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I would like to ask my work colleagues if they are interested in donating some portion of their time by participating in this fantastic site.

To that end, I wanted to write something tongue-in-cheek like:

"If you are feeling especially magnanimous today, then why not visit and graciously donate some small percentage of your vast knowledge?"

in an e-mail. It was then that I realised not only is my German not good enough to get across this kind of subtle humour without danger of it being offensive, but I can't even translate magnanimous.

So I ask: would grossherzig be a good word in this context for magnanimous?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Großherzig" is an appropriate translation but may not be widely used. Let me suggest more commonly used alternatives:


If however you intend to use a translation that is rarely used to make your friends curious then "großherzig" or any of the following may be better:

weitherzig, hochherzig, honorig, edelmütig

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+1, on the other hand: magnanimous isn't widely used either. – splattne Sep 3 '11 at 10:45
that's exactly why I put in the second paragraph ;P – Takkat Sep 3 '11 at 11:10



is an appropriate translation.

Another possible translations is großzügig, but the it's more for a material context (donating money for example).

The word edelmütig and großmütig could also be used, but they're rather old fashioned.

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I also favor "großherzig". Magnanimous is derived from Latin "magna" (big, groß) and "anima" (heart, Herz).

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