What is the difference between verbs beschränken and einschränken? Do these two words have the same meaning or maybe they mean something different?
The two words are synonyms, but you can't simply exchange the one with the other in every case because they are often used in phrases, for example
Here are the the definition of both words in Duden online with some examples:
Though the two are mostly synomymous, there is a slight difference between the two and there are cases in which only one of the two is used. However, it is really difficult to pinpoint the difference (even for a native speaker). I will try anyway:
einschränken is the only option, if the limitation is in respect to some reference:
beschränken is the only option, if the limitation can be directly expressed in form of a clearly defined threshold or area:
beschränken is something to happen, e.g. @splattne
beschränken thus is more of passive for the one experiencing it (the customers either live in Switzerland or not), and generally refers to the object of the sentence as experiencing party.
the result of this sentence is the same as above but gives more of the active impression:
einschränken is more of reflexive active, meaning: someone restricts his own freedom of action for some reason, again see @splattne:
einschränken is usually in a reflexive context with
Of Course you can use einschränken in an active context, and beschränken reflexive, but this is not as common.
In general the meaning is the same and they can be used synonymously, but einschränken in general stands with reflexive sich and beschränken in general stands with a dativic object etwas
In this example the words are replaceable:
While here a replacement would change the sense of the sentence
The Surveillance itself has no borders, but these borders cannot be fully exploited, as some other circumstances define a smaller exploitable area
The Surveillance itself is limited, and not "restricted" by external influences, but in itself.
Here the correlation between "restrictor" and "restricted" inverts, opposing to the verbal use. --> eingeschränkt refers to external restrictions and beschränkt to internal.