Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by spohreis, Jan 3, 2010.
What is the equivalent saying for "what goes up must go down"?
Danke im voraus!
(Alles) was raufgeht muss auch (mal) wieder runter(kommen/gehen).
The stuff in parentheses can be used or omitted, but I'm not sure which is the most common phrase, or if maybe another one is out there.
P.S. I think in English we usually say ...must come down; I'm not sure whether -kommen or -gehen is better in German, but you can also leave it out.
"Kommen" is better in German, too.
More common and colloquial is:
"Runter kommen sie alle."
I post this way because I found in the Google the following. "You know the saying that what goes up must go down." If this way is not the more usual, it would be better change the title of my question.
Frank's suggestion actually is the only possible idiomatic translation (as far as I know), I don't think we have an idiom where both going up and coming down are mentioned.
You may of course translate the idiom to German (and Brian's try is correct, preferably with "kommen") - but if you do it isn't anymore a set idiom.
I have found this "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter." But apparently, there is no much reference to that sentence in Google. That sentence would be understood as "what goes up must come down" in German?
Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall. can be an idiomatic alternative in some contexts.
As for the English: Brian is definitely correct, it's "What goes up must come down."
This makes sense in the image: What goes up [away from us, trying to reach a higher level] must come [back] down [to where we are, where it should have stayed].
"What goes up must go down" is not correct English. (It might be possible only if there is meant to be a pun on "going down" = oral sex.)
The best translation I can come up with is: "Das Leben ist ein Auf und Ab."
This would be equivalent to the common English idiom "pride comes before a fall". However, in such contexts, I would never use the phrase "what comes up must come down". The latter phrase is mainly used when shooting things up into the air, since it's inescapable fact of life that gravity will bring them back down again. However, it could also be applied in some other analogous contexts. For example, when talking about share prices, since these actually do "go up" (as opposed to happiness, success, pride, and so on, which increase instead) and typically do come back down again at some point in time.
it is not easy to translate idioms. So can you give more context, please?
In which situation is it said?
In coll. language I know:
"Was 'raufgeht, muss auch 'runterkommen." (compare the swing (Schaukel).) - This is almost literally, and it is idiomatic in German coll. language.
"Alles was rauf geht, muss irgendwann (mal) wieder runter kommen."
"Alles was rauf geht, kommt irgendwann (mal) wieder runter."
I do not know exactly, if "rauf geht" is to be written in two words here, and whether the apostrophe is required.
Similar is in a certain context:
"Es ist noch niemand oben geblieben!" (mostly used if someone flies with an airplane - and this is sarcasm.)
Abhängig vom Kontext:
Hoch hinauf - tief hinab/tief hinunter
The shortest form is "Was steigt, muss fallen!"
As Abba said above: The latter phrase is mainly used when shooting things up into the air, since it's inescapable fact of life that gravity will bring them back down again. I think it was Sir Isaac Newton who coined it.
I have found "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" for "what goes up must come down" in a dictionary, but apparently the whole sentence appears only there. I have searched in all web! Could you please tell why it does not fit here, I mean, why "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" is not a good translation for "what goes up must come down" in German?
Thanks for your help!
The problem here is not that it is wrong, but that it is not used as idiom. As translation "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" is ok and idiomatically, but not an idiom. (Es ist korrekt, aber wird nicht als Redewendung verwendet.)
Idioms are often colloquially.
"Was rauf geht, kommt auch (wieder) runter" is such an idiom.
"Rauf" and "runter" are used colloquially.
If you compare the phrases the difference is the style.
If you search for "Was rauf geht, kommt" you find much more hits.
Separate names with a comma.