"Ihr seid das Salz der Erde."

Translation:You are the salt of the earth.

August 2, 2013



Is it an expression in german ?

August 2, 2013


In English "salt of the earth" means you are a really honest and worthy.

March 5, 2014


In Costa Rican Spanish this would mean that you have really bad luck haha!

November 12, 2015


We have that expression in English, too: "salting the Earth" (ie, so nothing can grow) means to guarantee a bad outcome. Different from "salt of the Earth," which is a biblical reference.

February 1, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Same in Venezuela, but is more common "estas salao[salado]"

    May 31, 2016


    Same goes for México!

    August 17, 2017


    Same for Argentina

    December 13, 2015


    In arabic it means very important

    July 11, 2017


    In Farsi that would mean you're not funny at all :)))

    August 23, 2018


    In Persian, this would mean "You are reallllly funny!" (Sarcastically)

    September 8, 2017


    Yes, taken from Matthew 5, 13.

    October 4, 2013


    Is this the same wording in the most common German translation of the Bible?

    November 25, 2015


    Yes it is.

    April 22, 2017


    Like "salt of the earth" it's a recognizable phrase. It comes from one of the biblical gospels though, so I believe originally written in Greek.

    August 2, 2013


    The verse comes from Matthew 5:13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

    February 18, 2016


    Why are there two "der's"?

    July 18, 2014


    The first, "der Salz", is the masculine subject (nominative).

    The second "der Erde" is the feminine owner (genitive).

    February 9, 2015


    No - Salz is neuter

    February 10, 2015


    I think that's Genitive Case, isn't it?? This phrase is in my Dative Case... strange.

    October 12, 2015


    I'm wondering the same! Is this genitiv or dativ?

    October 18, 2015


    Funny thing is that I showed this question to a german friend of mine, and he said that we have nominativ and genitiv cases here, but not dativ! Go figure...

    October 19, 2015


    Hm, so I guess it would imply a possessive notion of the salt belonging to the Earth (not sure if I'm making myself understandable), which makes die -> der. And the nominativ goes do das Salz.. it makes sense to me, now. Thx, dude!

    October 19, 2015


    Thanks Jesus

    February 16, 2016


    Can one not say Ihr seid das Salz von der Erde, because not using a preposition is confusing me. What if you want to say (instead of "of the earth") "on the earth"? Is it still "der Erde" or "auf der Erde"?

    October 23, 2015


    Here's the thing, 'der' is the genitiv form of 'die' (singular feminine definite article). So in that one word 'der', you have the English meaning 'of the'. For example:

    The woman's dog (the dog of the woman) = 'der Hund der Frau' The duck's food (the food of the duck) = 'das Essen der Ente'

    Confusingly, 'der' is also the dativ form of 'die'. So you are correct in saying that 'auf' takes 'der Erde' as its complement

    (but a native German speaker would have to say what preposition we should use to translate 'on the Earth' ... I think it might be 'an', not 'auf')

    October 23, 2015


    Auf is for horizontal surfaces. an is for vertical surfaces or when something is at the edge of something

    November 9, 2015


    Thanks! You have shed some light on the genitive case for me :)

    October 24, 2015



    December 28, 2016


    Wondering if my answer is wrong: because I didn't know the biblical meaning until I checked it here:


    I answered: "You are the salt of the earth." but it should be: "You are salt to the world" according to Wiki.

    October 9, 2013


    Nope: in English, the phrasing is "salt of the earth".

    February 20, 2014


    Thanks for sharing.

    Can you apply the downvote to 'wiktionary' please,

    I clearly marked the source which I was citing and it says there:

    as a translation:

    Englisch: [1] You are salt to the world → en (The New English Bible)

    I believe that you are right, just keep it fair. :-)

    February 20, 2014


    I'll upvote you, but the true downvoter remains to be found...

    February 20, 2014


    Really sorry for suspecting you!

    I am here to learn, and when I make a mistake I take the blame.

    In this case I didn't feel guilty.

