I need to translate the term state into German.

The context is following:

In a customer relation management software each customer can have different independent states such as "bad payer", "has premium contract", "important customer", etc.

Each of the states can be activated by a check box like this:

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I'm hesitating between:

  • Status (but there is no real plural for this word in German)
  • Zustand
  • State (just using the english word)

None are really satisfying.

The actual phrase to translate is not on the screen but only in the manual:

Each customer can have up to 36 user definable states

  • 4
    Isn't it more a flag than a state? Then you could translate it as "Kennzeichen".
    – ladybug
    May 31, 2016 at 10:06
  • 11
    This is not a state, unless you expect transitions between these states.
    – Carsten S
    May 31, 2016 at 10:21
  • 1
    Since those "states" are user definable and therefore rather generic, I would simply use "Markierung", or "Kennzeichen" as suggested by ladybug. May 31, 2016 at 11:47
  • 6
    The plural of Status is Status. The word is derived from a latin u-declination.
    – simbabque
    May 31, 2016 at 18:51
  • 2
    @simbabque If you talk about the latin u-declination you should also note that the u is then pronounced longer. At least that's what I learned in Latin 25 years ago... Jun 1, 2016 at 12:03

9 Answers 9


I would go with


  • 2
    I would even suggest to use the term "attribute" in the English version as well.
    – Twinkles
    Jun 1, 2016 at 13:26
  • 4
    "Attribut" is too much IT nerdish ...;-) A common (non-IT) German would not use this.
    – alk
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:54

Ich would translate that by


Zustand suggests a time dependency, Status would work, but is somewhat blurry, State has far too many meanings and would require a concise definition.

Alternatively a compound could be used, as e. g.


To reflect the somewhat shifted focus in the edited question: Here also the following can be considered:

  • Attribut(e), which would also correspond to class attribute
  • Eigenschaft(en)
  • 2
    Kundenstatus sounds good, but how can you "pluralize" that word? "Kundenstatuten" sounds weird. May 31, 2016 at 9:46
  • 3
    The plural of status is, well, status (read: statūs)
    – Ingmar
    May 31, 2016 at 9:55
  • @Ingmar yes, I know, but most people don't and therefore it would sound rather strange to most people. May 31, 2016 at 9:56

I would use something like Kennzeichen or "flag"

  • Excellent. This is what's often used in real life in german speaking CRMs. May 31, 2016 at 13:04
  • 3
    In the CRM I'm working on, there's for example the Datenschutzkennzeichen, flagging customers who rejected being included in any kind of marketing campaign, or the Totkennzeichen for customer accounts that have been deactivated because the associated person has died. May 31, 2016 at 13:06

In computer science and software development, the corrrect translation of "state" would be "Zustand". However, this would sound very odd in german in your specific situation. The cause for that is that "state" is a poor choice of words in english for this to begin with (properties or attributes would have been much better).

I would go with "Attribut" or "Eigenschaft" in german.

The whole sentence would then read as

Jeder Kunde kann bis zu 36 benutzerdefinierte Attribute haben.

  • I can't recognize, where this answer exceeds mine besides the final full translation, which I can't imagine to be the problem.
    – guidot
    Jun 1, 2016 at 7:00
  • 1
    Your answer heavily emphasizes "Kategorie" and "Kundenstatus", which are imho very unsatisfactory. You only give "Eigenschaften" and "Attribute" as side remarks, and don't explain why they would be good, which my answer explains better. These answers are significantly different.
    – Polygnome
    Jun 1, 2016 at 8:32

I throw in


because all items are groups and flags to remember (grouping characteristics).

  • 2
    Or just short "Merkmal/e"? Best one so far, BTW! :-)
    – alk
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:52

I think I would refer to throw in:




which would lead to a manual entry like this:

Jeder Kunde kann bis zu 36 benutzerdefinierte Merkmale besitzen.


I would hesitate describing this as a state. I think this is better suited to be something like additional information. This would translate to zusätzliche Informationen.

I don't know your semantics but it seems to me, that one customer can have multiple states at once (eg. bad payer and important customer). This means that a customer would have multiple states at once, which is a weird thing.

  • Just updated the question. It is "additional information" but I need the word for each of the states. May 31, 2016 at 9:47
  • @MichaelWalz I don't see why additional information wouldn't work for one item... it would be zusätzliche Information for one item and zusätzliche Informationen for multiple.
    – Armin
    May 31, 2016 at 9:50
  • zusätzliche Informationen is quite close but it's not specific enough. zusätzliche Informationen could be anything such as "Nickname", "alternative e-mail address" whereas the states I mean are purely "Yes/No" states. May 31, 2016 at 9:55
  • @MichaelWalz what additional means is determined by the context. The context here is the text on the checkboxes.
    – Armin
    May 31, 2016 at 9:58
  • Question updated again: the texte is not on the screen but in the manual. May 31, 2016 at 10:02

In addition to RRZ Europe's excellent Kennzeichen, I'd like to propose Facette, facet.

A customer can have many of those, and each of them defines the customer in some way that's orthogonal to all the other facets..


In this case, what the cluster of attributes describes is a Kundenbeziehung . The last checkbox refers to part of the Vertragsstatus.

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