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  5. "Macht nichts!"

"Macht nichts!"

Translation:Never mind!

November 20, 2017

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gavin317

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


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

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)"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
  • 1835

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.


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

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


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


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

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'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    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...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kit845299

    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. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

    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.


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

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamCru159007

    Same. I am very confused by this translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Conchetta22

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
    • 1835

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M1903a3

      But duo rejects "doesn't matter"!


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

      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!"


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

      I agree. Report it.


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

      Mine says it has to be "Never mind"


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

      It also rejected "no problem"


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

      I agree. Report it.


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

      How would you say "Don't do anything!/Do nothing!"


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

      If macht nichts is not a common expression for do nothing, what would one use instead?


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

      That's what I put!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgios210085

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


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

      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"


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

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


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


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

      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.


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

      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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

      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.


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


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

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

      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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
      • 1835

      "Never mind" is rather common in the US.


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

      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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JDjuDD1

      I like "doesn't matter"with or without "it"


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

      To remember this I just think of it as the English idiom, "Make nothing of".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary54437

      "It doesn't matter" should also be accepted


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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krys1301

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

      It's an equivalent expression, not a literal translation.


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

      What do he highlighted word mean?


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

      "No matter" didn't get a pass mark


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

      <> I have read above, it should have been accepted. I thought so... But it's not... I've reported it... Maybe... 24.06.2018.


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

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


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

      Why not just translating as "do nothing"?


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

      Why is "Nothing matters" incorrect?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nancy783127

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean564934

      I'm pretty sure they have a very similar idiom in Swedish: 'Det gör ingenting' which translates as it does nothing.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hanna334671

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nancy783127

      All idioms are like that.


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

      I also wrote 'makes no difference. No dice with DUO


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joan285124

      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!


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

      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.


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

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
      • 1835

      Duo cares about apostrophes. Otherwise it would not be able to tell "its" from "it's"


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

      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!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
      • 1835

      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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rJS60rED

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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niteshm007

      Can I translate it as "nothing matters" too, since 1 of the suggested translations is "does not matter"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

      '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.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mark903536

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


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


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

      It seems perfect to me, but I'm English, not German.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zeke760277

      ...the bullet in your head.:)


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

      This makes little sense. "Don't worry about it," "it's nothing," "it's fine," but "nevermind" absolutely does not fit.


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

      "No worries!" or "No big deal!" (or the slang version, "No biggie!") are the common ways to express this in American English. "Never mind!" can also be used, but it is quite often used in a negative sense, as in if you as someone to do something for you, and they seem to be grudging about it, so you say "Fine! Never mind then!" in exasperation.

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