So I came across seeing this post and I find that I can't translate "以后还得了" to English.

But based on my knowledge, this post is saying that her daughter would be very clever if she knows how to program in Python right?

enter image description here

  • 2
    You’re mostly right. But there’s also a tinge of sarcasm in the response.
    – L Parker
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 13:39
  • so, translate into English sentence, do you know what is the suitable sentence for it?
    – kit
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 14:04
  • 'How far will she go in the future?' I'm not sure. I leave that for others to answer.
    – L Parker
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 14:25

3 Answers 3


不 = not

得 = able to

了 = end --> be contained

不得了 (can't be contained): desperately serious; disastrous; extremely; exceedingly


乱堆的木材一着火就不得了 = Once the messily piled up timber caught fire, it (can't be contained) will be disastrous

他的快球这么强,再学会曲线球 就不得了 = His fastball is so strong if he learned curveball he will be (can't be contained) unstoppable

以后还得了? (in the future, how can he still be contained?) is a rhetorical question. It actually means 以后会不得了 (he can't be contained in the future). In other words, 'he will be extremely (outstanding/ extraordinary/ unstoppable) in the future'

Rhetorical question: "How can he still be stoppable (containable) in the future?"

Actual statement: "He will be unstoppable (uncontainable) in the future"

I would translate '以后还得了?' as "How extraordinary will he be in the future?". Meaning: "he will be great in the future"

  • YES! This is what I want. (outstanding/ extraordinary/ unstoppable) Great explain!
    – kit
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 17:06

L Paker is correct on there is "the sarcasm in the response".

Translating the full response into English:

Too late now. She shall be taught to program Python before even start learning words, then her mother-language would be Programming, and there should have no limit to her potential to be the greatest in the future!

Hidden message: How ridiculous it is to push such a young kid to learn such a difficult task.


Most of time, the phrase 以后还得了 is often used for negative connotations. It's along the line of (我们不应该放任不管,不然)以后还得了.

It implies that we should do something/take some measures to stop it developing or it would grow to the degree of being big/serious later.

But in some specific context, it can imply positive, so we need to look into the specific context to translate.

P. S. I can't see the image OP attached, so I don't know the context.

  • It's a conversation about her daughter should learn python after she can reads. Do you want me to list out those word?
    – kit
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 14:04
  • it is a picture of an online discussion thread. A:「我女儿刚刚会走路,我是否该在她会识字后立马教她Python?」B:「太晚了,还未识字就该学,这样她人生中的母语就成了Python, 以后还得了? 」
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 19:03
  • And there is a joke; 1. 普通小孩都是:「爸爸,如果我考到满分,能不能给我买个玩具?」 2. Python 小孩: [if my score == 100: ] [my_toys.append("新玩具")]
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 19:21
  • 1
    @kit After seeing the quote Tang Ho put, it's an irony or a sarcasm.
    – dan
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 23:14
  • 1
    Yes, B is mocking A's eagerness to push education on his daughter who is obviously too young for it
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 23:35

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