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-   -   "Oder" (https://www.englishforum.ch/language-corner/60716-oder.html)

mamazurich 05.09.2009 21:36

"Oder"
 
Could anyone explain what adding "oder" at the end of a sentence in German signifies? I hear the Swiss saying this all the time, have asked for clarification and still don't understand its darn significance.

Guest 05.09.2009 21:42

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamazurich (Post 541062)
Could anyone explain what adding "oder" at the end of a sentence in German signifies? I hear the Swiss saying this all the time, have asked for clarification and still don't understand its darn significance.

It can be translated into English as "... or what?".

Glottal pronunciation of the terminal t is optional. :)

Patxi 05.09.2009 21:44

Re: "Oder"
 
I think it's similar in meaning to "innit?" that I have heard some people from somewhere in the UK finish their sentences with. Send a PM to that "Captain something-or-other" guy that frequents the language corner.

mamazurich 05.09.2009 21:49

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

It can be translated into English as "... or what?".

Glottal pronunciation of the terminal t is optional. :)
Many thanks for the prompt, clear reply.

So an example using "oder" in english would be:

Was that the most rancid dog poop you just stepped in, ODER???

Goldtop 05.09.2009 21:54

Re: "Oder"
 
Swiss: Oder? Gel?
German: Ne? Ja!
USA: Right?
England: innit?
India: No?

The speaker is unsure, awaits confirmation, or is simply padding.

Funniest sentence: "I am a mother, No?"
I was tempted to answer: "Are you sure?"

baris 05.09.2009 21:57

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamazurich (Post 541068)

Was that the most rancid dog poop you just stepped in, ODER???

"oder" at the end is used to make a question out of the sentence and in the above example the sentence itself is a question; so that wouldn't work really.

Goldtop 05.09.2009 22:01

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by baris (Post 541073)
"oder" at the end is used to make a question out of the sentence and in the above example the sentence itself is a question; so that wouldn't work really.

If it is a genuine question, then ODER is somewhat legitimate, because the other person may have several possible answers.

It is nonsense to say "This is 2009, ODER?"

mamazurich 05.09.2009 22:02

Re: "Oder"
 
Looks like "Mr. Captain Something Or Other" from the Language Corner will have to chime in to put an end to this peculiar little "oder" (no pun intended).

mamazurich 05.09.2009 22:05

Re: "Oder"
 
Actually, to hell with the meaning...

I'm just gonna start sprinkling it here and there in my discussions with people...that'll make em' think I know what I'm talkin' about, oder?

Patxi 05.09.2009 22:11

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamazurich (Post 541079)
Actually, to hell with the meaning...

I'm just gonna start sprinkling it here and there in my discussions with people...that'll make em' think I know what I'm talkin' about, oder?

I also believe that it can be used instead of a period (full stop) in written Swiss German:

blah blah blah oder

Goldtop 05.09.2009 22:12

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamazurich (Post 541079)
Actually, to hell with the meaning...

I'm just gonna start sprinkling it here and there in my discussions with people...that'll make em' think I know what I'm talkin' about, oder?

Anyone ending sentences with an ODER is confessing not to know what they are talking about.

But it reveals assimilation and the proper Swiss humility. (The Swiss dislike cognoscenti "Alleswisser")

Captain Greybeard 05.09.2009 22:54

Re: "Oder"
 
The trailing "oder?" is a trademark of the Zurich area. I don't know how far it reaches, but if you meet someone who uses it in every other sentence, the probability is in the range of 80 % that the person is a native Zürcher.

It is absolutely not meant to turn a sentence into a real question, although grammatically it actually does. As stated by Patxi, it's sort of an oral full stop / period. It does not contribute the slightest bit to the context.

For instance, a Zürcher could say: "First I went over to the neighbor's, oder? I rang the door bell, oder? I heard some rumbling inside, and then the neighbor's wife, Anny, opened the door, oder?" If you just delete all the oders, you get exactly the same sense as with them. It's padding.

It makes perfect sense for a Zürcher to say, "It's 2009, oder?", but only if it is a mere statement of the obvious, not a question. He or she knows it is 2009, but the "oder" seems to function a a little spark to ignite objections.

I believe Zürchers do not even realize how often they use it and how little sense it makes, unless they are made fun of by non-Zürchers. And then they may say, "After all I'm a Zürcher, oder?" Yes obviously you are, dude, and nobody doubts it, so why do you turn it into a question?

Sada 06.09.2009 09:03

Re: "Oder"
 
... oder wiä !!! ... oder was? .... oder scho? .... oder nöd? ... oder äbä !!! oder gliich? ... oder wänn? ... oder !!!

( a shame I can't add the sounds to them all, they're all different!!! :))

zürihegel 06.09.2009 09:15

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sada (Post 541249)
... oder wiä !!! ... oder was? .... oder scho? .... oder nöd? ... oder äbä !!! oder gliich? ... oder wänn? ... oder !!!..

Aber scho wahnsinnig schaurig sicher!!! Oder!? Schnuder oder Choder? :D

NotAllThere 06.09.2009 09:22

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Goldtop (Post 541072)
England: innit?

Only in certain areas. (Lunnon?) I seem to recall it's an London Asian epithet, but I could be wrong.

In other areas you'll hear "don't you think", "or what", "what do you think".
Of course, old boy, properly, it's "what".



Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Greybeard (Post 541094)
The trailing "oder?" is a trademark of the Zurich area.

Not just Zürich. It's in Basel, and Lörrach as well, oder? ( You see the aggressive use of the word just there? :D )

Louis Wu 06.09.2009 09:39

Re: "Oder"
 
Personally I find "oddr" bearable, the one I don't like is "Gel". I believe this one stems from "Gelten" = be valid so "Gel" would be something like "right?" at the end of a sentence. Some German speakers thought this one comes from "Geil" but I think Gelten is the correct origin.

Shame really because there's some right classy expressions using "Geil" such as "Überaffentittengeil". Lovely innit oddr?

cricketer 06.09.2009 09:51

Re: "Oder"
 
All I know is that when my girlfriend says it she's expecting an answer.This seems excessive to me as it usually follows a statement of fact to which I would normally not respond. eg. you are drunk, oder?
When you want a bit of peace that word really stinks.

J.L-P 06.09.2009 13:43

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Goldtop (Post 541072)
Swiss: Oder? Gel?
German: Ne? Ja!
USA: Right?
England: innit?
India: No?

And the Canadian "Eh?".

Blitz17 06.09.2009 13:56

Re: "Oder"
 
Listen to anyone speaking English today and you'd be amazed at the amount of superfluous "you know" or "know what I mean" sentence fillers that are thrown into the mix unconsciously. Same deal with "oder" or "weisch?" in Swiss German. The evolution or dumbing down of our languages.

Captain Greybeard 06.09.2009 14:05

Re: "Oder"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by J.L-P (Post 541425)
And the Canadian "Eh?".

You are right, the "Eh?" comes very, very close to "oder?", provided the usage in Canada is the same as in da Upper Peninsula of Michigan in da so called Sauna Belt, from where I know it. Since Canada is just across the lake, that's most likely so.


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