6
votes
1answer
363 views

Articles for compound words

I was wondering, in compound words or "complex" ones, let's say, do the article matches with its last word? For example, "Kontrollakt". It's made of Kontrolle + Akt, the former being "die", and the ...
9
votes
5answers
479 views

What's the difference between “das Domizil” and “der Wohnsitz”?

What is the difference between these two terms? In what contexts are they used? Also, which one best fits with "gewählt- ~"? Dictionaries were not helpful enough this time. Edit: I wanted to ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Woher kommt die Redensart “eine Sau durchs Dorf treiben”?

Die Redensart und ihre Bedeutung sind mir an sich schon lange bekannt und glaubte bisher auch, die Herkunft sei relativ klar - ein Exemplar der Unterart Sus scrofa domestica wird zum Spaß, oder um es ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

Seit wann ist ein “Wurm” nur noch ein Wurm und kein anderes Insekt?

Heutzutage versteht man unter einem Wurm ein bein- und wirbelloses Kriechtier wie auf folgendem Bild: Bild eines Regenwurms Wikimedia Das war aber möglicherweise nicht immer so. So nennt man im ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How do Germans call someone from the United States?

If "the united states" is translated to "Vereinigten Staaten" then how do you call people from there? I have always heard "Amerikaner" but that one refers to the whole continent.
5
votes
1answer
231 views

Explaining case and usage of “Richtung”

Just curious. How would you explain to someone the proper use and appropriate case of Richtung as a directional indicator, in simple terms? whether showing movement or simple location or direction ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best resource to find, e.g. the plural form of nouns such as “der Automatismus”?

I use LEO for looking up German words, but it often does not have the plural form of nouns, so for that I use Biolingus, but in the case of the noun "Automatismus", even Biolingus doesn't inform me ...
6
votes
2answers
342 views

What typographical rules are applied when creating the “Esszett” in a new font?

When creating a new font we also need to take care of special German characters. As it is fairly easy to create an Umlaut there are several variations on how to create an Esszett. Below there are only ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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.
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Are sentences with and without “dass” equally common? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sind „Ich denke, dass [Nebensatz]“ und „Ich denke, [Hauptsatz]“ auswechselbar? Are these two sentences used equally in informal conversation, or is one form preferred ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

Is “Erkennungsausweis” an actual word in German?

I found this word when ordering some lists with legal content (PDFs with translations from Italian to German), and failed to find it in my paper dictionary, so I tried the Duden online, but no results ...
7
votes
4answers
563 views

Welchen Ursprung hat das Wort “Pustekuchen”?

Laut Wikipedia gibt es zwei Erklärungsversuche für Pustekuchen: Es stammt aus einer abgewandelten Form des jiddischen Ausdrucks: Ja cochem, aber nicht lamdon ("Zwar gerissen, aber kein Gelehrter" ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Welche Schreibweise ist korrekt “Es schneite in rauen Mengen” oder “Es schneite in rauhen Mengen”

Duden-Online verrät, dass beim Wort "rauh" die Rechtschreibreform zugeschlagen hat und es jetzt "rau" heißt. Anderseits hat man der Form aufrauhen ihr "h" gelassen. Woxikon nennt Korrekte ...
3
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
288 views

Laich vs. Leiche

Gibt es eine Verbindung zwischen diesen Begriffen? Wie kommt es, dass so gegensätzliche Dinge so ähnliche Namen haben (Laich ist der Beginn des Lebens von beispielsweise Fröschen, wobei eine Leiche ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Yiddish a dialect of German?

I would call it a dialect of German, and I wonder if people would agree with that characterization? I am posting a link to my musical translation of the epic Yiddish poetic ballad "Monisch" so people ...
5
votes
2answers
73 views

Spittings, shellings, etc

One quaint usage we have in Yiddish is the suffix -echts which converts a verb to a noun. It is usually used with unsavory items like saliva (speiechts) or a pile of sunflower seed shells ...
5
votes
3answers
205 views

Are these two terms interchangeable?

