How can I write a by the way shortly in German?

For example:

BTW, that is my mobile number → _____, das ist meine Handynummer.

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    Als Alternative zu "übrigens" ist auch "nebenbei" denkbar. – Raidri supports Monica Aug 1 '17 at 11:43
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    Die Überschrift spricht von Sprechen, der Text vom Schreiben. Wie spricht man denn "BTW"? Oder geht es doch ums Schreiben? – user unknown Aug 2 '17 at 1:07
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    @userunknown: Die Überschrift spricht von "Sagen" (to say), und im Englischen muss das nicht unbedingt "Spechen" (to speak) sein. – Rudy Velthuis Aug 3 '17 at 6:47

When you want to use an abbreviation, you can use BTW, as it is known in German, too. But note, that you should use it only in a very colloquial way, like in messengers, SMS or private e-mails. Never use it in a formal way.

When you want to use a German word, "übrigens" is correct, as user29142 wrote in his answer. There is no German abbreviation as it is a single word already. And this word, you can use in a formal conversation.

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  • 43
    "btw" is known among people who are internationally oriented, i.e. either hang around on international web pages or have a job that requires English. It is not widely known among "common" folk, i.e. your typical German might think you meant "bzw.", which has a different meaning, and it would be considered technically incorrect if used in any formal context. It's okay in informal use / chatting with people from the aforementioned groups who understand it. – Frank Hopkins Aug 1 '17 at 11:21
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    @Darkwing I think the use of BTW is also considered incorrect in any formal context in English ;-) – ikadfoanhfda Aug 1 '17 at 12:32
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    @ikadfoanhfda Well, I'd not expect it in an official publication in English, but I would assume it to be okay in internal company emails, for instance (correct me if I'm wrong). This level would already feel wrong in a professional company in Germany (in a German sentence). Exceptions apply in cases where those internal emails are very colloquial or when it's a chat rather than an email (in the cases mentioned in my earlier comment). My main point: I think it's an even smaller niché than in English even when understood. If you haven't seen a native speaker use it, use a German word. – Frank Hopkins Aug 1 '17 at 12:41
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    No! You can't use btw in a German text. – Hubert Schölnast Aug 1 '17 at 14:36
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    All those upvotes and even an accept for an answer that start with an error. ? Ach geh.. – TaW Aug 2 '17 at 4:33

Übrigens, das ist meine Handynummer.

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There is no abbreviaton that perfectly matches "btw", but there are a few single-word-options; in decreasing order with regard on how generally they can be used to translate "btw" in my opinion:

  • "Übrigens",
  • "Nebenbei",
  • "Apropos",
  • "Außerdem", (doesn't work in OP's example sentence, but fits in other cases)

  • "Wo wir gerade dabei sind", (colloquial)

  • "btw", (technically incorrect (spellchecker should mark this), but you will be understood by internationally oriented audiences and some native speakers might use it due to their familiarity with its use in English, only used in digital writing (chat/mail etc.); basically, do not use unless you see native speakers use it in that context)
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  • I don't like "Nebenbei". It is short for "Nebenbei bemerkt" and is not exactly the same as "Übrigens". "Übrigens" is perfect for "BTW". – Rudy Velthuis Aug 3 '17 at 6:49

Zwei stilistisch einwandfreie Varianten sind "übrigens" und "apropos".

Übrigens, hier meine Telefonnummer

Apropos, hier meine Telefonnummer.

"Apropos" ist aber selten und für den Alltag meist ein bisschen zu bildungssprachlich.

"BTW" in einem deutschen Brief oder sonst einem Text zu verwenden, ist nicht ratsam. Der Leser - sofern des Englischen mächtig - wird es zwar verstehen, aber es würde möglicherweise als achtloser Umgang mit der Sprache (und somit mit dem Leser) gewertet. In manchen Kreisen (zum Beispiel unter Betriebswirtschaftlern und Physikern) mag es modisch sein, allerlei englische Wörter in den Satz zu streuen, aber at the end of the day ist das einfach BS.

