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My attempt: der Anfang meines neuen Lebens.

I just want to make sure I’ve got the grammar perfect here. Also, is der Anfang the best-sounding word here, or do you think der Beginn is a better choice?

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4 Answers 4

Your grammar is fine, and both "Anfang" and "Beginn" are appropriate. "Beginn" sounds a little better to my ears, especially in connection with "neues Leben" (new life). I think it's because "Anfang" is a more formal word than "Beginn", and "Beginn" is more often used in a poetic context. Google seems to agree, with "Beginn meines neuen Lebens" having three times more results compared to "Anfang meines neuen Lebens".

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1  
In a lower register, you could also translate "start" by "Start": "der Start meines neuen Lebens". –  Toscho Aug 25 '13 at 19:42
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I do not agree on the “more formal” part, but otherwise I am with you. –  Carsten Schultz Aug 26 '13 at 9:50

I'd like to add yet another aspect:

To me,

"Beginn" is more formal and seems to refer to a point in time, where something starts.

"Anfang" is less formal and seems to refer to the initial period of something.


Note: This may be super subjective - I suppose the points this answer gets will tell if anybody else feels like this as well.

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if we look at the verbs beginnen vs. anfangen I believe your answer is not subjective at all ;) –  Takkat Aug 26 '13 at 11:04

Grammar is fine. I would prefer “Beginn” if you want to stress that a new life did indeed start, and “Anfang” if the emphasis should be on that you are only at its beginning now. (And I might not have chosen the most appropriate English words right now ;) )

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der Anfang meines neuen Lebens

seems okay to me. I agree with the other answers. Yet I think Anfang can be more substantial. It can also imply something like origin, whereas Beginn cannot.

For instance

Am/Im Anfang schuf Gott [...] (Gen. 1, 1)
Ich bin [...] der Anfang und das Ende (Off. 22, 13)
Rauchen macht sehr schnell abhängig: Fangen Sie gar nicht erst an!

There is more in anfangen than "smth new starts" while it indicates itself something new is coming up. It can be used more widely, while beginnen might sound a bit uncommon sometimes and slightly indicates (or is often used), when one talks about something which obviously will have an end

Der Unterricht beginnt um acht und endet um eins.

Edit:
That's how it might say in a written guide about the lessons. Colloquial that'd be

Der Unterricht fängt um acht an und geht bis eins.

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Grimm schreiben lediglich „[...] der hochdeutschen mundart ist anfang, der niederdeutschen beginn zusagender, [...]“, und ich kann für mich keinen inhaltlichen Unterschied ausmachen. Es ist lediglich so, dass mir persönlich „anfangen“ natürlicher erscheint. Ich würde sicherlich „der Unterricht fängt um acht an“ sagen, auch wenn ich mir jetzt nicht sicher bin, was ich schreiben würde. –  Carsten Schultz Feb 26 at 12:06
    
@carstenschultz I'd do so, too. This why I do also not agree to the "Anfang is [..] more formal" of Martin –  embert Feb 26 at 12:28
    
Yes, it is possible that the one that is less common in the area where one grows up is perceived as more formal. –  Carsten Schultz Feb 26 at 13:00

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