It 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 German television or among teenagers on the U-Bahn.
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But it was neither eavesdropping on my daily commute nor watching a German 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.
“…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
“…no 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. “Das sowieso” can be a response to mean “of course!” or “that goes without saying.” “Sowieso” is often paired as “sowieso schon” to mean “already” or “as it is.”
“Sowieso” can 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-In-So.”
With its many uses, “sowieso” is certainly a word to learn.
Das Konzert ist ausverkauft, aber ich konnte sowieso nicht gehen.
The concert is sold out, but I couldn't go anyways.
Ich werde bleiben. Ich habe den letzten Bus sowieso verpasst.
I'll stay here. I missed the last bus anyways.