    Thanks again, and cheers for correcting. :-)

    February 20, 2014


    The New English Bible is a dodgy 1960s translation!

    May 25, 2014


    We are here to discuss this sentence not a bible. Anyway other people have other religions.

    October 25, 2015


    Ok so everyone seems not to be confused about this like I am, but is this positive or negative?

    January 23, 2016


    It's a passage from the Bible. You could interpret it as Jesus telling his followers they are 1) the flavor of the world, the ones who are "shining the light", so to speak, or 2) the preservative of the world; by living righteously and loving their neighbors they are keeping wickedness from overtaking or "spoiling" the world.

    November 17, 2016


    In addition, they make the flavor of the righteous bolder and richer.

    It is interesting to note as well that just as the workings of the spirit are often unexplainable, so are the deeds of those who hold their righteous savor, ntm the Spirit they have as their companion.

    April 22, 2017


    "Salt of the Earth" is positive, and it is a description of a person: "You are the salt of the Earth" = you are a very good person. "Salted the earth" (so nothing can grow) is negative, and it means to guarantee a bad outcome: "He salted the earth for her" = he arrived before her and told everyone what a horrible person she is, so when she arrives, they will hate her and she won't make any friends.

    March 17, 2016


    In old time salt was a very expensive spice. Being called the Salt of the Earth is very positive. It means you're a nobel, worthy person.

    May 26, 2016


    This is a Genetive Case ,There is no Dative here !

    March 26, 2016


    Can someone please explain the bible verse in correlation of this sentence line-by-line? I am not a Christian, I'd be grateful if someone can give a clear explanation that easy to understand. Thank you very much!

    March 19, 2019


    Jesus is explaining to His disciples, among other things, the positive influence they can have in the world by comparing them with how salt makes food better. The phrase "salt of the earth" has become common in many cultures when referring to a good person.

    March 24, 2019


    I see, thank you very much for such concise explanation!

    May 8, 2019


    John Paul II told something like this. This is a quote from Holy Bible... German in Duolingo is now very weird.

    October 18, 2015


    Why? Germany has a very rich Christian heritage.

    August 12, 2016


    If that salt has lost it's flavor, it ain't got much in it's favor.

    October 29, 2015


    Why are they using the genitive here - I thought it was supposed to be practicing the dative case?

    February 2, 2016


    Here is mathew five thirteen in modern english and German from the new world translation. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its strength, how will its saltiness be restored ? it is no longer usable for anything except be thrown outside to be trampled on by men. Ihr seid das Salz der Erder wenn aber das Salz seine kraft verliert, wie wird seine Salzkraft wiederberhergestellt werden? Es tagt z u nichts weiter , als hinausgeworfen und von den Menschen zertreten zu werden. These two translations are from the JW library app which has the bible available in 98 languages and counting.

    February 23, 2016


    Very nice!

    August 12, 2016


    To me (Brazilian) this sentence did not make any sense at all, couldn't translate it.

    March 16, 2016


    It's a common expression in English, taken from the Bible:

    "Vós sois o sal da terra ... 'Vós sois a luz do mundo" (Mt 5, 13.14)

    We use it to mean you're a really good person

    March 16, 2016


    Thank you for the context.

    March 17, 2016


    I know these cheesy sentences are cool and stuff... but I would be happier if duolingo put more pressure on stuff you will use really often than something you will use when you want to show off as a foreigner... Sometimes I feel Im learning too much stuff thats not really applicable in real life.

    October 8, 2016


    I wasn't be able to understand what it means... So I read the sentence leterally and got confused!

    December 9, 2016


    Waxing biblical, Duo...

    February 20, 2017


    Godspell, anyone?

    October 12, 2018


    It comes from the Holy Bible

    April 20, 2019


    ?? why is duolingo using religious quotes? I translated it right but have no idea at all what it meant as though Australian I'm not Christian.

    August 8, 2019


    I know this phrase. But why I cant choose Soil? Ok its not in original but why suggesting Soil?

