4

I am a non-German-speaking programmer writing software that interfaces with a database that uses German field names. There are a number of these fields that are prefixed with KZ_.

The only translation I can find when I look it up is Konzentrationslager, but given the context, this doesn't make sense.

Here is a subset of fields containing KZ if it helps:

BEST_KZ
DRUCK_KZ
FAKT_KZ1
FI_KZ_STEUER
HAUPT_KZ
KANTEN_KZ
KZ_BESTELL
KZ_BESTELLUNG
KZ_EK_GESAMT
KZ_GESPERRT
KZ_IGNORE
KZ_KOSTENLOS
KZ_MAHNSPERRE
KZ_MASSEINH
KZ_MODELL
KZ_PARTNERVERTRIEB
KZ_SPRACH
KZ_STEUERFLAG
POS_KZ
TEXT_KZ
TRANSFER_KZ
WIEDERVORLAGE_KZ
ZAHL_FB_KZ
  • 1
    Did you ask the people who wrote the code? – Robert Oct 9 '14 at 22:29
12

I would actually rather translate it to Kennziffer which would mean indicator or index number in English. Especially with the examples you mentioned, Kennzeichen doesn't make any sense to me – even though the actual meanings are pretty close.

So BEST_KZ for example would probably stand for "Bestell-Kennziffer" and would then be a running number identifying a single order.

If those fields you listed were named in English I would expect them to have an _ID added – like ORDER_ID for BEST_KZ, for example.

See also http://www.dict.cc/?s=kennziffer

Update: Just to give an impression of some "Kennziffern" in their bureaucratic habitat:

a) some job descriptions at University of the Arts in Berlin:

  • "Fakultät Gestaltung | Fakultätsverwaltung | Kennziffer 2/1441/14 "
  • "Zentrale Universitätsverwaltung | Referat für Studienangelegenheiten | Kennziffer 1440/14"

b) a form that enables you to ask for a "Kennziffer" ("Antrag auf Erteilung/Änderung einer Kennziffer für Antragsteller") at justiz.bayern.de – here's the PDF (check page 2!)

…but of course it could also mean "Kennzahl" or "Kennzeichen" or "Kurzzeichen" or whatever the engineer/programmer had in mind. The meaning in each of these is very similar –– however being a German part-time programmer myself I have to point out that I actually find the short form "_KZ" quite disturbing and personally would never ever use it – but instead always stick to "_ID".

  • Eine Ziffer ist ein (einzelnes!) Zeichen aus der Menge {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}. Es gibt also genau zehn verschiedene Ziffern. Daher kann ein Feld, dass korrekterweise als »Kennziffer« bezeichnet werden darf, nur einen dieser zehn verschiedenen Werte annehmen. Wenn ein Feld länger als 1 Byte ist oder andere Zeichen als diese zehn Ziffern enthalten darf, dann ist »Kennziffer« eine unzulässige Bezeichnung. »Kennzeichen« ist passender. – Hubert Schölnast Oct 10 '14 at 17:07
  • 1
    @HubertSchölnast I think you are underestimating the liberties bureaucrats take with language. Google "Kennziffer" and (past the dictionary results) you will find that, for example in Gerichtsdeutsch, a Kennziffer can have arbitrary many, erm, Ziffern. – arne.b Oct 10 '14 at 18:04
  • 2
    @HubertSchölnast Wenn man es etymologisch auf die Spitze treibt, stammt Ziffer von cifra und das bezeichnet ausschließlich die Null :) – Hagen von Eitzen Oct 10 '14 at 21:30
  • @HagenvonEitzen: eigentlich von صفر ṣifr (Null) – Walter Tross Oct 11 '14 at 13:26
  • Statt Kenziffer kann genauso gut Kennzshl gelten. Aber darüber sollte die Programmbeschreibung Auskunft geben. – harper Oct 11 '14 at 15:25
7

In a programming context, this most likely stands for Kennzeichen, which translates to flag, feature, or characteristic.

  • While Kennzeichen technically means all these things, it makes less sense than Kennziffer in most fields given above. I also think the word is most often used to mean (car) number plate (also KFZ-Kennzeichen). – arne.b Oct 10 '14 at 18:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.