Bedeutung - Questions on definitions and nuances of words, phrases or sentences.

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10
votes
4answers
4k views

“Das ist kein Thema” - What does it mean?

Recently I moved to the Konstanz area, and what I noticed is people saying "Das ist kein Thema" for everything. So, what exactly does it mean? And when to use it?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “vor sich hin”

In Harry Potter, the sentence Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work, ... is translated as Mr. Dursley summte vor sich hin und suchte sich für die Arbeit seine ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Parsing 'Nach der Mitte zu stieg sie an wie ein Kuppeldach'

I think I understand the meaning of this sentence, but I don't understand how it's constructed. I'm assuming ansteigen (to rise) is the verb, and ein Kuppeldach (a dome) is the subject and Nach der ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “zurzeit” and “zur Zeit”?

Word's spellchecker often suggest that I write "zur Zeit" where I would naturally write "zurzeit". Is my understanding correct, that the meaning is always: zur Zeit = at some time in the past (zur ...
4
votes
2answers
346 views

Weshalb spricht man vom “abgesicherten Modus” und nicht vom “sicheren Modus” in der EDV?

Seit ich vor Jahren zum ersten Mal auf den Begriff "starte den Computer im abgesicherten Modus" gestoßen bin, frage ich mich, welche besondere Bedeutung diesem Adjektiv zukommt, die dazu führte, ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Finance metaphors for relationships [closed]

I've recently read that there are quite a few metaphors describing relationships between humans that are taken from the financial sector. However, examples were very scarce. The best one being ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is an equivalent of English “piece of cake”?

How do you say in German something that is easy to do. I have found "ein Klacks" in my dictionary, but I have a great doubt about the meaning of the word and how to use it.
11
votes
8answers
12k views

Is “Ich bin gut” a valid reply for “How are you”?

I know you have to say Es geht mir gut. but Ich bin gut. sounds good to me. Can I say that?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Einen Satz mit «dass» anfangen

Das ist etwas, dem ich oft begegne, aber nie ganz verstehe. Was bedeutet es, wenn man einen Satz mit «dass» anfängt? Ich lese jetzt einen Artikel, der um den Streit um das Made in Germany Label geht ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Are Genug and Genügend Interchangable?

My dictionaries list both genug and genügend as "sufficient, enough, etc." Are there any differences between the two other than one functions as a participle of genügen? Additionally, are these two ...
1
vote
3answers
384 views

“schmecken lassen”: Tuck in?

I am familiar with "Das schmeckt" to say you like the taste of something and I was working on a lesson in DuoLingo.com and used it in context a couple of times. I was looking up how to spell it, and ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Hidden meaning in this Heine-Schumann poem from “Dichterliebe”

This is the text of the song Ich grolle nicht from Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe after Heinrich Heine poems: Ich grolle nicht, und wenn das Herz auch bricht, Ewig verlor'nes Lieb ! Ich ...
10
votes
1answer
620 views

Herkunft von “von ungefähr kommen”?

Beispiel: "Hochwertige Technik und innovative Produkte kommen nicht von ungefähr." Woher stammt die Phrase "(nicht) von ungefähr kommen"?
5
votes
2answers
232 views

Is “Machtachse” a word?

In this headline: Wie Franziskus die Machtachse der Kirche verschiebt there is this word, Machtachse, which I haven't been able to find anywhere (so I don't even know if it's really a word). In ...
3
votes
1answer
764 views

Is there a difference between “bauen” and “erbauen”?

What is the difference between bauen and erbauen? I mean, semantically. Or can they be used interchangeably?
4
votes
3answers
447 views

“Ich miete eine Wohnung” bedeutet “ich bezahle für eine Wohnung” oder “ich bekomme Geld dafür”? Oder beides?

