It's an idiomatic German phrase - "vor der Tür stehen" (literally to stand in front of the door) means something's just around the corner, or coming soon.
There are a few related English idioms too.
- Christmas is knocking at the door.
- Christmas is at the doorstep.
- Christmas is on our doorstep.
I've also heard, simply, "Christmas is at the door"... So of course Duo rejects it.
I wish they used these instead. They make more sense then the suggested translation.
And that would be why it drives me nuts that Duo doesn't just translate it literally.
They should have idioms in the idioms section. There's a reason there's an idiom section in my opinion and I wish they'd put them all there. Or make an Idioms 1 / Idioms 2 for more advanced if desired.
It's difficult trying to remember what a sentence means, and you think you understand the word for word translation but said translation doesn't make any sense because (surprise!) it's an idiom and turns out you did have the individual words correct at least but still got the whole sentence wrong.
Idioms permeate the whole language, of course they're going to pop up all the time outside of a neat Idioms section. Welcome to the real world.
Except that in this case, "Christmas stands at the door" is a perfectly valid and understandable English sentence.
Literal translation "Christmas is at the door" is accepted now (February 2018). But I believe that this belongs in the idioms section, since the sentence cannot be taken literally in either language.
" it drives me nuts that Duo doesn't just translate it literally." So would you translate literally, "Bring me a sandwich, and step on it"?
That's an ingenious example! If it ever shows up in Duolingo without context, though, I'd say the literal translation should also be accepted.
I think a lot of European languages(if not world) have similar phrase,for example in Croatia we'd say something like: -Božić je pred vratima ( Christmas is in front of the doors) -Božić je na vratima ( Christmas is on the doors)
I'm not sure what you mean. An idiom can exist in more than one place and still be an idiom.
I wish Duo would include a comment about such idiomatic phrases. "This literally means x, but is used as xx."
it's the same sentence in italian (my native language) so i thought i could say it in english too: "Christmas is at the door" :)
You can say it in English. "Christmas stands at the door," is a fine English sentence. Duo is, once again, wrong.
Use "die Redewendung" if you want to say "der idiomatische Ausdruck". It is much more common here. I've never ever seen "idiomatisch" used in German. Only when I first looked for a translation for "idiomatic" it just popped up and I was just like "Ugh, could you please give me a translation which is German enough for me to understand?"
That would work too.
"Christmas is just around the corner" is another common expression.
Love it. I immediately saw this sentence and was confused because I took it literally until I realised that it must be a "saying".
Why on earth not 'It is nearly Christmas?' They accept the word almost instead of nearly!
The german sentence sounds like an idiom. Is there another german translation for "Christmas is almost here"?
Christmas is at the door should be the answer, but someone at Duo insists on translating with idioms instead of accurate phrases.
This isn't a Duolingo thing, it's a language thing. Sentences need to be translated for meaning. This sentence doesn't mean that Christmas has been magically personified and is standing in front of a door, it means that Christmas is nearly here. Thus, "Christmas is around the corner" is an accurate translation, even though there's no mention of a corner in the original sentence.
...and if you need further examples, think about what happens if you translate "I am hot" literally into german.
There are so many different ways to translate this - too many really. It is probably obvious to everyone what the meaning is but of course Duo can only handle a limited number of translations.
I think "Christmas is at our door" seems acceptable. You can see examples in English of sentences like "With February at our door".
I disagree that "Christmas is at the door" is a good translation. It is a literal translation, but the aim of translation is to go from a natural-sounding sentence in the source to a natural-sounding sentence in the target language.
In the round, over-literal translations tend to make it seem as if the original writer was inordinately bad at expressing him or herself well.
But that's a tangent. Regarding the thread subject, I favour "Christmas is nearly/almost here" and "Christmas is upon us" as the nearest equivalents to the German expression.
I really wish Duo would have us translate the German literally! Rather than the English equivalent, this is my biggest beef with Duo.
I typed "xmas is here" and it corrected me to "xmas is ALMOST here" - which word exactly means "almost" here?
Not a single word, but steht vor der Tür as a phrase means "is almost here".
It is so close that it metaphorically stands right in front of your door already.
Many persons do use Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas in writing, although - in my experience - very rarely in speech.
Is there any reason the English idioms that are exactly the same aren't accepted?
"Christmas is almost around the corner" is marked as wrong, please add this correct answer to your database, and thank you in advance for fixing your mistake.
It would be better to say "Christmas is around the corner." Around the corner means almost.
I put "Christmas stands before the door". Which, while sounding a little bit posh and haughty, and perhaps a little clunky, and maybe a bit dramatic, is still technically correct, and completely acceptable English. I've reported it. October 5, 2015.
That's not really proper English. We would say "Christmas is at the door", but you should see the post above for some English approximations of this German idiom.