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I have some bottles of Hirschbraeu beer in 500ml brown bottles with swing tops like this. On the back label, along with information about the brewery and the beer, is the instruction "Leere Flasche nicht verschliessen!"

I'd like to think I understand this sentence perfectly. It means "Do not close the empty bottle", but that seems like a bizarre thing to put on the side of a beer bottle, especially one which appears designed to be resealable. In fact, I am planning to reuse the bottle with my own homebrewed beer. Is there something I am not getting here?

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closed as off topic by user unknown, musiKk, Hendrik Vogt, Stefano Palazzo, Glen Wheeler Aug 30 '11 at 12:27

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No, you're getting it right. The point is, if you return the bottle to get a refund, you shouldn't close it since otherwise mold will grow inside more easily. (I guess this question should be closed as "off topic".) –  Hendrik Vogt Aug 27 '11 at 18:11
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The question isn't bad at all, but you already gave a correct translation in the question, so I thought it's not so much a language question :-) –  Hendrik Vogt Aug 27 '11 at 18:20
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@Gigili: Because the language part of the answer is "you're getting it right". –  Hendrik Vogt Aug 27 '11 at 19:36
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The question could be considered on-topic since the OP is asking if he got the translation right. In dubio pro reo ;) –  Hackworth Aug 27 '11 at 20:20
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@bernd_k: I'm more familiar with 'null fünf' und 'null drei drei' for those bottles. –  Hendrik Vogt Aug 27 '11 at 21:01
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your translation is fine. It means "Do not close empty bottle", in the sense of sealing the bottle.

Side note:

It refers to when you give the bottle back to the company (returnable bottle) and not when you want to re-use yourself. It does not relate to a possible security hazard (like using glass bottles in carbonating machines).

Before going back to the company the bottle should get a chance to dry, so it does not get fungi and other even less nice things in there.
Therefore it gets much more easy to clean and reusable for the company. It does not mean that if you want to re-use the bottle yourself you must not close it.

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This is not an answer to the question and I wonder how it could get 4 up-votes. Please, reword it so it addresses the translation part of the question; the unnecessary content should be removed, or left as a "bonus"... –  Alenanno Feb 10 '12 at 21:48
    
I had a problem because I wasn't confident in my understanding of the German message on the bottle. This and @HendrikVogt's helped me understand it, and the problem is solved. –  RoundTower Feb 11 '12 at 19:09
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