Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is a Supermarkt the same as Kaufhalle? I met people in East Germany saying Kaufhalle.

share|improve this question
de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufhalle –  Em1 Sep 11 '13 at 19:44
Thank you. But Wikipedia is wrong. The word is still very alive there. –  SchcS Sep 11 '13 at 19:54
The article does not contradict that. In fact, it doesn't say anything about the present. You could consider it incomplete, but not wrong. –  chirlu Sep 11 '13 at 20:17
They write "wurden ... bezeichnet" –  SchcS Sep 11 '13 at 20:18
Actually, they write "wurden in der DDR ... bezeichnet". –  chirlu Sep 11 '13 at 20:37

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Supermarkt is the more polished, West German word. Kaufhalle is a more descriptive, hence more East German variant.

share|improve this answer
Der Halle hört man Wände und Decke an, während der Markt mehr nach Pferdemist und Schlamm klingt. Allerdings kaschiert die westliche Version, dass man womöglich Geld los wird. –  user unknown Sep 12 '13 at 2:36
I disagree with the juxtaposition of polished/more descriptive. All my Berlin friends who grew up in the GDR, now in their thirties/forties, still use "Kaufhalle" on a regular basis (sometimes ironic, though). –  myhd Sep 13 '13 at 18:47

Yes, "Kaufhalle" is indeed a word that says "DDR" at least as strongly as "Zweiraumwohnung".

share|improve this answer

There was a supermarket chain called Kaufhalle, so if someone said he goes to Kaufhalle, he really goes to a shop named Kaufhalle. Last shop was closed in 2007 or 2005. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufhalle

share|improve this answer
You mean a different Wikipedia link: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufhalle_AG – However, the range of goods was very different from a GDR Kaufhalle or a FRG Supermarkt, and its importance was not such that it would become a generic term. –  chirlu Sep 12 '13 at 15:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.