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  5. "Das ist ein zufälliger Momen…

"Das ist ein zufälliger Moment."

Translation:That is a random moment.

March 24, 2013



"this is an unexpedted moment" is not accepted. Can someone tell my why?


That would be "unerwartet".


Then why does Duo accept zufälliger Gast for "unexpected guest"?


It's an idiom. It would be weird for us to call someone a random guest and just as weird for Germans to call someone an unexpected guest.


"Random guest" is sometimes said in English, as exemplified by this photo caption from New Zealand.

"“Lloyd taking care of a random guest, in the way only Lloyd can do.”"



Yes but in that case guests are already there, and one is chosen and taken care of. Anyway, if you learn English, the ref is british english! I mean the language from that island invaded by so called french normans that arrived at Hastings and ruled by a family of german origins! :)


No idea. They aren't always that consistent with which German words they accept in which contexts.


What does it mean anyway? I can't imagine a situation to say "random moment" :/


Actually, I have heard "random moment" quite a bit. It means a moment that seems out of context with events at the time.


Well people do say 'that was a bit random'. So suppose it is a bit similar.


It probably comes from computer games where you can sometimes randomize eg. how a character looks and often it looks hilariously out of place (old man with a pink mohawk and ears the size of a newspaper). Hence the modern meaning of random.


"Spontaneous" was not accepted; should I report or is that not really right?


So this describes "a moment in which something random happened" rather than "a moment which was selected at random"? The english translation could be either depending on context ...

  • 256

I think this is more at "coincidental."


"random" is not a particularly good translation of "zufälliger". Random has a definite meaning in terms of probability: absolutely even probabilities among a range of events. "Chance" is much better. But there is no really good one-word counterpart to "zufälliger".


zufällig = chance, by chance; willkürlich,ziellos = random. The owl makes the two synonymous, but they are not




Not bad! Fortuitous has a slightly positive nuance which I don't believe is present in zufälliger.


I don't care how many times duolingo makes me practice it but "that is a random moment" is just not something an English speaker will ever have need to say .


The suggested translations are "That is an incidental moment." and "That is a random." moment. I cannot imagine using either of these phrases in English. The best approximation I can imagine is "That is an unexpected moment", which is not an accepted translation. So what does the phrase actually mean?


Duo teaches us English. I resolve to use 'incidental' tomorrow.


I am german and this sentence just sounds really weird to me, I would never say that. I think the word "zufällig" has to be in relation to something specific


Interesting discussion, and it would be great if a truly fluent German and English speaker could weigh in. "That is a random moment" sounds awkward and a bit vague to a native English speaker. The online dictionaries often don't have the depth of examples of really good print dictionaries. It seems zufällig is most commonly translated as coincidental, incidental, by chance or per chance (UK). None of these really sounds right in English in this sentence. Other less common translations include random, unexpected and unplanned. In this case, it appears to me that the best English translations would be to use unplanned or unexpected, and personally I'd favour unexpected.

  • 256

"What a coincidence!" Does that work? Now please stop this thread. People shouldn't be trying to directly translate phrases or idioms, because language isn't acquired, nor does it work, that way.


And yet, you yourself do not seem to be sure of the exact meaning. Perhaps it depends on the context. I myself learned that "What a coincidence!" in German is "Was für ein Zufall!" Perhaps "Das is ein zufälliger Moment" actually means "That is a serendipitous moment".


  • 256

Your "exactitude" comes from a misunderstanding of literal translation, as none exist. Serendipity is closer to "gluecklicher Zufall" or "Gluecksfall" even. German has something like 500K words, whereas English has something like 800K-1,000,000. Splitting minute hairs does not acquire language any quicker. Zufall = coincidence, whereas Unfall = accident, but by all means, continue whatever it is that y'all seem to be doing here.


However, "serendipity" in English is not exactly the same as "coincidence". "Serendipity" is being in the right place at the right time to receive some unexpected benefit. Coincidence implies no such benefit. It is a coincidence if you start talking with a stranger, and find out that you both know the same person on the other side of the country. If the stranger offers you an unexpected benefit, such a good job and you take it, then it is serendipitous. If you just go your separate ways after your conversation, then it is not serendipitous.

  • 256

I'd say, fair point IN English, however, when translating the sentence: "Das ist ein zufälliger Moment." I wouldn't use "serendipity," I'd translate: "That is a coincidental moment." Anything otherwise implies a benevolent result that isn't indicated by the German sentence. All these folks with their knickers in a twist because "no one would say that in English" are missing the fundamental notion that one can't directly translate one language to another.

Also, how do I unfollow this discussion?! I have tried multiple times and still get these bloody notifications.


A whole discussion of what zufällig means...yet my problem is less about the translation and more about usage. In English, I can never imagine saying "That IS a random moment," possibly "That WAS a random moment". Just my two cents. :-)


I tend to call unexpected moments "Senior moments" a very common English saying, of men of my age anyway


I submitted "That is an accidental moment." since I conflated "Zufall" with "Unfall". Shouldn't that answer be not accepted?


"Accidental" means "unplanned", so I can see why it would be accepted. Indeed, "zufällig" means accidental/coincidental/chance as well as the "random" that Duolingo has given in the translation above. So your conflation was a happy one!


Thank you very much for the quick answer! Have a Lingot.


...brought to you by Monty Python


zufällig means "by chance", while random means "willkürlich" or "ziellos"


I cannot think of a situation in which I would say 'a random moment'. A random or chance event maybe, but not moment. I'm not sure what the translation would be. Would a native German speaker use this expression and if so, what exactly would he/she mean?


Google translate translated : "That's a chance moment" into "Das ist ein zufälliger Moment".

It then translated "Das ist ein zufälliger Moment" into "That's an accidental moment".

Both chance and accidental seem acceptable to me but random seems to be a bit like pulling words out of a hat.


You can ignore Google translate. At best, it can translate roughly.


Google translate is very handy for one thing - say I have momentarily (I hope) forgotten the gender of "Baum". Typing "the tree" into English-German google translate will bring a quick refreshing of the memory. Leafing through Cassell's takes longer.


why isn't this 'Das ist ein zufällige Moment." (seems it should be a mixed inflection following the ein)


Moment is masculine, so the (mixed)-nominative-masculine-singular adjectival ending(*) would give you zufälliger, as per the solution.

(*) how I would have laughed at that horrible construction a couple of months ago: small signs of progress (or regress): who knows? ;-)


I tried "fateful" which was not accepted. Should it perhaps be? Or not?


In the UK, this could refer to a moment of dementia, but the expression is very uncommon. The meaning here is not clear to me.


I went for 'opportune' instead of chance and was graded wrong...

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