I wonder what could be the word for the "Internet", if it was created by Germans (lets say in early 60-ties)

  • If Germans would have invented the Internet, then they would probably given it an (in)audible acronym. Just look at all the institutes connected to CERN, who played a significant role in developing the www. – Martin - マーチン Oct 11 '16 at 12:12
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    Did you know the TAE in German "TAE-Dose" means "Telefon-Anschluss-Einheit" and their F- and N-sockets are used to plug in devices for "Fernsprechen" and "Nicht-Fernsprechen"? Given that, I'd bet the internet would be called "Allgemeines Netzwerk zur Fernübermittlung von Kommunikationseinheiten", short ANFüK. And yes, I'm kidding. – PerlDuck Oct 11 '16 at 12:17
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    @Perl Dog, I would love it. Fuck, the fucking ANFuK does not work again. – Iris Oct 11 '16 at 13:00
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    @PerlDog Da wäre bestimmt noch "digital" drin - Allgemeines Netzwerk zur Fernübermittlung der digitalen Kommunikationseinheiten, short ANFüdK – Eller Oct 11 '16 at 13:04
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    Wir haben auch Telefon gesagt und nicht Fernsprecheinrichtung. TAE-Dose habe ich erst kennengelernt, als ich ein Modem an den eigenen Anschluss anschließen wollte. – user unknown Oct 11 '16 at 13:22
  • The prefix »inter« is latin and means »between« in English and »zwischen« in German.
  • English »net« and German »Netz« (both nouns) mean the same thing, and both derive from the same Proto-Germanic root »*natją«. Also German »nähen« (to sew) derives from it, and even the latin words »nodus« (node in english) and »nassa« (a fish trap) are etymological related words.

So a pure English word for »internet« would be: »between-net«, and a pure German word would be


But the word »Internet« came only in use in the 1980ies. Before that time it was:


and even before it was


which was invented 1968, and »ARPANET« is an acronym for »Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork«

If it would have been invented by a German speaking group (which also could be researchers from Austria or Switzerland), then they might have named it after their own group. So, think of any German name for a group of scientists, add »Netzwerk« to the end of that group-name and make an acronym of it, then you have what you are searching for.

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Internet stands for International Network (1,2) and the German translation is Internationales Netzwerk. However, from your question, I understand that you do not ask for a direct translation.

In case you ask for a direct translation, the name would be

Internetz (Internationales Netzwerk)

I think, the Germans would use a different name for it.
My guess is;

Verbundene Netzwerke


(1) Leben in einer vernetzten Welt, Band 1 von Robert Korz (Seite 6)

enter image description here

(2) Computerlexikon von André Poppek (Seite 51)

enter image description here

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    »Inter« in »Internet« has nothing to do with »international«. It just means, that there is a network between (inter) the computers of universities and military (and later even private computers). When the name »internetwork« was invented, all linked computers was inside one country (all inside the USA). There was nothing international with it. – Hubert Schölnast Oct 11 '16 at 11:53
  • Interesting theory. Do you have references for it? – Iris Oct 11 '16 at 11:56
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    @Iris I have some but I am looking for more reliable ones. If I find, I will publish here. – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 11:58
  • @Iris The sources were added. – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 12:13
  • @HubertSchölnast You are right. The first founder could think like that but the things may change with the time. For example, in the past, SQL stands for SeQueL but now, Structured Query Language. Because, the new form represents the abbreviation better. In my perspective, International Network represents the Internet better than Inter-Network. – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 13:33

The "Deutsche Bundespost" (state-owned telecom until liberalisation) used to have a wide area communications network based on the X.25 protocol in the 80ies to connect the financial industry and university campusses. That was called


(a compound abbreviation of "Data exchange" and "paketorientiert")

The first publicly available interactive online service was called


or (abbreviated)


So the internet with a German name could probably have been named like


(for "international")



abbreviated to


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From Wikipedia

Sprachkritiker, wie beispielsweise verschiedene Sprachvereine und viele rechtsextreme Organisationen wie die NPD, verwenden anstelle des Worts Internet deutsche Wortschöpfungen wie Weltnetz, Zwischennetz oder Internetz.

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    Please note that actually using the term "Weltnetz" could be taken as a tacit endorsement of the world view of such extremist organisations, which you probably don't want (the NPD is basically the closest legal approximation of the NSDAP, the original Nazi party). – Kilian Foth Oct 11 '16 at 13:10
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    @KilianFoth I couldn't even remotely have guessed that viewpoint. – c.p. Oct 11 '16 at 14:00

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