While going through some legal terms from Italian to German, I found these two: istigazione = Anstiftung. istigazione a delinquere = Aufforderung zur Begehung einer strafbaren Handlung. ...
10
votes
1answer
283 views

“Bäckt” or “backt”?

In Dreyer/Schmitt, "bäckt" is given as the main third person form of "backen". Since I never used this and have not heard it often in my area (northern germany), I was very surprised about this and ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Woher kommt die Redewendung “Weiß der Geier”?

Wieso Geier? Soviel ich weiß, es gibt keine Geier in Deutschland. Kommt die Redewendung aus Literatur oder der Volkskunde?
7
votes
4answers
308 views

Is there a difference between “Leiche”, “Leichnam”, “Toter”, or “Verstorbener”

There are different German nouns for a corpse. Most used are die Leiche der Leichnam der/die Tote der/die Verstorbene A Google Ngram shows a trend towards "Tote" being increasingly used over ...
14
votes
5answers
918 views

“null” (zero) vs. “NULL”

How do German software developers tell the difference between a result of zero and NULL? They both translate to the same word..."null". Obviously you can see the difference on the screen. But what ...
-1
votes
4answers
335 views

How would these two sentences be translated into German? [closed]

Can anyone help me translate these lines into German? "Get 2 free Lufthansa tickets to fly anywhere in the world (limited time only)." "Lufthansa is giving away 2 free tickets to all Facebook ...
4
votes
2answers
932 views

Der Nacht oder die Nacht?

Rammstein sings "Sie kommen zu euch in der Nacht" in "Mein herz brennt" song, but to my knowledge "Nacht" is of female gender and it's supposed to be "die Nacht". So what am I missing? And also ...
9
votes
5answers
495 views

Is there anything like a dime?

In the U.S. there is the well established formal label "dime" for a 10 cent coin. Now that the currency in Germany is also denoted in cents I am wondering if we had anything similar for this 10 cent ...
4
votes
2answers
615 views

Do all nouns from verbs nominalized by the suffix “-ung” have a female gender?

By suffixing verbs with "-ung" we can build nouns, e.g.: prüfen - Prüfung meinen - Meinung richten - Richtung All those nouns seem to have a female gender. Is that always true or do we have ...
14
votes
2answers
469 views

Why is “blauäugig” used with a negative connotation?

Still today the cliche of a German is being tall, blond and blue-eyed. Surprisingly the expression "blauäugig" is most often used with an obvious negative connotation: Professor Otmar Issing, der ...
9
votes
2answers
248 views

Why “herzlich” in “herzlich wenig”?

Sometimes we hear the following expression in various contexts: Diese Antwort hat aber herzlich wenig mit meiner Frage zu tun. Erwin hat herzlich wenig zum Erfolg unseres Projekts beigetragen. ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

How do I say something is the superlative of a group in German?

What is the correct German way for the English construction involving identifying the superlative in a group? For instance Lake Michigan is the largest of the Great Lakes? or It was the ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Changing the spelling of English words in German (Kop)

Yesterday I saw a headline in a German newspaper using the word 'Kop' and yes, they were writing about policemen. Okay, I don't read much in German but I have not seen the usage of the word 'cop' ...
5
votes
3answers
380 views

Was bedeutet “unfertsch”? Ist es Umgangssprache?

A friend described her university studies to me as "[major] unfertsch". I can't find this word in LEO or either of my dictionaries. I assume it means she didn't finish, because as far as I know, she ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Wie grüßt man in der Schweiz?

Wahrscheinlich kennen alle den Schweizer Gruß "Grüezi". Allerdings habe ich im Schweizerischen Idiotikon folgendes gelesen: "Gott Grüezi hört-me nümme gärn, Salü und Servus sind modärn" In der ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Woher kommt der Östereichische Begriff “Erlagschein”?

Ich habe gerade auf Wien Heute.at einen Bericht über einen falschen Schwarzkappler gefunden, der Schwarzfahrern die nicht bar bezahlten einen Erlagschein gegeben hatte. Beide Begriffe werden in ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Hochdeutsch only or also regionalisms?

