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Old 05.09.2009, 21:36
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"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.
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Old 05.09.2009, 21:42
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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.
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Old 05.09.2009, 21:49
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Re: "Oder"

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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???
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Old 05.09.2009, 21:57
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Re: "Oder"

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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.
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Old 05.09.2009, 22:01
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Re: "Oder"

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"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?"
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Old 05.09.2009, 22:02
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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).
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Old 05.09.2009, 22:05
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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?
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Old 05.09.2009, 21:44
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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.
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Old 05.09.2009, 21:54
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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?"
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Old 06.09.2009, 13:43
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Re: "Oder"

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Swiss: Oder? Gel?
German: Ne? Ja!
USA: Right?
England: innit?
India: No?
And the Canadian "Eh?".
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Old 06.09.2009, 13:56
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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.
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Old 06.09.2009, 18:25
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The evolution or dumbing down of our languages.
They've always existed in the spoken form of the language in one form or other. We just have no record of them because they didn't have tape recorders in Mr Shakespeare's day.

They're an essential part of our linguistic armoury, aren't they?
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:31
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Re: "Oder"

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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.
In the USA, in some parts anyway, the most annoying useless filler is "like." Unlike (oops!) "oder?" it occurs not only at the end of a sentence. You can easily use it four times within one sentence without adding the slightest bit of information.
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Old 06.09.2009, 14:05
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Re: "Oder"

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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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Old 06.09.2009, 18:59
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Re: "Oder"

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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's a way to prompt a response by inviting others in a conversation to add their opinions. Substitute "oder" with "do you agree with what I just said or have you another opinion?".

The stronger it is said (intonation, volume) means "I believe my statement to be true and I challenge you to engage in a counter-argument"...you then have precisely 0.75 seconds to begin your tirade, any delay after that reduces the validity of your argument.
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Old 06.09.2009, 19:26
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Re: "Oder"

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It's a way to prompt a response by inviting others in a conversation to add their opinions. Substitute "oder" with "do you agree with what I just said or have you another opinion?".

The stronger it is said (intonation, volume) means "I believe my statement to be true and I challenge you to engage in a counter-argument"...you then have precisely 0.75 seconds to begin your tirade, any delay after that reduces the validity of your argument.
I totally agree with you, except those 0.75 secs are a rare exception nowadays. Originally, the meaning of the "oder?" was exactly what you wrote, but then it got (ab-)used so often that it drifted far away from the original purpose of triggering a response.

These days many people use it as if it were an audible full stop. It's not even a question mark. They do not even realize they use it, which is particularly funny when they try to speak Standard German and still say, "oder?"

Take a Zürcher conversation that contains 50 occurrences of "oder?" (which doesn't need a big sample), delete them all, and you won't notice any change as far as the content is concerned.

I don't know the present situation, but in former decades inhabitants of Berlin, Germany, used "wa?" exactly the same way. That was meant to be "was?" ("what?" in English), but it wasn't used as a real question either. Berliners used it just about as generously as many Zürchers use their "oder?", which means in about every other sentence.
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