Scott asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

German translation problem - idiom/phrase?

What is a good translation for something "does more harm than good" in german? DO NOT put it into a translation site. Those blow and are almost never right, and only help with grammatical word choices every so often. Like saying "youre crazy" translates to "you have a bird". Ive looked all over the internet and dont find any direct matches and want to make sure the phrase I use is correct and sounds ok. Only answer this if you are a native speaker and have german as a 1st language. Thanks in advance for the help!

2 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    well, the ideal answer depends on your context. (and LOL re Du hast 'nen Vogel ... there are tonnes of "nice" translations like that.)

    Without getting into picturesque expressions, here are a few general ways of phrasing what you're trying to say:

    es schadet mehr, als es hilft

    es kostet mehr, als es bringt

    Often though, one would say (a bit simplistically) that something will _only_ cause trouble, e.g.

    das bringt nur Aerger

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    es schadet mehr als es bringt/nützt/hilft

    PS: Actually the translator which translated "you're crazy" into "Du hast nen Vogel (you have bird)" was a really smart one. That's a common german idiom. Like you would in english for example say "to have bats in the belfry" or "to have a screw loose".

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