12
votes
5answers
614 views

“Duzen” or “Siezen”, when addressing two or more people

When talking to a mother (whom you would siezen) and her child which one would you use? Waren Sie beide in der Stadt? or Wart Ihr beide in der Stadt? Or is it uncommon to address several ...
10
votes
7answers
482 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What Are Ways to Say “Out of Date” In German?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 ...
13
votes
3answers
363 views

What is the meaning of the dative in this sentence: “Dem Tod die Toten.”

I came across the sentence "Dem Tod die Toten" in a book I'm reading ("Der Schwarm" by Frank Schätzing) and I can not understand it. It seems like this use of the dative implies a meaning which in ...
5
votes
1answer
322 views

How is the cliched plot device of 'not realising a Dr. is female' interpreted in German, where it would be obvious?

In English the title "Doctor" is the same whether or not the person is male/female, but in German there are two different words for this.
7
votes
2answers
791 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
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is something “kaputt” just broken or completely ruined?

Kaputt according to Duden: entzwei; defekt; nicht mehr funktionierend Which of these items are "kaputt" in this sense? a glass jar broken in half a glass jar with a crack that leaks water but ...
12
votes
5answers
573 views

How does “used” translate - “benutzt” or “benützt”?

Duden and other resources list both "benutzt", and "benützt" as valid but indicate that "benützt" is used regionally in Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany. Are translations for Germany ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Wann wird “Telegrammstil” heute noch benutzt?

"Telegrammstil" ist eine aus Platzgründen eingeführte grammatikalische Verknappung in Telegrammen. Heute gibt es aber keine Telegramme mehr; dennoch ist der Telegrammstil weit verbreitet. "Bin ...
12
votes
2answers
413 views

Genitiv von “Hof von König Karl dem Vierten”

Was ist der korrekte Genitiv von: Ich lebe auf dem Hof von König Karl dem Vierten. Meine Idee gefällt mir irgendwie nicht wirklich: Ich lebe auf dem Hof des König Karl dem Vierten.
5
votes
3answers
389 views

How to translate “knowledge” as in “general understanding or familiarity” in this case?

Which translation of "knowledge" would fit into the following sentence? They have the resources, but do they have the knowledge? I'm looking for a literal translation, not an idiom or ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Siebte” or “Siebente”?

I saw both "siebente" and "siebte" for 7th, does it have two versions? If so, what's the difference?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Wie fragt man “Wie wäre es mit … 1 Uhr”?

Wie kann man eine Zeitangabe mit dem Ausdruck "wie wäre es mit" vorschlagen? "Wie wäre es mit um 1 Uhr?" -- zwei Präpositionen klingt seltsam an. "Wie wäre es mit 1 Uhr?" -- man riskiert die Antwort ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Can “anscheinend” mean “apparently” in the surprised sense?

Besides stating something obvious, "apparently" can be used to indicate surprise: I just got my essay back. Apparently "diphthong" is spelt with "th". Could it be translated with "anscheinend" ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How to write ordinal numbers in German?

How do Germans write Ordinal numbers as in English? 1st, 2nd, 3rd ...
10
votes
5answers
518 views

Why is the title “Friseuse” considered as inappropriate?

I learned that I should not entitle a female hairdresser "Friseuse" as this may be considered as rude. Duden lists "Friseuse" as both, colloquial and antiquated, and recommends the usage of the ...
7
votes
1answer
292 views

Why is “wieviele” not recognized as a word in my spell checker?

When I write the word "wieviele" in my German spell checker (Thunderbird), it tells me it is an error: Although a quick search at linguee.de tells me that it is an often-used word.
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?
4
votes
3answers
246 views

How much is “eine gewisse”?

I sometimes hear sentences like: Er bezahlte eine gewisse Summe, um [...] Nach einer gewissen Zeit wurde ihm klar, [...] Eine gewisse Menge Lösung wird benötigt, um [...] Now this "gewisse" ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the simplest yet most exhaustive reference guide for German adjective/noun endings?

When I write German, I rarely have a confident feeling whether to put an "n" or "r" at the end the adjectives and/or the noun, e.g.: Dieses Wochenende wird auf allen Ihren Rechnern(?) Windows 7 ...
9
votes
1answer
290 views

Umgekehrte Wortstellung und der Genitiv, z. B: »des Wanderers Schritte« statt »die Schritte des Wanderers«

In Bücher habe ich ab und zu die im Titel erwähnte Genitivform gelesen und ich habe den Eindruck, dass sie entweder veraltet ist oder nur in poetischer Sprache oder festen Ausdrücken benutzt wird. ...
10
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
667 views

How to give this kind of sentence more of a German sentence structure?

I often find myself writing sentences like this (a real example) which obviously make sense to my German readers but are obviously written by someone who thinks in an English sentence structure: ...
9
votes
4answers
200 views

Stiefväterlich behandeln?

Ein Kind, das man aufzieht, ohne daß es das eigene wäre, heißt Stiefsohn/Stieftochter. Der Elternteil heißt Stiefvater/Stiefmutter. Wenn ein Mensch für etwas weniger Aufmerksamkeit aufbringt als für ...
13
votes
3answers
877 views

Why is “kennenlernen” written as compound word?

According to Duden online the suggested spelling of of the verb is kennenlernen. Why is it written as composite and not as separate words like every other combination of verbs with lernen? lesen ...
11
votes
2answers
283 views

“Befreyung”: Was there an ey→ei spelling reform?

