I know that it is possible to say “ein auf die Bildungsverbesserung gerichtetes Projekt”, but can we say the same like in english: “a project directed to the improvement of education” or “an earthquake caused by volcanic eruption”? And the same question about an active phrase: “a boy crossing the street”. Can it be besides “ein über die Straße gehender Junge” also “ein Junge, gehend(?) über die Straße”?

  • 2
    Well … depends on a lot of context. Generally, it doesn’t sound good.
    – chirlu
    Mar 9, 2016 at 12:53
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    The question(s) do(es) not fit to the title. And in German you would use a relative clause. e.g. "Ein Junge, der über die Straße geht"
    – Iris
    Mar 9, 2016 at 13:13
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    As an image caption, I could envision Junge, eine Straße überquerend being used. Otherwise what @Iris said.
    – Crissov
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:13

2 Answers 2


I don't like the word Bildungsverbesserung, since it sounds like a fully bureaucreatic term.

Auf Bildungsverbesserung gerichtet

makes the bureaucratic appearance even worse. If you aim for it, you do not need to reflect possibility of failure or achieving something different. So the minimum adjustment is

Projekt zur Bildungsverbesserung

Back to the first point. Education can be improved in dozens of directions. Just to name a few:

  • Increase percentage of people able to read
  • Supplement the minimum knowledge concerning a topic for all participants
  • Replace overly theoretical topics by practical advice of specific problems
  • Increase scope of knowledge (e. g. add background instead of simply applying formulas)

Depending on which of these (or other) shall be addressed, a distinctly more specific term should be chosen.


It might be possible to say what you mentioned - But it sounds very clumsy.

I would use Ein Projekt zur/mit dem Ziel der Bildungsverbesserung. And even if you can build your own substantives in German by concatenating them, that does not necessarily mean it is good style, so you would probably end up with something like ein Projekt zur Verbesserung der Bildung or with a relative clause construction.

With regards to "a boy crossing the street" - both your German sentences sound like you'd want to forcibly introduce some sort of continuous form into German. Be aware that it's going to strike back ;) We would use a relative clause such as "ein Junge, der über die Straße geht". "Junge, eine Straße überquerend" could work as a title for a painting.

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