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I am starting a creative/innovative engineering place, and I want it to have a creative name, so to mix it up and I figured I could use a German word since I have been learning German lately. So I was looking up translations of relevant words and came across "schöpferisch" which according to google translate means "creative, inventive, productive ..."., but there is also "kreativ", though that's not as fun since it's so similar to the English word.

So my question is would "schöpferisch" be an appropriate word for this? How is it used differently from "kreativ"? Do you have any better suggestions? Keep in mind I would be using it adjacent to a company name, so should it come before or the name? i.e. "Google schöpferisch" or "Schöpferisch Google"?

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    I think "kreativ" is only a foreign word (from latin creare) and means "schöpferisch" in german. – IQV Sep 7 '17 at 5:38
  • What kind of engineering is this going to be? – Christian Geiselmann Sep 7 '17 at 6:44
  • Womöglich würde "Google/Schöpfungen" mehr Sinn ergeben (neben "Google/Reparaturen" und "Google/Pläne"). Gewiss erregt es mehr Aufmerksamkeit als "Google/kreativ" wobei ich bei "Googleschöpfungen" vs. "Googlekreationen" keinen großen Unterschied ausmache. – user unknown Sep 7 '17 at 7:12
  • @ChristianGeiselmann mostly software and some hardware (electrical engineering) – ndeubert Sep 7 '17 at 17:40
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The word "schoepferisch" is closely related to the biblical "Schoepfung" (genesis). Thus, it is only used when creating something. In fact, the only use that is at least a little common is the expression

Schoepferisch taetig sein

meaning that you are working on creating something (in most cases a piece of art). So unless you are creating art, the adjective schoepferisch sounds strange.

A more common way to get a German company name would be to form a compositum with "Schmiede (engl. forge)", e.g.

  • Wissensschmiede (knowledge forge)
  • Datenschmiede (data forge)
  • ...

Here, a German reader immediately gets the expression that your company creates whatever you put as first word, so it is similar to the meaning of "schoepferisch", but doesn't have the strange, biblical and uncommon sound to it.

  • See also »Denkfabrik« and »Fahrradmanufaktur«. – Pollitzer Sep 7 '17 at 13:21
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    Macht man eben eine Schöpferwerkstatt auf. – user unknown Sep 7 '17 at 13:39
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    Ich kann aus deiner Antwort keinen Unterscheid zwischen »schöpferisch« und »kreativ« herauslesen. Wer kreativ tätig ist, kreiert etwas, stellt also ebenfalls etwas her (lat. creare = erschaffen, erzeugen). Das Verb schöpfen in der hier gemeinten Bedeutung ist ein in die Jahre gekommenes Synonym von erschaffen, also gleichbedeutend mit kreieren. Daher ist auch die deutsche Übersetzung des englischen creator der Schöpfer. – Hubert Schölnast Sep 7 '17 at 14:37
  • I didn't know about the biblical connection, is it used to describe creationism (the pseudoscience)? If so that would be a big turn-off. Thanks for the heads up. – ndeubert Sep 7 '17 at 17:44
  • @ndeubert No, the extremist you call creationists in English are called Kreationisten in German. It's just that Schöpfung is used for both "the creation" (the normal christan concept not directly linked to any kind of extremism) and creation (e.g. a artwork). It's just that Schöpfung for a artwork sounds abit poetic maybe even abit over-the-top in a artistical way. You probably would say "Mein Bild ist fertig" rather then "Meine Schöpfung is vollendet", but both is normal German. Y'know creatives always speak abit strange ;-) I think if you want to underline the creativness it's the word to go – ikadfoanhfda Sep 7 '17 at 21:33
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Please keep in mind, that this is a very subjective answer.

In general kreativ and schöpferisch are synonyms, while schöpferisch is used more in formal, elevated and poetic speech.

Having said that, "Google S/schöpferisch" sounds "a bit odd" to me as a German, meaning it highly depends on the actual company name if it goes along well with schöpferisch. "Google Kreativ" would be a much better combination in my opinion.

I think it also depends if you want to open your business in a German-speaking country and/or with a german target audience in mind. For a business in e.g. Germany kreativ probably works better than schöpferisch in that context. For an English-speaking audience schöpferisch may simply sound "exotic" and it would work very well, even when probably almost nobody can pronounce schöpferisch the correct way ;)

  • Kreativ ist absolut abgeschmackt. – user unknown Sep 7 '17 at 13:43
  • I am starting a group in an already established English speaking American company, not starting a new one. I am thinking now that "kreativ" is probably exotic enough for the average American. I guess what I was hoping to discover was a unique word that existed in German, that didn't have an obvious English equivalent, that describes the idea of creating and inventing. Similar to how "schadenfreude " or "gemütlichkeit" have special meaning that is not capture in English translations. – ndeubert Sep 7 '17 at 17:53
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The main problem is German speakers can't tell the difference in meaning between these two:

Knickerknet schöpferisch (adjective)

Knickerknet schöpfend (participle present active)

They are both understood as "Knickerknet is being creative." That's not what you meant, is it? (Knickerknet is a brand of putty I just invented.)

German speakers love nouns, so do create combined nouns!

Knickerknetkreationen (sound a bit artsy, though)

Knickerknetgebilde

Knickerknetbauten

Knickerknet-Wettbewerb (hyphens are optional)

Or combine the brand name with a verb into a noun-made infinitive:

Knickerknetbauen

Knickerknetbasteln

The great advantage of such nouns is Knickerknet is immediately recognized as a tool or material someone can use.

  • "Knickerknet schöpferisch" means creative in a Knickerknet way, whatever beeing creative in a Knickerknet-way means. Knickerknet schöpfend means the property of you beeing creating Knickerknets applies (implicit this applies to the company owning the name, meaning that the company is creating Knickerknets, whatever a Knickerknet(s) is) – ikadfoanhfda Sep 7 '17 at 10:10
  • I don't see that difference. – Janka Sep 7 '17 at 10:12
  • The difference beeing if your created objects are characterized by having the property of knickerknet applied to them or if you create a object or animal called Knickerknet. – ikadfoanhfda Sep 7 '17 at 10:16
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    "schöpferisch" = having the tendency/ability to create ; "schöpfend" = "being creating in the present". – Annatar Sep 7 '17 at 10:58
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    If you want to say "creative in a Knickerknet way", it would be "knickerknet[-]schöpferisch" (now the noun is not an object, but an attached modifier). – Annatar Sep 7 '17 at 11:00

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