"Der Bezug fehlt ihm."

Translation:It has little bearing for him.

3/26/2013, 1:44:24 PM

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/nicomiro
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I don't understand this sentence at all ! :-( Can someone explain?

9/28/2013, 11:25:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DieYsbeer
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I translated it as, "He misses the reference". I think an idiomatic translation might be something like, "The reference is lost on him", but I am not a native speaker, so take that with a grain of salt. Hope that helps!

12/30/2013, 7:16:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_Barker

I am a native English speaker and translated is as "The reference is lost on him" which is idiomatic but it didn't accept it.

1/25/2014, 12:17:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JonKScott
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Also native and interpretted it that way so I will report it because it isn't accepted as of 31 May 2016.

5/31/2016, 3:58:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Konrad-Michal
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What does The reference is lost on him mean? May you provide any context, please?

6/23/2015, 6:52:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

He and some friends were talking together, and one of them said something that referred to, say, a funny line from a TV show he hadn't watched, or a movie he hadn't seen, etc. The other friends burst out laughing, but the reference was lost on him, so he just looked confused and wondered what they were all laughing at.

I have no idea if the German sentence has that meaning or not, but that is where the English sentence gets used.

6/23/2015, 5:36:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Konrad-Michal
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Thank you. Let me clarify it: does it mean: He didn't see the link between his words and their laughter? Or between his words and the TV show?

6/23/2015, 9:18:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

He didn't see the link between their words and anything, because he had never seen the TV show, so although what they said made everyone else laugh, the joke went right over his head (to use another expression).

Maybe another way of putting it is that the reference was clear to everyone else, but not to him.

6/24/2015, 1:29:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Konrad-Michal
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Now I understand. Thanks!

6/24/2015, 7:10:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Erin491427
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It's somewhat idiomatic, especially the English translation they offer (which personally I think is so strange it's wrong...). Fehlen=to be missing or absent; Bezug=reference, link (comes from Beziehung, relationship). It means he doesn't get the reference/see the link. Literally, the link is missing for him.

9/28/2013, 4:32:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/eplus17

"The reference eludes him." was not accepted; I've reported it thinking it should be correct, but welcome any insights to the contrary.

1/3/2014, 3:31:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/alex.tjn
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I think this is the closest tranlation in both the meaning and sentence structure.

8/10/2014, 4:08:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/dperseo
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I wrote: he misses the reference. accepted

12/13/2013, 3:07:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Is this translation accurate? Is the German sentence an idiom?

3/26/2013, 1:44:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/karenskywalker

I tried "he lacks the cover" and it was accepted.

5/25/2013, 6:13:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Erin491427
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really? that doesn't really make any sense in English

8/7/2013, 2:21:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/fuchfe97

You could read the sentence as: "He is missing a (pillow) cover." So it is correct, but probably not the intended meaning.

1/20/2014, 1:24:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mfgbkk
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it is more like "he can't refer to it"

12/31/2013, 11:58:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/SimMoor
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If you were to ask me a question about anything and I replied, "That would be an ecumenical matter" what would your reaction be? A. Stare at me quizzically, or B. Laugh If A, I would turn to my german friend and shrug, "Der bezug fehlt ihm."

8/23/2016, 1:51:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/markbooth
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C. Offer you a cup of tea.

6/24/2018, 6:55:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/pellucidon
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D. Offer you the name of a good counsellor

2/25/2019, 4:50:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMeyer427521

Surely: "It has no bearing ON him", meaning that it is not relevant to him?

8/7/2018, 12:45:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TJWphd
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I translated to "it has little bearing ON him," which I have heard more frequently than the suggested "it has little bearing FOR him."

9/17/2018, 1:31:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CaveatEmptor

Yeah, I'm not sure how this translates that way.

9/8/2013, 5:32:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lgarratt2

It has little bearing for him would need ihn, not ihm? A better English idiom would be the relevance escapes him. Am I wrong?

7/25/2014, 12:13:05 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Erin491427
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201 fires, nice! In "It has little bearing for him" him would be the indirect object and therefore the dative ihm. It's always difficult to translate "fehlen" because you don't use it exactly the same in german as you do to say something is "missing" in english. Here fehlen is an intransitive verb, and always takes a dative object. I don't like escape in this context because it makes the Bezug seem more active or willful, but yes, that is a correct interpretation of the sentence.

7/25/2014, 8:45:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lgarratt2

Thank you for that great explanation! I'm loving German and DL, it's hard not to think in an English way but discovering these differences is half the fun :D

7/26/2014, 12:22:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cilia539936
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He is missing the point....

8/25/2016, 5:48:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RoniH80
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From the hint I figured it would be: "It is not relevant for him", but was marked wrong. Duo's suggestions were nonsensical/weird. Report?

9/14/2016, 6:20:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JorgLovoll

He lacks the reference is accepted and seems quite adequate

11/17/2018, 9:46:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lastrick
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This is awkwardly worded. English speakers say "little bearing ON", not "bearing FOR".

2/22/2019, 2:15:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/caralarm
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Shouldn't "He lacks the salary" also be accepted?

2/20/2016, 1:06:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AlbertoMir955758

It does not make any sense

4/30/2017, 3:53:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/KazYam
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German word "der Bezug" has various meanings: Reference / relationship/ cover / salary etc. in English. "Der Bezug fehlt ihm = It has little bearing for him" may mean "It has little relationship for him.", I suppose now.

8/5/2017, 10:54:52 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulDower

How can der Bezug mean both salary and relevance/reference? Those aren't even similar words!

8/23/2017, 2:22:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Language is cruel that way. English is also cruel: consider, for example, the words "suit" and "train." You might like to look up "homograph" and "heteronym."

8/23/2017, 2:31:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulDower

I usually am able to get idioms but this one really just flew over my head hahaha

8/23/2017, 3:13:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RonanSill
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How about it means nothing to him?

5/10/2018, 7:58:28 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/FatAlan
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I'm still struggling with the English translation here. Would 'the relevance failed him' work better or at least be acceptible?

1/23/2019, 2:19:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/markbooth
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Searching Google for "Der Bezug fehlt ihm" brings up just 5 results and they are all Duolingo. Do Germans even use this phrase?

2/22/2019, 5:01:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesGBC

He lacks respect would be a better translation.

1/3/2014, 8:12:39 PM
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