"Macht nichts!"

Translation:Never mind!

November 20, 2017

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gavin317

When i clicked the words for definitions, they were by no means even remotely related to the correct answer

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime
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Literally, the phrase translates as "It makes/does nothing". I suppose it's short for "Es macht mir nichts aus"* = "I don't mind it".

To me as a native speaker, it feels more like it means "It does [me?] no harm" / "No harm done", but I'm really not sure if those feelings are correct.

The phrase is used e.g. as an answer to "sorry" like when somebody stepped on your foot or made a scratch in your car (which you don't mind), or when somebody asks you to do them a favour and admits it'll mean some inconvenience for you: "(Das) macht nichts, I've got nothing to do right now anyway."

(* "Es macht mir nichts aus" is not a construction of "machen" and "aus"; the verb is "ausmachen". "Würde es dir etwas ausmachen, [das zu tun]?" = "Would you mind [doing this]?")

For comparison: "Es macht nichts, wenn du die Sonnencreme vergessen hast." = "It's not a problem if you forgot the sunscreen lotion, it'll be cloudy all day anyway." ...and if you turn this sentence into a conversation, you again get: "I forgot to bring the sunscreen lotion." "Macht nichts. (we're not going to need it / I've brought some myself / it's not really 'not a problem' but I politely excuse you)"

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
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The phrase is used e.g. as an answer to "sorry" like when somebody stepped on your foot or made a scratch in your car (which you don't mind), or when somebody asks you to do them a favour and admits it'll mean some inconvenience for you

Then "no worries" is probably the closest fixed English expression with the same meaning.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pavelpapap

Thank you!

November 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/vishal_garg

I wrote 'Makes no difference'. But it was incorrect

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy783127

It's OK was likewise wrong. I only lived in Germany for a year but I agree with stepintime that "never mind" doesn't feel particularly accurate here.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tonysalk
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es klingt wie, was man anderen Mensch sagt (wie Sie schon erzählen haben -The phrase is used e.g. as an answer to "sorry" like when somebody stepped on your foot- ) 'brauchst du dich nicht entschuldigen'---'macht nichts'

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod
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Sometimes the meaning comes from the phrase as a whole, rather than the individual words. Such expressions are called idioms and occur in every language. They are often impossible to translate word-for-word and just need to be memorised as a whole. I do think Duolingo could categories them better, but since it's such a common expression I don't think it should be reserved for the later levels...

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kit845299
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Interestingly I personally always feel that it helps me, when I try to understand the literal meaning of idioms. You can very often actually understand where the meaning comes from and then it is easyer (at least for me) to remember it. In my opinion, literal translations and explanations about the origin of certain sayings and idioms should be more common in language learning programs. :)

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/raycknight
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Duolingo has idioms under "bonus skills" but there are many more idioms that could be added in there. Maybe Doulingo could look into expanding that skill level?

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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It would be great if Duo would put an idiom logo (such as a fancy i) next to these sentences. It would make us realise that it is not to be translated word for word and needs thinking about.

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
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Pat211087 - That would not be a bad idea.

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamCru159007

Same. I am very confused by this translation.

November 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bekir978479

Do nothing!?

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Conchetta22
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While this may not be the most common meaning of the phrase, it is a grammatically correct, plausible translation, and the program really ought to accept it.

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
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and the program really ought to accept it.

I am of two minds about it. This is exactly what I answered, it hasn't been accepted and I ended up reading this thread. So now I know the common meaning of this expression. Had my answer been accepted, I would have just sailed through without a pause and would have never learnt this fixed expression. Since I am here to learn the language and not to score points, I think I actually prefer it the way it is.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod
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Technically that also works, using macht as the plural informal imperative. However, I don't think that's a common way to phrase it, especially compared to the prevalence of the "Doesn't matter!/Never mind!" meaning. It could also be "Power nothing" using the noun Macht, but it's also nonsense. I think part of what we should learn about this translation is that it's a common fixed phrase.

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/M1903a3

But duo rejects "doesn't matter"!

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/scorbett
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I agree - the closest English translation should be "Doesn't matter", without the subject, but Duo marks it wrong and insists it should be "It doesn't matter!"

February 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Avenlanzer

I agree. Report it.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nina.isnt.nani

Mine says it has to be "Never mind"

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mummele

It also rejected "no problem"

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Avenlanzer

I agree. Report it.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thylacaleo
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'It doesn't matter.' was accepted today. 16/12/2018

December 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bencloete
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How would you say "Don't do anything!/Do nothing!"

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
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Bencloete - Some possible ways to say, "Do not do anything!":

"Tun Sie nichts!"

"Machen Sie nichts!"

"Unternimm nichts!"

"Tu nichts!"

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bencloete
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If macht nichts is not a common expression for do nothing, what would one use instead?

January 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ejonez

That's what I put!

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/georgios210085

That is what came first to mind also but is considered wrong here.

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KimberleyM.

Do nothing is the literal translation, or could be, so it should be accepted. I reported it. But now I will know the phrase as its idiomatic translation as well. However, when I read, "Never mind!" with an exclamation like that, it would usually make me think the person was mad, saying, "forget it!" or,"Ok, fine, just never mind!" not the "don't worry about it, it's ok!" type of comment.

