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I've seen different ways to indicate the topic of a text, film etc. Example: "The text is about the war" (ie, talks about the war, has the war as its topic).

1) Der Text geht um den Krieg.

2) Im Text geht es um den Krieg.

3) Der Text handelt sich um den Krieg.

4) Der Text handelt von dem Krieg.

5) Der Text handelt über den Krieg.

Though I'm not 100% sure, I'd say I also saw

6) Der Text behandelt den Krieg.

Are all these different forms equivalent? Are there more?

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2  
related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/8496/… –  Emanuel Mar 12 at 18:09

2 Answers 2

Here a few hints. They are not equal.

1) Der Text geht um den Krieg.

3) Der Text handelt sich um den Krieg.

5) Der Text handelt über den Krieg.

Wrong


2) Im Text geht es um den Krieg.

The right choice for a more informal setting.


4) Der Text handelt von dem Krieg.

In between formal and informal.


6) Der Text behandelt den Krieg.

The right choice for a formal setting.

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3  
I don't agree with them being ordered according to formality. Some just don't make any grammatical sense like this, without any supporting words. –  DisplayName Mar 12 at 18:58
    
Ok that is just my experience. In a colloquial setting nobody would use behandelt. Except Phds maybe. –  Portree Kid Mar 12 at 21:48

The text is about the war.

Literal

Der Text ist über den Krieg.

More German.

Im Text geht es um den Krieg.

This is the best standalone sentence. All the others sound funny without context.

For example: 6) Der Text behandelt den Krieg.

This would match more to.

The text is talking about the war.

Or

The text is dealing with the war.

(Dealing is directly translated into handeln) Deal with is behandeln.

Your examples in detail:

1) Der Text geht um den Krieg.

no the text goes not around the war

2) Im Text geht es um den Krieg.

yes but um welchen Krieg?, drop the den, if you are talking about war in general

3) Der Text handelt sich um den Krieg.

No not the text handelt sich. But:

Die Handlung des Textes beinhaltet den Krieg.

Again welchen Krieg? Rather say Kriegshandlungen oder Krieg. Drop the "den", if there is no particular war being talked about.

4) Der Text handelt von dem Krieg.

Only war in this Text? Then say: Handelt ausschließlich von Krieg. But that is wrong. Again:

Die Handlung des Textes beschreibt ausschließlich Krieg.

-

5) Der Text handelt über den Krieg.

The text deals over the war? Makes no sense.

Better:

Der Text erzählt vom oder über den Krieg.

-

6) Der Text behandelt den Krieg.

Better

Der Text behandelt Krieg.

Again only if you are talking about a specific war use the den.

Are there more? Yes. For example:

Im Text dreht es sich um Krieg.

Der Schwerpunkt des Textes ist Krieg.

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Ich finde diese wörtlichen Übersetzungen nicht hilfreich. –  Robert Mar 12 at 19:44
    
Also, what's your Problem with „Der Text handelt vom Krieg“? –  Carsten Schultz Mar 12 at 21:15
    
I disagree with your interpretation of the "den". When talking about a specific war you would name it. Der Text behandelt den Zweiten Weltkrieg. –  Portree Kid Mar 12 at 21:53
    
Of course, the "den Krieg" part is what I'm least interested about. That was just an example. –  karoshi Mar 13 at 9:36

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