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Der Bock wird zum Gaertner gemacht.

English translation: Set a fox to guard the chickens

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12:27 Jan 14, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
German term or phrase: Der Bock wird zum Gaertner gemacht.
Does anyone have a good English equivalent for this proverb other than the literal translation?
Dawn Montague
Local time: 01:36
English translation:Set a fox to guard the chickens
Explanation:
Or whatever your national or local equivalent may be along these lines:

"Den Bock zum Gärtner machen (ugs.): einen völlig Ungeeigneten mit einer Aufgabe betrauen..."
Selected response from:

Mike McDonald
Local time: 06:36
Grading comment
Thanks so much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nafox guarding the henhouseBeth Kantus
naput the fox in the henhouseUlrike Lieder
naTo try and fit a round peg into a square holeAnita Millar
naSet a fox to guard the chickensMike McDonald
naTo set the fox to guard the henhouse
Dorothee Racette


  

Answers


7 mins
To set the fox to guard the henhouse


Explanation:
PONS suggests "to set the fox to guard the geese," but I have never heard that used anywhere.



Dorothee Racette
United States
Local time: 01:36
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 12
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12 mins
Set a fox to guard the chickens


Explanation:
Or whatever your national or local equivalent may be along these lines:

"Den Bock zum Gärtner machen (ugs.): einen völlig Ungeeigneten mit einer Aufgabe betrauen..."

Mike McDonald
Local time: 06:36
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 74
Grading comment
Thanks so much!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Johanna Timm, PhD
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17 mins
To try and fit a round peg into a square hole


Explanation:
But it is questionable if this is suitable in all circumstances.
Anita

Anita Millar
Local time: 06:36
PRO pts in pair: 68
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32 mins
put the fox in the henhouse


Explanation:
That seems to be the prevalent use in US English.

Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 22:36
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 3525
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32 mins
fox guarding the henhouse


Explanation:
I have heard "that's like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," or "...getting the wolf to guard the sheep."
HTH!

Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 01:36
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 924
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