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"It might work."

Translation:Es funktioniert vielleicht.

July 22, 2017

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doc844077

Would it be possible for a native speaker to comment on this possibility: Es könnte klappen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simopr1

warum:

es wirkt vielleicht

ist nicht richtig?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hugh332140

That was also my apparently incorrect answer


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

How can you tell where to put vielleicht?


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

Either place is fine. If you put it first, then it puts more emphasis on it (e.g. It might work).


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

vielleicht geht es. Would this be acceptable? Thanks in advance


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

Should this also work?: "Vielleicht wird es wirken."


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

Dictionary hint for work = "geht". Accepted answer = "funktionieren". Why doesn't the dictionary hint show "funktionieren"? Because Duolingo, that's why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GonzaloAma6

Could "es arbeitet vielleicht?" possible work? i guess "arbeiten" should be used only when you're talking about doing a specif job, but it just came to my mind


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derekgill2

might work" is indicative of a future action so should not "es wird vielleicht functionieren" be accepted - it means the same in English ie "it will perhaps work"


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

a few questions ago this same one had the accepted answer, Es konnte gehen. This time it was rejected!


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

Es könnte gehen. should be accepted here. Es konnte gehen. is incorrect -- that means "it could work" in the simple past meaning rather than the conditional meaning, i.e. "it used to be the case that it can work" rather than "it might be the case that it can work".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ian.Worthington

Why not funktioniert?


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

Because the single word funktioniert does not contain the sense of the entire sentence "It might work".

Or did you type anything more than just that single word? In which case: what, exactly?


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

DL does, however, accept "Es könnte funktionieren": but, as I understand it, "funktionieren" would usually be applied to a piece of equipment rather than something less tangible like a plan or scheme.


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

"Möglich, es geht", should be an option?


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

No.

That sounds like Russian to me, not German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisMee86

I couldn't remember vielleicht in the moment, so I went with "Es ist möglich, dass es funktioniert". A bit of a long-winded way of saying the same thing, but alas it was rejected.


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

Ah! A noble "work-round" that'll get you out of jail, but no substitute for vocabulary!


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

"Wahrschenlich funktioniert es" Could you please tell me why it is wrong?


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

"Wahrschenlich funktioniert es" Could you please tell me why it is wrong?

Wahrschenlich is not a German word.

And Wahrscheinlich is "probably", which is a stronger degree of confidence than "perhaps" or "might".


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

Es wird veilleicht functionieren. Would this be a correct alternative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucy163354

I think es könnte funktionieren should be accepted.


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

I put: "Vielleicht es funktioniert" which was flagged wrong. Why is this?


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

I put: "Vielleicht es funktioniert" which was flagged wrong. Why is this?

The verb funktioniert has to be in the second position in the sentence.

You cannot put both the adverb vielleicht and the pronoun es before it.


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

Of course - *brainfart Thankyou!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Picardo67

German would never construct the sentence as proposed by Duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ron212445

It's closer to "Perhaps it works" than "It might work".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bechamp1

Why not möglich instead of vielleicht?


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

"Möglich", bechamp 1, means "possible" and possibility can range from less that a 0.000001% chance up to more than a 99.9999% chance: from an infinitesimally small chance to almost total certainty. This expression, however calls for a word meaning "a pretty good chance". In this roll "möglich" is no help: we need a word indicating "Probability" rather than "Possibility"; a "likelihood" rather than "just a chance".
There are no numbers associated with either of these concepts, so it is a difficult argument, and is so in German as well as English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bechamp1

'It might work' calls for possibility not probability. Depending on tone of voice and context, it can mean anything from 'That is a valid suggestion that has a high enough chance of solving our problem that I'll keep it on the list of things to try, but I'm hoping for a better idea.' to 'No way that will work, in my opinion, but I'm too polite (or politic) to call you on your bull pucky (i.e. nonsense).'

'It will probably work' means 'There's a chance it won't work but a greater chance that it will; we won't know until we try, and it is definitely on our list of things worth trying.'

Anyway, probably or likely = wahrscheinlich. Vielleicht = perhaps or maybe, which definitely comes down on the side of possible, not probable. In English 'might' as used here is a synonym for 'possible,' 'maybe,' and 'perhaps.'

So, given all that, why not möglich?


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

I'm sorry you feel that my argument is "bull pucky". With my statistician's hat on, I would argue the exactly the same! Linguistically, however, unless one is only talking to produce hot air, why would one say "it might work" unless it is to display the optimism of a better probability of working than not. If you felt the pessimism about it not working, you are more likely to say "it might not work" or, if you were unconvinced one way or the other you are more likely to say "it might or might not work". As is always the case in Duolingo, there is no context to guide the choice of translation, so it is safest to go for the most general meaning, which, I think ist to favour the PROBABILITY that "it might work". If you were to add "I think" to this sentence; that ist "I think it might work", the full force of the optimism becomes clear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bechamp1

'Bull pucky' was not in reference to your argument. It was part of my example. :)

Maybe this is a British/American/regional thing? Which is really interesting; this seems like such a fundamental concept to me.

In the US, we do use 'it might work' to indicate "there's a non-zero chance of it working,' especially when we can't say definitively either that it won't or isn't likely to work. Also used if we just don't know if it would or wouldn't work and/or don't have enough information to assess probability.

When it's used in a case of more remote possibility, it often has more to do with politeness or being politic. (I.e. talking to your non-specialist boss who doesn't really know what they're talking about, and then using it as an opening to elaborate on the reasons it might not (or definitely won't!) work.)

I feel that we use 'it might not work' only if we feel that we have to warn, for instance because we see a high enough chance of failure, or because we want to hedge our bets (i.e. we're reluctant to commit). We also use 'it might or might not work" but rarely, in my experience, and generally again with the bet hedging or for emphasis. To my Minnesota sensibilities, this last one feels very wishy-washy; like it's not really saying anything? Either it will or won't work, and that statement basically lays out those two evident options.

Granted, I come from a part of the US where we're known for Minnesota Nice, so that might (see what I did there?) have some bearing.


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

Thanks for making the "bull puky" a bit clearer. I have a lot of sympathy with your argument: more so, as my background is in science rather than linguistics.

Having ardently argued for "probability" rather than "possibility", I would not advocate that we use any direct translation of "probability" in our German sentence: there's a similar measure of doubt in "vielleicht" as to that in "might". Perhaps this makes this a good translation; which is, after all, what we're trying to achieve.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucy163354

Es könnte wirken wasn't accepted.


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

Hi Lucy! Considering the total lack of context, here, Duo accepts a rather narrow range of translations, and in my opinion your option would be viable is some contexts. "Wirken", however, does not mean "to work" in the broad range of circumstances that "to work" can be used. It is more like "to be effective". I would suggest you go to Linguee.com to see some sample sentences for its usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babette813714

Es könnte vielleicht funktionieren... Was marked wrong. Any idea why?


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

Should "Es mag funktionieren" be accepted?


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

Es könnte werken? Klappt es?


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

I assume you are trying to ask whether Es könnte werken would work as a translation.

klappen is more like "succeed", so it's not the right verb for such a question.

And no, I don't think werken would be a translation - that's not a verb I've heard used much at all in the first place, let alone in this context of "it could work".

(Duden tells me that the verb is mostly used in Austria and Switzerland to mean "work, do manual labour", but the course focusses mostly on German from Germany.)


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

Thank you very much for the answer!

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