Wortauswahl - Choosing the best word out of a list of alternatives.

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9
votes
1answer
363 views

Is there a difference between “Messer” and “Kniff?”

The word I was taught for "knife" is "Messer". But someone, who appears to be a native speaker, answered a question to the effect that "Kniff" looked like its English counterpart "knife". Certain ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

How do we define the strength of coffee?

Coffee is the most consumed drink in Germany. No wonder it comes in a huge variety of flavours. However the list of coffee specialities does not say much on the strength of the brew. I heard of ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Using Abflug vs Abfahrt

What's the exact difference and how should those words be used? P.S.: Is it when we talk about air travel and land travel?
1
vote
1answer
349 views

Translating emotional sensitivity words

I'm trying to distinguish the differences between English words that express emotional or psychological sensitivity, in particular "pity", "compassion", "sympathy", "empathy", "pathetic", and ...
2
votes
3answers
628 views

What is the difference between “vorne” and “vorher”?

They both mean "before," right? But does one refer to "time," and the other to "space?" And am I using them correctly in the following translations of popular American songs? First, from Guys and ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Differences between “Klausur”, “Prüfung” and “Examen”

Is there any differences in usage between Klausur, Prüfung, Examen, Test*, and (Klassen)arbeit*? * Edit: added more synonyms based on answers below.
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Word choice: “manuell” or “von Hand”?

I've been toying with learning German for a few months now, and I'm trying to use my basic knowledge to update the translation to one of my iPhone apps. What word should I use for "manual" as in "set ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use “siehe” when writing to a person with whom I am “per Sie”?

I often read the word "siehe" as in "siehe Anhang" when the writer is using the Sie form. I assume this is an accepted standard, but I don't really understand why, since I would never write using the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Redewendung wenn man an ein fremdes Telefon gehen muss

Im Arbeitsumfeld gibt es üblicherweise mehr oder minder festgelegte Formulierungen die man benutzt, etwas in der Art von Firma Meier, Michael Müller, Apparat von Peter Schmitz hört man öfter. Im ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Is there such an expression as “ganz großartig gesagt?”

I once saw in a chess book, the report of a German commentator saying, "ganz großartig gespielt" to a particular move. Are there commonly used similar expressions with other verbs, such as "ganz ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Using “nötig” vs “notwendig”

What is the difference between "nötig" and "notwendig"? When would one be preferred over the other, or are they always interchangeable?
2
votes
1answer
386 views

What are differences between “des” and “darum”?

What are differences between "Des" and "Darum"? Apparently they both mean "therefore", do they? Here are some contexts: "Meine Mutter war eine Wienerin, D'RUM habe ich Wien so gern." "DES ...
12
votes
6answers
789 views

What's the difference between “Dialekt” and “Mundart”?

Are "Dialekt" and "Mundart" exact synonyms, or is one more official, more colloquiel etc? Or are there regional differences in their use? Or maybe one is a broader term than the other and might cover ...
13
votes
4answers
530 views

Selbst oder selber?

Sind folgende Sätze beide richtig? a) Das haben Sie doch selber gesagt! b) Das haben Sie doch selbst gesagt! Wenn ja, gibt es dann einen Unterschied zwischen ihnen?
10
votes
4answers
875 views

What are “Marmelade”, “Konfitüre”, or “Fruchtaufstrich”?

Living in Germany I almost exclusively hear "Marmelade" for any spread made of fruits including "Erdbeermarmelade", "Himbeermarmelade", "Aprikosenmarmelade" and so on. Only rarely I also hear ...
19
votes
5answers
501 views

Is there a difference in meaning or correctness between “anderthalb” and “eineinhalb”?

I remember years ago being taught that “one and a half” is anderthalb, and being corrected when I mistakenly used eineinhalb, but I’ve heard eineinhalb a few times recently on the radio. Any ...
8
votes
6answers
274 views

Is there a difference in usage of “Klassenkamerad” vs. “Schulfreund”?

