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There's a band called Stromkern, actually from the US but strongly associated with the German alternative scene.

I've been puzzling over what the name actually translates into as both 'strom' and 'kern' seem to have a lot of context-sensitive meanings.

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If you happen to tell us the German meaning ... Wasser hat keine Balken und Strom keinen Kern. –  user unknown Jun 22 '12 at 13:39

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Seeing how Stromkern is making (partially) Electro music, the literal translation "Power Core" seems obvious.

While almost any word has context-sensitive meanings, I wouldn't say either Strom or Kern is highly context-sensitive, they both have a well-understood and invariant basic meaning.

Strom is always something that's somehow flowing rapidly or with great force, like electrical power, a large river, or a mass of people.

Kern is always the center/most important part of something that can be differentiated from the rest, be it a physical object (like "the inner core of the Earth") or something immaterial (the core statement of this text is...).

I would say that both Strom and Kern need context to give them their final meaning, but their general meaning, the idea that they are transporting, is quite fixed on their own.

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"I would say that both Strom and Kern need context to give them their final meaning". That was nice. It remembers me why I like English and German languages. Spanish is not that flexible though. We do the jogging elsewhere :D. –  fénix Jun 4 '12 at 18:12

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