What's the situation?


Senior Member
Hello, I wonder if you use the same phrase English use. You say "what's the situation" e.g. you enter an office and your friends had been dealing with a problem, so you ask "what's the situation". We use the same phrase in Hungarian? How about other languages you know. Thanks. Enco.

Hungarian: Mi a helyzet? or slang: Mi a szitu?
  • jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I've never heard Qual (é) a situação without any complementation in Portuguese.


    English - US
    I think @Encolpius just means in general -- people talking about some issue or problem, and someone comes in the room and wants to know what's going on, or maybe an update, if they were a part of the discussion earlier.

    I believe in British English, they say, "What's up?" which, I think to them, implies that something is wrong.

    In U.S. English, "What's up?" doesn't necessarily have that connotation.

    I think maybe in Spain they might have something similar to this.

    For example, is "¿Qué tal?" any different from "¿Qué pasa?" Is there something like that that would indicate that there's a problem?


    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Without any further context, without any specifying words after it.


    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Qual é a situação representada nesse filme? What is the situation represented in that film?


    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I think that in Italian enquiring about what a given situation is like by asking "what is the situation like? (Com'è la situazione?)" is pretty plain and straightforward language. I mean, it's the simplest and most logical question one might ask...


    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    What's going on? What's happening? What's the matter? What's wrong? (from left to right it gets progressively negative)
    What's up? is neutral in the US and doesn't imply anything need solving. When I say this to people in the UK they think I have a problem though.

    What's the situation? with no further context sounds like police jargon to me.

    Qu'est-ce qu'il y a? Qu'est-ce qui se passe ici? French


    Senior Member
    I suppose the most suitable Russian phrase in the described context would be "что тут у вас" (shtó tut u vás?) - "what (is) here at you (pl.)" -> ~"what do you (pl.) have here".


    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    'Sut mae pethau('n mynd)?' is a direct Welsh calque of English, 'How are things (going)?'

    Then again, and as promoted by a certain popular British situation comedy, 'What's occurring?' (involving some Welsh characters) is an English calque of Welsh 'Beth sy'n digwydd?'

    Using @Awwal12's analogy, 'Ello, 'ello, 'ello. What's goin' on 'ere, then?' is an expression often used to imitate an investigative English police officer (usually Cockney) who has spotted something suspicious. It's often used in a jokey sort of a way in that all police officers in the UK are supposed to use the phrase.

    As for 'What's up?' ( > 'Wassup?') I associate this more with North America and a certain rabbit who has a Brooklyn accent and chomps on raw carrots.
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    In Greek it's idiomatic:

    «Πώς έχει η κατάσταση;» [pɔs ˈe.çi i kaˈta.stasi] --> lit. how does the situation/case/matter have?

    In slang:
    «Τι τρέχει;» [ˈti ˈtre.çi] --> what's running?
    When we hear the slang expression we automatically assume our interlocutor is asking about a problem we're facing.