Questions tagged [german]

For questions related to the German language.

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Having decision making power over someone's assets

I am trying to translate the German word "verfügen" or "Verfügung" in its legal sense into English. In dictionaries, I only find the translation of "to dispose" or "disposition", as in the "power of ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Is there a rule for the (non-)capitalisation of Schadenfreude and sauerkraut? [duplicate]

The Cambridge Dictionary capitalises Schadenfreude but does not capitalise sauerkraut. What is the BrE rule for this (other than looking it up in a dictionary or style guide), if any? NB: According ...
3
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2answers
86 views

English translation of german bureaucratic term: “Weglegesache”

The German bureaucratic term Weglegesache is used in German public administration to refer to documents that they are forced to keep for a certain amount of time, but which are very unlikely ever to ...
9
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1answer
208 views

The “prickmouse” and the “butcher's broom”

I sometime go for walks in the wood near where I live, and in the undergrowth, beneath the oaks and pines, you'll find an evergreen prickly shrub which is called pungitopo in Italian. The word is ...
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3answers
51 views

is “Lighting the spark for XYZ” a meaningful phrase in english? [closed]

I am trying to translate or rather come up with an English expression for the German "den Funken überspringen lassen" for a title of an academic paper. My best solution so far is "Lighting the spark ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Phrase for “changing street side”?

Imagine you're walking on a pedestrian path, you see a shady person coming towards you and you cross the street to continue walking on the other side. In German, there's a short and easily ...
94
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9answers
25k views

Why Third 'Reich'? Why is 'reich' not translated when 'third' is? What is the English synonym of reich?

Why is Nazi-Germany commonly referred to as "The Third Reich" in English? Why is reich not translated when Dritten ("third") is? And what is the English synonym of reich? Realm? Austria (Republik ...
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1answer
56 views

Formatting English Translation in Foreign Dialogue

This short paragraph of German dialogue needs to be translated into English within a larger work: “Zurück bleiben! Fenster schliessen!” Stay back! Close the window! shouted the man on the roof. ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Is “diversified” really a suitable translation for what Germans call “abwechslungsreich”?

I need a word to describe a meeting or conference or other event which was the opposite of boring due to the variation of activities there.* German language has abwechslungsreich, literally rich-of-...
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8answers
7k views

How can I say I can't guarantee information I'm about to give is correct?

In German, there's an idiom that goes like "Nagel mich nicht darauf fest" (literally, "don't nail me down on that!") usually followed my some kind of information that is given without complete ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Better way of saying “national character”?

Is there a better way to express what is meant by “national character” or is there a good term that gets close to the German word “Volkscharakter”? I'm looking for a word that captures “the true ...
4
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6answers
192 views

“Durch den Wind sein” in English

How would you translate "Ich bin etwas durch den Wind" into English? "Durch den Wind sein" means having scattered or not fully coherent thoughts, not having full presence of mind (Geistesgegenwart), ...
0
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1answer
46 views

“Body Leasing”: Is it English?

In my country, we sometimes call working arrangements where one company "leases" individual employees to another "body leasing". "Body" and "to lease" are obviously English words of good standing, ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Origin of ending a sentence with a preposition-German separable verbs?

One thing I've noticed about the usage of ending a sentence with a preposition is how similar the construction is to German separable verbs. With German separable verbs, the prefix is often a ...
1
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2answers
92 views

Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German?

Is the verb suffix -en (as in light->lighten) rooted in German? German verbs in their infinitive form always end in -en.
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1answer
35 views

Go and come as verbs and the ommitting of and

I have a question relating to the verbs "come" and "go" plus another verb. Why do americans say come sing with us (for example and not come AND sing with us (as is the norm in English English. Like ...
3
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2answers
231 views

Does English have a saying for “The person who orders something is the one has to pay for it”?

