Alle Tage sind gleich lang, aber nicht alle sind gleich breit.

English translation: all days are equally long but all are not equally expandable

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Alle Tage sind gleich lang, aber nicht alle sind gleich breit.
English translation:all days are equally long but all are not equally expandable
Entered by: danilingua

12:06 Jan 13, 2010
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Redensart/Ausdruck/Sprichwort
German term or phrase: Alle Tage sind gleich lang, aber nicht alle sind gleich breit.
Hallo liebe Kollegen (damit sind ALLE gemeint ;-) ...),

ein Bekannter hat dies in seiner Signatur stehen und bat mich um eine englische Formulierung - da geht doch was, oder? :-) Der Satz lädt zum Gedankenwandern ein....

ich sage bewusst nichts (wie beim Publikumsjoker), und sage schon einmal "danke".

Daniela
danilingua
Germany
Local time: 07:49
all days are equally long but all are not equally expandable
Explanation:
this is a new entry after asker provided more context.
Not sure if it sounds much better than "wide" but since I thought of it, here it is.



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Note added at 15 hrs (2010-01-14 03:09:53 GMT)
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all days share/have the same length, but all do not share/have the same elasticity ?! :)



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 hrs (2010-01-14 05:36:16 GMT)
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explanation: think of all 24-hour days as elastic bands with the same length. Now pull on 10 of them. Some will let you stretch/expand them and some won't. Not quite the same as "width" but still close to the original meaning IMO.

http://cherstepanek.blogspot.com/2009/06/elasticity-of-time....
elasticity of time

Now of course you could also possibly say this:

all days are bands of time of equal length but different width.

But it's still harder to grasp what is meant IMO.

not sure about "band of time" but have a look here:
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15769533
band of time






--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days5 hrs (2010-01-15 17:26:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

thank you, danilingua!
Selected response from:

Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 01:49
Grading comment
guys, this was sooooo hard... I know my friend has chosen a "length" "with" combination, but then again, he went for the literal translation (which had come to my mind forst to). I personally fond it soo hard to award points here because of the many good ideas and want to thank you!!!!! it is always so interesting to see what a seemingly "simple" phrase has in store for you :-)

thank you again, and please, I wish I could have graded various responses...

Daniela
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +6All days are equally long. Some are just wider than others.
casper (X)
3 +4You can't make a day longer - but you can make it wider/brighter/deeper.
szakkriszta
3 +2Some days are more equal than others.
Jim Tucker (X)
4 +1You can't make your life (any) longer, but you can make it more worthwhile
British Diana
4All days are of equal length, but not of equal depth.
Anja Wulf
3 +1all days are equally long but all are not equally expandable
Bernhard Sulzer
4All of the days are equally long, yet not all are carrying the same width.
Thayenga
4Each day has the same length, but not the same width.
DFTS (X)
4One day is as long as any other. It's the width that varies.
Edwin Miles
3All days are equally long, but some are deeper than others.
Susan Welsh
1All days have the same length, but not the same breadth
RegineMac


Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
One day is as long as any other. It's the width that varies.


Explanation:
Just as an alternative. It's not an absolute thing, a translation like this...:-)

Edwin Miles
Germany
Local time: 07:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
All days are equally long. Some are just wider than others.


Explanation:
http://youmustbefromaway.blogspot.com/2009/09/all-days-are-e...

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Note added at 1 hr (2010-01-13 13:38:56 GMT)
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On second thoughts:
All days are equally long. Some are just bigger than others.

casper (X)
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 6
Notes to answerer
Asker: oh wow, did not even know this link ;.-)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: research skills often come in handy
2 mins
  -> 'search' skills, actually ;-) + :-)

agree  philgoddard: Don't they just?
16 mins
  -> Yep, philgoddard

agree  Rolf Keiser
47 mins
  -> Thanks, Goldcoaster

agree  Edwin Miles: How 'bout some more alternatives, oh poets?
58 mins
  -> Aye, aye, Edwin. I can already see 5 alternatives posted in response

agree  Lancashireman: ... // I see it as a question of how much you can fit into a day, a figurative reference to the surface area of the 'canvas of life' on which all our activities are depicted. And, as everyone (?) knows, area = L x W.
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Andrew. Btw, which one would you back: 'wider' or 'bigger' or...?

neutral  British Diana: this doesn't sound very meaningful to me. /// What do you think it means to say that a day is "big"? When is a day "big"or "wide" for you? When you have a big work load?? Have you considered using "great"? A great day is earning lots of KudoZ points...
4 hrs
  -> How about my alternative suggestion with 'bigger' instead of 'wider' ? Or even szakkriszta's 'brighter' ?// 'Big' in the sense of momentous; of great significance. As in 'a big day'.

agree  Helen Shiner: or wilder if the stoned ref is anything to go by!
4 hrs
  -> Hmm...wi(l)der ? Thank you, Helen
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
All days are equally long, but some are deeper than others.


Explanation:
I'm fairly sure this gets closer to the idea in German, although not the literal translation, of course.

