den Splitter im fremden Auge, aber nicht den Balken im eigenen sehen

English translation: seeing the speck/mote that is in the other's eye, but failing to notice the log/beam/plank that is in your eye

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:den Splitter im fremden Auge, aber nicht den Balken im eigenen sehen
English translation:seeing the speck/mote that is in the other's eye, but failing to notice the log/beam/plank that is in your eye
Entered by: Anne Schulz

13:49 Jan 16, 2020
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Philosophy / Moral psychology
German term or phrase: den Splitter im fremden Auge, aber nicht den Balken im eigenen sehen
When someone overtly criticises others of minor things but is reluctant to see their own shortcomings.
Amy D Lang
Austria
Local time: 04:11
look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye
Explanation:
Matthew 7:3

https://biblehub.com/matthew/7-3.htm
Selected response from:

Anne Schulz
Germany
Local time: 04:11
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye
Anne Schulz
4 +1Seeing the splinter in the other's eye while missing the plank in our own
Michael Martin, MA
4 +1pay attention to the beam/log in one's eye
Balázs Nagy
4first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote o
David Hollywood
3the pot calling the kettle black
Birgit Gläser


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye


Explanation:
Matthew 7:3

https://biblehub.com/matthew/7-3.htm

Anne Schulz
Germany
Local time: 04:11
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Veronika Neuhold
1 min
  -> Danke Veronika :-)

agree  Ramey Rieger
11 mins
  -> Thanks Ramey :-)

neutral  Eric Zink: The traditional translation for "Balke" in this context is "beam"
21 hrs
  -> Thanks Eric – "beam" is certainly valid, and you will find this option beside "log" and "plank" in the large choice of bible versions in my reference.

agree  Michael Confais (X)
2 days 7 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
pay attention to the beam/log in one's eye


Explanation:
Apart from being an idiomatic expression, this a parable from Matthew 7:3 in the New Testament.

KJV: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"



Example sentence(s):
  • “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?"

    https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/a+beam+in+your+eye
    https://biblehub.com/matthew/7-3.htm
Balázs Nagy
Hungary
Local time: 04:11
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ramey Rieger: I'm afraid not. The adage refers to inability to see one's own faults. You have changed the original meaning.
2 mins
  -> You are right, in fact I just wrote a part of the whole sentence. Depending n which Bible translation you use, the full sentence would be along the lines of "And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?"

neutral  Helen Shiner: Yes to the KJV which is what I have by rote from childhood. Can’t be doing with ugly logs and planks ;-)
17 mins

agree  Sebastian Tredinnick: I also know it as "mote" and "beam", although that is quite old-fashioned now.
2 days 49 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Seeing the splinter in the other's eye while missing the plank in our own


Explanation:
An updated version would be: finding the smallest fault in others but failing to see their own shortcomings


Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 22:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ramey Rieger: A more idiomatic rendition
3 mins
  -> I think that's the whole point. Finding a literal bible quote in any language is easy. But the German source shows that the language has been slightly adapted for an easier read. We need to do the same on the other side.

neutral  writeaway: https://www.dict.cc/?s=den Splitter im fremden Auge aber nic... / bibl.quoteWhy do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? [Lk 6:41; NIV]
11 mins
  -> Not sure what you're pointing out there. There must be something in my eye../Identifying the biblical quote is the easy part. But our German source here sounds more modern than the quote you're citing. That should be reflected in the translation.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the pot calling the kettle black


Explanation:
I have to admit, I did not recognise that as a bible quote and even in German to me the expression sounds quite dated and roundabout... cannot remember ever having heard that... so just adding a more modern idiom here... depending on the overall text it might fit or not...

Birgit Gläser
Germany
Local time: 04:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote o


Explanation:
first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2020-01-16 22:45:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

it's a Biblical allusion

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2020-01-16 22:57:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

in other words... don't be cocky

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2020-01-17 00:07:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

see this is a source of hefty debate so will give you another option:

judge not less you be judged

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2020-01-17 00:09:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

more Biblical would be: judge not less ye be judged

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2020-01-17 00:10:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

but that's another story

David Hollywood
Local time: 00:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  David Moore (X): King James' revised version gives: "Judge not, that ye be not judged" "Less" should I think anyway be "lest".
14 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)



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.

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:

Your current localization setting

English

Select a language

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