The Oxford Dictionary says so: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english-thesaurus/self-explanatory
It became easy to remember once I looked up the etymology of the word. Selbst means "self" and verständlich (which itself comes from the word "verstehe") means "understandable" - hence "self-evident" - which translates to "naturally, obviously" quite well. If you're ever unsure about how to remember a word, it's likely you'll find ways to remember it by looking up parts of the word.
I agree. Quite hard to remember especially for beginners. My Babylon/Duden dictionary gives as synonims: alltäglich, bedenkenlos, [allgemein] gebräuchlich/üblich, einleuchtend, fraglos, folgerichtig, gängig, gang und gäbe, gewöhnlich, konsequent, natürlich, normal, üblich, unbekümmert, ungeniert, ungezwungen, unhinterfragt, unzweifelhaft; (ugs.): logisch.
Grammatically, it would technically be correct... as "natürlich" can certainly be used as an adjective (translation: "natural") however I most often hear "natürlich" used as an adverb (translation: "naturally"). The sense of the two words ("natürlich" and "selbsverständlich") is a bit different as well. "Natürlich" is often used in every day conversation to signify "of course!", "naturally!", "obviously!" in a polite way to affirm in the positive. "Selbsverständlich" is not used as much in this way (or rather such as I have experienced it). It really does carry the meaning of "self-evident". I have seen this used in less polite ways. It has especially been said to me (I live in Heidelberg, Germany) when I ask a question that the person answering may consider to be unnecessary (as if I should have known that answer).
What if you only knew one way to say a word in English? Synonyms are important because they have slightly different meanings, they spice up your vocabulary, and if you heard this long word in a conversation and didn't know what it meant, you'd be pretty much screwed unless you have great context clues.
But you can't say "That is of course".
What you could say is, "That is natural."
For example, "natürliche Inhaltsstoffe" or "er ist eines natürlichen Todes gestorben" are not "of course ingredients" or "he died of of course causes" but "natural ingredients" and "he died of natural causes".
So in this context -- a predicative adjective -- I think that "natural" is a better translation of "natürlich".
As an adverb, sure -- there "of course" or "naturally" would work. But it's not used as an adverb here.
To perhaps understand the shading of difference in the two words, the first line of the Declaration of Independence is "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal...." It means "obvious." "Self-explanatory" could not be used in this context. You do not need to "explain" something that is obvious.
Self-evident means evident to everyone. It is evident to me that 1 + 1 = 2 because i can use things in my environment to prove this to myself. Therefore 1 + 1 = 2 is self evident and does not require any faith in someone elses experience of it. It is not self evident to me that the jupiter is made of different gasses. I have to rely and have faith in other scientists that can prove this. I just read about it and assume it to be true because it has been oeer reviewed. This is not self-evident.
"self-evident" is in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the US Declaration of Independent. Jefferson was saying that equality doesn't need justification or explanation, it just IS. It's a "natural right."
To be fair, you'll probably never hear it in conversation. However, because it's in the Declaration of Independence, every American has heard it at some point.
I've always had issues with the phrase "It goes without saying" and I won't use it in English (my native language). If it really DOES go without saying, why say it? If it needs to be said then it does NOT "go without saying". If it's unnecessary but is said anyway, you're wasting your time and mine. From what I've gathered, I imagine Germans have little patience with saying things that don't need to be said. </rant>
Yes I'd use it like this as well.
People would also use it as you say "It goes without saying that..." where the implication is that it SHOULD go without saying, that any other view is reprehensible but there is some concern that others may hold those views privately. It's a way of signalling that no argument over these items will be tolerated. So while taken literally it seems stupid, language is designed to communicate and this phrase does communicate something.
Not really, in some cases yes, but it is not good to genalize the usage of "selbstverständlich".
- "Es ist selbstverständlich."="It is understandable. You can understand/(know) why something is so." ; + That is obvious=Das ist offensichtlich. (offensichtlich=open to see, open visible);
- That is natural= Das ist logisch/natürlich/naturgemäß. (that word comes from "nature" not from "understanding nor recognize". We also say: Klar, natürlich, jetzt habe ich es verstanden. But it would be good when the fact you talk about is sience related or in some case logical.)
- Das Bett ist offensichtlich dreckig. --> the bed is dirty, you can see the dirt.
- Das Bett ist selbstverständlich dreckig.!? --> the bed is dirty, for sure it is made dirty for you. (not for you, NibblyBits) You see nobody would use this sentence. Everybody will like to tell: Das Bett ist selbstverständlich sauber.
- Das Bett ist natürlich dreckig. --> this could have the same meaning as the sentence with "selbstverständlich" or/and "naturally", (or 'the dirt is not artificial').
All have different contents.
I'd say no.
If someone tells you a secret and then says, "But don't tell anyone else!" you might say Selbstverständlich nicht (of course not; it goes without saying that I won't do so).
That is something that "is understood from itself", something that goes without saying.
It's not something which is "obvious" in the sense that you can easily see it ("It's obvious that Mary is pregnant", for example) -- that would be offensichtlich rather than selbstverständlich. (Es ist selbstverständlich, dass Mary schwanger ist would be quite different -- "It goes without saying that Mary is pregnant", perhaps because she's always pregnant so you'd be silly to suggest that she isn't right now.)
This is why I think Duolingo's courses are ill-structured. Apparently the word selbstverständlich (self-evident) is composed of two parts: selbst (self-) and verständlich (understandable) whereas verständlich (understandable) is made by Verstand (reason) + lich (-ly). Of course, we have already learnt the verb verstehen (understand). A good learning structure would introduce these concepts step by step instead of throwing a super long adjective all at once.