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  5. "Wer bist du eigentlich?"

"Wer bist du eigentlich?"

Translation:Who are you, actually?

September 13, 2014



Here's a link to the difference between "tatsächlich" and "eigentlich" in case you're wondering: http://marathonsprachen.com/actually-there-is-a-difference-eigentlich-vs-tatsachlich/


That link would not load for me.


To add to the English semantics debate(!), "Who, actually, are you?" is perfectly idiomatic English but gets the thumbs down from Duolingo.

  • 1908

You need to report it. I have reported many similar translation disconnects and have a pretty good track record of Duo accepting my suggestions for alternate translations. They send an email if they accept your variation.


Same here, although without commas


I reported it to. I was marked wrong for using it, it's more natiural for me to say 'who actually are you?'.


I wrote: "Who are you exactly?" and it to was marked wrong.


exactly and actually are very different words


But in vernacular English, this is commonly used for the same meaning...the translation should allow for common usage.


No, exactly means specifically perfectly something, actually means 'so it turns out' IE (actually, I am exactly round )

Two completely different words. Plus common usage is different everywhere.


I disagree. "Actually" also means "in actual fact" which isn't the same but is similar to "exactly" or "to be exact". "Who are you exactly" sounds far more comfortable to me than "who are you actually".

[deactivated user]

    In fact, actually often means nothing, or very little, in English. It is often used to fill space while thinking and speaking.


    I personally would use the sentence 'who are you exactly?' a lot more than this.


    I'd say that "Who are you exactly?" suggests that you kind of know roughly who the person is but want to know more precisely, whereas "Who are you really?" suggests that you don't believe what you've been told about who the person is.


    You are right there is a difference of meaning there that I didn't originally think about. What would be the german word to use for 'exactly' then?


    "Genau," I think.


    I said, "Exactly who are you" and it was marked wrong. And to -Copernicus, no, it doesn't suggest that you know roughly who the person is, but that you are questioning who he claims to be.

    • 1908

    I see a distinction between "actually" and "exactly." "Actually" refers to authenticity, whereas "exactly" refers to precision. Someone says, "I'm the boss." You reply "Who are you actually?" The answer might be, "Well, actually I'm the boss's assistant." However, if you had asked,"Who exactly are you?" The answer should be more like, "I'm the CEO (or the Chief of Marketing,etc.)."

    • 4

    I think that tone of voice carries a lot of meaning here. "Who are you, exactly?" spoken timidly would be asking for clarification, but "Exactly who are you?!" spoken with indignation either means "actually", etc., or is a rhetorical question meant to insult someone's status.


    What's wrong with "who actually are you?"


    I also think it's correct. I think we should report it.


    So "eigentlich" is not a derived from eigenes? Disappointed!!!!!

    • 1730

    Curiosly enough, there is a direct analog in Russian: "собственно" (or "собственно говоря") which is derived from the Russian form of "eigen". Now, I just need to remember which language to use in order to guess the German translation correctly ;-)

    • 222

    "Nobody of consequence." "I must know!" "Get used to disappointment."


    How many words meaning "really" are there in German? It seems that I have encountered a lot of "really"s.

    • 1730

    And what about English? Really, actually, naturally, genuinely, in fact, in reality - just a few off the top of my head.


    You are right.

    I speak Cantonese. There are just a few expressions for "really".


    That might be sincerely ?


    how about "on earth" for "eigentlich"?

    • 1730

    To me, "on earth" coveys too much incredulity. In a sentence "Who on earth are you?" it would actually sound quite hostile: How dare you to show up here and interrupt us. I don't think the original German sentence is this loaded.


    I think that would be "Wer im Himmel bist du?" meaning "Who in Heaven are you"


    In German would you use the Sie form rather than Du as you do not know the person?


    Yeah... but take it as though you've been lied to, the other person has tricked you into thinking she/he is somebody that she/he is not. So you 'sort of' know her/him and then you just use informal 'du'

    In spanish we call it tutear (the use of 'du') and you'd do so whenever you've spent a considerable time with someone or when it is about a pair.


    If I tell you, I might have to kill you.


    I would say "who actually are you?" to someone if I didn't know them well and they were very vocal/offensive in a discussion that was supposed to be between people I did know well. Maybe that's just me..


    I'd probably say, "who do you think you are anyway?"


    Perhaps rhat is why du is use as per polite questioning and not as a rebuff. Ordinarily in a impolite situation, it wont be an enquiry but a less than polite challenge. Who the hell etc are you.


    Who're you actually? Isn't accepted either

    • 1102

    I've had people ask me this, but the "eigentlich" was not the same as "actually" in english... it was just for emphasis, an exclamation meant to acknowledge the fact that we had been sitting at the same table without introducing ourselves.


