"Weihnachten steht vor der Tür."

Translation:Christmas is almost here.

April 4, 2013

This discussion is locked.


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 used "Christmas is around the corner", which I'm not sure is accepted in common English, but Duo accepted it.

My mother language is Spanish(and we use "a la vuelta de la esquina") and I don't recall (but can't discard either) to hear that in an english movie/tv show


That phrase is common in English. Referring to something happening soon in the future as being "around the corner" is correct


It's accepted now. Presumably as a result of your report :)


Not mine on 12/8/2019


"Christmas is at the door" was not accepted for me either.


DL also accepts: 'Christmas is upon us'.


Winter steht vor die Tür.


I wish they used these instead. They make more sense then the suggested translation.

[deactivated user]

    Right at the doorstep rejected



    And that would be why it drives me nuts that Duo doesn't just translate it literally.


    It's an idiom, and needs to be learned as such. An idiom is a group of words that can't be translated literally. "See the light" means "understand" and there is no way a foreign student of English could figure that out.


    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.


    Yes. An idiom that needs to be learned as such. But I think Duo should let us know if a phrase is idiomatic.

    [deactivated user]

      " 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.


      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.


      Thank you! What a lovely phrase.


      Same in Arabic language.


      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)


      Same in North Indian languages like Punjabi/Hindi. "Darwaje par hona" or at the door means some event/date has arrived and be prepared for that. Didn't know same thing is in other languages also.


      I wish Duo would include a comment about such idiomatic phrases. "This literally means x, but is used as xx."


      I put "Christmas is coming soon" and it was judged wrong...


      it's accepted now.


      Brace yourselves, Christmas is coming.


      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. I do. I got it wrong as well.


      You can say it in English. "Christmas stands at the door," is a fine English sentence. Duo is, once again, wrong.


      "Christmas stands at the door" conjures up a lovely image, but it is not a sentence I can imagine a native speaker using, with the possible exception of Charles Dickens.


      'Christmas is around the corner.'


      I guess "Christmas is at hand" is not really idiomatic, or?


      That would work too.

      "Christmas is just around the corner" is another common expression.


      Ah! Idiomatischer Ausdruck! (Idiomatic Expression)


      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?"


      What's wrong with "Christmas is near"?


      Weihnachten? Can any1 define the individual parts of this word?


      The expression "Weihnachten" is already known in the 12th century in former German areas. In the Middle High German it was called "wīhenaht" and "wîhen nahten". The singular is "Wîhenaht" and the plural is "Wîhennahten".

      "Wîhen" is an Old High German and Germanic verb, which today is known as "weihen" (-> "die Weihe"). It goes back to the Germanic word "weiha" or "wiha". Something that is consecrated is honoured and receives a holy (divine) purpose in Christianity. (The expression "wîhen" has been used since the 8th century in the German-speaking world.)

      The word "Naht" is a Middle and Old High German word that simply means "night".

      "Weihnachten" simply means "consecrated night" or "holy night". The ending "-en" came to the word through the dative. It was said that "ze den wîhen nahten" meant "an den geweihten Nächten" (=on the consecrated nights).


      Love it. I immediately saw this sentence and was confused because I took it literally until I realised that it must be a "saying".


      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.


      Christmas is at the door should be accepted


      I'm proud of myself that I understood this idiomatic expression!


      The german sentence sounds like an idiom. Is there another german translation for "Christmas is almost here"?


      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".



      Fröhliche weihnachten an alle ❤

      • 1543

      Why on earth not 'It is nearly Christmas?' They accept the word almost instead of nearly!


      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.


      There is a legitimate English expression that signifies "nearly here": https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/at+door

      But I think it would be "at our door", not "at the door"


      'Christmas is at the door' ??


      Yes, that's the word-by-word translation.

      Every language has idioms and sayings and it's rather a rarity if these are one to one translatable.


      Literally, Christmas stands before the door?


      Yep, its an idiom. Like when we say "spring is just around the corner" When obviously there is no literal corner


      I really wish Duo would have us translate the German literally! Rather than the English equivalent, this is my biggest beef with Duo.


      Idioms should NOT be in regular lesson modules!


      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.


      Is there any reason the English idioms that are exactly the same aren't accepted?


      It's Christmas soon was rejected


      In Portuguese, we have a similar one. It would be Christmas is knocking on the door, literally. That helps!

      [deactivated user]

        We can say something similar in Romania, for example : Examenul bate la ușă (lit. The exam knocks at the door) = The exam is almost there/almost coming


        Christmas is at the door is prefectly good English usage. Naturally Duo does not accept it.


        That was clever but got it at first try


        This is an 'idiotic sentence'. In Britain we say "christmas is coming' or 'it will soon be christmas. We do not say that christmas is knocking at the door, because it just isnt!


        'Christmas is at the door' is not accepted. Thought, this is how i would say in English.


        I wish Duo would stick to the literal translation so we learn the German language.


        Lost 3 hearts with this one.

        Christmas is at the door Chirstmas is near Chirstmas is almost there

        I think idioms should at least accept literal translations with a commentary or something. Or just revert the whole "hearts" nonsense...


        Christmas is at the door. I get it. So mark it correct.


        It should accept "Christmas is at the door"


        "Christmas is at the door" is a vslid English colloquialism that mirrors the German phrase in meaning. It's dishonest not to accept it.


        "Christmas is at the door" is a valid English colloquialism that mirrors the German phrase in meaning. It should be accepted.


        figures i get this sentence literally 2 days before christmas


        Kinda reminds me of Chinese on how they use such words to make this meaning. Like: 太感谢了! Which literally means: much feelings of thanks is given (got), but it is simply: thank you very much! Wow.


        Why is " Christmas is close by " rejected?


        You cannot demand only 1 specific translation of an idiomatic expression. Christmas is coming was rated wrong, Christmas is at the door was rated wrong


        Question not well set and rated


        Why not "Christmas is coming"?


        "Christmas is near" should be accepted. It's a very common way to say "Christmas is almost here"


        Marked it wrong for missing the h? Ahs


        "Christmas is soon here" is probably the most common way of saying this, but not accepted. Reported.


        Christmas is nigh - a fair translation?


        Christmas is at the door (and similar varients) is perfectly common in the UK.


        I don't even question it anymore. Just go with it.

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