KudoZ home » English to German » Law (general)

A law unto itself

German translation: hat seine eigene Gesetze

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
13:14 Sep 5, 2006
English to German translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general)
English term or phrase: A law unto itself
I have no further context, but I'd appreciate any input - whether it's a German translation or an English explanation of the concept.

Thanks a lot!

Annika
AnnikaLight
Germany
Local time: 04:27
German translation:hat seine eigene Gesetze
Explanation:
Like my computer, at times;
it's a common English expression meaning that it does what IT wants to do, and not what I tell it doe do.
Possibly more frequently associated with people, like "XYZ is/was a law unto him/herself", meaning (s)he seldom listened to (or rather, TOOK) anyone else's advice, and did just what they felt like doing.
Selected response from:

David Moore
Local time: 04:27
Grading comment
Thanks, David - that's what I thought. Just wasn't too sure... :-)

Annika
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +1hat seine eigene GesetzeDavid Moore
3eigensinnig / er macht was er will
Camilla Seifert
3ein Gesetz an sich
Ulrike MacKay


Discussion entries: 4





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a law unto itself
hat seine eigene Gesetze


Explanation:
Like my computer, at times;
it's a common English expression meaning that it does what IT wants to do, and not what I tell it doe do.
Possibly more frequently associated with people, like "XYZ is/was a law unto him/herself", meaning (s)he seldom listened to (or rather, TOOK) anyone else's advice, and did just what they felt like doing.

David Moore
Local time: 04:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 84
Grading comment
Thanks, David - that's what I thought. Just wasn't too sure... :-)

Annika

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ulrike MacKay: So, the "first bit" of the sentence would be "... has / follows a law unto itself"? Is that right? Thanks for letting me know, David ;-) I'm always "ready, able and willing" ... to learn! ;-))
6 mins
  -> It would normally be "is a law unto itself" - in other words, makes up its own laws as it goes along.

neutral  Aniello Scognamiglio: und "hat seine eigene*n* Gesetze"!!!
6 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a law unto itself
ein Gesetz an sich


Explanation:
... doch es MUSS Kontext geben - oder ist das der einzige TEILsatz / Satzteil, den du übersetzt - und das auch noch ohne zu wissen für wen / was?

Ulrike MacKay
Germany
Local time: 04:27
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 42
Notes to answerer
Asker: Tanja/Ulrike - danke für die Antwort. Nein, kein Kontext. Ich habe den Ausdruck schon öfter gehört (in verschiedenen Zusammenhängen), und da ich im Internet und/oder Wörterbuch keine Definition hierfür finden konnte, habe ich gehofft, ein ProZianer könnte mir bei der Definition helfen.

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a law unto itself
eigensinnig / er macht was er will


Explanation:
I found this in PONS Grosswörterbuch. And agree that the expression basically means that somebody does whatever they please without taking notice of rules and regulations. Sort of selfish really!

Camilla Seifert
South Africa
Local time: 04:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 18
Notes to answerer
Asker: Danke, Camilla :-)

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search