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In English, Run for Food is used as a title for charity events. Food (for others) is a reward for running, nobody is actually physically running to retrieve food.

How would that translate to German correctly? Laufen für Essen or Lauf für Essen? Or will either variation work?

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I wouldn't use any of your proposals. I would call it:

Essenslauf

Because the German noun »der Lauf« is the English noun »the run«, and »der Essenslauf« literally is »the food run«

But when, however, you combine Essen and Lauf/Laufen: It always sounds weird in German.

There are charity runs in German spoken countries too, but they almost always have English names, because it sounds so unusual in German:

Or you only say »Spendenlauf« (which is charity run):

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  • Der "Hand in Hand Spendenlauf" müsste eigentlich richtig mit Bindestrichen geschrieben werden. Da es ein Eigenname ist, lassen wir ihm das mal durchgehen. – tofro Nov 18 '17 at 11:03
  • @tofro: Ich habs mit Copy&Paste von der Website geholt – Hubert Schölnast Nov 18 '17 at 16:29
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Lauf für Essen is the imperative form as in Run for food! while Laufen für Essen is the infinitive (to run for food).

This sounds like a competition or charity event. You can chose either but personally I'd go with the Laufen für Essen. If this is not the case, maybe you could specify a little further, so we can try to find a more fitting translation.

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  • This is more of a motto rather than a call to action, so I would say that the imperative form is a little more appropriate in this case right? – Seth Oct 29 '17 at 17:23
  • I agree with you. – infinitezero Oct 29 '17 at 17:52
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    We still are left alone in the fog what type of event this is, and I think knowing this is necessary for giving a good answer. In the meantime I vote for Laufen für Saufen. – Christian Geiselmann Oct 29 '17 at 21:48
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If you'd go for a crisp expression, you would probably choose something like

Tafellauf

Knowing "die Tafel" is a German charity organisation that collects leftover food for the poor and the word sounds similar to Staffellauf (relay race) in German.

EDIT: And, someone already seems to have had the same idea: A quick search on the internet shows some charity runs that were actually named like that.

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  • Das vermeidet immerhin die Mehrdeutigkeit von Essen, "Lauf für Essen", "Radtour für Dortmund". :) "Nahrung" wäre auch eine Möglichkeit. – user unknown Oct 30 '17 at 22:22

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