"Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst."

Translation:You cannot be serious.

6 years ago

90 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cavakun
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This idiomatic is impossible to translate without prior knowledge!

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duodanny

Even if you understood it, you might get the wrong answer since the correct choices are so narrow.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karenskywalker

And what is the 100% corresponding translation???? I understand the meaning but can't say it in english, cause I'm not a native english speaker.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/margusoja

the word-for-word explanation would be:

  • das = that (what you said);
  • ist ja wohl nicht = is surely not;
  • dein Ernst = your honest (intention).

You really can't go for the word-for-word translation here :) There is too much implied informaton in the German phrase.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alanvoe

The only thing I have not understood in this word-to-word is the translation of Ernst as "honest". Wouldn't it mean "seriousness" here ?

"That is surely not your seriousness" does not sound far from "You cannot be serious" and it makes the sentence easier to understand, at least to me.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/whitelaughter
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"surely you are not in earnest" is word for word...although it wouldn't take it

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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How is it word for word?

das does not mean "surely".

ist does not mean "(you) are".

etc.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tertrih
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"You cannot be serious" is said in a kind of exasperated, disbelieving way. You basically saying you can't believe what it is happening. I am a native english speaker. I hope that helps :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ebelebel

It means the speaker doesn't believe what the other person is saying. It implies disbelief, and desperation

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nominanuda
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cue your best John McEnroe impersonations!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tjablo1976
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Thought the same!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pulga_mtz_0907
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I literally tried it in German and it sure does not have the same effect!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leftside
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I know. My guess was "you are definitely not serious" Wrong, of course.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

Agreed.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/john.newbe
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John McEnroe got it in one!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rinndy
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If we translate this as "This is probably not your gravity" maybe it will float away.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marycke
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hahaha

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WolkZayets
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LOL

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickInduni

Wow, it says it's an adverbs section, but there are a LOT of particles introduced in here. Ja, wohl, doch, mal, eigentlich...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonGudmundson

Yes, it's strange. This is meant to be a unit on adverbs, but my first two questions have been virtually untranslatable idioms. FWIW, I guessed "Surely you can't be serious," and Duo allowed it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DTipps
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I am serious, and don't call me...

oh, it doesn't really work in text :-(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

And it refused to accept my "You can't possibly be serious" ,frustratingly inconsistent!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G.Matt17
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Right? Why don't they have a particle lesson? that's something I really need to work on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Calorypher

In another sentence, "wohl" means "probably". Here, Duo translates it as "certainly". What is this, I don't even.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolZaczk

The word "ja" affects the meaning of "wohl". You may see them together as a response: Yawohl! Yes, of course!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WolkZayets
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So that's what Sergeant Schulz meant whenever he said "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant!"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Paddoz
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Same here. I got the sentence right apart from it... Duolingo, das ist nicht dein Ernst!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Graiff
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This is the worst sentence I've seen on duolingo so far.

4 years ago

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

yes I am...and don't call me Shirley.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eplus17

Why is the rhetorical "Are you serious?" not accepted?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Portofan
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It's not quite the same meaning. "Are you serious?" is a question and the german equivalent would be "Ist das dein Ernst?".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/peduzzi
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Why so serious? = Warum so Ernst?

P.S.: "That is not your seriousness, is it?" was not accepted ;[

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wicked_Starfish

That's what I answered too...despite the fact that I knew it sounded moronic, I thought maybe the word-for-word translation would be accepted...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolZaczk

"You must be kidding" works! Thanks DL!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/craaash80
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"That is yes well not your seriousness". Is this the word-by-word literal translation?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nate8077

Why is Ernst capitalized? Is it a noun in German? It is an adjective in English.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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In Deutsch, "ernst" is also a adjective, while here we have "dein Ernst", "your seriousness" :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jsb193952

It's an idiomatic phrase and now you know it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cephalium

"That is not what you mean, seriously" It seems as good as the extremely loose translations I've seen in this section. .

