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I'm sorry if this is a duplicate but as you may imagine searching for "how to" yields gazillions of results, none of which is what I'm looking for. If the problem lies in my search skills instead, please do let me know.

So the question: how can generic expressions like

How to cook a perfect cake

or

How to find a new job

and so on be translated? These forms are often found, for example, as titles of articles or books.

My direct attempt using the infinitive sounds terrible (though it may well be right for what I know):

1) Wie einen neuen Job zu finden

So what's left is using the impersonal form with "man":

2) Wie man einen neuen Job finden kann

but again I'm not too convinced. Is there some other possibility?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The common way to do this is

Wie man etwas macht...

So, you were quite close. The use of "können" is not wrong but it is superfluous and not idiomatic.

For a book title this is a bit lengthy but there is a different way to express it which is quite common

_ leicht gemacht.

You can insert any verb (as the generic "Das Verben" noun or not... no fixed grammar right there) or any "producable" noun in the blank.

Schlafen leicht gemacht.

Coole Webseiten leicht gemacht.

Drachenzähmen leicht gemacht. (How to train your dragon - German title)

Or this...

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Indeed if you want to translate it as a question the most common and obvious solution is using "man". Other ways of putting it is with using "ich" or talking to the reader.

Wie ich einen neuen Job finden kann

or

Wie Sie einen neuen Job finden können

Mostly you would just find the headline: "Einen neuen Job finden".

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