Both "Klassenkamerad", and "Schulfreund" are used for a classmate in school. Are there different connotations, regional differences, or social differences when using one or the other?
7
votes
2answers
175 views

What is the best way to translate “all the” if not “die ganzen”?

When in English I want to say something like this: Where are all the log files mentioned in this correspondence? I write in German: Wo sind die ganzen Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz ...
2
votes
4answers
158 views

Which is correct, “geschätzte Stunden” or “abgeschätzte Stunden”?

I want to ask someone what the "estimated hours" are for a project. Which is correct: Was sind die geschätzten Stunden für dieses Projekt? / Wie viel Stunden würdest du schätzen? Was sind ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between “musste”, “muss” and “müsste”?

What are the differences between the following sentences: Wir wussten nicht, dass die vorhandene Rechtestruktur auch abgebildet werden musste. Wir wussten nicht, dass die vorhandene ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

“Selbständig” or “Selbstständig”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Selbständig vs. selbstständig Both "selbständig" and "selbstständig" exist, being used in the same context in German. Still, I am not sure if there is a ...
7
votes
4answers
444 views

What is the German word for a “SQL lookup table”?

What would the best German word be for an SQL table whose only purpose is to match e.g. an id with a name? In English, I would call this a "lookup table" since the ID is "looked up" and the ...
6
votes
5answers
263 views

What is the most appropriate verb for Abschätzung?

I always try to avoid the verb machen if possible. What would be the best verb for this sentence? Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um eine Abschätzung zu __? erstellen schaffen kreieren ??? ...
9
votes
4answers
563 views

What is a better verb for “Fotos machen”?

A native German speaker once gave me the tip to always replace the word "machen" with a more precise word. What verb could I replace "macht" with in this example: Sie kontaktiert dann einen ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

How to replace relative pronoun “was” in this sentence?

This is how I would say the following sentence, but when I write it in a formal e-mail, how can I replace the "was" which seems too colloquial for this register: Der Cataloger macht genau das, was ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “besprochen” and “gesprochen”?

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences and which one is correct for a formal e-mail? Wie besprochen sende ich Ihnen meine E-Mail Adresse. Wie gesprochen sende ich Ihnen meine ...
8
votes
1answer
847 views

Can “nochmal” be used in correct, formal German?

Sometimes when I use the word "nochmal" in a more formal context such as a business e-mail, it is corrected to "noch einmal", e.g. Ich werde ihn nochmal Anfang Oktober anrufen. However, the ...
6
votes
4answers
394 views

What's a good translation for “outcome measures”?

For example in the sentence: Outcome measures for this study include three-year-survival rate and relapse.
9
votes
2answers
331 views

Is there a difference in the usage of “eben” vs. “vorhin”?

In the following examples both variants work: Vorhin lief mein Rechner noch einwandfrei, jetzt bleibt der Bildschirm schwarz. Eben lief mein Rechner noch einwandfrei, jetzt bleibt der Bildschirm ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Für welche transitiven Verben kann “Qualia” Objekt sein? “Haben”, “Empfinden”…?

Qualia, der "subjektive Erlebnisgehalt mentaler Zustände" (s. z.B. Wikipedia), sind seit über 100 Jahren Objekte (oder müsste man sagen "Subjekte"?) philosophischer Diskussionen (Qualiaproblem). Der ...
10
votes
7answers
481 views

What Are Ways to Say “Out of Date” In German?

The most common translation I've seen is "altmodisch." But the question comes from another one of my German translations, from "As Time Goes By" Mondschein und Liebeslieder sind niemals ...
8
votes
3answers
224 views

Which spelling is the right one: “deinstallieren” or “desinstallieren”?

Some computer software uninstallers that are localized for German users use the word "deinstallieren" and others "desinstallieren". Which one is the correct one - or are both words right? -- Update ...
7
votes
2answers
789 views

What is the difference between 'noch' and 'noch immer'?

