Jolla store: unfortunate German translation of "... liked it" ("... gefiel das")

asked 2014-02-05 17:21:44 +0300

tokaru gravatar image

updated 2014-07-20 20:17:31 +0300

In the start view of the Jolla store (German), app likes from users are displayed as "${username} gefiel das es"

which is probably the literal translation of "${username} liked it"

In German it is not common to use the verb "gefallen" (to like) for the action of expressing affinity to something, but rather the state of having affection. Thus, the past tense ("gefiel") indicates that the person used to like this app, but no longer likes it now.

Thus I suggest to change the translation to the present tense: "${username} gefällt das". Please note the usage of "das" instead of "es". Even though there is not much difference in the meaning (at least to me), the term "gefällt das" is commonly used in social media.

Or maybe even, a little bit more casual (and feeling more natural to say): "${username} gefällt's"

Note: In the meantime, the text has been changed from "${username} gefiel es" to "${username} gefiel das"

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I actually "liked it", that the store correctly indicated: Person "gefiel es". It's meaning is more correct than of Person "gefällt es": How can Jolla Store know, that the Person still likes it? The app may have been uninstalled meanwhile with the Person not having bothered about his/her likes.

"the past tense ("gefiel") indicates that the person used to like this app, but no longer likes it now." That's true in the narrow sense. However, in a broader sense, taking the context into account, it is clear, that the Person may still like it.

(If you want to be really correct, you probably have to say: Person "hat es gefallen", which makes the text longer.)

jgr ( 2014-02-05 19:34:13 +0300 )edit

Of course the store cannot know if it is still liked ;-) But it is still a strange term to read, and IMHO (especially in the context of liking things on a platform) people got used to the present tense form in the last decade. "... fand's gut" might be an option to consider. Still in the past, but that's how people would describe a concert they've been to.

tokaru ( 2014-02-05 20:38:40 +0300 )edit

It always felt it strange to read "user gefiel es", I just couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was. Now that you brought it up, I think it's more the "es" instead of "das" that makes it sound wrong. It probably doesn't matter much if it's "gefiel das" oder "gefällt das", except that the present tense ("gefällt das") is a more popular phrase. "Gefiel es", however, is too distant - you don't say "gefällt es" and mention the object only afterwards. It just makes people go "user likes - what?".

ossi1967 ( 2014-02-05 21:52:12 +0300 )edit

"gefiel es" is - while not perfect - short enough to fit the tile (most of the time, the username is so long that you might not see it fully, anyway).
- $USER gefällt
- $USER mag
Reason why "it" / "es" / "das" can be left out is because the app name and icon is shown, anyway, so "$USER mag" can be read as "$USER mag $APP" (as $APP appears below). One could argue "$USER gefällt" could be interpreted as the user being the subject that is liked, not the app, so maybe "$USER mag"?

thp ( 2014-02-06 14:20:41 +0300 )edit

I'd say it's 'Haarspalterei' ;-) I'm native German and I do not think it sounds strange. Its - like @tokaru stated - different than other's, who indicate in a short text that something has been liked by another person. But its not really strange or even wrong. 'gefiel es' is just different, or in Jolla terms 'unlike' all the others. So even this tiny stuff perfectly reflects the vendor's strategy. ;-)

majuss ( 2014-03-18 18:29:19 +0300 )edit