What are the differences between gelingen and gelangen? I am confused about the usage differences between to succeed and to reach.
Gelingen focuses on the successful outcome:
a plan that works out, a cake that turns out or a sports move that went as planned can all "gelingen".
Gelangen refers to reaching some position, either in a purely spatial or figurative sense; it can indicate some effort or coincidence:
A traveler arriving at a town, a manager reaching a certain position, a message in a bottle washing up on a shore or chemicals being found in the food chain may all "gelangen".