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When in English I want to say something like this:

Where are all the log files mentioned in this correspondence?

I write in German:

Wo sind die ganzen Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz erwähnt sind?

Although it seems that the reader may understand me to mean that I could only find partial log files, as if I were saying:

...where are the whole log files...

What is a better way in German to express the meaning of the expression "all the" here?

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+1 because I suppose this is something many non-native speakers have wondered about subconsciously. –  Mac Oct 26 '11 at 14:51
    
See also: Usage of “die ganzen …” –  splattne Oct 27 '11 at 19:27
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

There's a very similar construct in German as well:

Wo sind all die Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz erwähnt sind?

The use of "all" indicates that every single one of the log files is missing, and that this has come as a surprise to the speaker. If you want to stay a bit more neutral, you could leave "all" out and simply ask

Wo sind die Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz erwähnt sind?

Finally, "die ganzen" should also be understood, especially if emphasized correctly (emphasis in bold):

Wo sind die ganzen Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz erwähnt sind? >>> ...all the...

Wo sind die ganzen Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz erwähnt sind? >>> ...the whole...

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Widely used is "wo sind denn all die...". –  Takkat Oct 26 '11 at 17:48
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+1, though I think that "all die" does only indicate that a lot more files were expected, not that every single one is missing. If you expected hundreds of files and there were only a few, "all die" would still be fine. –  OregonGhost Oct 26 '11 at 18:40
    
I would prefer "Wo zur Hölle sind denn die verf*ckten Logdateien?", but +1 anyway ;) –  John Smithers Oct 27 '11 at 14:10
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I wouldn't worry about people understanding "die ganzen" as "the whole ones" - in fact this meaning would be highly unidiomatic. You'd probably say "die vollständigen" if you want to express this.

"Die ganzen ..." is the best way to translate what you want to say here. :)

[Jan's suggestion "all die Logdateien" is definitely correct and idiomatic - but when I try to picture someone saying this I see either someone trying to be funny (probably making a sad, bewildered face) or <disablepoliticalcorrectness> the stereotypical blonde </disablepoliticalcorrectness> - no offence meant, I just can't think of a more concise way to express what I want to say...
In a nutshell: "all die" is definitely marked usage]

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