bin mir as opposed to simply bin

Marvin-W June 3, 2014, 1:46 am
in Lesson 14.1, the sentence reads "Ich bin mir nicht sicher," which is, in effect, saying I am not sure myself. Yet the translations is listed as simply, "I'm not sure,". "Ich bin nicht sicher" would translate more closely to I'm not sure, than would by adding a compound "bin mir"..
Why confuse a learning student with a combination of "bin mir" when simply "bin" would suffice. If the person is actually not sure of him/her self, then it seems that should also be reflected in the English translation.
bin mir as opposed to simply bin
Byron-K21 June 3, 2014, 11:04 pm
Hi Marvin,

It would be good to hear from a native speaker. We haven't heard from our friend Paul in quite awhile. I ran both phrases through a translator (not always reliable I know) and they both translate the same: "I'm not sure." I do know however, that it is much more common in German to use what is known as the reflexive form. Another example, "Ich wasche mir die Hände" to say I'm washing my hands versus "Ich wasche meine Hände". So, although you will see some translations that are a little loose (and I've pointed out a good many of them over the years) I think I would give the translator a pass on this one.
bin mir as opposed to simply bin
bikeophile June 4, 2014, 1:19 am
I too have pointed out several errors and/or inconsistencies and many of them have resulted in changes to the course. I think they really need to keep the translations as close as possible. Of course, it is not always possible to translate literally and some things just cannot be accurately translated at all, like idioms and expressions.
bin mir as opposed to simply bin
Marvin-W June 4, 2014, 2:05 am
Thanks both for the input. I guess there are just some things we have to accept since we are the learners and not the educators (I speak primarily for myself)
bin mir as opposed to simply bin
Byron-K21 June 4, 2014, 3:37 am
Oh, I'm definitely a learner too. Please don't think I'm any kind of authority. Think of all the nuances and subtleties to our native English language and realize how long it would take to grasp that same level in German. I think we are all on the same page in believing it is important to keep the translations as accurate as possible allowing, as Bikeophile pointed out, for idiomatic expressions. So, I don't think we should be bashful about questioning a translation. We may be right or we may be wrong, but either way we will learn something.
bin mir as opposed to simply bin

Ask a question or a 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.

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:

Andrei Freeman - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Rudi Kopp - USA



Carmen Franceschino - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Kelly Scali - Chicago, USA


Chicago, USA

Mark Waddel - Auckland, NZ


Auckland, NZ

William McGill - Florida, USA


Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Try our award-winning online German course for FREE 受賞歴ありの英語学習ソフトウェアを無料でお試しください Pruebe nuestro galardonado software del idioma inglés GRATIS

(And see how easy it actually is to learn German... even if you've tried and failed before) (そして英語学習がどれだけ簡単か、肌で感じてみてください…今までに失敗したことのある人でもそれが分かるでしょう) (Y vea qué tan fácil es en realidad aprender inglés… aún si lo ha intentado y fallado antes)