Vielleicht ist es mit den Objekten einfacher zu verstehen, aber bedeutet der Satz Ich miete eine Wohnung. "Ich bezahle für eine Wohnung" oder "Ich bekomme Geld dafür"? Wenn die Antwort ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

Meaning of the word “entrichten”

Entrichten habe ich nie gehört. Wie wird dieses Wort gebraucht? Kann man z.B. eine Rechnung entrichten? Hat es die gleiche Bedeutung wie das englische Wort pay?
5
votes
3answers
387 views

What new meaning does “letztendlich” contribute?

According to Google Ngram Viewer the word "letztendlich" is a very new invention in German language. Meanwhile this word is very present in all kinds of communication, be it formal or informal. Is ...
3
votes
2answers
656 views

Schwarzer Kaffee vs schwarzen Kaffee

I need to know why do we say "schwarzen Kaffee, bitte" and not "schwarzer Kaffee, bitte". To me, it should be "schwarzer Kaffee", however, I am being told it is the other way around.
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Meaning of “Was für ein”?

All I know about Was für ein is that it is a type of pronoun (but I don't know what type exactly it is). I also don't know how it translates into English.
0
votes
3answers
790 views

“Für”, “gegen”, “um” — which to use when? [closed]

All three accusative prepositions für, gegen, and um can mean "for" in certain situations. Can anybody give examples when to use which of the three?
3
votes
2answers
93 views

The adjective grauenkalt

I've only seen the word 'grauenkalt' in a line from the song, 'Dieses Leben,' by Juli. The line is: "Diese Nacht ist grauenkalt und schwer." I looked up the verb 'grauen,' and it means both 'to ...
2
votes
1answer
267 views

What does “Die Weichen waren gestellt” mean?

I am reading Peter Zolling´s "Deutsche Geschichte von 1871 bis zur Gegenwart". Can someone please help me understand the sentence: Die Weichen waren gestellt?
12
votes
3answers
13k views

When to use “bezahlen” and when “zahlen”?

Leo shows that both bezahlen and zahlen are translated as "to pay". I noticed that people sometimes use the one, and sometimes the other. So, when to use bezahlen and when zahlen?
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Wie entstand aus “Sicht” die “Zuversicht”?

Schon länger frage ich mich, wie man die Etymologie von "Zuversicht" erkärt. Im Duden wird knapp aufgeführt mittelhochdeutsch zuoversiht, althochdeutsch zuofirsiht Duden und auch das ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Was genau bedeutet “Akademiker”?

Ich habe einen Artikel gelesen, aber ich wusste nicht genau was Akademiker bedeutet. Ist es jemand, der einen Hochschulabschluss geschafft hat? Oder jemand, der einen Doktortitel erhält?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

“Mindestens” vs “zumindest”. Gibt es einen Unterschied?

Im Internet gibt es keinen klaren Unterschied dazwischen, aber meine Lehrerin hat mich mehrmals dafür verbessert (und danach habe ich den Unterschied wieder vergessen). Könnt ihr bitte auch ein paar ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the differences between “jein” and “naja”?

After reading this related post, I started wondering: what are the differences between jein and naja? I am especially interested in any context(s) where only one of them would be correct or ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Usage of “zwar”

Can anyone explain how the word zwar is generally used? I see it a lot and it doesn't seem like it usually translates very well into English, if at all. Here's an example sentence: Frage: Hat ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

“Strahlen” vs “Strahler”

I was searching for company names, and reached to a German word 'Strahlen' through Google. As per Google it meant 'rays'. I need a suggestion that, what is the exact meaning of 'Strahlen' and ...
5
votes
1answer
652 views

What's the meaning of 'erl'?

"Erlkönig" (also called "Der Erlkönig") is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. By wiki I know that the word könig means 'king', but what's the meaning of erl? Is it devil, elf, or genie?
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Is “selbstbewusst” a negative word?

