I don't understand what the Prüfungstempel is in this sentence:

Sarastro befiehlt, dass Tamino und Papageno in den Prüfungstempel geführt werden, und bestraft Monostatos.

I have searched the Google and find that it may mean "house of trials", but it seems strange to me. Literally Prüfung means test and stempel means stamp, and hence it can be translated to test stamp. But what is test stamp and how can Tamino and Papageno be led into a test stamp?

  • 3
    Tempel, not Stempel. "S" is a connection letter here.
    – Eller
    Aug 27, 2017 at 10:15
  • @Eller Google translation outputs Examination stamps. google.com/… Aug 27, 2017 at 10:25
  • 3
    Which shows (again) that Google translate is not very good in translating to/from German. But to give credit where it's due, my Google translate comes up with audit temple, which is an acceptable translation.
    – tofro
    Aug 27, 2017 at 10:56
  • This word (Prüfungstempel) is one of those that are used at virtually one single place (here: the text of Zauberflöte) and anywhere else. Aug 27, 2017 at 11:07
  • 2
    @Lerner Don't rely on Google translate and DO NOT use it as a dictionary!
    – Eller
    Aug 28, 2017 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


Your effort for an analysis is laudable, but led you astray.

It's not "Prüfung-Stempel" but "Prüfung-s-Tempel"1.

What tripped you is the so-called Fugen-s ("linking s", find a nice little article for example here), a frequent connecting element when forming compound nouns. It looks like the genitive of the first noun, which may sometimes also confuse learners.

So indeed the "Prüfungstempel" is a house of trials or, slightly more literally, the temple of tests.

1 spelling not according to the general rules, just for clarification

  • 1
    And as a side note: With or without Fugen-s compound nouns can be tricky even for native speakers. One of my children very innocently once read aloud from an IKEA catalogue: "Ti-Schlampe". Got our attention immediately...
    – Stephie
    Aug 27, 2017 at 17:35
  • "Duschlampe" tends to get the same attention...
    – tofro
    Aug 28, 2017 at 9:13
  • @tofro wie in dem Witz: "Hab isch jetzt Hausverbot in Baumarkt ...."
    – Stephie
    Aug 28, 2017 at 9:26

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