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  5. "Der Gedanke ist nicht schlec…

"Der Gedanke ist nicht schlecht."

Translation:The thought is not bad.

July 3, 2013



Could this not also be translated as: "The idea is not bad"?


Yes. (Native speaker)


It isn't accepting 'The idea is not bad' and will only accept 'That idea is not bad'. :(

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Did you report it at least?


Yes, thanks to the very helpful native speakers adding comments here, I did report it. :-) Having said that, 'It is not a bad idea' is better English than 'The idea is not bad' imo.


"The idea is not bad." is now accepted.


I put: That's not a bad idea. It was accepted. To me, it sounds more natural. All the other ways this has been interpreted are intelligible, but not my first choice of phrasing.


Does anyone know if gedanke is more like thought, or more like idea. Thought always seemed to me to have a less serious connotation than idea, as in an idea is well thought out, while a thought happens in passing


Well, there is Idee to express idea, and the usual translation you'll see is thought. Denken after all means to think.


Thanks for your thoughts, that makes a lot of sense!


"It thought is not bad" - really?


Why isn’t it ‘die Gedanke’ if it ends with ‘e’?


lol. This isn't French. Nouns that end in -e are not necessarily inclined to be feminine. In something like "die Hunde", it's not changing to feminine because it ends in the letter <e>, it's changing to feminine because it's plural, and -e just so happens to be a common plural ending for mono-syllabic nouns. Gedanke, on the other hand (at least as far as I'm aware) is simply a singular noun that just so happens to end in the letter <e>. Not everything that ends in <e> is a plural, and not everything that ends in <e> is feminine.


Okay. The woodenly literal translation is "The thought is not bad." But if I were translating that idea into what English speakers would more likely say it would be, "That's not a bad idea." I entered the more wooden translation into DL (because I've made the mistake of going for clarity before) and got it right, but I'm wondering if it would have accepted the other.


It accepted "That's not a bad idea" when I typed it. That's pretty common from an American standpoint (colloquially).


Could this be an idiom for "It is the thought that counts"?


The idiom you mean is "Es ist der Gedanke, der zählt." or shortened "Der Gedanke zählt."


since when did der mean that?


In German, the definite articles (“the” in English) are identical in form to the medial demonstrative adjectives (“that”, “those” in English) and the medial demonstrative pronouns (“that”, “that one”, “those” in English).

For example, in the nominative case, the definite article and medial demonstrative adjective are:
»die Frau« “the woman”, “that woman”
»der Mann« “the man”, “that man”
»das Kind« “the child”, “that child”
»die Menschen« “the people”, “those people”

The German proximal demonstratives (“this”, “these” in English) are distinct:
»diese Frau« “this woman”
»dieser Mann« “this man”
»dieses Kind« “this child”
»diese Menschen« “these people”

as are the German distal demonstratives (“yon” in Elizabethan English; “that [one] over there”, “those over there” in modern English):
»jene Frau« “yon woman”, “that woman over there
»jener Mann« “yon man”, “that man over there
»jenes Kind« “yon child”, “that child over there
»jene Menschen« “yon people”, “those people over there

Note that German, like Elizabethan English and many other languages, has a three-way deictic system, corresponding to the three-way personal-pronoun system:

»ich« “I”
»hier« “here”
»diese« “this”

»du« “you”
»da« “there”
»die« “that”

»er« “he”
»dort« “yonder”, “over there”
»jene« “yon”, “that [one] over there”

Modern English has lost the distinction between medial demonstratives and distal demonstratives.


As far as I understand it, "der" can mean "that" when it's not actually attached to a noun, and the "that" which is being spoken of is representative of a masculine noun which is also understood in context.

"Dieser Hund ist süß." (This/that dog is cute).

"Ich denke, dass der ist nicht." (I think that this/that [dog] is not)

^ In this case, "der" is being used as this/that (German doesn't distinguish "this" vs "that"), as it's referencing the masculine noun "Hund" which is already understood from having been established in context from the first sentence.

However, that being the case, the "der" in the sentence in question for this exercise could not be used that way, since it is attached to a noun, which makes it so that it has to mean "the".

At least this how I understand things. I could be mistaken. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


»Der« can mean “that” even when attached to a noun.


It is also interesting to remember that the definite articles in Romance languages came from demonstrative forms in Latin. Such concepts are quite close.


"That is not a bad thought." is accepted :)


"the idea ist not bad" - should be also accepted


except that ist is german, not english


Is "The" article necessary in english here? I answered "Thought is not bad" and DL marked it wrong. Native english guys?


Without the article it changes the meaning drastically, suggesting instead that the concept of thought itself is not bad. While this is clearly true, the German phrase implies a specific idea or thought is not bad.


It seems to me as a native English speaker that "Not a bad thought" should be accepted.


That would be: "Kein schlechter Gedanke." which is used in German as well.


The suggestion is not bad ?


A Gedanke (thought) is not necessarily a Vorschlag (suggestion).


Why not Gedenke?


That's simply not the German word.

Some derived forms change the vowel, but I'm not sure what the rules for that are, if there are even any.

Another example is Gelage (feast, banquet) which may be related to legen.


Though not an exact translation but could, 'Der Gedanke ist ganz gut, mean the same?


Though not an exact translation but could, 'Der Gedanke ist ganz gut, mean the same?

The meaning is indeed fairly similar.


"the thought is not wrong"

What's the problem with this translation?


schlecht is "bad", not "wrong" (= falsch)


Got it! Thanks!

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