While going through some legal terms from Italian to German, I found these two:

istigazione = Anstiftung.
istigazione a delinquere = Aufforderung zur Begehung einer strafbaren Handlung.

Istigazione means "instigation, solicitation". Istigazione a delinquere is more specific and it's the crime of incitement, which refers to "the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a crime."

In the examples above, Anstiftung and Aufforderung are used to mean the same, but although I understand that in a language can exist multiple words for the same meaning, is it really necessary in this case to use two? My main question would be: Are they interchangeable or is the meaning of the second more appropriate for that specific crime?

Would it be possible to say this?

Anstiftung zur Begehung einer strafbaren Handlung

I know we are entering the field of "specialized terminology" (I'm not sure how it's called in English), so common language "has power" up to a certain extent, but I thought that a native speaker would have been able to bring some clarification.

3 Answers 3


Those two terms are different in german (law), too, and it's important in a legal textual context to separate between them:

  • On the one hand, there are § 26 StGB (the german "Strafgesetzbuch") and § 30 StGB, relevant generally for most crimes, called „Anstiftung“ or „versuchte Anstiftung“ respectively;
  • On the other, there's a special rule concerning a more unspecific sort of incitement, § 111 StGB, called „öffentliche Aufforderung zu Straftaten“.

Since §§ 26, 30 StGB and § 111 StGB have different prerequisites, it's important to differentiate between them. Whereas § 26 StGB requires that the instigator has a certain crime and a certain person who should commit the crime, § 111 StGB is applicable if those details aren't specified already (but there's much argue about those details between lawyers!).

Because of those differences, i recommend to stick to the terms of the StGB („Anstiftung“ / „[öffentliche] Aufforderung zu Straftaten“) especially in a legal context to separate clearly between them.

  • Thanks for answering. :) Let me get it straight: You're basically saying I should stick to those translations I found?
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 13:05
  • 1
    yes - in a legal context it would be wrong to mix those terms.
    – tohuwawohu
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 14:21
  • Thanks, I wanted to be sure they were correct translations, because I wasn't the one who did them so I don't know the level of the person who did them. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 14:24

I would use the term "Anstiftung", since that's the term which is used by the German law text (Strafgesetzbuch/StGB). The term is also used in normal language and means there "talking someone into doing something bad" as well. As for your example: I would say

Anstiftung zu einer Straftat

no need to over complicate there. You can also specify the kind of crime:

Anstiftung zum Mord

The term "Aufforderung" on the other hand is quite neutral or positive. It also describes more an order (or appeal) than a process of persuasion (like Anstiftung):

Die Personen folgten der Aufforderung der Polizei, die Straße zu verlassen.

  • So you're saying that Aufforderung is a wrong (i.e. not appropriate) translation in that example I gave? (The translation was not done by me, by the way.)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 0:39
  • 1
    @Alenanno: "Anstiftung" certainly sounds better to me and would be the word to choose if we talk about the act of talking someone into a crime.
    – 0x6d64
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 1:28
  • @Alenanno: "Aufforderung" is not a wrong translation, but it isn't a synonym to "Anstiftung" either. You must use the whole construction: "Anstiftung" = "Aufforderung zur Begehung einer strafbaren Handlung" - For subtleties see tohuwawohu's answers. Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 17:38

The two German words are interchangeable for all practical purposes, but each has a slightly different connotation. Anstiftung is more like a cause, and Aufforderung is more like a demand, sort of like the difference between driving or drawing, pushing or pulling. In that sense, the definitions you gave for the Italian would indeed match the German terms just as you have associated them. To change them may also carry a slightly different nuance to the act being done. Anstiftung would be the more forceful of the two.

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