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The English word "intervention" can have the following meaning (taken from wikipedia):

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually family and friends) to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis, or other serious problem.

I have read about all the words suggested by dict.cc in a German dictionary, but none of the words seems to capture exactly this meaning of the word "intervention". Is there a German equivalent? What is it?

I have been wanting to use this word for comical effect exactly as in the television series "How I met your mother", so I am extra interested in the exact translation used in the dub of this series.

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3 Answers

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In german, "Intervention" is mostly used in the sense of political / military intervention, described in the Wikipedia under "Interventionism (politics)". There's also a concept of "intervention" in the area of medicine, mostly in cases of mental disorders (e.g. someone is in danger of commiting suicide, so a "Krisenintervention" has to take place). This would resemble the "intervention (counseling)".

So, i think a german won't associate an "counseling intervention" with the term "Intervention" spontaneously, but i would expect him/her to understand the meaning. And i would expect a comical effect anyway, because there's an obvious lack of proportionality between the means and the end in the youtube clip. So i'm sure that the meaning of "intervention" can be deduced from the scenes themselves.

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'Intervention' is a common term in german language, 'Das Ferrariteam intervenierte bei der Formel-1 Leitung', in a discussion: "Ich darf mal kurz intervenieren!". It's not restricted to militarism or medicine. –  user unknown Jul 14 '11 at 14:00
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@user unknown: But for me these uses of intervenieren have something slightly ironic or comic to them, especially the second one. –  fifaltra Dec 30 '13 at 14:08
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Intervention is the common terminology of psychologists and street workers. Eingriff or Einschreiten would be a translation without loanword. More german - greetings to Poland ;) - would just be Einmarsch.

While Eingriff or Einschreiten aren't loanwords, the best translation is just Intervention, because it is the technical term - see Watzlawick: Paradoxe Intervention.

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The dubbed version uses the direct translation: "Intervention" (not that I watch it in German, I used the powers of YouTube).

I'm not really sure if there is a concept in Germany that's similar to the interventions shown on that show. I never heard about it before I saw it there and I never heard of anything like that to this day.

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+1 Youtube didn't even occur to me! –  Stovner Jul 14 '11 at 7:37
    
+1 For pointing out that the concept of these "interventions" as shown in American TV shows just doesn't exist in German culture. So using the same translation as the dubbed version has the extra merit that it references the show and what was shown in it. To make the reference clearer one could say something like "Wir sollten mal so eine 'Intervention' wie in How I met your Mother machen" or "Wir könnten so eine How-I-met-your-mother-(mäßige )Intervention machen". –  fifaltra Dec 30 '13 at 14:05
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