How would you translate the German word Tanzverbot? More interestingly, why can’t I find any (“official”) translation online, nor a Wikipedia article about the issue, even though (probably) Germany is not the only country that had and has this issue?

German Wikipedia article: Tanzverbot

  • 1
    I don't understand what you're asking. You linked to a Wikipedia article while you're saying you couldn't find it. Are you looking for the meaning of the word or its etymology or its reasons or what?
    – user508
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 19:00
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    @Gigili: OP seems to be looking for a translation (probably into English). There does not appear to be an English Wikipedia article.
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 20:08
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    Translation requests from German to English are on topic here (we do have other similar questions that were not closed). This even more so when a requested word does not exist in English and thus can not be easily looked up in a dictionary. Why should people from ELU know better what a German Tanzverbot is?
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 9:14
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    @Takkat: grunwald2.0 knows what a Tanzverbot is. He doesn't know what the english word for it is, which might require an expert for the English language. You can learn better and better German but will not learn the English term that way. It's not about nuances of the German language. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 9:53
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    @Takkat Of course, ELU's do not know better what a German Tanzverbot is, but you can explain the meaning of Tanzverbot with your own words and/or you can go on with my proposals and asking which one is better in case of religion, traditional, whatever context or is there any better word. Then ELU's are able to give a better solution then most here on GLU.
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 9:59

3 Answers 3


If I guess right, you're looking for an English word.

I think there are two words that fit in this context.

  1. ban:

    Ban is an official or legal prohibition Oxford Dictionaries

    Several people were arrested Saturday afternoon at the Jefferson Memorial, protesting the recent court decision that upheld a ban on dancing at the memorial. Source

    Dance clubs hope for £150 million windfall as Home Office moves to change 1790 Act that bans dancing on the Sabbath Guardian

  2. prohibition:

    Prohibition is the action of forbidding something, especially by law Oxford Dictionaries

    You can also use prohibition in religious contexts.

    In extreme evangelical colleges, like Baylor University in Texas, Wheaton College in Illinois and Cornerstone University in Michigan, it was even prohibited for students to dance in public Guardian

I suggest: ban on dance or prohibition on dance

  • 3
    I always thought prohibition was strongly related to alcohol ban. Isn't it?
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 20:10
  • @bitmask If you follow the link to Oxford, there is this statement: the prevention by law of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, especially in the US between 1920 and 1933. So, you are right, but it is not only a prohibition on alcohol, if you take notice of the fact, that it is listed separately. And the Guardian link gives a good example for prohibition for religion reasons in context of dancing. I think, we can trust a source like that ;p
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 20:15
  • Thanks Em1 for this, but how would I include the dancing part? "dancing ban"? And awesome sourcing, I need to learn how to highlight and cite like you just did. :) Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 13:52
  • @grunwald2.0 Regarding sourcing: Click on edit and you will see it ;p (But then cancel ;p ) Regarding including: Don't know. Depends on context, phrasing, ...
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 14:01
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    The word Prohibition (capitalized) by itself refers to the alcohol ban, yes. But you can talk of prohibitions of other things. The word sounds somewhat formal, but it fits in the context of governmental regulations or religious rules.
    – Arthaey
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 0:01

After this question has been asked, Wikipedia pages in other languages have been linked to the German page "Tanzverbot". According to those, the Dutch translation for example is "dansverbod" and the English "dancing ban".


Prohibition of (public) dance is OK.
Usually declared on the so called "Stille Feiertage" as Good Friday or Totensonntag (Sunday in commemoration of the dead — in protestant regions in Germany).

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