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German word of the day: Sowieso

Catherine Treyz
Catherine Treyz - [email protected]
German word of the day: Sowieso
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

It may not assist you in navigating supermarkets or Austrian bureaucracy, but this German word will come in handy when you want to convey a sense of inevitability about these kind of experiences.


Sowieso literally means “so how so” or “so as so,” but can be translated to “anyway,” “anyhow,” and “in any case.”

Sometimes, it is more descriptively translated to “in one way or another”.

Sowieso is a practical word and is often sprinkled throughout conversations, whether on Austrian television or among teenagers on the U-Bahn.

But it was neither eavesdropping on the daily commute nor watching an Austrian series that inspired choosing today’s word.

It was a song. 2017’s Sowieso by Mark Forster is both the perfect description of this common word and its potential positive uses.

Forster sings:

“...Egal was kommt, es wird gut, sowieso
Immer geht 'ne neue Tür auf, irgendwo
Auch wenn's grad nicht so läuft, wie gewohnt
Egal, es wird gut, sowieso...”

Which, essentially, translates to:

" matter what, it will be fine, anyway
A new door always opens somewhere
Even if things aren't going the way they're supposed to
Anyway, it's going to be fine anyway..."

In the Sowieso music video, actor Milan Peschel’s character’s bad day begins at sunrise. When he reaches for his towel, it’s on the floor.

He gets jam on his shirt at breakfast. At work, both his email inbox and the coffee carafe are empty. Yet, in one way or another, a simple success at the end of the day makes everything better.


Sowieso has other uses, too. Saying das sowieso can be a response to mean “of course!” or “that goes without saying.”

Sowieso can even replace a family name for someone when, well, you forget it or, for some reason, are unfamiliar with him or her: Herr/Frau Sowieso is similar to the English “Mr./Mrs. So-and-So.”

Use it like this:

Das Konzert ist ausverkauft, aber ich konnte sowieso nicht gehen.

The concert is sold out, but I couldn't go anyway.

Ich werde bleiben. Ich habe den letzten Bus sowieso verpasst.

I'll stay here. I missed the last bus anyway.


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