1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Was ist mit Vater?"

"Was ist mit Vater?"

Translation:What is with father?

February 24, 2013

7 Comments


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

This sentence doesn't make sense for me in English...


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

It's sort of like saying, "what is wrong with father?" It's a bit of a colloquial phrase.


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

Does it mean 'What is wrong with father?' or literally 'What [object] is [physically] with father?' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calypso15

I second this question. This is an expression in English, but it's unclear if it has the same connotation in German.


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

It can mean both, just like in English ("What's with dad?" - it depends on the context that you are asking what's wrong with him or what is he holding, for example).


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

For non-native English speakers confused about our colloquialism, think about it like this. "What is with father?" colloquially means "Whats wrong with father?"

Why?

Consider this, "What (trouble) is with father?" It's as if you are asking what trouble is with him. You know father is troubled but you don't know what is troubling him, so you're asking what "trouble" is with him, but you don't actually say trouble, hence- "What () is with father?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateOHara10

As a native (UK) English speaker, this is very colloquial to teach as the 'correct' translation. I feel that "what is the matter with father?" should be the preferred translation, or even"what is up with father", though that is still quite colloquial.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.