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alles kann ganz anders sein

English translation: things are not always what they seem

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:alles kann ganz anders sein
English translation:things are not always what they seem
Entered by: Sheila Hardie
Options:
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16:19 May 30, 2002
German to English translations [PRO]
/ motto - human resources
German term or phrase: alles kann ganz anders sein
Wenn Sie dieser Gruppe angehören, dann versuchen Sie sich folgenden Satz öfter ins Bewusstsein zu rufen: ***„Alles kann ganz anders sein!“*** Das erleichtert Ihnen zum einen, sich nicht mit einer erstbesten Entscheidung zufrieden zu geben. Und zweit-ens verhindert es, dass Sie sich umgehend in ein Thema vertiefen. Im Gegenteil, die genannte Devise spornt Sie an, nach mehreren Optionen zu suchen und sich erst dann konzentriert an die Arbeit zu machen.

I can't think if there is an English equivalent for this motto. Any ideas?

Many thanks in advance.

Sheila
Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 13:52
everything can be completely different
Explanation:
Things are not always what they seem.

The potential for change exists all around us.

We have an intrinsic potential for change.

Just a few quick impressions.
Selected response from:

Deb Phillips
Grading comment
Wow! Can this be a KudoZ-answer record??? Who would have thought a wee phrase like “alles kann ganz anders sein” would have so many translations. It just goes to show that “alles KANN ganz anders sein” – in this case at least 14 different ways. As you can probably imagine, it was very difficult to decide which to choose. Despite the fact I thought it was a good translation, I had to reject the one about skinning the cat – I love cats too much! Anyway, there were lots of fantastic answers, but I can only choose one winner (sounds like I was judging the Eurovision song contest or something!). In the end, I went for “Things are not always what they seem” as it did seem to fit my context best. I know it was kalimeh who first mentioned it in a comment, but Deb was the only one to give it as an answer, so the points must go to her. Many thanks to all of you for your inspired answers. Never before have I seen a set of answers that illustrated the words in the question so well! Sheila
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4Take a fresh look at things!
Johanna Timm, PhD
4 +4everything can be completely differentDeb Phillips
4 +3Everything is not necessarily the way it looks (or seems)
Trudy Peters
5 +2There's got to be another way
Nikki Graham
4 +2Think out of the box!
Dr. Fred Thomson
4 +2There's more than one way to skin a cat.jkjones
4 +2Don't accept everything at face value.jkjones
4 +2I / We can make a difference!
Lydia Molea
4 +2Things can only get better
jerrie
4 +1it mustn't/needn't (necessarily) be like that
Cilian O'Tuama
4 +1Things could be worse.Mary Wilburn
4 +1I am the master of my destiny!
Maya Jurt
4 +1I can make it a lot better
Dr. Fred Thomson
4change is goodxxxjerryk


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I can make it a lot better


Explanation:
Or: Everything can improved upon!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 16:24:18 (GMT)
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Or: Average is anathema!

ABOVE: Everything can be improved upon.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 16:25:59 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Or: The best solution is on its way.
Or; A better solution is on its way.
Or: We\'re always working toward a better solution.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 16:26:33 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Or: We\'re very, very good, but we can be better!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 19:53:51 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Or: There\'s always room for improvement!
Or: Improvement is just around the corner.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 19:54:58 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

THE BEST ONE IS: There\'s always room for improvement.

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 05:52
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 5861

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  schmurr: that's what's meant here!
5 mins
  -> Thanks, Martin. We are right.

neutral  Andrzej Lejman: It isn't
16 mins
  -> It is!

neutral  Steffen Walter: Factor of improvement IMO not involved in original. "anders"="different" not necessarily "better".
4 hrs
  -> If you read the entire context, you will see that the author is asking for improvement or betterment. It makes no sense in this context to say that things can be different.

disagree  wrtransco: German sentence has nothing to do with improvement or better!
4 hrs
  -> I thin you need to read the entire context very carefully. It has everything to do with improvement.

agree  Deb Phillips
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Deb.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Everything is not necessarily the way it looks (or seems)


Explanation:
my take on it

Trudy Peters
United States
Local time: 07:52
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 3087

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
22 mins

agree  Jeannie Graham: or things are not always what they seem
1 hr
  -> Yes, I like that

neutral  Andrzej Lejman: is not the meaning or intention of the German sentence according to the context
2 hrs

agree  wrtransco: I am with kalimeh
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
I / We can make a difference!


