I am a German native speaker and I am currently working on a project. We called the project KARLI which is the short form of the German first name Karl. The english translation of Karl is Charles.

KARLI means Kindgerechtes Augmented Reality Lern Interface. We want to translate this to English. I came up with the idea to name it CHARLI (Child-Oriented Augmented Reality Learn Interface) but my team members convinced me that we should not change the project's name.

However, I also convinced them that we should at least find a translation for the long description. So one of my team members had the idea to translate it to Kidsfriendly Augmented Reality Learn Interface.

I was not quite sure, if kidsfriendly is an appropriate translation and I did some research on the internet. However, the results were not clear.

A few dictionaries and websites mention the word kid-friendly. However, I am still not sure if it is an appropriate word.

  • 1
    Are you asking about kidsfriendly or kid-friendly? Kid is more informal than child, which may or may not be appropriate for your project. Another question: you have Lern in KARLI. Should it be Learn (or better: Learning?
    – Shoe
    Mar 19, 2019 at 9:01
  • 3
    Kidsfriendly does exist on the internet but kid-friendly is much more common. In the education field, in which I am employed, it is customary to refer to learning objectives, learning style, learning methods, learning tools, learning outcomes, etc. I don't think I have ever encountered the phrases learn objectives, learn style, learn methods and so on.
    – Shoe
    Mar 19, 2019 at 9:27
  • 1
    Ditto, learning.
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    In the US, KARLI will sound like a furniture line at IKEA, and it is a homophone of a girl's nickname.
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2019 at 10:10
  • 1
    Kid-friendly Augmented-Reality Learning App. Now it's really a girl's name. KARLA.
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2019 at 10:22

3 Answers 3


Just "Kids' Augmented Reality …" because what the original German phrase seems to imply is child-appropriate, not exactly child-friendly.

The -appropriate tag can be implied tacitly.

By the way, in English, I would think it should be "Learning Interface," not "Learn Interface."

Kids' Augmented Reality Learning Interface

Mileages may vary.


When you are talking about new products or inventions, it is possible to coin expressions in most languages, provided they are easily understood. Kid-friendly is not the obvious expression in English. The more standard expression is child friendly, as you clearly were aware. But ‘kid-friendly’ has an obvious meaning. It has the drawback that youngsters in their teens these days don’t necessarily care to be referred to as ‘kids’.

‘Kid’ is akin to German ‘kind’, via Old Norse, according to Etymonline. English (including the word itself, is, as you know, essentially Teutonic. Only people near a goat farm could misunderstand your suggestion.

If you need to keep the same acronym (as is a standard practice in global marketing), it is unlikely the prospective customer will bother to unwrap the acronym. But your colleagues have to accept that any name beginning with ‘K’ and ending in ‘I’ will look ‘foreign’. I may not (ought not to) matter. I am only a linguist, and not a marketing expert!


KARLI means Kindgerechtes Augmented Reality Lern Interface. We want to translate this to English.

Considering the name is 60% English already, you don’t have far to go, especially since lernen/learn are such obvious cognates. A native speaker would likely use learning. Think of English learning curve rendered into German Lernkurve. English uses participles far more frequently than German, especially in compounds.

The difference between kindgerecht and kid-friendly is not one of meaning, but register: kid is informal. Whether this is an appropriate word depends on your market target. If children will use the app, then kid-friendly is fine and may somewhat soften the jargonish augmented reality learning interface for their parents or teachers.

You needn’t translate Karl. There are many Americans, especially of German and Scandinavian descent, who have that name. And while many English nicknames end in the same vowel sound — Robert>Bob>Bobby, Thomas>Tom>TommyKarl is not among them. Despite the different spelling, some will think of singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

Kid and Kind are not etymologically related. While there are English words that have dropped an original Germanic nasal consonant preserved in German — _ mouth/Mund, goose/Gans — this is not one of them. The English really comes from baby goats.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.