In German, we have the saying Wer bestellt, bezahlt, which translates literally into Who(ever) orders, pays in English. Is there a corresponding English idiomatic expression or proverbial refrain for ...
1
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2answers
134 views

is “predatory capitalism” a correct word? [closed]

Jean Ziegler invented the German word Raubtierkapitalismus for huge companies without ethics and morality. For example Amazon, Google and Facebook. What are similar words in English? Best would be a ...
2
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1answer
177 views

Two different german words (“Raum”, “Zimmer”) both translates to “room” [closed]

I'm searching for an English translation of "Raum" and "Zimmer". It is related with this question. Is a translation to two different words possible? Or is it only "room"? To put this more into ...
2
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5answers
189 views

English idiom equivalent to the German Gretchenfrage “wie hast du's mit…?”

In German, a Gretchenfrage is: Compound of Gretchen (diminutive of the given name Margarete) and "Frage" "question". In reference to Goethe's "Faust" (published 1808), where the character of ...
1
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1answer
74 views

“Buchungsangebot mit Option” translation to English

I wonder whether I'm on the right Forum. I need the translation of the German concept "Buchungsangebot mit Option" into English. It's about hotel rooms reservation. I understand "Buchungsangebot mit ...
1
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1answer
77 views

Is it ok to use “to stream” for downloading/consuming?

In Germany there is a habit to use the verb stream for consuming a video stream from the Internet. I don’t like this very much and I am wondering what you think about it as a native English speaker. ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Why is it “Rhine”, but “Rhenish”?

Being a native German speaker, I just came across the word "Rhenish" (as a translation of German "rheinisch", belonging to the Rhine). I am a bit confused about this, and am at a loss for the proper "...
6
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2answers
623 views

How old is the proclamation: “Here comes the bridegroom”?

Long before the German composer, Felix Mendelssohn, composed the “Wedding March” in 1842 for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Richard Wagner’s wrote the chorus “Here Comes the Bride” in ...
2
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2answers
148 views

Word for someone who studies to become a teacher

A friend of mine is currently writing her thesis in teaching methodology of mathematics. We are searching for an appropriate translation for the German word 'Lehramtsstudierender'. This is a person ...
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1answer
251 views

What nouns of German origin should be given capital letters?

On another post an interesting fact has just been discovered about the OED's treatment of nouns adopted into English from German (loan-words). A lot of them e.g. Nazi are spelled with a capital ...
2
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1answer
74 views

What is the origin of “smiddock”?

Pennsylvanian English: smiddock Put your middle finger behind your thumb and flick it against your arm — or better, someone else’s. I believe this is usually called a thump nowadays. But when I was ...
2
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1answer
263 views

Etymological link between “shall” and “will”? [closed]

"X shall happen" means "X is (strongly) expected to happen" ("X wird geschehen") or "X is hoped for to happen" ("X soll geschehen") German "Ich will, dass X geschieht" means "I want X to happen" (...
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0answers
69 views

Why the writing and reading in English are different? [duplicate]

I do not encounter so big problems with the English language although I'm not a native English speaker. But I'm curious why some languages (like English or French) are written different from the way ...
2
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1answer
148 views

How to translate the german word “Motiv” (= Beweggrund)

I want to translate the german word "Motiv" (with the meaning "Beweggrund") to English. A sentence in english would be People have various ... to do sport What would be the most appropriate ...
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2answers
379 views

Is there an English equivalent to the German word “Substanzwissenschaftler”?

As a German statistician, I distinguish between statisticians and "Substanzwissenschaftler" (my best translation so far substantive researchers). While the former know which regression model should be ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there one word for fat gotten from stress eating (Kummerspeck)?

In German, there is the word Kummerspeck, which literally translates to sorrow lard and means: the fat gained from stress eating Is there such a word in English? I never found any.
2
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1answer
134 views

Does the origin of the auxiliary “shall” lie in the medieval blood-money practice of wergeld?