I recently saw a monument with the following text: AUCH SIE STARBEN FÜR DES VATERLANDES BEFREYUNG The spelling of "Befreiung" piqued my interest. Has there been a spelling reform changing more ...
8
votes
5answers
192 views

Is there a non-regional German expression for the Swabian term “Gschmäckle”?

Is this term only well-known in Southern Germany or also in the deep North? Is there short alternatives for modern High German? Does anyone know a similar English short expression?
5
votes
4answers
268 views

Is there a difference in colloquial/juristic use of “Jugendlicher/Teenager/Schulkind” in German?

Germany has a political scandal currently. A 40 year old politician had a sexual relationship with a 16 year old girl/woman. Jugendlicher, Teenager, Schulkind are afaik common terms in Germany with a ...
5
votes
2answers
341 views

What does “Achter” in “Achterbahn” mean?

The "Achter" in "Achterbahn" could mean "behind", "figure of eight", "eight place" or "wisdom teeth". According to the Wiktionary article "Achterbahn", Der Name stammt von der ursprünglich oft ...
18
votes
1answer
22k views

Der, die oder das Email?

Is there an official rule on whether it's die Email or das Email? I've heard people use both, although more commonly the female form.
6
votes
3answers
202 views

What is the best translation for “survival” and “overall survival” in a medical text?

How would you translate the terms "survival" and "overall survival" as used in an academic/medical text, for example in the sentence "The new drug improved overall survival for ovarian cancer patients ...
9
votes
3answers
424 views

Etymology of “Pech”

Where does the word "Pech" originate, and does it have another meaning? Also, I'd like to know what's the antonym of "Pechvogel"? "lokvogel"?
8
votes
2answers
436 views

Book Title Capitalization

At my work we are working on some software involving the capitalization of book titles. Under pronouns it is set to not capitalize, yet "Sie" is always capitalized. I thought pronouns were not ...
12
votes
2answers
335 views

Pluralbildung von Musketier und Rentier

Wie kommt es, dass Musketier ausgesprochen und gesteigert wird (Musketiere), als würde es sich tatsächlich um ein Tier handeln, während Rentier (Person, die von regelmäßigen Zahlungen aus in ...
15
votes
3answers
836 views

What is the meaning of “Das war das Wort zum Sonntag”?

When do Germans say it? What is its origin?
1
vote
0answers
137 views

Are there Ger-Eng dictionaries not based on machine translation? [closed]

I searched for an english term for Durchhalteparole. 4 different online dictionaries (leo, dict.cc,...) - 4 different results appeal to hold out,rallying call,exhortation to go on,call for ...
5
votes
4answers
271 views

What is the German Word For “Mortgagee?”

The word I'm inclined to use is "Hypothekar," which refers to a lender of a property. But a German teacher preferred "Gläubiger" which, I believe, refers to a "general" creditor. Which of these (or a ...
13
votes
5answers
7k views

Is 30-60 minutes per day enough to get fluent in eight months?

I will be spending May - Sept 2012 in Germany and want to be fluent in speaking and proficient in reading / writing by May 2012. I have started the journey to learning German I am currently using ...
11
votes
1answer
236 views

Are “Schmankerln” always Bavarian?

Is a "Schmankerl" a regional specialty, or does it refer to delicatesses anywhere although the word is used in Bavaria and Austria? Duden and Wiktionary give the meanings "besonderer Leckerbissen" ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

Is there a difference between “Schuld haben” and “schuld sein”?

There are two expression which a very similar in German Schuld haben and schuld sein Is there a difference in meaning, maybe a subtle one? Why is the first "Schuld" capitalized and the ...
10
votes
5answers
610 views

What are some techniques to get me up to speed with German Grammar?

What are some techniques to get me up to speed with German grammar and sentence structure? I am not great with the "official" terms of parts of sentences. (For example, "infinitive" and ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the best format to use when writing out dates?

What format of date is appropriate for different contexts (business, personal) in written German, nowadays? Is it the same as in English?
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How precise is “gegen 8 Uhr”?

I often hear "dann treffen wir uns gegen 8 Uhr irgendwo". How precise is this? Is it ±5 min or ±10 min or does it depend on the situation? Are there other words which means "approximately at eight", ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

Is “to make one sigh” properly translated as “seufzen machen” or as “machen seufzen?”

This comes from another one of my poems. Both the English and German texts are mine: Yes she was a girl who could make men sigh, For she was the girl (called) the Lorelei. And she was someone ...
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, ...)? ...
9
votes
2answers
239 views

Verändern der Wort-Reihenfolge um eine Überschrift (Kurzbeschreibung, etc.) verständlicher zu machen?

Wenn wir in unserem Issue-Tracking-System neue Punkte einstellen, kommt es manchmal vor, dass durch Veränderung der Wort-Reihenfolge die Aussage klarer wird, der "Satz" dann aber irgendwie holprig ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

“Warum/darum”, “Weshalb/deshalb”, “weswegen/deswegen”, is there a difference in usage or meaning?

We may use "warum", "weshalb" or "weswegen" in seemingly the same way in questions as we can use "deshalb" or "deswegen" in answers. Warum stellst Du diese Frage? Weshalb stellst Du diese Frage? ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Does the order of a subordinate clause change meaning?

When building a subordinate clauses we can put them at the end of a sentence, or at the beginning: Er lernt fleißig Deutsch, damit er sein Examen besteht. Damit er sein Examen besteht, lernt er ...
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 ...

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