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sich gut riechen können

English translation: the nose knows

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:sich gut riechen können
English translation:the nose knows
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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16:54 Dec 26, 2005
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama / idiomatic expression
German term or phrase: sich gut riechen können
This is from a script for a German TV science show. The subject is pheromones - the sexual attractant, and we learn that the vomeronasal organ detects pheromones, that humans can be attracted to the opposite sex by the way they smell. Now I'm faced with this idiomatic expression and wonder if there's any way to get the idea across with a similar idiom in English or whether I'll have to come up with a different solution.

Das geflügelte Wort: „man kann sich gut riechen" kommt also nicht von ungefähr.
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 19:58
the nose knows
Explanation:
not literal but could be what it amounts to...
Selected response from:

writeaway
Grading comment
Thank you very much, everybody. So many good solutions to choose from. In the end, I used writeaway's because it fit the context well and I was able to come up with "'the saying, the nose knows' didn't come about by chance."
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/nosek.html
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
2 +5scent appeal
randam
3 +3love at first sniff
Nicole Schnell
3 +2to pass the smell test
Johanna Timm, PhD
3 +1to like the smell of someone
Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.
2 +2the nose knows
writeaway
3get a whiff of each otherfranglish
3sniffing each other out
Frosty
3smelling each other outLancashireman
3work hand in hand
Stephen Sadie
3siehe ErklärungTeresa Reinhardt
2the scent of a right chemistryWenjer Leuschel


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sich gut riechen können
smelling each other out


Explanation:
Courting exists in all higher animals and serves the function of getting acquainted or "smelling each other out."
http://www.orgonomy.org/article_008p3.html
nicht von ungefähr no accident, not by chance
http://german.about.com/library/definitions/bldef_04_1001.ht...


Lancashireman
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Stephen Sadie: i would understand this as more applicable to animals
1 hr
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sich gut riechen können
siehe Erklärung


Explanation:
The German idiom is actually "sich nicht riechen können" = hate each other('s guts); I have never heard/used it in its reversed form; this gives you some license

I don't think there is an English term, especially given the American obsession with b.o. (body odor, which features majorly in many travel stories - how the local "smelled" on the bus/train in Europe) and deodorants

Depending on contect (target audience) you could go w/sth. like "the old German saying", but 1. it's not correct and 2. it won't mean much to non-Germans

Teresa Reinhardt
United States
Local time: 17:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  SonjaR: Actually in German the idiomatic expression "sich gut riechen können" does exist ! Maybe YOU don't use it but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist!!!
37 mins
  -> not in my 'speach'!

disagree  Aniello Scognamiglio: with Sonja. Both expressions exist!
56 mins
  -> I beg to differ

agree  Johanna Timm, PhD: The German idiom is 'jemanden *nicht* riechen können'. On the other hand there is" einen [guten] Riecher f. etwas haben' (have a good nose f. sth);
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Johanna! ;-)
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29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sich gut riechen können
sniffing each other out


Explanation:
Ergebnisse 1 - 10 von ungefähr 1.610.000 für sniffing each other out.

What a thought! :-

The more you know people, the more you'll love your dog.
If, when they meet another human on the road, they would just sniff each other's rear ends everyone would be friends and "road rage" would disappear. ...
extlab1.entnem.ufl.edu/IH8PCs/Jerry/v2n3.htm - 10k

Emio Greco - Rita Felciano
Performers rarely touch but they nuzzle close to each other sniffing each other out. A duet might consist of two dancers using their stretched out arms like ..

Frosty
Local time: 02:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
sich gut riechen können
the nose knows


Explanation:
not literal but could be what it amounts to...

writeaway
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you very much, everybody. So many good solutions to choose from. In the end, I used writeaway's because it fit the context well and I was able to come up with "'the saying, the nose knows' didn't come about by chance."
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/nosek.html

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Laurel Porter: I like this! The pun is lost, but it's still clever and might make the reader/listener smile, which is the main point.
1 hr

agree  Rebecca Garber: clever
20 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sich gut riechen können
work hand in hand


Explanation:
get on like a house on fire
have an excellent mutual understanding


just food for thought

Stephen Sadie
Germany
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sich gut riechen können
get a whiff of each other


Explanation:
It isn't always positive...

franglish
Switzerland
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
sich gut riechen können
to like the smell of someone


Explanation:
in allusion to the usual idiom 'to like the sound of something' (e.g. 'Yes, let's do that, I like the sound of that.')

Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.
Australia
Local time: 10:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Textklick
5 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +5
sich gut riechen können
scent appeal


Explanation:
Use a play on words with sex appeal.

randam
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Arabic

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  BrigitteHilgner: I like this idea - I think it really gets the meaning of the German expression across.
14 mins
  -> Thanks :)

agree  Teresa Reinhardt: Excellent!
6 hrs
  -> Thanks :)

agree  franglish: You're definitely on the scent - excellent!
14 hrs
  -> Thanks :)

agree  Christine Lam
18 hrs

agree  Rebecca Garber: very clever
19 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
sich gut riechen können
the scent of a right chemistry


Explanation:
Man beschnuppert einandern und kommt näher, nur wenn man sich gut riechen kann.

"Man kann sich gut riechen," because there is a right chemistry between the two persons. The smell attracts. Not the "scents of women" attract. The scent must be of a right chemistry, I guess.

Wenjer Leuschel
Taiwan
Local time: 08:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  sylvie malich: I do think you're on the right track, take "chemistry" and expand on it, however "the scent of a right chemistry" does not sound English enough to work.// Wenjer, didn't mean to focus on any non-nativeness, the chemistry angle really works!
12 hrs
  -> No problem, Sylvie. I know, I need to work harder for English and German near-nativeness. It may take another 40 years. Then I will meet my deadline.
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
sich gut riechen können
to pass the smell test


Explanation:
found here:
"Passing The Smell Test
You heard about the pheromones, didn’t you? According to some Swedish researchers, gay men react to male sex odors with the same enthusiasm as straight women, adding weight to the evidence that sexual orientation is inborn. Specifically, you otherwise charming and handsome gay men have a thing for what the New York Times described as “a testosterone derivative produced in men’s sweat,” and as far as I’m concerned, it’s all yours. You and your straight female buddies can just go to town. Sniff your little hearts out."

http://sfbaytimes.com/?sec=article&article_id=3674


Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 17:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  sylvie malich: good... very good.
9 hrs

agree  Wenjer Leuschel: Ich kann diese Formulierung gut riechen.
10 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
sich gut riechen können
love at first sniff


Explanation:
Or:
The way to man's (woman's) heart is through his (her) nose. :-)

Nicole Schnell
United States
Local time: 17:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: a clever variation
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Andrew! Happy holidaze!

agree  Frosty: So it´s not just in the eyes then?
10 hrs
  -> Not at all! Thank you, Frosty and happy holidays!

agree  Rebecca Garber: clever
14 hrs
  -> Thank you, rlrgarber!
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