4
votes
1answer
1k views

When do suffixes “-able” or “-ible” translate with “-bar” vs. “-lich”?

We can not simply translate the suffixes "-able" or "-ible" with "-bar" as there seem to be many examples where "-lich" is used instead. avoidable - vermeidbar vulnerable - verwundbar bootable ...
47
votes
17answers
79k views

What's the difference between “Ich habe dich Lieb” and “Ich liebe dich”?

What's the difference between "Ich habe dich lieb" and "Ich liebe dich"? Both are defined as "I love you" in many dictionaries, as I've checked.
10
votes
2answers
508 views

What is the meaning of “Affenzirkus”?

I heard someone shout: "Diesen Affenzirkus hier mache ich nicht länger mit!" It seemed the person was very annoyed. What would be the meaning of "Affenzirkus" here? Is there a corresponding ...
21
votes
2answers
31k views

Kommt vor “dass” ein Komma, wenn es zusammen mit einem Verbindungswort steht?

Wenn ein Nebensatz durch ein "dass" eingeleitet wird, muss bekanntlich ein Komma notiert werden: Ich finde es gut, dass ich groß bin. Was aber ist wenn vor dem "dass" noch ein Verbindungswort ...
2
votes
1answer
564 views

What is the intention of the “Leere Flasche nicht verschliessen!” instruction? [closed]

I have some bottles of Hirschbraeu beer in 500ml brown bottles with swing tops like this. On the back label, along with information about the brewery and the beer, is the instruction "Leere Flasche ...
12
votes
4answers
563 views

Expression for someone with very broad and detailed knowledge

Are there any well-known German expressions for someone who is very board and detailed in knowledge? for example: He is a human database
8
votes
1answer
462 views

Was mache ich mit den Satzzeichen in einer Frage, in der am Ende ein Zitat steht?

Beipielsatz: Wie übersetze ich den Satz "Gras ist grün."? Sind die Satzzeichen so richtig? Soll das Zitat mit einem Punkt enden? Gehört das Fragezeichen innerhalb oder außerhalb der ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What's a good translation for “awkward” in the context of “awkward person” or “awkward situation”?

There doesn't really seem to be a German word with the exact same meanings and connotations as the English word "awkward". How would you translate it in a sentence like "He's an awkward person" or ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “sinnfrei” und “sinnlos”?

Der Duden definiert "sinnfrei" als "völlig ohne Sinn" und "sinnlos" als "ohne Vernunft, ohne erkennbaren Sinn". Was ist der Unterschied zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern?
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Did German borrow any words from Old Prussian?

Considering the huge influence Prussia had for a time over Germany, did many words from the Old Prussian language get borrowed into German? (Sorry I didn't originally include the word "Old" as I ...
5
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the origin & possible meanings of the ver- prefix?

There is not really an english counterpart to the often used german prefix "ver-", IMO. It has many functions (verbification) & meanings (e.g. verstärken vs. verschollen). Often it doesn't seem to ...
7
votes
2answers
415 views

What defines the use of the “in-/un-” prefix for building the inversion?

inexakt, but ungenau. Is this pure convention or are there any rules of thumb what prefix to choose when building an inversion of an adjective (for example pronunciation)?
10
votes
4answers
287 views

Plural or Singular

Für das Verfahren wird kein Antrag und keine Genehmigung benutzt. Es handelt sich um zwei Dinge, die nicht benutzt werden. Sollte hier "wird" benutzt werden oder ist "werden" erforderlich? Das ...
7
votes
1answer
374 views

Erikativ, Inflektiv (*fragend schau*)

Der Inflektiv bzw. Erikativ ist eine besonders von Erika Fuchs verwendete Übersetzung für die englischen Phrasen in Comics wie seufz, gähn, mit den Füßen aufstampf, ganz lieb sei. In Foren und Chat ...
7
votes
3answers
300 views

“an immer” in the sentence

There is the following sentence: Simon betont, dass der große Fehler der sowjetischen Propaganda war, "dass sie sich von Anfang an immer mit dem Westen verglichen hat". Question is, why before ...
12
votes
5answers
648 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
495 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
415 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
338 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
931 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
228 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
588 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
435 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
406 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
2k views

“Siebte” or “Siebente”?

I saw both "siebente" and "siebte" for 7th, does it have two versions? If so, what's the difference?
6
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
174 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
547 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
307 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
115 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
257 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
3k 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
302 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
326 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
688 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
203 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
931 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
303 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
197 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
282 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
368 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
25k 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
210 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
450 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
466 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
351 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 ...

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