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Bear Trainers on Their Legs

If the headline above sounds pretty odd, it's because it's a literal word-for-word translation of a slang expression and an idiom taken from this week's exciting installment of Großstadtrevier. This series has consistently merited a difficulty rating of 4, due in part to its heavy usage of idioms and slang. Let's take a look at some examples from this week's release. 



Das macht nix [Umgangssprache, nichts].

That doesn't matter.

Caption 5, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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The usual expression das macht nichts is spoken here with the slang word nix used instead of nichts, a form you would usually only see in spoken and very casual written German.

Jannik Sternberg hat dieses Zeug die ganze Zeit geschluckt [umgangssprachlich].

Jannik Sternberg was swallowing [slang, taking] this stuff the whole time.

Caption 9, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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 The verb schlucken, in its standard definition, means "to swallow." Here, however, it is a slang usage referring to the consumption of medications. A corresponding English slang translation would be "to down," as in "downing drinks."

Die sind auf dieser Baustelle bis zum Anschlag mit Wachmachern [umgangssprachlich] vollgepumpt.

They were pumped full of "awake-makers“ [slang, stimulants] to the limit at this construction site.

Caption 11, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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The slang noun der Wachmacher refers to a stimulant medication, which we translated literally as an "awake-maker." A literary English slang translation might be "pep pills."


Ich bin kein guter Bärenführer [umgangssprachlich].

I'm not a good bear trainer [slang, job trainer].

Caption 45, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Ich bin seit über vierundzwanzig Stunden auf den Beinen und überhaupt nich' müde.

I have been on my legs [idiom, busy working] for twenty-four hours and I'm not at all tired.

Caption 3, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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The noun der Bärenführer standardly means "the bear trainer," but in slang usage connotes a job trainer. To be auf den Beinen, literally "on your legs," means to be busy and active. An good English literary translation could be "on your feet." A proper translation for this week's odd headline could be "Job Trainers on their Feet" or "Busy, Active Job Trainers."



Further Learning
Watch some past episodes of Großstadtrevier and review your understanding of some of the many idiomatic and slang expressions to be found in this interesting crime drama.

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