1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Eulen, die sprechen, beißen …

"Eulen, die sprechen, beißen nicht."

Translation:Owls that talk don't bite.

January 5, 2018

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wxfrog
  • 1453

Except when they want to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.


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

Is that an idiom ?


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

It is – in typical DL fashion – a humorous take on the idiom Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardEld5

Barking dogs don't bite. Do hooting owls bite?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RezaZarif2

In persian we say:سگی که زیاد پارس میکنه گاز نمیگیره.
Barking dogs dont bite


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

That's the real German expression too. The owl here is just Duolingo's joke.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alibektas34

The same proverb exist in Turkish too: "Havlayan köpek ısırmaz." It has a literal translation of "Barking dogs don't bite."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myrrha01

That's an ad verbum translation of the Croatian proverb as well. Small world!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

don't you mean "proverbium"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myrrha01

Both an "ad-verbum" (word-for-word) translation of the Croatian "proverbium" (proverb), Pas koji laje ne ujeda.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

do the words have to be preciously in the same order too? for a ad verbum?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myrrha01

Of course not because German and Croatian have a different sentence structure but the phrasing or words used are the same .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

well, you never know. there are two schools of thought on word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikola3us

Villeicht -ne grize- :D bi reko prije. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rredfearn32

So sagst du Duo, so sagst du..


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

I think you mean: Das sagst du, Duo, das sagst Du.


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

I am just curious about the expression "birds bite" / "Vögel beißen". Does it sound OK in English and in German or would it be better to say that "birds peck" / "Vögel picken" ?


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

I think "peck" is better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FredLyons2

I think "peck" would be an understatement of what a parrot, macaw, hawk or eagle would do with their beak. A hummingbird might struggle to get even a peck.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

I think there is an expression in German about owls in Athens? Don’t bring owls to Athens, or something obscure like that?


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

Indeed: Eulen nach Athen tragen (literally, to carry owls to Athens) is like "coals to Newcastle" in English -- to do something useless or superfluous, more or less.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

That is so funny Mizinamo! What is the origin of that? At least we know that coals to Newcastle means that it is pointless because they have so much coal in Newcastle. Or at least they used to in the good old days. Was Athens famous for having lots of owls?


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

I think the connection is that owls are connected to the goddess Athena, the namesake of the city Athens.

German Wikipedia has an article on the saying: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eulen_nach_Athen_tragen

It suggests that another origin might be the owls on the coins of the day; you didn't need to carry coins into Athens since it was one of the richest cities already.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

That is fascinating Miz thank you. Now we learn Greek mythology through Duo. Just found this: The owl was a symbol for Athena, goddess of wisdom and strategy, before the Greeks gave their pantheon human forms. According to myth, an owl sat on Athena's blind side, so that she could see the whole truth. In Ancient Greece, the owl was a symbol of a higher wisdom, and it was also a guardian of the Acropolis.


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

Just trying to practice my grammar...in respect to the relative pronoun here ("die", aka the owls), it is using the nominative case, correct?


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

In Italian "Can che abbaia non morde" (Barking dog doesn't bite)


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

Owls WHO... "that" is the wrong pronoun - in English English at any rate.


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

Well, "that" would be used for regular owls. "Who" might be used for Duo, since he's a sentient owl.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Owls which speak do not bite. What is wrong here? Why do I have to use "that" instead of "which"?


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

It's not wrong, just a missing alternative. I've added it now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suecd48

But "owls that speak don't bite" wasn't accepted. It should be, shouldn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suecd48

And the second time it was accepted! Might be a glitch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/123Cornelia

Bei uns sprechen die Eulen nicht .... ???


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

Duo spricht viele Sprachen ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

I'm gonna get my finger bit off at the Berlin Zoo because you lot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

I am going to get my finger bitten off at the Berlin Zoo because of you lot! Just trying to correct your grammar, hud214. You are not exactly the best role model for English grammar. Or maybe you believe you are? At least you are starting a new post. The Berlin zoo is brilliant, just don’t go there in the winter because all the animals are in bed


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

Well, I don't rolemodel for free! If that's what you're a'thinkin'!! That was a mouthful, wud'en it?! Ok, you're turn to rolemodel. How do you spell "wud'en it"? Tough question, id'en it?! They don't teach you that in school!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

You got me thinkin' 'bout being a better rolemodel. Here's some info on "gonna": Definition of gonna —used for "going to" in informal speech and in representations of such speech "It's not gonna be easy.""They're gonna get married in July.""I felt like something bad was gonna happen."

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gonna


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

I think you are actually a clever role model hud214 for the reason that you are making us think. I think you ‘dig’ the Dixie Cups! “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married, going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married.....going to the chapel of love”. Note that ‘gonna’ means ‘intending to’ while ‘going to’ means physically going to, at least in this song. But it is slang, you have to admit. And your previous post was so full of English dialect “id’en it”, you must be a cockney? And of course they should have ‘learned’ you better in school!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

Nope, American! Don't learn better in school because they don't cover "id'en it" Most Americans look at you crossedeyed when you strike up a conversation about "id'en it". I don't think most think about saying it. It's just variation of "isn't it". Not exactly slang in my estimation. One would write "isn't it" and say "id'en it" if one's so inclined. "id'en it" is one of a series of tags: id'en it, wud'en it, haden 'it, augthen it. You'll excuse the spelling. I challenge you to find information on them or the "correct" spelling. In England, Yorkshire at least, they say "id'en tit". A very close cousin. Lastly when one is leaving a ironic comment like "I'm gonna get my finger bit off at the Berlin Zoo because you lot!" the vernacular is quite fitting.

Footnotes: Here's Peter using "id'en it" on Family Guy (Charlie Sheen also uses it on "Two & a Half Men) & a little Yorkie cutie using "id'en tit": (2:10) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieLlPq1P3RU (1:30) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB3ieNhEsDY


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

Can’t respond to your Bill Bailey example Hud, the thread is too long. I think you will find that he is saying “innit”, not “iden’it”. Maybe you should concentrate on learning English slang rather than German. You seem to have a talent for it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

anyway, it was nice talking to you, marian


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

hud, I did of course notice your lack of capitaliSation, but I decided not too be too much of a nag and I regard it as a victory that you can string a sentence together without totally maiming the English language with your wud’ens and id’ens. Have fun learning German, the poor Germans don’t know yet what will hit them when you get hold of their language!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

And you too, hud. Can’t believe you have actually managed to write a sentence with no grammatical errors/slang!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

um, didn't cha notice the lack of capitalization?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

You're right the correct spelling is "innit". https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/innit One ingot for Miss Marian!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPan173079

No, you can go by this rule and you'll be fine, just make sure the owl speaks to you first.


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

"Owls that talk do not bite" was not a accepted.


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

Did you have a listening exercise, rather than a translation exercise?

Otherwise, please show a screenshot to help us identify what might have happened.

"Owls that talk do not bite" is accepted as a translation result as far as I can tell.


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

Owls that speak done bite. Accidentally, but it got accepted. Usually it doesn't accelt typos when you put a different but correctly written word.


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

Why is "speak" not acceptable as a sinonim for "talk"


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

What was the entire sentence that you wrote?

There are accepted translations that include the word "speak".

Also, did you have a listening exercise or a translation exercise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mg180man

'Owls that speak don't bite.' Why is this marked wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igav90

The first comma could suggest an alternative reading


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph665400

The audio here is almost intelligible. In fact, the male voice in a lot of these lessons is difficult to understand.

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