" One hand washes the other " is the literal translation is it not ?

March 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Somaia4

Nice idiom^_^

August 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinWint1

I am confused as to what this has to do with scratching backs. One, hand washes the other totally makes sense.

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinZipek

Czech and Slovak: Ruka ruku myje.

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kryzon

Wow, I didn't put the punctuation in "I'll" and it thought I said "Ill", as in sick. Couldn't there be a filter for these types of things?

October 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sascha_bucher

In Turkish we use same: one hand wash another and the other hand wash the face! :)

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/leon306

意思是一个巴掌拍不响?

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexAceJ

In Slovenia we say: "Roka roko umije."

October 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/geetu.kamath

In Hindi we have "Ek hath se taali nahi bajti"... One hand can't clap by itself. But the meaning is different from this phrase. It means that there are always two aspects to an argument.

December 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/VasileqVas

In Roumanian is: O mana spala pe cealalta.

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Paperkite01

In Romanian we have "O mana spala pe alta"

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nelivettef

Yo lo escribí literal: "Una mano limpia la otra", " One hand cleans the other" . La aceptaron como correcta.

February 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/enilevkay

Same in Portuguese. I also know this variation: 'uma mão lava a outra e as duas batem palmas' (one hand washes the other and two clap). =)

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/xpluto

In Azerbaijani we have the same

March 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_rxlinguist

There's an old adage that says "Hand wash hand makes hand come clean" Which I think is supposed to convey the same idea of "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours "

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/paul29may

I think the answer is:if you help me,I will help you

October 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/waztaz

I heard Vladimir Putin say it takes two to tango and i wonder if the idiom means the same. P.S I'm not native English speaker and obviously that Putin line was a translation into English.

October 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/amfishell

"It takes two to tango" is typically used to mean 'you/he/she didn't get into trouble alone,' whereas "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"/"one hand washes the other" usually means something like 'you help me out of trouble, I'll help you.'

October 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RobynLiebe1

In Afrikaans it is exactly the same: Een hand , was die ander.

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/that_babe

In swahili we have Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa

November 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sisduo

Same in Amharic( a language in Ethiopia) "

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/doug609981

I chose words from a word bank and it tells me i have a typo...

February 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GayleKenne

I am supposed to have a typo in something I didn't even type. Why do some of the answers fill themselves

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/meirgiler

In hebrew we have "hand washes hand"

March 30, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Est- "Käsi peseb kätt."

    May 14, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/orerockon

    Stupidest translation in history.

    May 19, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/RubbleToes

    "One hand washes the other" is also an idiom in English. It's confusing to change it unnecessarily

    May 27, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hone8

    I think they linked to the wrong proverb here!

    May 28, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/SteffieSproat

    "I have a typo..." ??? I didn't have a typo.

    June 21, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thalee-orange

    Well, according to the comments just English had got sick and tired of "hands" and changed to "backs"! Lol hehe

    July 2, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/SteffieSproat

    There is no "typo in my answer" which is said whenever I correctly put blocks of words in order and there is a split word with an apostrophe.

    July 20, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/DavidRussnak

    I genuinely don't understand why this doesn't use the literal translation as the default when it's a valid expression in English that receives at least equal usage. It's irritating and confusing to use a longer translation that uses none of the actual English translation.

    August 20, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/anne.claude

    How can I have a typo on an automatic answer? I didn't write it, I simply chose the words it gave me... And they are all in the right order...

    September 1, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/abuuka

    in Somaliam we have. labo gacan ayaa isku weso qado

    September 18, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/catbuns1

    Duolingo you are ridiculous. This translates perfectly fine literally and its just confusing when you translate something like this as anything but literally.

    September 23, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tolstoj1

    It keeps reporting me for some typo, while I do not make it at all!! I need to put the words in right order, so I don't even can make such a mistake...

    October 23, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/BrendanShe6

    Check this out please its not correct

    October 29, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/johnfield5

    Dulingo you forgot to put in the you what I mean is the correct answer can't be achieved.

    November 22, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Leena170722

    In Estonian it's exactly the same - käsi peseb kätt.

    January 13, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/AleeAlmonacid

    what does it mean?? that you critizise the others without caring about the mistakes that you've made??

    March 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Xenocider

    No. Basically means, that one can cover up the mess for the other, if the other person also covers his/hers. "If you help me, I'll help you" or in pre-school: "To avoid punishment, I won't turn you in for breaking that toy if you keep your mouth shut about my damage"

    March 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/n1m

    Simply put, it means co-operation is a beneficial thing for all.

