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  5. "Mal so, mal so."

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

"Mal so, mal so."

February 7, 2013

13 Comments


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

This one puzzles me. "So so" means "not so great, not so bad" in English, whereas I think "mal so, mal so" (sometimes one way, sometimes another) in German could mean the same thing in certain contexts (Das Essen in dem Cafe ist mal so, mal so.) But I would translate that as "inconsistent," rather than "so so."
Two other translations I found were: "To blow hot and cold." and "first one thing, then another"--both of these convey the core (German) meaning of inconsistency or inconstancy, rather than the English meaning of mediocrity. If you say "The coffee at work is so so.", that means it's mediocre, or "blah," not that it's sometimes good and sometimes bad.


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

Yes, I agree. To collquially express mediocrity in German you can use 'geht so'? 'Wie ist der Kaffee in dem Restaurant? Geht so.' - 'How is the coffee at the restaurant? So so.'


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

I could not agree more..........ciao


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

in my country it can be also be : SO AND SO
which can mean : so so


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

I thought the German word for "so so" was "solala" (don't ask me how it is written).


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

'so lala' is colloquial but fine.


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

Actually, I would say that "so lala" is a better translation for the English "so so", because it implies mediocrity, whereas "mal so, mal so" implies inconsistency.


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

yes, 'mal so, mal so' and 'so so' don't match well.


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

thanks........ in German it might mean SO SO but in my original language it means : she is alone over there ....he he he ciao


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

I realise that mal appears to be shown in mostly colloquial use in this context, but is there any way to figure out where it should be before seeing the examples?


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

so and so : is just the same as : so so


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

I disagree: "so so" means "not that good, blah, nothing special", whereas I only know "so and so" to mean "a certain person" ("A certain so-and-so told me this rumor...")


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

perhaps you are right.......but I am still not convinced.......................... thanks

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