When making a sales call, for example, should you: only speak standard Hochdeutsch with the customer no matter what, use that customer's regional language or dialect if you know it to "get on their ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

How to brush up my German?

I've studied German for almost three years when I was a teenager. I'm now out of practice. I just managed to keep up minimal functional reading skills by keeping reading books and visiting German ...
7
votes
2answers
514 views

Was ist ein Tröglein?

Im Märchen Das Tröglein baut der Sohn ein hölzernes Tröglein. Was ist das?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Schiffen gehen” — regionale Bedeutung?

Ich kenne den Ausdruck "schiffen gehen" nur im Zusammenhang mit Stuhlgang, höre ihn aber gelegentlich im Sinne von Wasserlassen. Laut google scheint die letztere Bedeutung verbreitet zu sein. Gibt es ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Richtige Verwendung von “offenbar”

Nach meinem Sprachgefühl ist ein Sachverhalt "offenbar", wenn er in irgendeinem Sinn offensichtlich erkennbar ist. In deutschen Zeitungen findet sich aber "offenbar" oft im Sinne von "scheinbar", ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

How do we pronounce “China”?

In German there is some confusion on how to pronounce the letters 'ch' in "China". I heard all of following variants: [ˈçiːnaː] - "ich" [ˈkçiːnaː] - "Bäckchen" [ˈkiːnaː] - "Kino" [ʃiːnaː] - ...
4
votes
3answers
356 views

Wie kam es zu der Wendung “jemand hängen lassen”?

Eine sehr gebräuchliche Redewendung ist "jemand hängen lassen" (to let someone down) Unser Lieferant hat uns wieder einmal hängen lassen. Woher kommt dieser Ausdruck?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

gegen etwas austauschen or durch etwas austauschen

I'm not sure which form is correct in the following sentence. Ich beschloss, in das Geschäft zurückzugehen und das Tuch gegen ein schöneres auszutauschen. Is the gegen correct or should it be ...
17
votes
2answers
769 views

Warum klingt “treffen uns um 8” richtig und “treffen uns um 20” falsch?

Zeitangaben, bei denen die Stunde größer als 12 ist, funktionieren nur mit angehängtem "Uhr": "Wir treffen uns um 23 Uhr." vs. "Wir treffen uns um 11." - "Morgens?" - "Nein, nachts!" Obwohl die ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I use “arbeiten an”?

In a company flyer I just came across this formulation in a paragraph on quality management: Wir arbeiten kontinuierlich an unseren Qualitätsdefiziten It is obvious that they meant something ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Gibt es Steigerungsformen für falsch und richtig?

Eigentlich war ich immer der Meinung, dass jedes Adjektiv über eine Steigerungsform verfügt. Auch wenn bei einigen der Wortstamm wechselt. gut, besser, am besten Gibt es auch Steigerungsformen ...
7
votes
6answers
178 views

Beschreibung extremer Langsamkeit

Gibt es noch andere Worte/Redewendungen als "im Schneckentempo", um extreme Langsamkeit auszudrücken?
10
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I answer a phone call?

When somebody calls me on the phone I need to say something when answering. In English (similar to other languages) it may be sufficient to just say "Hello" Is it accepted to just say "Hallo" ...
8
votes
1answer
159 views

What do I say on returning from a break in a telephone conversation?

When talking to people on the telephone there are situations when we need to interrupt the conversation to look something up or to ask someone near by. We can do this by saying: "Einen Moment, ...
5
votes
1answer
463 views

Was ist korrekte Schweizer Schriftsprache?

In seiner Antwort weist Lukas darauf hin, dass offenbar viele mundartliche Ausdrücke in der Schule als Fehler korrigiert werden. Wie definiert sich denn nun die korrekte Schriftsprache ?
7
votes
4answers
417 views

Translation of IT term “code folding”

I am translating the user interface of a text editor into German. This editor has "code folding" capabilities, i.e. fold (=hide) and unfold (=reveal) sections of code, usually defined by structural ...

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