    December 22, 2015


    Soil is another possible translation for 'Erde', but this is a well-known phrase, and the English translation 'you are the salt of the earth' is overwhelmingly the preferred translation

    December 22, 2015


    There is also a documentary by the brazilian artist "sebastião salgado". It is about photography and worth watching.

    June 20, 2016


    Dharti k bhoj

    May 14, 2017


    In persian, it means you are so funny

    June 5, 2017


    That sounds more biblical.

    July 25, 2017


    I didnt knowz

    February 14, 2018


    Very poetic-lingo!

    October 2, 2014


    No it shod be poetilingo

    December 3, 2015


    if you are not here, there are no delicious. you are my mean

    February 1, 2016


    Ima christian, if yoy guys dont believe, then sorry but your going hell

    February 14, 2018


    This is an expression in English. cannot be directly translated to German. !! It's wrong!!

    November 27, 2015


    This is an international known expression. It is from the Bibel (Matthew 5, 13) and is a central part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. The translation here is in agreement with the Luther-Bibel (1912), so also many (Christian) Germans are probably familiar with this expression.

    November 28, 2015


    At first I also was confused about the alternative words for Earth (soil) but understanding intentions to teach us the ability to choose a more correct word and not the fittest, I agree with such an approach. Thank you for your answer!

    December 23, 2015


    And what about the 4.8 billion non-Christians!?

    November 28, 2015


    I don't know. My intention is not to offend non-Christians, just to clarify that the expression isn't exclusively English. I am sorry, if you understood it otherwise.

    November 28, 2015


    No, I did not mean that you were trying to insult non-Christians, but I highlight the dumb fact of a language being influenced by a religion. It is incorrect. Dubious things like this should not be put on duolingo. DO you agree with me?

    November 30, 2015


    This is kind of inane - "salt of the earth" is a common phrase, regardless of where it originated.

    But the phrase's origins do matter. German has been influenced by many things, and the Christian history of much of German's speakers is clearly an important influence that pops up over and over again.

    There's nothing dubious about this phrase or putting it on Duolingo. When you learn a language, you learn some of the accompanying culture. You should be thinking 'wow that's an interesting thing I didn't know before, thanks Duolingo for teaching me that'.

    December 1, 2015


    No. I think that a learning tool like Duolingo has to teach practical examples from the colloquial language. Our language is historically influenced by many religions, ideologies and filosofies besides random events. It's impossible to separate language and culture. As long as Duo's examples reflect the common used language, I find nothing suspicious.

    November 30, 2015


    Non-German and non-Christian here - this phrase is pretty common in many languages, even those without a strong connection to the New Testament in the cultural heritage. Learning a language is also learning a culture. If I'd start to learn Bengali, I would expect to get the whole pack of cultural connections, even religious.

    December 4, 2015


    Your attitude man, your attitude...

    December 13, 2015


    Actually, Avinandan, there is a tribe in Burma called the Kachin, and an American missionary literally created their written language. This was a key incident, as it made the Kachins extremely fond of Americans, which allowed us to create crack fighting units with American leaders during WWII. You see, Christianity influenced language and world politics. I beg you to consider Matthew 28:18-20 KJV: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. [19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    February 23, 2016


    Regardless of anything, I respect my own language like my mother. I love my language over any other and I hate linguistic supremacy! জয় বাংলা!

    December 18, 2015


    Is your language German? well lol. german is spoken by only 90 million people, xD. My language Bengali is spoken by 200+ million people. So If we start giving refernces from your language its gonna be bad a bad time for you.Don't mess with Indians. We are 1200 million in number, germans: only 90 million.

    December 1, 2015


    omg this gotta be secular keep the bible out of this jeez

    January 27, 2016


    You do realize that you used the name of God in your secular comment?

    February 23, 2016


    Such an irony. And we see that religion influences the modern language here.

    February 26, 2016


    Christianity has a powerful impact on nations. And no matter how hard they try, no one can ever truly forget God.

    August 12, 2016


    Not sure if ironic or serious.

    August 11, 2016


    Rhetoric. I am serious, but I choose to express it in a more creative way.

    August 12, 2016
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