I am trying to grasp the difference between these two words. Here are the Duden entries for "Anklage" and "Beschwerde". Both words mean something like "a complaint" but the examples do not help to understand the difference. First link in google appears to be a legal forum, I cannot understand the discussion there either.

Could you please provide examlpes that help understand the difference between these words?

  • 2
    there are other usages but most of the time "jemanden anklagen" means "to sue somebody" (i.e. Anklage is a legal term)
    – Bort
    Dec 18, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


"Anklage" is a legal term, and could probably be translated to "accusation". It is almost exclusively used for legal issues, f.e. if someone is accused of a crime, he's being "angeklagt".

"Beschwerde" is used very similair to the english word "complaint". If a customer isn't satisfied with a service, he can make a complaint, "eine Beschwerde".


Anklage is primarily a complaint officially lodged against you by a state prosecutor with a court of law, which might result in a fine or jail term. That is quite a bit more serious than simply any old complaint!

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