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xjorgex

How could we possibly know that "you" had to be used

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cephalium

Because of the presence of 'dein' (your) in the sentence. I know, it's tough!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xjorgex

but ain't dein= your's?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cephalium

It means 'your'. The point is - that is where the 'you' comes from. In German one can say 'dein Ernst' , meaning 'your serious intent'. Got it?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xjorgex

think i got it, thanks

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edem777
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this english sentence can be translated to german in any other way?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

"Du kannst nicht ernst sein." was also accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shifu2012

Well, I couldn't understand the meaning of (wohl) and how to use it yet!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rc_pilot

Ich meine es ernst, und nennen Sie mich nicht Shirley.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlairScots
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I put "That is really not serious," from my translator, but it said its wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonGudmundson

I think the word you need to key in on is "dein." "Das ist nicht sein Ernst" = "He is not serious;" "Das ist nicht dein Ernst" = "You are not serious," etc.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maxdoppke

How does "probably" morph into "certainly" without explanation?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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"Ja wohl**" is the key :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hynzy

You can not be in ernest? Is that a reasonable translation?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatriciaJH
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Yes, but it should be "You cannot be in earnest." See the following for when you use "cannot" and when you use "can not": http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/cannot-or-can-not

"You can't be in earnest" is also fine.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolZaczk

That's how I remember the German word, but I don't think I actually use "ernest" as a state of being. Perhaps as a description (such an earnest young man). But that's just me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandonRemeika

That is yes probably not your serious... thats a tough one!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruidoblanco
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there is no way to translate this without prior knowledge, and not so easy to memorize :/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rowschank

What about "You better not be serious!"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QannikScha

when I read "ja whol" I thought of the Team Fortress 2 medic

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kovaxim
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Who the heck put this sentence together??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolZaczk

Germans. Go figure.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alejo.saucedo

I really hope we do have a German Tennis fan in this forum, someone who knows the famous John McEnroe, and who can tell us how to say in German what BigMac was trying to say to the chair man!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OnkelD
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Surely you jest! (without the Airplane "Shirley" references :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nina_DN
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Also, das kann doch nicht dein Ernst sein! = Das ist doch/ja wohl nicht dein Ernst! ??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/janesal63
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The translated options are far too narrow. Language IS flexible. "You can't possibly be serious" is a perfectly good translation...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

Thank you, my thoughts exactly

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simo.Ka

is it that is surely not your serious true ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaymes330756
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How is this an adverb? I wish they would give idioms there own section.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RexJohn

"You cannot be serious" Literally!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PhilMinns

Dieser Ball war auf der Linie!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arnodunstatter

Is "You're probably not serious" an acceptable translation?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yyctOS
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What does "ja wohl" mean? I can't guess at what it's supposed to mean from this idiom.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

I could use "possibly" as in you can't possibly be serious? It is an idiom and literal translation doesn't cut it. Ja, wohl! Yes, sure, of course!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hechap
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I have compared "Das ist nicht dein Ernst." with "Das ist nicht ja wohl dein Ernst." and "ja wohl" seems to help express a sense of surprise or incredulity, similar to what might be conveyed by the English "You, of course, cannot be serious!!" Any native speakers want to confirm or contradict this idea?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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Something like that, yes.

May also imply that you expect the listener to consent (as with your suggested translation of "of course").

"Surely, you can't be serious" might also be an attempt, or "You can't possibly be serious".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

Agreed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EstherRohr2

Couldn't this be saying "That isn't your (husband, brother etc.) Ernst."? I had an Uncle Ernst.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

You're right! We could be referring to Uncle Ernst. ( had one too.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LukeProcto6
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John McEnroe slipped this one into the course

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arnodunstatter

what is the grammatical purpose of "ja" in this sentence?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ellenrixford

...or you must be joking. I put "you have to be joking" I think this is correct. I also think it would be correct to put in: 'you have to be kidding, you must be kidding, or even "seriously?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

I agree. Der Sinn der Sache ist dasselbe.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMeyer427521

Is "ja wohl" strictly necessary in this sentence? Would "Das is nicht dein Ernst" do as well?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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It's not grammatically necessary, no.

Das ist nicht dein Ernst. = You are not serious.

It's the difference between "You are not serious" and "You cannot be serious / You are surely not serious" or between "You are kidding" and "You must be kidding / You have got to be kidding".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/David865944

Wohl means probably in other but this time. Go figure!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Songemot

This sentence is how I feel about this sentence.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BogdanChisu

"You cannot be serious" sound like a good translation to me, but is not accepted

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marlen219

Deshalb sind wir am meckern! Ohne weitere Erklärung empfinden wir diese Entscheidungen arbiträr.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithinJP

That of course is not your concern.

11 months ago
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