I’m drafting a ‘handwritten’letter to a good friend who has been studying German for the past three years. I’m using my computer to ‘write’ the letter, using the “Mistral” font in 16 point size. The letter will be sent to him via the U.S. Postal Service in an addressed envelope bearing a U.S. postage stamp.

In my letter I’m telling my friend about the “Mistral” font. The problem I’m having is explaining in German how close “... the look and feel ...” of the Mistral script typeface is to the Sütterlin script font. I’m writing him to tell him that, to me, using the Mistral typeface for ‘handwritten’ text in letters makes that text so much easier to read and understand than ‘handwriting’ it (i.e., typing it) in the Sütterlin font.

I have searched in both my contemporary Langenscheidt and mid-1950's Cassells dictionaries under the headwords “look” and “feel” for a word or equivalent German phrase that can be used for the English phrase “... the look and feel of ... “, but my search has been without success.

If this contemporary English phrase doesn’t have a German equivalent should I then use the literal English–>German translation “... das Ausehen und das Fühlen von ...”?

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    The title and the first half of the question are misleading. I think you should leave out most of the backstory and choose a title that mentions “look and feel”. – Carsten S Aug 12 '17 at 17:17
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    There's no direct equivalent, as you can see e.g. by the translation examples on linguee: Many translators are lazy and just keep "Look & Feel" as foreign expression. "Anmutung" is dated, the natural way would probably be to use a completely different expression, but you didn't mention the sentence you want to translate. And today, nobody uses Sütterlin, few can write it, many have trouble reading it. – dirkt Aug 12 '17 at 20:14
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    Not part of your question but: The Mistral font family is certainly not like Sütterlin. Did you mean "cursive"? – Stephie Aug 12 '17 at 21:45
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    The first half of the question is rather distracting, as it is not related to what the question at all. – Gerhardh Aug 14 '17 at 14:46
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    "The letter will be sent to him via the U.S. Postal Service in an addressed envelope bearing a U.S. postage stamp." - I'm confused. Is this aspect of the letter supposed to belong to the letter's "look and feel"? – O. R. Mapper Mar 2 '19 at 22:44

I personally consider terms as look and feel somewhat overrated, and assume, they would not be half as popular if they did not consist of snappy monosyllabic words which are known to everyone. Especially in respect to something abstract as a font I see a long way to go to achieve feeling.

Actually matching nouns exist (even if somewhat out of mainstream)

  • Anmutung (my favourite, since it leaves the reception path open)
  • Air (wiktionary gives as synonyms: Art, Stil, Aussehen, Wesen)
  • Design (even if somewhat restricted to optical channel)

I don't consider Wesen a good translation, since this implies the real properties and not the observed ones, which I would associate with look and feel.

A flexible and not too poetic phrase is:

... vermittelt den (denselben) Eindruck ...

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    Darf ich "das Design" ergänzen? – user unknown Aug 12 '17 at 22:42
  • @guidot: Actually, I believe "Wesen" (the essence) comes very close in meaning to the English expression, "the look and feel" – К. Келлогг Смиф Aug 13 '17 at 22:15
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    @К.КеллоггСмиф: "Essence" is not the same as "look and feel". "Essence" depicts intrinsic properties, while "look and feel" merely describes exterior properties. – Rudy Velthuis Aug 14 '17 at 12:36
  • @Rudy Velthuis: How about if |I use "das Erscheinungsbild" in my letter instead of "wesen", i.e. "... das Mistral Schrift hat das Erscheinungsbild von Sütterlin Schrift?"? Do you think perhaps that word would be a better fit? – К. Келлогг Смиф Aug 14 '17 at 14:20
  • @dirkt: Vielen Dank reur: "Linguee" comment. It was right on the money for what I was looking for! – К. Келлогг Смиф Aug 14 '17 at 14:22

I wouldn't translate this.

"Look and Feel" has found its way into the German language already. It's an established term. There is no equivalent short translation.

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I would propose:

optischer Eindruck (literally: visual impression)

The word "optisch" translates the "look" and "Eindruck" the "feel".

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    The feel of e.g. a GUI is really how it "feels", i.e. how it behaves when you touch it, move it (with the mouse or finger or trackpad, etc.), what happens when you hover over it, etc. That is not just an optical impression, that is a haptical impression too. So "optischer Eindruck" doesn't quite get it. Some GUIs even use vibration or other pure haptical impressions (ever tried an Apple Watch or iPhone? Yoi can really feel some of the actions) – Rudy Velthuis Mar 2 '19 at 22:34

I propose




as possible terms, the former giving a bit of a sophisticated, almost antiquated air, while the latter is certainly neutral enough to use in your context.

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