Some commented about a joke,


The translator gives

Don't mention it

I don't think it's right.


"还真别说" literally translates to "you don't say". It means the same kind of "contrary to common belief".

Unlike "you don't say" which is usually used as a standalone sentence to express surprise and strong disbelief, "还真别说" is way milder and mainly used as a phrase to start a sentence with some following up comments.

It's when you give a thing a second thought, and find out it actually has some other interesting properties that you didn't notice before.

So, you can safely replace "还真别说,..." with "Wow, it actually ...".

"On second thought, it actually..." is an option too, but it's a bit too formal. "还真别说" appears mostly in spoken language.

You don't say, the joke is funny. (weird, too strong)
Wow, the joke is actually funny. (better)


说 is the key to understanding. Here it means to judge, deny, or disapprove (especially quickly). 还真别说 translated character by character is "just really don't judge too soon". As a whole it means "(contrary to what I expected,) I just realize that...", or "admittedly".


还真别说 (or 你别说) is a colloquial term, meaning Things are different from what you would say about them. It expressed that something is not just like what you thought it would be. it usually follows the reason.

还真别说,这个笑话有点意思 expresses originally, we thought the joke would not be very interesting, but now I find it's not that bad. The lieral translation can be: Don't say that joke is tedious, it's actually quite interesting.


还真别说,这个问题挺不好回答。 大概可以这么解释吧:

It really shouldn't be played down


it is kinda like indeed, i think? my understanding is that:

you just read/heard sth your first thought was: what is that bullsh*t/i dont agree with that/etc a few seconds later: i kinda like it

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