    March 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/DorotaJarosz

    I don't think so. It is quite derogatory, like a cover-up of something illegal, e.g. corruption. The one taking the bribe is equally guilty as the one offering it.

    March 16, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/n1m

    That's what I thought first, too, as there is a similar idiom in Urdu with negative connotation. But I guess at the bottom of it, it still means that without co-operation, the task can't be done, both positively and negatively. You need one hand to wash another and you need someone WILLING to accept a bribe by the one OFFERING the bribe. Then there is "every drop makes an ocean".

    I could be very, very wrong..

    March 16, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/SofiaKlimov

    It feels like it should come paired up with "If I'm going down I'll take you down with me"

    May 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BBrinton

    Only in our modern corrupt times.

    July 6, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/m25lewis

    I wrote "you scratch my back and ill scratch yours." It said it was wrong because of the "ill." In previous lessons I've put "doesnt," and it counted. so why the sudden change?

    March 8, 2014

    [deactivated user]

      because "doesnt" doesnt meant anything but "ill" means disease :D.so it thought its not a typo mistake.

      April 1, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Ozitiho

      Does anyone here ever say "Wash my back --I-- wash yours"? Instead of I'll. Or is that just me?

      March 18, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/LuciaLucertola99

      "One hand washes the other", Is the literal translation.

      July 16, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/e.cesare

      Should variations like "You scratch mine, I scratch yours." also work?

      July 31, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Anto_Anish

      One hand washes the other

      September 5, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmeyBorse

      Similar meaning maybe.....you can not clap with one hand.....

      October 20, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/VikingBoat

      Write in Norwegian

      October 31, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Anthonystevenson

      What does this idom means???

      November 4, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/RobynLiebe1

      It means that if you help me i can help you

      November 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/apsyif

      What's the idiom means?

      November 21, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Bonjourcym

      this is about helping each other and cooperation?

      November 22, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Mathesud

      In portuguese "Uma mão lava a outra"

      November 24, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/faruErwan

      Can anyone write it in indonesian please?

      December 7, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/haidarahhusain

      "Bagai aur dengan tebing".

      Note: dalam bahasa Indonesia konotasinya netral (atau bisa dianggap cenderung untuk hal positif). Sedangkan versi Bahasa Jerman konotasinya adalah hal negatif.

      March 19, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/XXY1975

      I think in Chinese, it should be 互通有无

      December 18, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Sikul

      Omg wäscht is so hard to pronounce

      January 20, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Ungewitig_Wiht

      It's pronounced wesht. Don't see the issue

      July 22, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/2zwei

      i cant understand... dose it mean “一个巴掌拍不响” or“鱼帮水水帮鱼”?

      February 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/EugeniaCol

      Una mano lava la otra. So simple

      February 20, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/travessia

      "You scratch mine, I'll scratch yours" should be acceptable as well

      March 9, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/GregHarris10

      Frankly, "one hand washes the other" (the more literal translation) seems more appropriate than guessing a similar idiom.

      March 20, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/El.maghraby

      In Arabic it says: one hand can not clap alone

      March 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/nicola.vol

      Same in Italy

      April 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/ChelseaAba1

      In Indonesia " lempar batu, sembunyi tangan" throw the rock, hide the hand.

      April 16, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/nccmn

      In Romanian: " O mână spală pe alta" (One hand washes the other).

      April 17, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/behnammohs

      in persian we have:"one hand doesn't make any sound" just saying :/

      April 24, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/aptg.gabi

      I am hungarien. My language is ( I think.) : Kéz kezet mos.

      April 27, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/AdnanTabak

      Ljepota ovaj Njemacki,pravo lagan za ucenje.

      April 28, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/4SMD

      'Many hands make light work' have to be accepted

      May 5, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/4SMD

      In korean 백짓장도 맞들면 낫다

      May 5, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Momo.Reza

      In Persian we say nobody can scratch my back, but myself. کس نخارد پشت من. جز ناخن انگشت من گر بخارد پشت من انگشت من. بشکند از بار منت پشت من همتی کو تا نخارم پشت خویش. وارهم از منت انگشت خویش And then the poet say, if my Finger scratch my back then i do Not need anybody in my Life, and because he can Not scratch his back he Said, we must try to Not scratch our back and even i do Not need my Finger to use it for scrathing. And then he Said i am free and needless

      May 8, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/metschelle

      I dont understand how the literal translation is not the primary correct solution. This is precisely why i gave up on this level the last time, this ❤❤❤❤ doesnt make sense one tiny bit.

