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I found this word when ordering some lists with legal content (PDFs with translations from Italian to German), and failed to find it in my paper dictionary, so I tried the Duden online, but no results there either.

At this point, I directly tried looking up "identity card" in my digital dictionary and it says the translation is "Personalausweis".

Does "-r Erkennungsausweis" actually exist?

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Eine Frage für splattne :-) –  Hendrik Vogt Jan 23 '12 at 18:05
    
@HendrikVogt Ahah then I'll wait for him (if he's fast). :P –  Alenanno Jan 23 '12 at 18:07
    
Scheint im Bauwesen verwendet zu werden... –  Em1 Jan 23 '12 at 18:11
    
@Em1 Could you translate, please? –  Alenanno Jan 23 '12 at 18:12
    
@Alenanno I assume that this word is in use in construction engineering, but do not really know –  Em1 Jan 23 '12 at 18:32

3 Answers 3

The origin of this word seems to be South Tyrol (Italy, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano). Regarding splattne's answer, Erkennungsausweis is just a mistranslation for documento di riconoscimento. He also mentions the best translation is Lichtbildausweis, since it is a pass containing at least name and photo.

Most web links (written in German) refer to the building and construction industry, where it is obligated by law to take an identity card. The mistranslation from Italian to German is the neologism Erkennungsausweis.

Since this is not a regular word in German, you won't find this word in Duden or any dictionary. At least as long as this word do not spread into regular German use.

This page explains what this identity card is in case of building and construction industry. This page isn't from South Tyrol, but I do not find any better explanation in English.

More information (why, since when, ...) in German are here (official site from South Tyrol).

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Well said. An Internet search does demonstrate a somewhat extant use of the word but in the context and origin you've explained. To the question of whether the word is an actual word, this touches on German's generous ability to create new words by combining words together, which also makes it difficult to find them in a standard dictionary. –  Kevin Jan 23 '12 at 22:47

I'm from South Tyrol. The word seems to be a (IMO bad) translation of the Italian expression

documento di riconoscimento (Italian Wikipedia) (the verb riconoscere means erkennen)

which means one of the following official documents:

  • ID card (Personalausweis)
  • driver's license (Führerschein)
  • passport (Reisepass)
  • etc.

in other words: an official any form of identity document that includes a photograph of the holder.

In my opionin the word

(amtlicher) Lichtbildausweis

is the right translation for documento di riconoscimento.

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So Personalausweis is indeed the best translation? :) –  Alenanno Jan 24 '12 at 9:49
    
So the creation of the word Erkennungsausweis is: There was a wannabe translater, who was only able to translate word-by-word, but did not check if the outcome really exists!? What do you think @splattne? And @Alenanno, it still depends on context. Personalausweis can be the correct translation. –  Em1 Jan 24 '12 at 9:55
    
@Em1 I agree. This happens all the time here. Expressions from the Italian language get translated from people who shouldn't translate. –  splattne Jan 24 '12 at 11:01
    
@Alenanno Maybe Lichtbildausweis would be the appropriate translation, because Personalausweis = carta d'identità; documento di riconoscimento means a superset of identity documents with photo. –  splattne Jan 24 '12 at 11:03
    
Which one could match with "elektronischer ~" between Lichtbildausweis and Personalausweis? –  Alenanno Jan 24 '12 at 11:22

Well, in German you could actually add all nouns together if you need to. So there could actually be an "Erkennungsausweis" somewhere out there. There actually could be a "Marmeladenausweis" (Jam card) somehwere. :)

But the translation for "identity card" is Personalausweis or short: "Perso"

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That is just half true. 1) Of course you can join every existing words together, I think it is called neologism. But your example (Marmeladenausweis) does not make any sense as long as it isn't in use in food industry. 2) Personalausweis is one possible translation of identity card. Another possible translation is just Ausweis, so why not also Erkennungsausweis? When translating a word you always have to pay attention on context. And in this context, Personalausweis is utterly wrong. –  Em1 Jan 24 '12 at 8:05
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1) There are a lot of "Ausweise" out there. Every 2nd child magazine gives you a new "Agentenausweis" or something like that. So of course a "Marmeladenausweis" would make the most sense in the food industry.. or in some kind of Jam-Fan-Club... but it can make sense. 2) I've almost exclusivly saw the word "identity card" or short ID, in the context of a "Personalausweis". –  Feroc Jan 24 '12 at 8:14

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