German Lessons


Like totally whatever...

Let's take a break this week from the downward spiral of dismal news reports and have a look at something that's, like, totally whatever. The English interjection "whatever" can be rendered as the German phrase wie auch immer, which directly translates to the rather clumsy sounding "as always too." 


Na ja, gut, wie auch immer. Wie auch immer.
Well, good, whatever. Whatever.
Captions 17-18, Warten auf: Rihanna


If the interjection "whatever" is used in a disparaging way, however, to mean "I don't care" or "it doesn't matter," then there is a somewhat less than entirely polite solution: 


… mit oder ohne Bindestrich, scheißegal!
… with or without the dash, whatever!
Caption 82, Frankfurter Oktoberfest: Dirndl und Lederhosen


The English pronoun "whatever" is usually simply rendered with the German was


Man kann machen und tun, was man will.
You can make and do whatever you want.
Caption 20, Abenteuer und Sport: Fallschirmspringen


The English adjective "whatever" has several possible translations in German: 


In welchen Höhen und welchen Tiefen wir gemeinsam waren...
In whatever ups and whatever downs we were in together...
Caption 11: Die Toten Hosen: Altes Fieber


Egal, wo ich hingekommen bin, in irgendein Auto eingestiegen bin, lief immer FFH.
No matter where I went, or whatever car I got inside of, FFH was always playing.
Caption 8, Formel-1-Rennfahrer: Timo Glock


The more common translation of welche is "which," and irgendein is usually rendered as "any" or "some," but those would not have worked very well in the examples above. As always with translations, the most important consideration is the context.


Further Learning
Do a search for the word "whatever" on Yabla German and see the many examples of how this word is used in German in a real world context! 

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