Could someone please clarify for me the variations in German of the English word record (as a verb and as a noun)? I'll limit my question to the following examples.

Use a graphic organizer to record examples of... (write down, collect)

The oral history of the Mi'kmaq people records some information... (preserve)

He tried to create a visual record of Beothuk culture... (illustration)

Cartier recorded in his journal, that... (note, indicate, remark)

  • Side note: the third one doesn't fit in because it is a noun. The rest are verbs.
    – Emanuel
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:01
  • 1
    I can see how that could be confusing in formulating an explanation. I did post, however, "(as a verb and as a noun)." The one noun above particularly trips me up in translating.
    – Kanadier
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:04
  • Is a graphic organizer a diagram?
    – user6191
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 5:28
  • 1
    Apart: Take a look at a dictionary and you realize that there are hundreds of valid translations for this word. If you think you could find one translation for "record" in the sense of,e.g., "collect" and apply this translation to each use in that very sense, you'd be mistaken. So, what I'm saying, this is not a good approach. Not sure what your intention for asking this question was, but I doubt that this is really helpful in the long term.
    – Em1
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 7:24
  • Your comment Em1 actually helps to answer my question. As you well know there are many instances in both languages where words are connected through collocation, which is why learning the language is so hard. It seems in this case there are few, if any, such connections with the German version of "to record," which gives me more confidence in choosing a synonym that seems to fit. Thanks.
    – Kanadier
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


Possible options:

  • Ein Diagramm verwenden, um Beispiele von ... zu erfassen/zu dokumentieren.

    • Or: Etwas aufzeichnen.

    • When "collecting" things, "auflisten" could probably come in handy.

  • Die mündliche Überlieferung der Mi'kmaq hält fest, dass...

  • Er versuchte, eine visuelle Aufzeichnung der Beothuk-Kultur zu erstellen.

    • Or: Er versuchte, die Beothuk-Kultur bildlich darzustellen.
  • Cartier verzeichnete in seinem Journal, dass...

    • You can also use an object instead: Cartier verzeichnete einen Anstieg des CO2-Gehalts.

Note that (in general) the variations are not "reserved" for a specific context (see Hulk's comment).

  • (schriftlich) festhalten would also be an option for the last one (and the journal might be a diary, depending on context, then you would translate it as Tagebuch)
    – Hulk
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 6:04
  • Yes Tagebuch is the correct meaning here.
    – Kanadier
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 12:15
  • Er schrieb in sein Tagebuch, dass...
    – user6191
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 12:21


Looking at examples for graphic organizers, I would actually tend to say that "notieren" is the best choice. However, other options are possible too and which one depends on context.

  • notieren, (sich) aufschreiben, festhalten... focus on writing
  • sammeln, zusammentragen, auflisten... focus on the collection


Various versions are possible depending on what the focus and the sentence is

  • Die mündliche Überlieferung zeichnet das Bild eines Mannes...
  • Die m. Ü. bewahrt die Traditionen...
  • Die m. Ü. bestätigt die Existenz von ...

Besides, Oral History is a scientific technique that may include actual recording which would then be

  • aufnehmen


Again, several possibilities that depend on context

  • Er versuchte eine bildliche Darstellung der Kultur...
  • Er versuchte, die Kultur der ... bildlich einzufangen...


There are many more or less synonymous verbs

  • Er notierte/vermerkte/verzeichnete/schrieb.. those have a focus on the actual writing

  • Er merkte an/stellte fest... is about the abstract noting/remarking

"Record" is kind of a catch all verb and if you are looking for a suitable translation you should just find a synonym that fits your context and then check out that.

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