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If you want to express that something is true even if it is actually dumb, in German we can say something along

So blöd es auch klingt, aber es ist wahr.

Literally it's As stupid it also rings, but it is true.

I guess that to ring stupid isn't a proper term in English, especially not as shown in the literally translation, but I'm looking for a term that is quite similar to the German one.

The phrase So blöd es auch klingt is used when you tell:

  • really strange and unbelievable happenings,
  • unusual feelings, occasions, etc. in which you e.g. do or want have the opposite of what is considered as being normal, or
  • actions that are self-evident and actually not need to be said

Consider the following examples in which I replaced the German saying by I know it sounds weird (which actually is in German Ich weiß, dass es sich ungewöhnlich anhört), although it sounds indeed weird in the last sentence.

I know it sounds weird but I've really seen a ghost that night.

I know it sounds weird but I'm scared of being happy.

I know it sounds weird but you should always warm-up before sports.

I am looking for one ore more phrases having the same connotation[*] and using a sentence structure that is as close as possible to the German one.


[*]Regarding connotations:

Although in all three sentences the connotations are a bit differently from each others, I guess that the appropriate connotations are obviously. If I'm wrong please comment and I will add an explanation what is denoted by the phrasing.

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This is a question about idiomatic translation which might be better on german.stackexchange.com (although @Urbycoz probably has it right!) –  Andrew Leach Jul 27 '12 at 9:57
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@AndrewLeach Well, most (current active) users on GLU are either German native (who understand the German saying fully but are just limited aware of the English sayings) or German learners who are - in average - as good as people here on ELU (about German idiomatic). Thus, no, it does not belong to there. - However I know that such questions are often asked on GLU and I always having trouble to answer them fully correctly. –  Em1 Jul 27 '12 at 10:01
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Note that in English we say that a thing "rings true" when it seems to be right, and "rings hollow" or "rings false" when it doesn't. –  Robusto Jul 27 '12 at 10:39
    
@Robusto I'm aware of to ring hollow (in German unglaubwürdig klingen) but I think that does not fit in that context. –  Em1 Jul 27 '12 at 11:32
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think the equivalent English phrase is:

As stupid as it sounds

e.g.

As stupid as it sounds, I actually put my trousers on backwards this morning.

Incidentally, you do not have to use the word "stupid". Almost any other adjective would do. Other common variations include:

  • As strange as it sounds
  • As wierd as it sounds
  • As odd as it sounds

    The following N-Gram shows their relative popularity.

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Darn, that's quite obviously. How could I miss that? Very nice, thanks. –  Em1 Jul 27 '12 at 10:17
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