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It is not difficult in itself, but difficult to do it...

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by DoubleMethod, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. DoubleMethod New Member

    English - Ireland
    I am looking for something idiomatic in German which means something similar to this:

    "It is not difficult in itself, but difficult to do it as well as you do."

    I essentially want to thank someone who has done a job for me really well, but I would like an idiomatic phrase for it.

    Any suggestions are appreciated. I'm not sure if a direct translation would be great, though.

    Thanks!
     
  2. manfy Senior Member

    Singapore
    German - Austria
    Just one of many possibilities; a rather loose translation but fairly idiomatic:
    "Auch wenn es an und für sich nicht arg schwierig ist erscheint, so hätte ich dies nie so gut hingekriegt wie du."

    "an und für sich" is a fixed phrase and synonymous to "eigentlich"; and in this case pretty close to "in itself".

    -------------
    On second thought, I'd change 'ist' to 'scheint' or 'aussieht'.
    Reason being, the expression 'es ist nicht so schwierig' conveys a feeling of regret or at least belittlement (e.g. Now I see, this is so easy...I should have done it myself...).
    The verb 'scheinen' (it appears/seems to be easy) eliminates this problem.
    After all, everybody knows: "Der Teufel steckt im Detail!" (as I had to find out with some plumbing work recently... ;) )
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  3. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    Would the following translation be OK?

    Es ist an sich nicht schwer, aber so gut wie du es machst schon.

    Cheers
    Abba
     
  4. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Ja; es fehlen noch zwei Kommas:
    Es ist an sich nicht schwer, aber so gut, wie du es machst, schon.
    Das war jetzt nicht Pedanterie: Ohne die Kommas musste ich den Satz drei Mal lesen, bis ich ihn verstanden hatte.
     
  5. DoubleMethod New Member

    English - Ireland
    Thank you so much everyone. I'm sorry that I haven't replied — the email notifications were being sent to my spam folder for some reason.

    The one I went with is this:

    "Es ist an sich nicht schwer, aber so gut, wie du es machst, schon"

    This was exactly what I wanted to say.

    Thank you.
     

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