They would both appear to mean the same thing in English i.e. 'still' How do they differ and under what circumstances might you use either of them?
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Wortwahl: für vs. über

Wie heißt es richtig: Gutschein [für|über] einen Kinoabend. Der Fall "Gutschein über 10€" ist sicherlich richtig, ist aber das Wort "über" auch bei Sachleistungen zulässig?
10
votes
2answers
292 views

Why is “erstmal” not recognized by my spellchecker and is “erstmals” correct?

I typed the following sentence in an E-Mail in Thunderbird: Muss man sich erstmal einloggen? The German spellchecker said "erstmal" is not a word and suggested that it be replaced with ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Is There More Than One German Word For “Free”?

The obvious translation is "frei." But that is the word related to "freedom, right? If I wanted to say "free of charge," I'd use another word, like kostenlos. Or would I? The question comes from ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Distinction “prüfen” vs. “überprüfen”

I just read a technical spec in which I found the following sentence: Weiterhin kann zum Überprüfen der geparsten Dateien ein XML-Schema verwendet werden. which translates into "An XML ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

In which situations would you use either “Toilette”, “Klo”, “WC” or “Bad”?

Inspired by this question on the English StackExchange sister site, I'm asking the following question. Which of the following synonyms is suitable for different situations (formal, colloquial, ...)? ...
17
votes
12answers
149k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

“ist” oder “sind” bei Aufzählungen

Üblicherweise verwendet man bei Aufzählungen den Plural. In konkreten Fällen kann sich das aber schon einmal komisch anhören. Beispiel: Folglich sind in Abbildung 1 ein Subsystem und in Abbildung ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

Can “sonst” Sometimes Be Used as a Substitute for “oder”?

My understanding is that "oder" means "or," and "sonst" means "otherwise," or "or else." The context is another verse of the poem I presented a couple days ago. Both the English and German text are ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Differences between “obwohl” and “obgleich” and when to use them?

Subordinating conjunctions always seem to raise the most questions for me, specifically in the differences between obwohl and obgleich. The text I am using in my studies states that they both mean ...
0
votes
1answer
221 views

Which is a Better German Translation of “Will”?

Is it "Wunsch", "Wille" or something else? The context is an original poem. Both the English and German text are mine. Wo ist sie, die eine (or jemand)? Die so "schön, und starke sei. ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Philosophie des Geistes - Sprachphilosophie - common rules to merge substantives

Are there rules or is it just a relict of history and convention if substantives are merged? "Philosophie des Geistes" is a distinct discipline and so a proper name. But then there is also ...
3
votes
1answer
418 views

Wie sagt man “Make Someone Happy” auf Deutsch?

Would it be "lass eine glücklich, or "mach eine glücklich? Or some third phrase? This comes from another of my translations of the popular American song Make Someone Happy. A more complete ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between “ist um die Ecke” and “liegt um die Ecke”

I've found a local German tutor who is fluent in German (she's American but lived in Germany for years and teaches German). We were going over some "quickies". One example she gave was: Das Hotel ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

Is There Another Way to (Poetically) Say “Sie ist schön?”

In one of my translations, I used: "[Deine Mutter] hat Schönheit. The original is a line in Gershwin's Summertime. My translation was: Sommerzeit, und das Leben ist leicht. Fische beissen, wenn ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

“telefonieren” vs. “anrufen”

I've read something about the difference between "telefonieren" and "anrufen". But is it correct to use "telefonieren" like "anrufen"? For example: Ich rufe dich an. *Ich telefoniere dich. ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Wird das Wort “Werktätige” heutzutage noch verwendet? Was sind alternative Begriffe?

Der Begriff „Werktätige“ bezeichnet wohl Menschen, die ein Einkommen aus nicht selbstständiger Arbeit beziehen. Wie verbreitet ist dieser Begriff und (wo) wird er heute noch benutzt? Wie bezeichnet ...
7
votes
1answer
556 views

Which words or phrases should non-native speakers avoid to prevent unintentional offense?

When I studied German in the early 90s, we were taught that an unmarried woman is a Fräulein, but I recently learned that Fräulein is offensive. We aren't all ugly Americans, and I don't want to fall ...