      May 28, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/ViTedder

      What does this idiom mean?

      June 3, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/m7mdenoo

      ايد لوحدها ما تصقفش .

      June 19, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/steve78383

      Ok

      June 26, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Waeljp

      "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back".. Seriously?

      July 4, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/emanahmed322534

      was bedeutet das auf arabisch

      July 13, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Latmover0331

      Where is it getting the back scratching from?

      August 17, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/marvol01

      we have the exact same in greek

      August 22, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/SalvatoreChiaras

      I agree with the translation one hand washes the other... it means actually that together things are done better

      August 26, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Wispercind

      It seems to be showing me only the full sentance and not each word individually :(

      September 4, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/umarfarooq156

      In other meanings. We have three forms of this phrase. One hand doesn't clap. Or it takes two to clap. In my language. طالی ایک ہاتھ سے نہیں ہے.

      September 25, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/waztaz

      Bajti hai bhai.

      October 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/amfishell

      One hand washes the other is also an idiom in English. It's interchangeable with "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

      September 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/olejjjnik

      In Russian we say: рука руку моет

      October 22, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Ziyuuu

      In Chinese it's called :以牙还牙:-)

      November 8, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/onelkj

      If it literally means "one hand washes the other" which is also a idiom, why does it say "if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"?

      November 21, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Morgan787769

      It doesnt exactly teach us this so ive gotten them all wrong because i didnt know what they mean

      November 21, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/saleh834379

      Can everybody help me to know the meaning? We have in petsian another idiom which says "one hand has no sound" and it means we need to do teamwork or we should be together...

      November 24, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Indra927477

      It means- you help me out I'll help you out. Or there are two involved sides that both get some benefit from an illegal deal.

      March 16, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/gunce1

      Hand is more important than hand

      November 25, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/AlexRodrig165488

      Is this used alot?

      December 4, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Mehdi.Abbassi

      In local Turkish in Iran we have: One hand washes another, and that washes the face!

      December 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/maimohamed538999

      What is it mean by arabic

      December 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/XManBad

      iv got no ideu wut yoo are saying

      December 18, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/tianda14

      Kalo di indonesia apaan ya??

      “cinta bertepuk sebelah tangan" ??

      January 3, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/pashimomo

      Would you be considerd normal if you said these quotes in everyday german conversation? Im going thre soon.

      January 4, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/ChetanJosh3

      Marathi : eka hatane tali vatat nahi.

      January 4, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw

      I wonder why the preferred translation is "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" While I agree these are similar, this translates directly.

      January 15, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/J0W3x

      What does it means though?

      January 20, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/JasonVoorheess

      Seriously ? You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours Has the same sentence of use with One hand washes the other !!?? (¬_¬)

      January 23, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/JasonVoorheess

      Seriously , Wtf ??

      You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours

      Has the same sentence of use with

      One hand washes another ??!! (¬_¬)ノ

      January 23, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/MartosBogi

      I could not see the whole sentence in the pop up dictionary. I use mobile application with a mobile which has a rather small (cca. 5*7cm) display compared to new smartphones. What could be the problem and the solution to see the whole text? Thank you.

      January 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AritraJana

      I dont really get it

      February 1, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/anyadikecj

      one good turn deserves another

      February 1, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/shagun-sharma

      Seems like it is very common phrase worldwide. Just interesting to know.

      February 7, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/zena816095

      whats the meaning of andere??!

      February 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Indra927477

      Another one

      March 16, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/juliocorre63

      We have in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a positive way to this proverb: "Gentileza gera gentileza = Kindness produces kindness", it is more than " uma mão lava a outra = one hand washes the other" because in this case, there wasn't interest by the other person in doing a favor.

      February 18, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/rmpartis

      If claiming to teach German idioms, should not just have what you consider to be an English equivalent idiom.. should have both literal translation and what the idiom actually means.. especially since this is a "special" lesson that we spend lingots on.

      February 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Gizemtezcan

      Same in Klingon too

      March 14, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/TelSk

      Where is "and" (und)?

      March 18, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/MohamedWah15

      Guys i don't know what is it mean?!

      March 19, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Hillolsctg

      In Bangla, এক হাতে তালি বাজে না, but the meaning differs. It takes two to make a quarrel.

      March 21, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/ZakiAzizi2

      "One hand washes the other" pretty interesting.