Sometimes I see translations of selbstbewusst as confident, arrogant or selfish. I would like to know if this word has a negative or positive denotation. If I call someone of selbstbewusst, is it a ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Distinction between “sei” and “war”

I've seen "sei" a fair bit lately and it seems to indicate something that has happened in the past. Example: Die Ärztin hatte meiner Mutter gesagt, dass meine Leber kurz vor der Zirrhose sei. ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

“I want to” vs. “I like to” vs. “I have to”

How do you say the following in German? I want to eat an apple. I like to eat apples. I have to eat an apple. Can you apply the same context to all verbs?
-7
votes
1answer
926 views

Can someone give the examples ( few sentences ) with words: da, deutete, dabei? [closed]

I read a book on german and meet these words very often, but the context still not clearly for me. So I want to see a few examples with these 3 words with translation. upd As I read a book further ...
5
votes
4answers
685 views

Ways to die in German

I want to learn the different shades of meaning and frequency of use of the following verbs that have the meaning of to die: ableben abtreten erlöschen krepieren sterben versterben ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Sage und einer Legende?

Ich habe bisher die Wörter Sage und Legende synonym verwendet. Es gibt zwar Dinge die ich so nenne, und andere Dinge, die ich wieder anders nenne (bspw. würde ich nie die Niebelungenlegende sagen), ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What does the word “Schickimicki” mean?

I have seen and heard the word many many times but every time I ask "Was bedeutet Schickimicki?" they don't give a conclusive answer. I just saw it on the journal Zeit and just thought I didn't know ...
8
votes
2answers
225 views

Etymology and meaning of “Lotterleben”

A German friend of mine used the term "Lotterleben" to describe to me someone as a "free spirit", although the dictionary translate the term as "dissolute lifestyle" which have a string negative ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the difference between “Dom”, “Kathedrale” and “Münster”

"Dom", "Kathedrale" and "Münster" all translate as "cathedral" in English. When I searched online, all explanations were in German and I could not quite understand them. Is there any difference in ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

What's the meaning of “schon”?

Today in the class I heard German guy saying: "Ist der Platz schon frei?". Which supposedly means "Is this place already available/free?" and that makes no sense to me. What's the meaning of "schon" ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

“legen” vs “liegen”

I get confused between the verbs legen and liegen. I would appreciate some explantation on the meaning of the two verbs, preferably with examples. Also, are there context where te two verbs are ...
9
votes
3answers
449 views

Den Unblöden gehört die Welt! - What does Unblöden mean?

Media Markt has a campaign where they state that the world belongs to the "Unblöden", but I don't understand what "Unblöden" means and Google translate won't translate it. So what does "Unblöden" ...
6
votes
1answer
661 views

Wer kann “verklagen”

Mir hatte mal jemand erklärt, dass folgende Formulierung sprachlich/fachlich falsch sei: Mickey verklagt Dagobert zu drei Jahren Haft. Begründung war, dass nur der Richter verklagen könne. Es ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Ungeziefer and its meanings and connotations

Reading Kluge's Etymological Dictionary (published 1881, translated into English 1891) the word Ungeziefer has this description: Ungeziefer, noun, 'vermin', from the equivalent late Middle High ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

“erstellen” or “erzeugen”?

Software X is producing printed reports, based on user input. How would I translate accurately 'produced with X' and 'produced by X', as both erstellen and erzeugen seem to be very near in their ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Kann man einen “fachlich geprägten Kunden” einem “technisch argumentierenden Entwickler” entgegen setzen?

It is about Software Engineering, where it usually comes to problems in communication between the customers (domain-specific, functional, professional lexis) and developers (technical, generic lexis). ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

What are the differences between “bekommen”, “erhalten”, “entgegennehmen”, “empfangen”, “besorgen” and “kriegen”? [closed]

Do they all mean to receive or to obtain? What are the differences in the use of these words?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between 'Gegenstand', 'Sache', 'Ding', and 'Dinge'?

Is there a difference between 'Gegenstand', 'Sache', 'Ding', and 'Dinge'? Can we use them interchangeably?
9
votes
3answers
718 views

Was genau ist ein Strom (Gewässer)?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Difference between “Fluss” and “Strom” Bis heute hatte ich nur Fluss gekannt. Aber dann kenne ich auch das Wort Strom für einen langen ...