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  5. "Eulen, die sprechen, beißen …

"Eulen, die sprechen, beißen nicht."

Translation:Owls that talk don't bite.

January 5, 2018


  • 1453

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


Is that an idiom ?


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


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


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


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


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


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


don't you mean "proverbium"?


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


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


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


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


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


So sagst du Duo, so sagst du..


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


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" ?


I think "peck" is better.


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Duo spricht viele Sprachen ;)


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


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


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!


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."



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!


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


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


anyway, it was nice talking to you, marian


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!


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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?


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


The first comma could suggest an alternative reading


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

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