"Wir haben Januar?"
Translation:Is it January?
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The point here is not that we cannot think of very strange improbable uses of English. I suppose virtually any set of words can have some meaning tortured out of them. The point is that we are here to learn German, and we have to trust and take on faith that the lessons which are in a language that is not familiar to us are reasonably idiomatic and intelligible. When we get strange usages such as this one, or many others, some of which include fragments and are not even sentences, and many of which are used in peculiar and unusual ways, this undermines the learning experience and confidence in the lessons, not to mention making it extremely and unnecessarily difficult. One could say of any set of words, presumably, e.g. "how do you pronounce the following set of words? :, etc, etc.", and say they are in a meaningful context.
My point was merely that the phrasing which you consider "strange" and "improbable" is one which I consider fairly plausible; it hasn't undermined my learning experience one bit. But of course we all use English in slightly different ways, and doubtless there are sentences which you'd consider fine and I'd consider incorrect. Unfortunately (or fortunately), English does not have a governing body to settle such disputes definitively :-).
Just my confused tuppenceworth, if anyone is still watching this thread. If this was meant to be a question should it not have said haben wir januar? Im totally ok with the literal translation not being anything like what it means. For me this is the richness/fun of another language.
Nope, it's perfectly normal. Wir haben Januar. Wir haben Montag. Wir haben 2012. Wir haben Freitag, den 21. Dezember 2012.
"Haben wir Januar?" would be a proper question.
The person asking has somehow lost the sense of time, was isolated perhaps, or their mind has been distracted, and they genuinely need to check if the month is indeed January.
The exercice is more an emotional statement than a question as such.
"January already? How time flies!"
or "January still? Will we ever get it over!"