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I can't understand very well..

According to canoo.net, Wertgegenstand is composed of Wert (value), gegen (against) and Stand (state).

So does this mean something like "stand against value?" And what would be a better, "smoother" translation?

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You should decompose the word stepwise: Wertgegenstand=Wert+Gegenstand. Wert=value/worth correct. But Gegenstand is difficult itself. –  Toscho Apr 11 at 12:22
    
Gegenstand seems to mean a lot of things: it.bab.la/dizionario/tedesco-inglese/gegenstand –  Revious Apr 11 at 12:26
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I made the proffered definition more specific (less unclear), and wonder if the question can be re-opened in its current form. –  Tom Au Apr 16 at 14:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No problem.

-Stand- is just the noun of -stehen-.

A -Gegenstand- may be translated as an opposing thing. The word was formed in the 18th century and called the thing standing in front of you. But it does not neccessariliy really be in front of you anymore. Today you may use the word in a metaphorical sense, as an object or a deed may be the -Gegenstand- of your conversation.

As no one cares for such subtleties of language anymore you may be able to just translate it with an object or even a thing.

If something is called a Wertgegenstand its -quite simple- a worthfull object -> valuable article.

Hope got this now :)

To explainthe left right infos: It a neologism, is mad by a noun (Wert) and another noun (Gegenstand) and has no interfix* between them.

*(Dont know how popular this word is, but there are no letters between -Wert- and -Gegenstand-)

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Thanks. Gegenstand and Wertgegenstand have synonims which are more used? –  Revious Apr 11 at 15:13
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@Revious: There are similar words, but no synonyms. Zu Gegenstand fallen mir Ding, Artikel, Objekt, Sache ein, und im Kontext von "Unterhaltung" oder Diskussion auch Thema. For me, a "Gegenstand" is a thing that is small enough for me to handle and look at from all sides. A book, a telephone and similar things fit, a bicycle possibly, but not a car and certainly not a house, neither an animal. –  Guntram Blohm Apr 11 at 19:47
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@Reviuos: Wertgegenstand means a valuable item, like a ring, or a coin, or even a key that's not valuable in itself but for what it grants access to. "Bitte schließen Sie ihre Wertgegenstände in die Schließfächer ein" (Please lock your valuable items in the lockers) would be a typical sign at the entrace to a public swimming pool - obviously this includes wallet, car keys, mobile phone, and similar items that might get stolen easily and are valuable enough for a thief to be interested in. "Wertsache" is almost a synonym here. –  Guntram Blohm Apr 11 at 19:53

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