    Couldn't get the difference between tatsächlich and eingentlich. Can they be used interchangeably?


    follow the link in Chaotic Minds post at the top and it may become clearer


    In English, the translation "Who are you, anyway?" has a sound of some disdain: who are you to think you can give such a bold opinion? or some such. In Dutch, the sentence closely equivalent to this one, "Wie ben je (nou) eigenlijk?" has the same sort of feeling to it. Is this true for this German one, as well, or is it just a more neutral, honest request for information?


    It could be either -- "Who are you, anyway?" (with disdain) or "Oh, and who are you?" (request for information).

    The intonation would be different.


    That's what I thought! Same as in Dutch, then. Thank you :)


    I think "who are you?" with emphasis on the "are" should be accepted. Isn't eigentlich just an intensifier that doesn't change the meaning?


    I put 'who actually are you' and it was marked incorrect - why on earth?


    This means really? Wirklich? Ehrlich?


    I don't know who you are, but I will find you


    Did anyone else think of the caterpillar in "Alice In Wonderland?"


    Hi, ive read somewhere where the formula is: adverb comes immediately after verb.

    Could i use - wer bist eigentlich du?

    Please help, danke!


    No, you can't.

    Also, personal pronouns also generally come immediately after the verb, and even more immediately than an adverb.

    For example: Ich habe gestern deinen Vater gesehen. versus Ich habe ihn gestern gesehen. -- the first sentence has the adverb gestern immediately after habe, and the second sentence has gestern immediately after habe but the personal pronoun ihn even more immediately after it.


    Are "eigentlich" and "echt" interchangeable here?


    The term "really" is typically synonymous with "actually" as an English translation in this case, but does not register as a valid input.


    I found the same result and was disappointed with the app. Actually seems too stilted to me in this context; really has a more relaxed tone. Oh well.


    What is tbe difference between Aktuelle, and eigentlich?


    The German word aktuell means "current", e.g. die aktuelle Uhrzeit = the current time of day

    eigentlich means "actual", i.e. corresponding to reality.


    Who are you? ich meine, dass dieser Satz richtig sein sollte.


    No, you didn't translate "eigentlich."


    The "actually" makes it sound rude in English.


    "Who really are you?" Wrong?


    "Who really are you?" Wrong?



    Is "who even are you" also possible?


    When i ask someone wer bist du eigentlich? it is not a nice way to say to him that i don't trust him


    I would suggest : who are you anyway


    "Who actually are you?" should be just fine but it marked it as wrong :(


    "who are you" should be right



    No. :) Just "who are you" = "Wer bist du" . It misses the translation for "eigentlich" and also has a different meaning than the correct translation.


    why is "where exactly are you" wrong?


    wo = where.
    wer = who. it really confused me at first because wer sounds so much like where


    "Who you really are?" wasn''t accepted ... :-(


    In English, we need to put the verb right after the question word: "Who are you really?"


    After an interrogative, if you say anything but a verb, your sentence is gibberish in English.

    Always follow that rule of thumb.

    • 1730

    And what rule would that be?
    Hint: the word "rule" in the above sentence is neither interrogative nor a verb ;-)


    The rule I just gave.

    | what rule | would | that | be |

    | interrogative noun phrase | auxiliary verb | subject | main verb |

    • 1730

    Where on Earth are you getting these rules from? Just kidding.
    In general, I completely agree. But the fact that you allow for an interrogative noun phrase (however long) makes this rule so malleable that it becomes half-useless.

    P.S. Even then I can think of exceptions: "What really happened here?" is a different question from "What happened here, really?"


    No harm would be done from them not realising that an adverb in second position is permitted when the interrogative is the subject of the sentence. By contrast, gibberish is created by routinely putting things other than verbs in second position:

    • "What you wanted?"
    • "What this question does it means?"
    • "How you are called?"
    • "Where today are you going?"

    Note what a rule of thumb means.


    Or you could say 'Who do you really are?' -I tried it and it was accepted :-)


    It shouldn't have been.


    Bond, (duuna), James Bond


    So I forgot the T in eigentlich and of course I lose my last heart. I mean ik its wrong but....come on it was just the T.


    " who really are you" and "who are you, actually" it seems to me is a matter of semantics not translation.


    "who are you, really" should also be correct. "who really are you" is not grammaticaly correct English.


    "Who really are you" is absolutely correct grammar. Please point out where you think it's wrong. After all there are many users of Duolingo who are learning English for the first time.I don't want them to be confused by your wrong assertion.


    Without interpunction the sentence is not grammaticaly correct. A subject and verb may be separated by an accompanying phrase (or word) without changing the agreement. The correct sentence would be "Who, really, are you?" It sounds like silly nitpicking but without those tiny commas the sentence is not in correct order.


    It is not only silly nitpicking, you are citing outdated rules of English grammar.

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