1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Er ist schlau wie ein Fuchs."

"Er ist schlau wie ein Fuchs."

Translation:He is sly as a fox.

April 9, 2018

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisReadm2

His is as sly as a fox is the correct translation


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

He is sly like a fox is the proper translation. You would be right if the German sentence were “Er ist als schlau wie ein Fuchs”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah851648

Er ist so schlau wie ein Fuchs.


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

You need to read up on "like vs as".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f0b1LE9Q

Duolingo won't accept the answers "He is as cunning as a fox" and "He is as sly as a fox". These sentences are proverbial in English. The suggested answer "He is smart as a fox" is ungrammatical because it is missing the first "as". In my variety of English (Australian), "smart" is colloquial rather than correct". "sly", "cunning" and "clever" would be better. "Smart" more properly refers to the way someone is dressed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim0077

The original sentence didn't have "so ... wie", so I think the translation cannot be " as ... as". The translation that DL gives moves me to the thought that the original sentence meant to convey the idea: "He is sly -- like a fox is sly." Did you try "He is cunning as a fox", or "He is smart as a fox"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f0b1LE9Q

Structures don't need to be similar between languages. In a comparison, I would always say "X is as (adjective) as a Y". The first "as"is not optional. I did try "He is as cunning as a fox", but it wasn't accepted, nor was "He is as sly as a fox".


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

AmE here . I'd say the first as is optional. Not common but not required.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snakey55

The translation is definitely missing the first "as". You can't miss it out. Something is always AS xxxx as something else.


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

As I said in a previous comment German sentence is not “Er ist als schlau wie ein Fuchs”. The proper English translation of the German sentence is “He is sly like a fox”.


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

I have never seen German use "als" in similes. The full wording should be "So schlau wie ein Fuchs". German often omits the "So", in the same way that English often omits the "As"; but this practice is an ellipsis. "As" X as Y" is understood, and is preferred in careful speech and writing.


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

Why do you justify invalid English because the German isn't a literal translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TylerMuell10

If any moderators do read these comments, I would say please read all the comments about the English expression "as sly as a fox". It is irrevelant to say the German has no equivalent als......wie. To translate " Er ist schau wie ein Fuchs" as "He is sly as a fox" is as wrong as translating"He is as sly as a fox" as Er ist als schau als ein Fuchs.


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

i would say the expression should be 'He is as sly as a fox' The additional 'as' improves context and is more descriptive.


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

This should be "he is as sly as a fox". I'm getting worried about accuracy of Duolingo. There are many questions with bad English, so how can I trust all the German?


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

"He is sly like a fox." was accepted, and sounds better to my ears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jrgen792736

In einem anderen Satz hier, wird sly nicht akzeptiert, da muss es smart heißen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madron3

Whatever the German is, and there seems to be some doubt, the English is a standard common phrase, "as sly as a fox", as SeanMeaneyPL explains clearly above. There is a strand of traditional European animal folk literature where the Fox character is cunning, sly etc. See "Le Roman de Renard le Goupil" for the basic French form. So the fox is traditionally given the character of being cunning/sly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madron3

I have tried to report this but the upload button is not active.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheila351374

Why 'ein Fuchs'? Shouldn't it be 'einen Fuchs'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah851648

No, it's nominative, not accusative.


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

To acknoledge the person you can say to them "Du Fuchs!" in German. It acknoleges the person being / having been sly as a fox ;) Similarly you can state "Er / Sie ist ein Fuchs." or "Du bist ein Fuchs!" It has a positive connotation to it.


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

You would not translate it to 'He is sly as a fox' the translation to English is 'He is as sly as a fox' to make it grammatical


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

If you translate a simile to another language, you need to have it make sense in that other language, thus the sentence in English is missing an 'an' to make grammatical sense


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

The English translation doesn’t make sense. „As a fox“ means one is talking about a fox and the fox is sly. The proper translation should be “He is sly like a fox”.


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

Sly like a fox is ungrammatical English. Sly as a fox is an acceptable shortening, but is colloquial. The correct structure is "as sly as a fox".

As sly as a fox, as strong as an ox As fast as a hare, as brave as a bear As free as a bird, as neat as a word As quiet as a mouse, as big as a house.

Lenka "Everything at Once"

The figure of speech is called a simile, and has a fixed form, "As X as Y".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f0b1LE9Q

This is nonsense. "As sly is a fox" doesn't mean one is talking about a particular fox. * "Sly like a fox" is ungrammatical English.

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