Wenn es aber um eine superknappe Art von Kommunikation in Kurznachrichtenformen wie SMS geht (und das legt die Eingangsfrage ja letztlich nahe), und wenn man eben nicht das englische BTW verwenden will, wie wäre es dann mit:

Übgs, hier meine Tlfn-Nr.

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    "Apropos" implies a reference to something that was said/written recently. Wir sollten in einer Woche nochmal darüber reden. Apropos, hier ist meine Telefonummer.. It is better translated as "since we are talking about it" rather than "by the way". Coming out of the blue, it can be jarring. – Jens Neubauer Aug 1 '17 at 12:50
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    @JensNeubauer The same is true for BTW. – Crouching Kitten Aug 1 '17 at 13:41
  • @CrouchingKitten I'd say that "btw" can be used with or without direct reference while Apropos slightly and "In diesem Sinne" as suggested by paul strongly require such a reference. I'd even say a strong reference is a counter-indication for btw. For example, given a sentence "We should talk again.", the "btw" in a follow-up sentence "Btw. you look great" feels more natural than in "Btw. here is my mobile number" after the same sentence. In the latter case, I'd feel like I should drop the "btw". – Frank Hopkins Aug 2 '17 at 16:21
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    I wouldn't recommend "übgs" (or "Tlfn-Nr." for that matter). I've never seen either of these being used in any form of German communication. "Tel.-Nr." would be much more common for "Telefonnummer" in my opinion. – Tobold Aug 4 '17 at 7:16
  • Ich würde ja "Übgs" als achtlosen Umgang mir gegenüber betrachten anstatt BTW. Letzteres ist eher so wie IMHO oder lol. – kap Aug 4 '17 at 12:39

I'd like to add "Im Übrigen" as an elderly german language usage which is kinda like 'Übrigens' but more aggressive, for example when you making up a point and wanted to add another fact

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"BTW" is an abbreviation for VAT (value added tax), in Dutch "Belasting op de Toegevoegde Waarde" so using it as an abbreviation in German for "by the way" is very confusing for Dutch speakers.

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  • Also in German I would never ever use BTW in any text. Neither chat nor official conversation. IMHO the accepted answer from IQV is wrong in this point. – Gerhardh Aug 3 '17 at 6:39
  • as always the spelling is important, you write by the way btw in lowercase, whereas in Dutch i guess will always be an uppercase abbreviation – gantners Aug 24 '17 at 14:53
  • Belasting op de Toegevoegde Waarde... man lernt nie aus! – Christian Geiselmann Feb 12 '18 at 1:30

You can also say "Achja, (...)" which in it's sense is sort of a mixture of "Before i forget, (...)" and "By the way, (...)"

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Die Antwort "Nebenbei" ist falsch. Richtig ist "Nebenbei gesagt". Dies ist ganz nahe an "By the way".

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One could also say "in diesem Sinn" as well as "nebenbei".

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  • I don't think that's a good fit for "by the way". – Robert Aug 1 '17 at 22:04
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    Nebenbei ist OK, aber "in diesem Sinn" passt m.M.n. überhaupt nicht. – Gerhardh Aug 2 '17 at 10:41
  • Well, it could fit in the right context. In something like "We should meet again sometime. [...] Btw. here my phone number" the btw could be translated with "in diesem Sinne", but I'd consider it a rare fit. – Frank Hopkins Aug 2 '17 at 16:22
  • I‘m a german speaker and use „in diesem Sinn“ quite frequently. It only replaces btw in very narrow situations and a sample in your answer would be nice. But I still think the answer is valid. – lhk Aug 4 '17 at 12:05
  • Plus the whole question/answer scheme doesn‘t really fit to questions regarding language. There are so many subtleties. I often find the late answers to be especially interesting since they add even more information. Something like this shouldn‘t be downvoted – in my opinion – lhk Aug 4 '17 at 12:07

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