I came across the word Verkehr. In dictionaries I only found the translation of the word to mean traffic or transportation. However, it seems that in the context, the word means much more.

I read the word in a book by Karl Marx. In the works of Karl Marx in English the word is often translated by exchange. What can the word Verkehr mean in other contexts in German?

  • Thank you for changes. Yes, you are correct. I mean it: What can the word Verkehr mean in other contexts in German? Apr 30, 2015 at 21:21
  • "Verkehr" in the sense of "trade" is not a primary meaning. It was originally a compound "Warenverkehr" or "Güterverkehr", which then became common enough to be clipped back to "Verkehr". May 1, 2015 at 8:27

2 Answers 2


Verkehr = traffic

Um ungefähr 17 Uhr ist der Verkehr auf den Straßen sehr stark.
At about 5 pm the traffic on the road is very heavy.

Verkehr = communication

Ich stehe in ständigem E-Mail-Verkehr mit dem Chef.
I am in a constant e-mail communication with the boss.

Verkehr = circulation

Niemand weiß genau, vielen Falschgeld derzeit im Verkehr ist.
Nobody knows exactly, how many counterfeit money is in circulation now.

Verkehr = intercourse

Wenn ein Mann und eine Frau Verkehr haben, kann die Frau schwanger werden.
When a man and a woman have intercourse, the woman can get pregnant.

Verkehr = contact

Beim Verkehr mit Menschen aus anderen Kulturen kann es zu Missverständnissen kommen.
At the contact with people from other cultures there can be missunderstandings.

This list is not complete. Verkehr has many more meanings, but they all are very similar to those in this list. You can also use it as a verb as verkehren.


Yes. It can mean traffic or transport, but also association, communication, dealings (in a commercial sense) or intercourse (in all meanings of the term).

  • And interaction.
    – Burki
    May 4, 2015 at 14:14

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