Susan Welsh
United States
Local time: 01:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Lancashireman: The standard formula for calculating surface area is length times width.
10 mins
  -> Nobody is calculating surface area.

agree  Sabine Akabayov, PhD: I actually think, "deeper" is fine. At least it gives this sentence a meaning
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, sibsab

disagree  Helen Shiner: Sorry, I also think this misses the meaning. It is about fitting more in not looking at it in a more philosophical or a deeper way, in my view.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks for the input, Helen.

agree  Terry Gilman: Agree standard is safe/best if you're D and transl. a bon mot into E - "fit more in" is accurate with wide, but deeper is witty (the way "breiter" is): you get cubic volume (a closet, the pits, a grave) and philosophy
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Terry
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
All days have the same length, but not the same breadth


Explanation:
possibly?

RegineMac
United States
Local time: 22:49
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
You can't make a day longer - but you can make it wider/brighter/deeper.


Explanation:
Since it might be just as philosophical and without any specific literal meaning behind it in German:

All days are equally long - just not equally wide.
Days are equally long - but not equally broad/deep.
You can't make a day longer - but you can make it wider/brighter/deeper.

And please, dear colleagues, don't tell anyone they got it wrong - it's just for fun!
And much like days, translation like this is what you personally make of it :)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2010-01-13 15:29:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

MORE FUN after brainstorming with my husband (who, by the way, has just started taking a strong drug this morning :))

All days may be (just) as long, but you may not be just as high.

You can't make a day longer, but you can make it higher!

All days are equally long, but not equally loaded.

All days are of equal length, but they are not equally measured.

ps: I meant prescription strong :)

szakkriszta
United States
Local time: 01:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sabine Akabayov, PhD: I like "All days are equally long, but not equally loaded." the best
1 hr
  -> thanks - we sure had fun with this :)

agree  casper (X): I like your 'brighter' idea :-)
2 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Helen Shiner: I also like equally loaded as a good, fun alternative!
2 hrs
  -> thank you

neutral  Bernhard Sulzer: I've never heard anybody say make your day wider. How do you do that? However, I am not sure what the original is really supposed to convey. ..... Well, we have more info. :)
9 hrs
  -> I don't suppose you would have heard this in German, either. I take it as a graffiti: a tiny bit poetic maybe, somewhat philosophical, most of all fun :) I really don't think people should take this +critiquing translations as painstakingly seriously :)

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
1 day 59 mins
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
You can't make your life (any) longer, but you can make it more worthwhile


Explanation:
Just an idea, I'm afraid I can't relate to any of the other suggestions to date.
A slight variation would be to say... but you can make it more worth living

British Diana
Germany
Local time: 07:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  casper (X): a worthwhile (translation) suggestion indeed :-)
7 mins
  -> Thanks, Jennifer, especially as you have got lots of "agrees" yourself!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Some days are more equal than others.


Explanation:
To use a preexisting English phrase with (I think!) a similar meaning.

Jim Tucker (X)
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: i love that one - wir sind alle gleich, aber manche sind gleicher, als andere ;-)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trudy Peters: :-)
54 mins

agree  Helen Shiner: Is that the dog speaking?//Greetings then to you both.
1 hr
  -> arf!
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Each day has the same length, but not the same width.


Explanation:
Here is another proposal different from some of the others posted so far. As far as I am concerned, I like Jennifer's and szakkriszta's too, and this is pretty much a matter of taste. I thought that maybe using length and width would be an interesting contrast to long and wide. For some reason wide sounds kind of strange to me in this context. You could still use the "All days" construction with my length and width, but I wanted to throw out there that it could also possibly sound nicer with each in English.

DFTS (X)
Sweden
Local time: 07:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 day 19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
All of the days are equally long, yet not all are carrying the same width.


Explanation:
You could exchange "width" with "depth".

Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 07:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 day 15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
All days are of equal length, but not of equal depth.


Explanation:
You can't use "broad" or "wide" to communicate the concept in English.

Anja Wulf
Local time: 01:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 2
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
all days are equally long but all are not equally expandable


Explanation:
this is a new entry after asker provided more context.
Not sure if it sounds much better than "wide" but since I thought of it, here it is.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs (2010-01-14 03:09:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

all days share/have the same length, but all do not share/have the same elasticity ?! :)



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 hrs (2010-01-14 05:36:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

explanation: think of all 24-hour days as elastic bands with the same length. Now pull on 10 of them. Some will let you stretch/expand them and some won't. Not quite the same as "width" but still close to the original meaning IMO.

http://cherstepanek.blogspot.com/2009/06/elasticity-of-time....
elasticity of time

Now of course you could also possibly say this:

all days are bands of time of equal length but different width.

But it's still harder to grasp what is meant IMO.

not sure about "band of time" but have a look here:
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15769533
band of time






--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days5 hrs (2010-01-15 17:26:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

thank you, danilingua!

Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 01:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 55
Grading comment
guys, this was sooooo hard... I know my friend has chosen a "length" "with" combination, but then again, he went for the literal translation (which had come to my mind forst to). I personally fond it soo hard to award points here because of the many good ideas and want to thank you!!!!! it is always so interesting to see what a seemingly "simple" phrase has in store for you :-)

thank you again, and please, I wish I could have graded various responses...

Daniela
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hi Bernhard, that is really good!!!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Annett Kottek (X): Another thought: 'The day can't be made longer, but you can make it larger' [passive voice to 2nd person intentional to emphasise agency]. Re. usage of **breiter Tag!** (discussion box) see: http://www.pestalozzi-hamburg.de/news_2006.html
3 hrs
  -> danke, Annett!
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