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GregorDzie
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I am a native German speaker and this phrase has always meant something more like "no problem" or "that's ok". For example - if I say "Ich habe dein Buch vergessen." my friend might say "Ach, macht nichts". I would never have correlated "macht nichts" with "never mind"

January 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinOverton

"Never mind" is also idiomatic....a common way of saying "no problem" in English!

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Aleksandra278494

Is it? I've seen or heard it as an expression of annoyance, impatience, or in a dismissive way. Maybe as a way to cancel a request (e.g. "Have you seen my phone? Oh wait, nevermind, I found it"). I find it hard to imagine it said in a nice way, to be honest!

November 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BambiDew
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Agreed. It's pretty rude where I'm from. You wouldn't use "never mind" over "no problem" or "that's okay" if you were being polite.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BambiDew
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Hi GregorDzie. Am I right in thinking that it is a polite idiom to use? I only ask as I wouldn't say "never mind" unless I was having an argument. I would, however, say "that's okay" or "no problem" in a friendly conversation, maybe not in a formal conversation though. Thanks for your comment.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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I think of it as a gentle acceptance of an admission, perhaps to use on a child or friend " I've got mud on my shirt" "Never mind it'll wash". "I can't come round next Thursday" "Never mind we'll arrange a different day". It can be used impatiently with a different tone of voice "What did you say" "Oh, never mind!". It all depends on the context and voice tone. Here in UK it is a common phrase.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Wienlerner

Me too. I wrote do nothing. Why is this wrong?

December 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/osarok
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"Don't mind" should also be accepted if "Never mind" is the correct answer.

April 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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I'm happy with the translation ' never mind' however I tried many alternatives which were rejected. Eg. No problem, that's ok, all right, don't worry, ok. There are many uk folks who wouldn't use the phrase 'never mind'. It's a bit old fashioned I think.

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
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"Never mind" is rather common in the US.

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BambiDew
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I feel like never mind is quite dismissive and rude. I'd only say it to be shady, ha ha. This is as a Brit btw. Obviously I don't think this is the case elsewhere around the world. Just I've always been discouraged from saying this in polite conversation.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JDjuDD1
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I like "doesn't matter"with or without "it"

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pizzacato
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To remember this I just think of it as the English idiom, "Make nothing of".

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gary54437
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"It doesn't matter" should also be accepted

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TomThulin

"Make nothing of it" and "never mind" convey the same meaning in English under most contexts. That's how I'll always remember this. Make nothing (of it)

December 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/krys1301

Shouldn't this be "make nothing?" Where are they getting "never mind?!?"

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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It's an equivalent expression, not a literal translation.

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clanofclarkes

What do he highlighted word mean?

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nweech
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"No matter" didn't get a pass mark

June 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MsMCallas
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<> I have read above, it should have been accepted. I thought so... But it's not... I've reported it... Maybe... 24.06.2018.

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dalmoz

I wrote "doesn't matter" and got it wrong. Am I?

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SlowSchuler
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Why not just translating as "do nothing"?

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pavelpapap

Why is "Nothing matters" incorrect?

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy783127

Because it's not a correct translation either word-for-word or in terms of meaning.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jean564934
Plus
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I'm pretty sure they have a very similar idiom in Swedish: 'Det gör ingenting' which translates as it does nothing.

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hanna334671

The definition for both words was not related to the answer. I had to improvise with the words that I saw.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy783127

All idioms are like that.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Muyil
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I also wrote 'makes no difference. No dice with DUO

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Joan285124
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Great. Duo springs an idiom on us. We need a separate lesson on common idioms with (at levels 1 and 2, at least) correct hints!

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BambiDew
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Maybe Duolingo should stop using idioms that directly translate poorly!!! I've been told I was wrong for typing the correct translation so many times now that i'm feeling very disheartened.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ShayneRaff

I said Doesnt matter, after checking the translation for a hint, but somehow was wrong

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
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Duo cares about apostrophes. Otherwise it would not be able to tell "its" from "it's"

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BambiDew
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It wasn't the lack of apostrophe in this case though. Duolingo only accepts "never mind". Duo doesn't typically seem to care about apostrophes. Which is daft because this could double up as a 'learn to use apostrophes correctly' app!

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
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All I can tell you is that Duo does care about apostrophes in the Russian↔English courses where I am a moderator. So I would find it surprising if this were not the case in English↔German.

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/rJS60rED

" (It) doesn't matter!" is an equivalent expression (& a literal translation) so should be accepted.

January 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/niteshm007
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Can I translate it as "nothing matters" too, since 1 of the suggested translations is "does not matter"?

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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'Nothing matters' might be said by someone who is very sad or depressed. I don't think it is the meaning of this idiom which is just saying it's ok, don't worry.

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mark903536

literally translates "makes nothing" how do i get never mind . i would expect "nie "

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielSchu234886

I had 'doesn't matter', as in: someone steps on your toe when standing at a concert and looks apprehensively at you, afraid that you're going to take it as an insult, and you respond by shrugging your shoulders and saying: doesnt matter/macht nichts

As of 6 february 2019 that's not accepted

February 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat211087
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It seems perfect to me, but I'm English, not German.

February 7, 2019
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