Explanation:
HTH

Lydia Molea
Germany
Local time: 13:52
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 431

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrzej Lejman: could be
9 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Steffen Walter
3 hrs
  -> Thanks

disagree  wrtransco: not in this context, however.
4 hrs
  -> Thank you for the input

agree  Deb Phillips
4 hrs
  -> Thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
change is good


Explanation:
In Formation Magazine - presents a raised finger of warning against the mantra that computers are progress and change is good.
http://www.informationmag.com
More sites about: Cyberculture Magazines

xxxjerryk
PRO pts in pair: 128

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  wrtransco: not the meaning of the German sentence.
4 hrs
  -> My, what a controversial phrase!

agree  Deb Phillips
4 hrs
  -> many thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Things can only get better


Explanation:
as used by the Labour Party in the run-up to the last election!

or in this case:
Everything can only be better

Good is not good enough

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1469

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nikki Graham: I like these
3 mins
  -> Thanks Nikki

agree  Sarah Downing: The first one also sprang to my mind!:-)
11 mins
  -> We've got a lot to thank the Labour Party for...

neutral  Andrzej Lejman: it is not the meaning according to the context
1 hr

neutral  Trudy Peters: The German "Devise" doesn't say anything about improvement
1 hr

neutral  Steffen Walter: with Trudy
3 hrs

disagree  wrtransco: see my comment to Fred.
3 hrs

agree  Deb Phillips
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
There's got to be another way


Explanation:
or perhaps even a better way

and if you're feeling pessimistic (just a joke) It won't be like this forever!

HTH or at least makes you smile!

Nikki

Nikki Graham
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter: the first one sounds nice
3 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Deb Phillips
4 hrs
  -> Thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Don't accept everything at face value.


Explanation:
Or "Don't accept the first idea that comes into your head" or "There's more than one option".

jkjones
Local time: 12:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 153

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
4 mins

agree  Steffen Walter: I'd prefer this (and in particular the first option) to all the others, most of them being certainly valid. If there were such thing as "double-agree", it would go to you.
3 hrs
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38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
everything can be completely different


Explanation:
Things are not always what they seem.

The potential for change exists all around us.

We have an intrinsic potential for change.

Just a few quick impressions.

Deb Phillips
PRO pts in pair: 77
Grading comment
Wow! Can this be a KudoZ-answer record??? Who would have thought a wee phrase like “alles kann ganz anders sein” would have so many translations. It just goes to show that “alles KANN ganz anders sein” – in this case at least 14 different ways. As you can probably imagine, it was very difficult to decide which to choose. Despite the fact I thought it was a good translation, I had to reject the one about skinning the cat – I love cats too much! Anyway, there were lots of fantastic answers, but I can only choose one winner (sounds like I was judging the Eurovision song contest or something!). In the end, I went for “Things are not always what they seem” as it did seem to fit my context best. I know it was kalimeh who first mentioned it in a comment, but Deb was the only one to give it as an answer, so the points must go to her. Many thanks to all of you for your inspired answers. Never before have I seen a set of answers that illustrated the words in the question so well! Sheila

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter
3 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Andrzej Lejman: it's the meaning
4 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  xxxbrute: Things are not always what they seem!
16 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Kim Metzger
17 hrs
  -> Thank you!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
There's more than one way to skin a cat.


Explanation:
This is what my mother used to say!

jkjones
Local time: 12:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 153

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter: colloquial but nail on the head
3 hrs

agree  Deb Phillips
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Take a fresh look at things!


Explanation:
Look at it from a different angle!
see it from a new perspective!

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 04:52
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 7258

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter
1 hr

agree  Maya Jurt
1 hr

agree  Deb Phillips
1 hr

agree  Kim Metzger
15 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I am the master of my destiny!


Explanation:
It boils down to that.
Greetings Sheila.

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 13:52
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 545

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
6 mins
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
it mustn't/needn't (necessarily) be like that


Explanation:
or
it doesn't have to be like that

More alternatives to confuse you, Sheila :-)

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 13:52
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 7232

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
1 hr
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Think out of the box!


Explanation:
Or: Act out of the box!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-30 22:33:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Think beyond the box!

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 05:52
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 5861

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
1 hr

agree  Beth Kantus: also "Think outside the box"; also like "things are not always what they seem," or "it could be different than it looks"
15 hrs
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Things could be worse.


Explanation:
Just joking, but while nothing is more certain than change, not every change is for the better.

Mary Wilburn
United States
Local time: 07:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 76

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deb Phillips
13 hrs
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