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Das Konzept des Lernens der deutschen Sprache ist schwieriger zu lernen als das von Spanisch.

The concept of learning the german language is harder than learning Spanish

Can one substitute "Begriff" for "Konzept"? Can they be interchangeable?

Zum Verstehen der Bildung deutsches Satzes muß man seinen Begriff lernen.

To comprehend how the german sentence is formed one has to study its concept.

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No, you cannot substitute Begriff for Konzept in the second sentence. Also note that the meaning of lernen is narrower than that of to learn, most of the time it is near to study. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 14 at 9:08
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Apart, I think the "concept of learning" is equally for German and Spanish. If it appears more difficult for you to learn German than you're concept is wrong but the concept is not harder. What I'm saying is that the sentence is semantically wrong. You should simply say "Learning the German language is harder than learning Spanish." And in German "Das Erlernen der deutschen Sprache ist schwieriger als das (Erlernen) der spanischen (Sprache).", or better: "Deutsch zu erlernen ist schwieriger als Spanisch (zu erlernen)." –  Em1 Jan 14 at 10:56
    
@Em1 I thought Konzept and Begriff were the same, the only difference is that Konzept is a loanword, whereas Begriff is pure german. Thanks for clearing it up for me. –  DerPolyglott33 Jan 14 at 11:27
    
A typical trap called "false friends". –  Ingo Jan 14 at 11:32
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I don't even understand the english versions. How can a concept of learning be harder than learning itself? What concept is meant in the second sentence: the concept of the German language or the concept of the actual sentence? –  Toscho Jan 14 at 14:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

IMHO those sentence can't be easily translated on a word-by-word basis, since that'd make not much sense in German, as Emanuel already pointed out.

I'd reformulate the sentences and then translate the adapted versions:

Original: The concept of learning the german language is harder than learning Spanish.

Reformulation: Basically learning the German language is harder than learning Spanish.
Translation: Prinzipiell ist die deutsche Sprache schwerer zu lernen als Spanisch.


Original: To comprehend how the german sentence is formed one has to study its concept.

Reformulation: To comprehend how the German sentence is formed one has to study its meaning.
Translation: Um zu verstehen, wie ein deutscher Satz gebildet wird, muss man seine Aussage (or seinen Inhalt) verstehen.

Reformulation: To comprehend how the German sentence is formed one has to study its structure. Translation: Um zu verstehen, wie ein deutscher Satz gebildet wird, muss man seinen Aufbau verstehen.

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I am extremely skeptical about the second sentence. I am not sure if that is what @DerPolyglott33 is trying to say. As for the first sentence, I have my doubts as to whether "concept of learning German" makes too much sense in English but since I am not a native speaker I cannot ultimately judge –  Emanuel Jan 14 at 11:53
    
@Emanueal, das kann sein, er könnte auch den Aufbau des Satzes meinen. –  Thomas Jan 14 at 11:59
    
Ja, aber das macht doch keinen Sinn... "Um zu verstehen, wie der Satz gebildet ist,muss man seine Struktur verstehen"?! Das ist doch das gleiche. –  Emanuel Jan 14 at 12:08
    
@Thomas I was doing a minor fix which eventually ended up in a complete reformatting of the answer. Feel free to rollback if you're unhappy with the result. – Of course, I didn't change the actual statement of your answer. –  Em1 Jan 14 at 13:15
    
@Emanuel ich denke schon, dass das Sinn ergibt: Um zu verstehen, wie man einen deutschen Satz bildet, muss man seine grundlegende Struktur (Subjekt, Prädikat, Objekt) etc. verstehen. Will man einen bestimmten Satz analysieren, muss man sowohl den Inhalt/die Bedeutung als auch den generellen Aufbau verstehen. Aus diesen Informationen kann man Rückschlüsse darauf ziehen, wie Sätze im Allgemeinen gebildet werden. Vielleicht denke ich aber auch einfach zu kompliziert ;) –  Thomas Jan 14 at 13:27

Konzept is something like a plan or an underlying idea, but as a simple "Hey I am gonna do that" but as a more detailed scheme.

Das Konzept ist gut.

Begriff comes from "greifen" which means "to grab". It is basically a name for a thing. We need names to handle things in speech. Handle, grab... can you see the connection? A Begriff can also be more than one word so we could translate it as term For instance Sinusitis is a Fachbegriff (scientific term) and there is "Nasennebenhöhlenentzündung" which is used in common speech. Begriff has a few other meanings that are part of more or less fixed phrasings

Ich bin im Begriff zu gehen.

I'm about to go.

Er ist schwer von Begriff.

He's a bit very much slow (mentally)

The two words are never interchangeable. As for your examples. Those make no sense to me. I wouldn't know what a "Konzept of Deutschlernen" is supposed to be. Same for "Begriff eines Satzes". There is no such thing.

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Mir sind spontan die Grundbegriffe eingefallen, und auch das Prinzip - wären das vielleicht bessere Alternativen zu Konzept im Kontext von Sprache? –  Takkat Jan 14 at 11:17
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@Takkat... aber was ist "Das Prinzip des Lernens der Deutschen Sprache"... ausser gerschwurbelt, meine ich –  Emanuel Jan 14 at 11:25
    
"Das Konzept des Lernens der deutschen Sprache" ist sowieso schon eine holprige Übersetzung, das lässt sich wahrscheinlich besser sinngemäß übersetzen, als wortgetreu. –  Thomas Jan 14 at 11:29
    
@Emanuel: nun ja "Lernprinzipien" gibt es in der wissenschaftlichen Lerntheorie, "Lernkonzepte" in der Schule. –  Takkat Jan 14 at 11:36
    
@Takkat... ja, aber die kann man nicht mittels Genitiv an eine Sprache anschließen... höchstens mit der Präposition "für" –  Emanuel Jan 14 at 11:51

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