      March 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/ZakiAzizi2

      In Persian we also have the same saying. از یک دست به تنهایی صدا نمی براید

      March 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Charplin93

      I was really confused that "one hand washes the other" in german should be "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" - makes no sence I think. O.o Also irritatws me that the bar on the app is so long that you can only see half of the translation... -.-

      March 30, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/descius

      I hindi also  एक हाथ से ताली नहीं बजती 

      April 4, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/alghurayib

      I can't think of equivalent idiom in Arabic. I don't think that "one hand can't clap" is really similar as we say it when we mean to urge someone to help someone or to accept a help from someone. In this satuation we just say "you help me (with this) and I help you (with that)" or refer to the meaning by any other way.

      April 8, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/EmilIsbaTo

      Meaningless

      April 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/HoneySHS

      In Persian we have "Ye dast seda nadare"it means:one hand doesn't have sound(doesn't make any sound)and also "ba ye gol bahar nemishe"meaning literally :spring doesn't come with just one flower.

      April 19, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/DrGirlfriend81

      Wait...this says "One hand washes the other." Why was the "correct" answer something totally different?

      April 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/GeraldoTaraj

      "Njëra dorë lan tjetrën, të dyja lajnë fytyrën." -Albanian

      May 14, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/RubbleToes

      One hand washes the other is also an English idiom. It's confusing to change the idiom unnecessarily

      May 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/MarisitaPK

      What does it mean? I suppose it is not the literal meaning as in one hand washes the other... or that i will scratch your back and you mine.... when is it used?

      June 3, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Dan7860

      One hand washes the other

      June 9, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/BruMeloni

      In Portuguese I heard "One hand washes the other and both wash the feet." "Uma mão lava a outra e as duas lavam os pés."

      June 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Andrs973512

      Huge confusing mistake "one hand washes the other"

      June 16, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/01ljuban

      We in croatian say:Ruka ruku mije

      June 21, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/BdirBdir

      What it means? I don't understand though I read the translation

      July 17, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/altay721607

      In Turkish it is used as : " Al gülüm ver gülüm"

      August 28, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/JohnKiker

      Rftd

      October 21, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/johnfield5

      Syntax error

      November 22, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/SalsabeelE

      In arabic we say " one hand cant clap "

      December 5, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/FabioFerre88497

      In italian it is the same as german

      December 8, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/RubbleToes

      OK

      December 10, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Juli391813

      It says I have a typo mistake when I answer "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours".

      December 29, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Davarrel

      So wie affen

      February 5, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/ThePaulGreen

      One hand washes the other is correct and known. Why change it from a well known phrase?!

      February 28, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw

      What is the meaning?

      July 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw

      What is the meaning?

      July 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw

      What is the meaning?

      July 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw

      What does this mean?

      July 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw

      What does this mean?

      July 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/SamiraSaye1

      i think it like who helps people, the help will turn back to him one day

      July 15, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/xSociopath

      i'm not sure how i'm suppost to learn like this.. why can't you hover over the ONE word and get the defenition, not the whole sentence/phrase.

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/FrancoisNolte

      If anyone was wondering what the direct translation is, its "One hand washes the other"

      August 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Royatskan

      יד רוחצת יד

      August 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Royatskan

      יד רוחצת יד

      August 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Royatskan

      יד רוחצת יד

      August 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Royatskan

      יד רוחצת יד

      August 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/RonanSill

      why refuse" a good turn deserves another?"

      October 9, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/RonanSill

      why refuse" a good turn deserves another?"

      October 9, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/RonanSill

      why refuse" a good turn deserves another?"

      October 9, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Jackk_

      As a native English speaker, I have never heard this before.

      October 20, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Jackk_

      As a native English speaker, I have never heard this before.

      October 20, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Jackk_

      As a native English speaker, I have never heard this before.

      October 20, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/coolmondude

      ???

      October 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/coolmondude

      ???

      October 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/coolmondude

      ???

      October 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/hechap

      reciprocity

      December 13, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/hechap

      reciprocity

      December 13, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/MatijaSele1

      a

      January 6, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/MatijaSele1

      a

      January 6, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/JamesHamilton5

      Where doe's it say (I) eine is an indefinite (A)

      February 3, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/MariaFress1

      I would say: “One hand washes the other.”

      February 18, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/MariaFress1

      I would say: “One hand washes the other.”

      February 18, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/MariaFress1

      I would say: “One hand washes the other.”

      February 18, 2018
      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.