English translations for "Wie bist du?" - Germany

What does it mean exactly?

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ziertz
Obviously my German is terrible but I sent this in a short message to a Swiss female friend to say "How are you". She replied saying that it wasn't a very nice thing to say to her. I done a bit of googling but can't find an explanation of the meaning. Can anyone clarify what it suggests?
Johnny English
You know the old expression. Women - Can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em.
BattalionBoy
Try "Wie geht's dir" and if that doesn't work then try "Kann ich lecken dein Knackpo bitte".
garibaldi
It's the same as saying "What bist of you are available for fondling" if you're kinda dyslexic.
Sorry I can't help more. My German isn't great either. I'm from Westmeath, you see.
the vicar
What kind of a woman are you? Which seems a fair question to me. A chap needs to know if said women is a goer or not.
sharpe
Never send SMS to women
miwild
Wie bist du, meine K├Ânigin ...
thefirelane
I discussed this with some native speakers the other day actually. They explained it to mean more like: "How are you [in bed]?"
tiexano
It does not really make much sense in German, as much as the word by word translation of the German phrase with the equivalent meaning: "Wie geht es Dir?", "How does it go you?" makes any sense in English.
cyn
well it means "how are you" but you are not enquiring the wellbeing. its more as in HOW, yellow green, tall, short, and absolute f@%$ asshole etc
Rilana
I discussed this with some native speakers the other day actually. They explained it to mean more like: "How are you [in bed]?"
Yep - that's what I would have understood too IF it came from a German guy, but if she knows you're not a German native speaker I don't understand why she would have done, I would have just assumed you didn't mean it in that way and just got something muddled up!
Kay
well it means "how are you" but you are not enquiring the wellbeing. its more as in HOW, yellow green, tall, short (...)
Something along the lines of "What are you like?", then?
cyn
thats right kay
sarabyrd
I discussed this with some native speakers the other day actually. They explained it to mean more like: "How are you [in bed]?"
Totally agree. Very rude indeed. I hope she explained nicely why your faux pas was wrong instead of sending her brothers around to rearrange your furniture.
tomgraham
This is silly and many of the responses are silly too.
Languages are not a set of templates that can be transposed over one set of words to reveal the equivalent in another language.
People conceptualise differently. Don't question it, just accept it.
To ask "how are you ?" in German, you ask "wie geht's dir ?, or in the formal sense "wie geht es Ihnen?"
That that makes no sense when literally translated into English is irrelevant. African or Indian ? That's how they ask that question. That's how they've been asking that question for eons, and that's how they'll continue to ask that question. Get with the beat Baggy and open those ears ! Marl,learn and inwardly digest !

To make this a constructive response, here are some tips about what not to say (because believe me, you will say these things):

When it's hot DON'T SAY "ich bin heiss " That means "I'm horny". In English "I'm hot" can also be construed in this way. Say "mir ist heiss."
When it's warm DON'T SAY "ich bin warm" That means (if you're male; I'm not sure how it's taken if you're female) "I'm gay". Say "mir ist warm."
When you're sad DON'T SAY "ich bin blau" That means "I'm drunk". Say " Ich bin traurig" Note: here the "ich bin" sense is preserved.
When you're not well DON'T SAY "ich bin nicht gut". That means all kinds of things and is almost an open invitation to sodomy at the very least. Say, "mir geht's nicht gut."

The list is long so I'll terminate it here. Just bear in mind, when somebody uses a given expression under a given set of circumstances, then the chances are that he or she has spoken without thinking, and they've therefore said what 99.99 % of the population would say under those same circs. If you say the same thing, under the same circs., you almost can't go wrong. And if you do gp wrong, you'll soon be corrected, but it won't happen very often.
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