There is no free lunch


American English
A) I have to go to XXX for a seminar.
B) Oh, that's a schlepp.
A) I know. Hopefully I'll get a free lunch.
B) There is no free lunch.

My try: Es gibt nichts umsonst.
  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    "Es gibt nichts umsonst." ist formally correct, but sounds more like a general statement about life rather than knowledge about exactly this seminar.

    Es gibt dort kein kostenloses Mittagessen.
    Das Mittagessen wird es nicht umsonst geben.

    Umgangssprachlich: Ich glaube nicht, dass das Mittagessen mit drin ist. (mit drin = im Preis eingeschlossen).


    American English
    Oy, bernd. Was würdest du vorschlagen? Ich dachte, dass Demiurg und Kajjo was Griffiges zusammengebastelt haben. Jetzt bin ich am Zweifeln.


    Senior Member
    Be careful. There is no free lunch is a set expression (=nothing in life is free) and hasn't anything to do with a real lunch. The dialogue is a pun and you cannot translate is literally.
    I did not know that. In this case, perpend's original suggestion fits very well: Es gibt nichts umsonst.

    "Nicht ist umsonst.",
    would be more idiomatic, though.

    Perpend: Is it really a pun or a concrete reply to whether lunch is included or not?


    American English
    It's about the idiomatic phrase in English: "there is no free lunch".

    I am sorry for anything misleading. I thought I "built" my context in a fair way. :confused:

    Thanks for the input/replies.


    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    @#9, It's standard AmE (schlepp).
    Well... by now it may be considered AmE. But it's actually Yiddish, originating from German "schleppen" (to drag something). In modern German we'd say "Was für 'ne Schlepperei" (but we only use it in a quite literal sense). That fits also well to the English expression "It's a drag".
    It's quite interesting how the circle closes, isn't it?
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