A comment to another question of mine asked me "Do you know any separable loan word?".

I can't think of any, off-hand. Are there any? One would be enough to answer the question.

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    How do you define loan word? Do "hochladen" and "runterladen" (introduced into German as translation of "upload" and "download") count? – dirkt Dec 20 '16 at 17:36
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    If a verb is prefixed with a German separable prefix, I think it can no longer be considered a loan word - It is already germanized to a large extend and no longer anywhere close to the original. And if it is not a German prefix, it cannot be considered separable (because the list of separable prefixes is finite). So - by definition - I think this is not possible. – tofro Dec 20 '16 at 18:05
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    An excellent comment, which perhaps ought to have been an answer (+1) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 20 '16 at 22:38
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    An example just sprang into my head the other day thinking about this thread. "abgefuckt" has it's own Wiktionary and Duden entries. I think this would about take the cake... – Ledda Dec 28 '16 at 10:50

As you can infer from the other answer and comments below, we would have to narrow down the definition of a loan verb.

If it were sufficient enough that the root of the verb is not of Germanic roots, then there are certainly verbs.
All these seperable verbs, however, have a Germanic prefix. These are not pure non-Germanic verbs and to my mind we should rather take a look at verbs that have foreign prefixes. Pure non-Germanic words.

Having taken a look at the list of foreign prefixes on canoonet, I can't think of any verb with those prefixes that is separable. I dare say there is no such a verb.

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    In addition to my answer, technically it is possible that there is a loan verb that happens to have a Germanic prefix. Say, there was a verb in Proto-Germanic languages that became extinct in German but survived in other Germanic languages, e.g. English. Then, we borrow that word and re-integrate it into German. So, supposing this verb had a prefix, there were a good chance that it is separable. And although it's a Germanic word, it's a loan word as it was borrowed from English. – Em1 Dec 20 '16 at 14:05

Not everywhere accepted and even the non-separable version might be more common, but it seems that

updaten (z.B. Sie hat ein paar Anwendungen upgedated)

is a good candidate (whether it's good German, that's another story).

  • Yes, that was my point. Update is not seprarable - "hey, Du, update das", not "hey, Du, date das up". BUT, the Duden says that past tense is upgedatet – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 21 '16 at 16:04
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    @Mawg I wouldn't be so strict about the definition of separability. For me it's enough that the participle is build as prefix+ge+root-verb. – c.p. Dec 21 '16 at 16:10
  • But my whole point on my previous question, was that I was using sperability of the imperative to determine speerability of the perfect tense, and "update das" clashed with the Duden's upgedatet. See german.stackexchange.com/questions/33857/… – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 21 '16 at 16:12

Not from English, but from Latin:


"Mauer" is a loan word, coming from Latin "murus". If you want a more recent borrowing, take


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    "Mauer" was already integrated into Old High German. I don't think that ordinary people would recognise this word as a loanword. Although OP doesn't specifically asked for that, I'm wondering if there are separable verbs that came into German recently (or recently enough to be considered as a word borrowed from a different language by common people). – Em1 Dec 20 '16 at 12:55
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    @Em1 Is "destillieren" sufficiently recent? – Uwe Dec 20 '16 at 13:33
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    This answers the words of the question but not its spirit. The are without any doubt a lot of loan verbs which can be made separable using prefixes - "hinjoggen", "herumrocken", "auschillen" usw. "Einmauern" belongs to this group (I doubt though that anybody except linguists would even say "mauern" is a loan word). The question is about verbs which are separable but do not have a German separable prefix (a famous example - is "downloaden" separable or not?) – Eller Dec 20 '16 at 13:34
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    @Eller The list of separable prefixes is rather fixed, so there are, as far as I know, no loan verbs whose separable prefix is a loan itself. – Uwe Dec 20 '16 at 13:38
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    "Destillieren" would be a good example if it were separable. "Abdestillieren", however, is a German invention. What does it actually mean,outside of what "destillieren" already connotes? Anyway. Canoonet has a list of foreign prefixes. If you find a word that takes any of those prefixes and is seperable, then I won't have any further objections. – Em1 Dec 20 '16 at 13:48

"Downloaden" and "uploaden" are mentioned by Wikipedia as separable verbs sometimes.

Something of interest is that there are plenty of verbs that have been borrowed from English that, whilst don't have a separable prefix, have an inseparable one whose stress doesn't lie on the first syllable and thus does not take "ge-" in the past participle.

Examples off the top of my head include:

  • resetten (resettet)
  • Let's playen (let's play{t/ed}) (the act of commentating and recording oneself playing a game)
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    Nicely misses the question imho. – Jan Dec 22 '16 at 17:33
  • What is the first sentence supposed to mean? It reads as if at one day they are mentioned as sepatable verbs and at another day they are not. – Björn Friedrich Sep 24 '19 at 12:28

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