9

I’m translating a website into German, even though I don’t know German. Anyway.

In English websites you often find the word about in the navigation section, or similarly in other applications; meaning about this site or about this application.

What would be a good German word for this usage?

The words I have looked up as candidates are: um and über. In Norwegian we would use something similar to um: om. Would that be the correct choice in German, too?

  • Hi and welcome to German Language Stack Exchange. Unfortunately, we are not a translation service. If you have checked dictionaries for possible phrasings and have an idea which one would be better or worse, we are glad to help you but we do not translate for you. In its current form, this question will get closed. – Jan Oct 20 '15 at 14:01
  • Is it a private website or a company's website? For a company's website you should get a translator or ask the company for translations. There are multiple phrases for your question. Maybe just check some German websites and check out the phrases used. I am sure you can then Google those phrases to get an idea. – user18712 Oct 20 '15 at 14:09
  • Thanks for good advice. It's a small company with no budget for translation. But we'll get by ;) – Håvard Geithus Oct 20 '15 at 16:16
  • German question about an alternative to the common translation: Alternative für den Ausdruck “über mich” – unor Mar 30 '16 at 1:28
21

You shouldn’t use Über by itself and probably not at all. In my opinion it’s an anglicism and sounds weird in German. Whenever I read this I always think that it was either translated literally from English by someone who doesn’t speak proper German or some hipster who wants his website to sound American and “cool” intentionally.

In my opinion you have three choices:

  1. Use Über with an object. Über diese Webseite is OK. But are you really talking about the website itself and not actually about something the website was made for? For pages where you say something about a product, company or team use Über unser(e) Produkt(e), Über unsere Firma or Über unser Team respectively.

  2. Better just use the noun describing what you are giving information about. Just name the page Unser Produkt, Unsere Firma, Unser Team or simply Produkt, Firma, Team.

  3. Use Impressum if the page contains formal information like contact address, phone number, the person responsible for the website and legal information. This is where most Germans would expect such content since an Impressum is mandatory for every German website subject to German laws and has to contain that type of information.

(German is my first language)

  • 2
    It actually does make perfect sense to just specify what the "about" is referring to. I guess I'm so used to seeing the word "About" all alone by itself on a web page footer, that I forgot to question it. Vielen dank @problemofficer. – Håvard Geithus Oct 20 '15 at 21:00
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    Well, when "About" is alone, it means "About us/this" in general, so any kind of meta-information, and I wouldn't replace it by "us" or "this". Just the typically German usage (as in "Über unser Produkt") is IM-andalsoyour-O questionable. Can't remember where I had seen "Über" alone, not sure how I feel about that... but it is as logical or useful as a generic "About" is. – Leif Willerts Oct 21 '15 at 12:01
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    „Über uns“ would be the shortest possible form. – Holger Oct 22 '15 at 8:22
11

About in German is über.

About this site would be über diese Seite.

  • 3
    @Em1: I haven’t voted, but Seite for site (which may comprise lots of pages) is questionable, although I know it is sometimes used that way. – chirlu Oct 20 '15 at 18:16
  • @chirlu, "über diese Seite" is unfortunately quite common, despite being wrong. It's simply one of the false friends that keep copied over and over. – Ghanima Oct 20 '15 at 19:46
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    So what IS the German word for website? I have only an old dictionary that doesn't sport the word "website" yet. And Google Translate only offers "Webseite" with no alternatives. – Mr Lister Oct 21 '15 at 8:26
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    Note that LEO is not really authoritative on any language. Being German, having studied and worked in Web-related areas, I have certainly never come across "Netzplatz", and "Webangebot" might have appeared occasionally, but I can not imagine it without reference to or implication of a commercial or public entity behind the site - whose site is an "offer"/"Angebot" of them (possibly amongst other things). People say "Webseite" or even just "Seite" referring to even whole domains all the time, of course the false friend "Seite"/"site" doesn't help in this regard. – Leif Willerts Oct 21 '15 at 12:00
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    @MrLister Another common German term for website is "Homepage". Like "Webseite", it's wrong from a technical point of view, but this doesn't keep people from using it. A nice but non-colloquial alternative is "Internetauftritt" or "Webauftritt". "Auftritt" is more general than "Angebot" and similar to "Präsenz". Personally, I mostly use "Website" without translation. – nwellnhof Oct 21 '15 at 22:13
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Of course it depends on the exact context. In many contexts in software localisation, about is translated, literally, into about us or into about [product/company]. (This is true for many other languages too, like Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Armenian, etc. However into Spanish it’s also often Información.)

Go to https://www.facebook.com/ and https://www.google.co.uk/?hl=en (in an incognito window), then switch languages while watching the About link in the footer. https://airbnb.de/about has one menu with Über and one with Über uns (About us), but the the former strikes me as a compromise in order to preserve menu aesthetics.

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Zwar stimme ich Problemofficer zu, dass über seltsam klingt, ohne Zusatz um was, aber ich sehe nicht, dass dies im Englischen anders wäre. Der Kürze wegen hat sich wohl beides eingebürgert, und inzwischen ist beides gängig und wird auch verstanden, wohl zu spät sich eine harmonischere Lösung auszudenken.

Könnte man die Zeit zurückdrehen würde ich für Hintergrund votieren.

0

I have seen the German "Infos" used in that context, as in "Informationen" (German for several pieces of "information").

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