I know that German borrows a lot of words from English, but German equivalents are often used, too. Example of such pair of words is downloaden and herunterladen.

I wanted to ask whether there is a German word for to twitter/to tweet (in the sense of posting on Twitter).

I known that the word twittern is used. But I believe I have heard the word zwitschern on TV. I have also searched internet for occasions where this word was used. It seemed to me, it was used in this meaning. (Although, as I was told in chat, some of my finds used zwitschern in completely different meaning. And probably sometimes this word can be used as some kind of wordplay, which a non-native speaker can easily miss.) I will list below some examples I was able to find.

So my question is:

Which words (apart from twittern) are used as a verb describing posting on twitter?

Some examples with the word zwitschern that I was able to find:

  • 8
    In case you're unaware, zwitschern is just the literal translation of to tweet -- ie birds' chirps. (twitter in this context is Gezwitscher) I'd agree with previous answers that in the context of the messaging service as in the examples you quoted, zwitschern and Gezwitscher are almost exclusively used playfully if not ironically. As for other meanings, in many German dialects, zwitschern can also mean consuming an alcoholic beverage. German Wiktionary has some more information: de.wiktionary.org/wiki/zwitschern Jun 1, 2015 at 20:44
  • 3
    @BernhardReiter: I didn't know the alcoholic meaning, but there isyet another one: In the language ofcomic book/movie gangsters, "zwitschern" refers to releasing confidential information, e.g. under torture. Jun 2, 2015 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


There are in principle two words that you can use without any hidden irony (that zwitschern would include for free) namely:



The first one would be the more commonly used one, whose meaning is not restricted to writing a post on Twitter but also generally includes being active on twitter.

The second is rather close to actually posting a tweet. And note that it is only retweeten, never retwittern, if you choose to repost what another Twitter user has posted.


Unsurprisingly enough, the word is really the same, with an additional -n to show it's a proper German verb:


Even if you already knew as much, there's really no alternative. Zwitschern (lit. to tweet, the way birds do) is rarely used, and never unironically.

  • 1
    "einen zwitschern" is already occupied for "having a shot (drink)". Better not used.
    – tofro
    Jul 3, 2017 at 12:27

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