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Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab

English translation: let's face it/that's all there is to it

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:da beisst die Maus keinen Faden ab
English translation:let's face it/that's all there is to it
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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15:21 Dec 29, 2000
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
German term or phrase: Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab
This sentence appears in a satirical story after this: Wenn alle diese Arme Teufel so leben wollten wie wir, koennten wir den Planeten zusperren. Da beisst die Maus keinen Faden ab.
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 14:34
Let's face it ...
Explanation:
Judging by the excerpt you provided I assume the speaker (or writer) of these sentences is a person, who is rich or priviledged in some respect.
What he/she wants to make clear is that not everybody can be king, and that this is a fact nobody can do anything about. You will have to accept it. So, the German proverb in question is used as an emphasis.

Depending on the register used in the rest of the text, I was thinking of something like this:

If it is a contemporary satire, I could imagine something like the following translation where the emphasis is shifted to the front:

"Let's face it, if all those poor souls/devils wanted to live like we do, we would have to close down the planet / the planet would collapse."

Or a little closer to the source text:

"If all those poor souls/devils wanted to live like we do, we would have to close down the planet. That's just a sorry fact of life."

Since it is a satirical story, there are of course many possible translations.
So, it is up to you to choose.

I hope I could help you a little.


Selected response from:

Manfred Schnitzlein
Local time: 21:34
Grading comment
Thank you. This turned out to be the best solution for me. Next time I'll provide more context for the Pros.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nano ifs, ans, or buts about it
Dierk Seeburg
naThat is quite definite.Robin Salmon
naLet's face it ...Manfred Schnitzlein
naAnd that's all there is to it.
Dorothee Racette
nathere's nothing to be done about itCami Townsend
nathat cannot be changed / there's nothing that can be done about itUlrike Lieder


  

Answers


6 mins
that cannot be changed / there's nothing that can be done about it


Explanation:
Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab - das ist unabänderlich, dagegen ist nichts zu machen
Duden Bd. 11, Redewendungen und sprichwörtliche Redensarten

I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a more elegant English phrase, but that's what it means. Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab... :-)
HTH, and happy new year


Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 12:34
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 3525

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Johanna Timm, PhD

Vesna Zivcic

Manfred Schnitzlein
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11 mins
there's nothing to be done about it


Explanation:
"There's nothing to be done about it" is what the Schemann/Knight Dictionary of Idioms offers. In certain contexts, I would take that to mean, "we can't change it" or "it's out of our hands." I'm not sure if either of those work here because I'm a little unsure of the previous sentence. Is the point something like . . . we could lock them out if they wanted to live like us, but even that wouldn't do any good?

Sorry I can't be of more help. Nonetheless, I hope these few comments help.

Cami Townsend
PRO pts in pair: 227

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Johanna Timm, PhD

Vesna Zivcic

Lisanne

Manfred Schnitzlein
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1 hr
And that's all there is to it.


Explanation:
Too bad you won't be able to play with the implied context of "Arm- Maus- Teufel" the way the German text does.


Dorothee Racette
United States
Local time: 15:34
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Dierk Seeburg

Tom Funke
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1 hr
Let's face it ...


Explanation:
Judging by the excerpt you provided I assume the speaker (or writer) of these sentences is a person, who is rich or priviledged in some respect.
What he/she wants to make clear is that not everybody can be king, and that this is a fact nobody can do anything about. You will have to accept it. So, the German proverb in question is used as an emphasis.

Depending on the register used in the rest of the text, I was thinking of something like this:

If it is a contemporary satire, I could imagine something like the following translation where the emphasis is shifted to the front:

"Let's face it, if all those poor souls/devils wanted to live like we do, we would have to close down the planet / the planet would collapse."

Or a little closer to the source text:

"If all those poor souls/devils wanted to live like we do, we would have to close down the planet. That's just a sorry fact of life."

Since it is a satirical story, there are of course many possible translations.
So, it is up to you to choose.

I hope I could help you a little.




Manfred Schnitzlein
Local time: 21:34
PRO pts in pair: 16
Grading comment
Thank you. This turned out to be the best solution for me. Next time I'll provide more context for the Pros.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Dierk Seeburg

Vesna Zivcic

Lisanne
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2 hrs
no ifs, ans, or buts about it


Explanation:
The American version of this saying means there will be absolutely no argument about something: "Dad, I'll mow the lawn, if there's no game this afternoon and Johnny cannot come over, but not, if it's too hot" - "You'll mow the lawn, period. There'll be no ifs, ans, or buts about it!"
The "an" seems a little odd, it's short for "and".
I think this rather fits the colloquial (almost prosaic?) context of the phrase in question.

Cheerio,
Dierk


    Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins
    Reference: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0792446038/qid=978137...
Dierk Seeburg
Local time: 13:34
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 404

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Ulrike Lieder

Vesna Zivcic
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2 hrs
That is quite definite.


Explanation:
I would translate the whole thing as:-

"If all those poor devils wanted to live the kind of life we do, then we might as well shut down the planet. That is quite definite."




    Cassell's German-English Dictionary
Robin Salmon
Australia
Local time: 06:34
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 293

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Ulrike Lieder
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