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  5. "Sie kennt viele hohe Tiere."

"Sie kennt viele hohe Tiere."

Translation:She knows many movers and shakers.

January 26, 2013



I for one love the German idioms. I just wish that there was some sort of note on these questions that said, "Warning, Incoming Idiom". :-)


I think at some point you begin to recognize them. In running text, an idiom sticks out for me as a group of words that somehow didn't seem to fit: I might not know what it means, but it sits there like an odd lump. Duolingo doesn't provide the context that running text does, but if a literal translation doesn't make sense or can't be made to work, it's likely to be an idiom--usually and more specifically, as in this case, a metaphor.

The same thing can happen in your own language. In this example, if you'd never heard the term "movers and shakers" it wouldn't immediately make sense to you ("What are those, barroom dancers? Furniture delivery drivers and martini-mixing bartenders?") but you'd probably realize it was an expression and look for what it meant.


…except that Duolingo has plenty of sentences with “odd lumps” that aren't idiomatic, just bizarre.


You might want to talk to the movers and shakers about that.


I answered "She knows many tall animals.", which was accepted, but sounds ridiculous, given that it is an idiom.


I answered "she knows many high animals" and it was accepted. I was imagining some kind of stoner petting zoo.


I put "she knows many tall animals", and it wasn't accepted. Presumably they've removed that.


It was accepted just now.

[deactivated user]

    That happens when such slang finds it way into Duolingo basic lessons, people try to translate it as is comes, and the worst thing is as zvezdalion did, it is accepted even if it is totally wrong. Students may memorize the wrong answer and later wonder what rubbish they have learnt! Wow, this isn't right for sure.


    "Die hohen Tiere" is certainly not slang. It is just an idiomatic expression, meaning "the well-connected" or "the high and mighty"

    This expression dates back to the fifties and earlier, and is not very much used any more - but of course you still can hear it occasionally.

    Here is a very nice song which combines the idiomatic meaning with the simplistic meaning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPCLuCR0vA0

    Here is the text: http://www.myheimat.de/springe/gedanken/die-suessesten-fruechten-fressen-nur-die-grossen-tiere-d710307.html


    I agree, slang should be thought near the end, if at all. It is harder for me to pick up the thing I should learn in this lesson if it is given in slang..

    [deactivated user]

      Is nothing wrong with it, just wondering how this found its way into Duolingo vocabulary. I always picture my former boss with a pair of moose antlers when I hear that, -so funny. But it isn't used much in German lingo. I would only use when it comes to military ranks in the army.


      Thank you. That's good to know.


      So it doesn't mean she hangs out with giraffes, then?


      What the...? :D "She knows many movers and shakers." I have never heard this expression in such a manner. I actually laughed at the "movers and shakers" part.

      I wrote "She knows many big fish" which was accepted of course and probably more known.


      The expression exists in English, but now that you mention it, it might be a bit dated or perhaps regional. See Merriam Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mover%20and%20shaker To my ear, "big fish" sounds a bit dated, though perhaps it's more regional. More commonly now, I might expect to hear "players."


      Yeah, "players" is a good one too. I don't know, I heard "big fish" often in movies and such. And expressions like "the big fish eats the small" as in the rich/powerful rule over/take from the smaller people. That's why I found it weird :) I guess movie culture like "big fish/players"


      This conversation makes me realize that I think a slang expression is almost always used for this meaning in English. You could say something like "well placed people" or "people in positions of power," but those expressions seem both less likely and, because they're more specific, not necessarily accurate in a given situation.

      [deactivated user]

        This is a link to an obviously English text (the content is also interesting reading) but I post the link here to show that this: "higher-ups" seem to be an ordinary term. Some call it slang, same call it idiomatic expression, -whatever.


        follow the link and do a page search: CTRL F: higher-ups just under the picture. :-)


        I agree - "higher ups" is also common, and - if I understand Zchbaniel25 correctly, may be a closer translation than either "movers and shakers" and "big fish," as it focuses more specifically on a relative position in a heirarchy rather than on a more general sense of power or the ability to make things happen.

        Fascinating discussion. If we keep this up, though, the Duolingo staff may tell us to set up a separate room somewhere. ;-)


        Yeah it's definitely either regional or dated. I've never heard "movers and shakers" before and a "big fish" is a fact that's been exaggerated over time as far as I've heard. The closest expression I've heard in english that's still common (at least in the American southeast) is "he/she's got friends in high places"


        Love the idiom.


        Higher ups? What? Is this American slang?


        Is it not used in the UK/AUS etc...?


        Don't know, I've never heard it before. I think it's funny for duolingo to be using obscure terms, but then maybe it's just me?


        There's a nice Scottish version, the "high heid yin(s)" = boss(es), upper management etc!


        It is used in the UK, though how widely I don't know.


        I've never heard it used in the UK.


        Obviously not very widely used, then! I have heard it, but it's not a phrase I would use myself.


        I guess the closest I can think of is tall poppies, maybe? As in 'tall poppy syndrome'. But you wouldn't talk about "knowing many tall poppies'! :D Likewise 'big cheeses'.

        I might try introducing it though...


        Yes, it is certainly used throughout England (I'm a native British English speaker).


        Never heard it here Bath and Cardiff most of my life. Wonder if it may be a generational thing


        I'm American and I didn't even know about this idiom of ours. I do agree that these idioms should probably be shelved for further advanced learning. At least the common interpretation of this sentence is accepted.

        [deactivated user]

          I wouldn't teach slang in this course :-( not even every German native speaker knows that! For god sake.


          Maybe not. But the idiom has just entered my English vocabulary, where it will be employed with pleasure though, of course, it will also surely get me in trouble. ;-)


          What does this actually mean?


          I can't speak authoritatively about the German sentence, but the translation that Duo originally gave was "She knows many higher-ups," which in US English is slang for "higher ranking people.""Movers and shakers" has a slightly different meaning, I think, along the lines of "powerful people who make important things/changes happen."

          [deactivated user]

            It just means: people in higher ranks in business or politics (higher ups), "decorated" personnel in the army, police, etc. The reason why it is used sometimes, is to show that a person you know has good connections to people with influence or to "movers and shakers" and is of interest for this reason, because you may get something "moved" with the help of this particular person, which you would otherwise only dream off....


            I have no idea how I was meant to know this!


            These exercises are meant to teach, not to test.


            I had "important people" which was accepted. There was no way I'd write "movers and shakers" which I think is rather old, and "higher up" nope. I wouldn't have minded losing a heart.


            dict.cc gives the meaning as "the top Brass" which is quite common in UK


            Yes, that sounds colloquial enough without being over the edge slang. Thanks.


            We could even call them bigwigs or high rollers. I wonder how Duolingo would handle that.


            Duolingo currently doesn't like "bigwigs" but I've reported it.


            This by far is one of the worst translations. In 2021 no one says or even knows this outdated term. "movers and shakers" A go-getter is much more appropriate and should be accepted. I reported it as I feel it should be accepted


            I know the phrase "movers and shakers", and all the other expressions I've read in this sentence discussion (plus a few other phrases I didn't see, like "top banana"). So "no one says or even knows" this phrase is a bit over the top, because I still use it - more importantly, I believe I'm understood when I use it.

            I agree that "go-getter" should also be accepted; it has essentially the same meaning.


            Those are 'the suits'. Just to diversify.


            I do not know this idiom at all in English, so this is definitely interesting to me


            I haven't tried it, but I wonder if Duo would accept 'big beasts'?


            Must be some American junk talk. Never heard anything like that in English.

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