Perusing some 19th-century grammar books for another purpose, I came across an interesting etymology: "According to Grimm 'shall' or 'skal' is the preterite or perfect of a verb meaning 'to kill'. ...
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2answers
1k views

What is a good synonym for “appointment”? Is “date” one of them?

TL;DR: If I use “date” for “appointment”, is it unmistakably understood? If not, is there a shorter word for “appointment”? In German, there’s Termin, from Latin terminus (“boundary, limit”), for ...
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0answers
58 views

What's up with umlauts in English? [duplicate]

I've been seeing words with umlauts in prominent publications - for example The New Yorker spells re-election like this: reëlection What's going on?
20
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3answers
6k views

Why didn't “spiel” get spelled with an “sh”?

The pronunciation for "spiel" allows for either "speel" or "shpeel". The "shpeel" pronunciation is significantly more common where I live (American Midwest) and I'm curious why "spiel" didn't get the ...
2
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2answers
360 views

Respective Use of “Respective” in English of German Speakers

Can anyone familiar with English use by German speakers explain the use of "respective" as in the list of examples below? I see this frequently from German government bureaucrats and the like, and ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Word/expression for a German “Ausflugscafé” - a cafe mainly catering to people taking a walk

In Germany, there are many cafés (often combined with restaurants) that are located in a nice setting, typically close to, but a bit outside the next settlement (or inside a small village) mainly ...
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1answer
104 views

Can “heavy duty” mean violently (in german: heftig)? [closed]

In Starcraft2, a RTS game, one of the characters says "heavy duty", and in german it's translated to simply "heftig" (which, to me can be simply translated to "heavy") Now, i think the Blizzard team ...
4
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1answer
173 views

Use definite article or not in conjunction with a German institution's name which contains a strongly declined article?

Picture some German university's arthistory department, and its official title would be "Kunsthistorisches Institut". "Kunsthistorisch" is an adjective, and "kunsthistorisches" is its nominative case. ...
20
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10answers
3k views

Describe that someone’s explanation matches your knowledge level

In German, in the context of knowledge transfer from one person to another (or to a group) you can say Du hast mich gut abgeholt. (literally translated You picked me up well) This sentence means ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Usage of an established German term in an English presentation [closed]

Is it better to use the German word "Energiewende", when referring to changes to the whole energy market or should one rather translate it into the proper English translation 'energy transition'. If I ...
2
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4answers
7k views

How would you call someone who is working part-time as a student (Werkstudent in German)

I'm struggling finding a term for a job rank for a part-time working student to use it for my CV or in general in the whole interview process: In Germany we don't only have interns, but something ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Translation of the German “Gesetz entschärfen”

I am trying to translate the sentence Da die USA ihre Gesetze bezüglich Marihuana entschärft haben, wurde auch in Deutschland eine Debatte angestoßen. and arrived at: Since the USA [verb]ed ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What would you call “Public Viewing” (people watching football match) in English?

I recently had to find out that the German term "Public Viewing" basically means something completely different in English, than in German. Now I'm looking for a term that English native speakers ...
3
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3answers
747 views

Non-chess usage of “patzer”?

I've heard the word patzer used to describe an incompetent or amateurish chess player. Is it ever used in a non-chess context?
1
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1answer
367 views

What is the proper suffix to change bildungsroman into an adjective? [closed]

In this case I am wondering what suffix would be the best use for bildungsroman when trying to characterize a memoir.
3
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5answers
479 views

Adjective for 'being able to use magic' or 'being able to cast spells'

Playing a German pen & paper RPG I noticed that they are using an adjective 'zaubermächtig' for which I could not find an appropriate English equivalent. The best I could come up with is being ...
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1answer
478 views

A word for source of energy, enthusiasm, etc [closed]

I need an single awesome word for following features - For these features - the group of person or objects filled with lots of energy source of unstoppable energy the one who start with great effort ...
7
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2answers
207 views

Looking for a translation of a German expression “mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit”

In German language you use an expression mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit to say that you are almost one hundred percent sure/certain. A particularity of that expression is that it has ...