Mögen or Gefallen



In lesson 6.4 this sentence is introduced: "Das Oktoberfest gefällt mir wirklich gut."
With this translation:  "I like the Oktoberfest a lot."
But doesn't "gefällt" mean more "to please" rather than "to like", so would a better translation be:  The Oktoberfest pleases me a lot? 

Another question: As an English speaker, saying "The Oktoberfest pleases me a lot" isn't quite natural, so would something like "Ich mag das Oktoberfest wirklich gut" be acceptable?



German with Jenny on YouTube has a video on this:
The section om mögen and gefallen starts at about 2:10

The thing is that meanings from one language do not map exactly to another language, so don't worry that gefallen means to please, they use it to say they like things. The video should help. It's worth watching the whole thing..


Hallo ToddS12 und sfpugh, 

If you translate the word gefallen literally, it means “to please“ or “to be pleasing“. Like you said, you wouldn’t say “The Oktoberfest pleases me a lot.“ in English. Basically, gefallen and mögen both mean “to like“.

Have a look at lesson 4.7 “To Like and To Love“ which explains gefallen and mögen in detail and covers the difference between these two. 

Gefallen is used for something that we like but don’t have strong feelings about as well as for first impressions whereas mögen is used for something familiar to us which we feel more emotional about. In other words, it feels closer to our heart rather than just liking something. 

For example, you could say:
“Das Oktoberfest gefällt mir wirklich gut.“ - “I like the Oktoberfest a lot.“
It means you like the Oktoberfest but it might be your first time being there and you don’t have strong feelings about it. 

Ich mag das Oktoberfest wirklich sehr.“ - “I like the Oktoberfest a lot.“ (Note: use “sehr“ instead of “gut“)
It means you really like the Oktoberfest and might feel quite passionate about it. You probably have been there before. 

I hope this has cleared things up.
Let me know if you have any further questions!

Viele Grüße

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket German trial here.