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Wer backt, wird mehlig

English translation: Wer backt ...

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05:47 Oct 23, 2001
German to English translations [Non-PRO]
German term or phrase: Wer backt, wird mehlig
It's the title of an article on the group Einstuerzende Neubauten from a 1987 issue of 'Der Spiegel'. I assume it's a German saying?
Een
English translation:Wer backt ...
Explanation:
Hi, Ian,

This is not an old German proverb, but part of a new poppy-one:

Wer's glaubt wird selig (old), wer backt wird mehlig (new).

If you check the Google German pages, you find that that 87 Spiegel article is the only example where the second part is used by itself. I wonder if it's a Bargeld-invention or if the Spiegel was trying to copy his style.

It's a word play, literally:
baking (bread) makes you dusty with flour (floury). Not very funny.

Mehlig also means 'mealy', and if we take 'baking bread' as 'making dough', we end up with
'too much work turns you into a bore'
Since this is all nonsense, I would use the first (and missing) part of the saying.

'Unbelievable!' or 'Only seeing is believing' or 'Must be kidding'
Oxford Duden translates 'glauben macht selig' as
'if you believe that, you'll believe anything'.

I trust this was proper Einstürzende Neubauten-style.

Best Regards,
Uschi

Selected response from:

Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 10:00
Grading comment
Many thanks Uschi. The other answers also seemed good, but you gave some good tips vis the multiple possibilities for the English equivalent; plus knowing that this is a newer version of the saying is very useful. Bargeld does make life difficult for translators -- I went off him a while back!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6You can't make an omelette without breaking eggsmckinnc
3 +2If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas
Tom Funke
4Wer backt ...Uschi (Ursula) Walke
4on second thoughtBeth Kantus
4Gotcha!
Ursula Peter-Czichi
4If you believe that, you'll believe anything
Sheila Hardie
4wer Brot backt wird mehlig...
Sheila Hardie
4sayingBeth Kantus
4"Wer's glaubt wird selig, wer backt wird mehlig"
Sheila Hardie


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs


Explanation:
I wonder if this doesn't have the same meaning though it comes at it from a different angle.

mckinnc
Local time: 01:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 335

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Hardie: but still in the kitchen!:)
4 mins

agree  Sven Petersson
6 mins

agree  Sharon Sarah Schmitz: Oh...that explains... ;)
9 mins

agree  Mary Worby
11 mins

agree  pschmitt
22 mins

agree  Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
47 mins
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
saying


Explanation:
literally it means if you bake, you're going to get covered in flour

I really like Colin's omelette saying

Here's another similar one: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

HTH!

Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 19:00
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 924
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
"Wer's glaubt wird selig, wer backt wird mehlig"


Explanation:
I think this is the complete saying in German. I like the English equivalents offered above.

Hope this helps!

Sheila

"Wer's glaubt wird selig, wer backt wird mehlig"

http://www.thadden.hd.bw.schule.de/Schuljahr99_00/Klasse5a.h...

Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 01:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 529
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
wer Brot backt wird mehlig...


Explanation:

Another variation!

Wer's glaubt wird selig und wer Brot backt wird mehlig

http://www.computerforum.de/11b/prosa.htm

Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 01:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 529
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas


Explanation:
A different connotation to be sure: This one implies a poor choice of companions. But then, what's in the article?


    Common saying in US English
Tom Funke
Local time: 19:00
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 2419

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxlone: Yes, the answer you pick,really depends on what's in the article.
22 mins

agree  Beth Kantus: another good one: but hopefully NOT in the kitchen :-)
1 hr
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38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
If you believe that, you'll believe anything


Explanation:
wer's glaubt, wird selig (ugs. scherzh.) if you believe that, you'll believe anything;


I just found this in my Oxford Duden German-English dictionary. They give the following for the omelette saying:

one cannot make an omelette (omelet) without breaking eggs wo gehobelt wird, [da] fallen Späne (Spr.)


Hope this helps too.

sheila

Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 01:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 529
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55 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Gotcha!


Explanation:
the short version

none needed

Ursula Peter-Czichi
United States
Local time: 19:00
PRO pts in pair: 242
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Wer backt ...


Explanation:
Hi, Ian,

This is not an old German proverb, but part of a new poppy-one:

Wer's glaubt wird selig (old), wer backt wird mehlig (new).

If you check the Google German pages, you find that that 87 Spiegel article is the only example where the second part is used by itself. I wonder if it's a Bargeld-invention or if the Spiegel was trying to copy his style.

It's a word play, literally:
baking (bread) makes you dusty with flour (floury). Not very funny.

Mehlig also means 'mealy', and if we take 'baking bread' as 'making dough', we end up with
'too much work turns you into a bore'
Since this is all nonsense, I would use the first (and missing) part of the saying.

'Unbelievable!' or 'Only seeing is believing' or 'Must be kidding'
Oxford Duden translates 'glauben macht selig' as
'if you believe that, you'll believe anything'.

I trust this was proper Einstürzende Neubauten-style.

Best Regards,
Uschi



Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 10:00
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 492
Grading comment
Many thanks Uschi. The other answers also seemed good, but you gave some good tips vis the multiple possibilities for the English equivalent; plus knowing that this is a newer version of the saying is very useful. Bargeld does make life difficult for translators -- I went off him a while back!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
on second thought


Explanation:
If the saying is meant to connote the gullibility of buyers/investors (as in "if you believe that you'll believe anything," the kitchen sayings might not be the most suitable choices. Sayings along those lines are more like, "and if you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to seel you." Also "oceanfront property in Arizona" has become a euphemism for investor scams in which people are tricked (often through their own gullibility or failure to do their homework) into investing in things that don't exist.

Since it's a title you're looking for, perhaps

"Buying the Brooklyn Bridge..."
"More oceanfront properties in Arizona..."

might do.

Good luck!

Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 19:00
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 924

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Uschi (Ursula) Walke: Dear Beth, this is about pop music. Een should have mentioned that. ;-(
20 mins
  -> he did mention a group; I just didn't recognize the name and thus didn't register that important face
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