8

My dictionary says that the meaning of condition is "Zustand" and "Bedingung" but I do not know when to take which.

E.g. how can I say:

Yes, but in one condition.

and

He is in a good condition.

  • 3
    Much better now, thank you for the edit. I made some minor changes, hope you like it :) – Takkat Feb 6 '18 at 14:55
  • "Yes, but in one condition" is not even correct English. Do you mean "on one condition"? – PiedPiper Feb 7 '18 at 9:31
15

The dictionary you seem to be using has a nice feature: the words given as possible alternatives can all be clicked as well. You then get an overview of translation options, possible synonyms, alternative meanings and so on.

That gives you for Zustand:

Zustand {m}: condition [state] – state [condition] – shape – status – way [state] – state of affairs

That gives you for Bedingung:

Bedingung {f}: condition – requirement – prerequisite – term [condition] – stipulation [condition] – proviso – qualification – qualifier [condition]


Comparing these you might conclude that:

Yes, but on/under one condition. (prerequisite)

> Ja, aber unter einer Bedingung.

He is in a good condition. (state)

> Er ist in einem guten Zustand.

  • 1
    Wouldn't that be "on/under one condition"? Never heard of "in one condition" when referring to a prerequisite. – Jannik Pitt Feb 6 '18 at 23:03
  • @JannikPitt Come to think of it: you're completely right. Thx. – LangLangC Feb 6 '18 at 23:06
5

Teach a man how to fish

In the same way as you distinguish between the different meanings of the English word “condition”. Then match the relevant definition given in your English dictionary with those in the German dictionary relating to the offered translations.

Give a man a fish

condition

1. A logical clause or phrase that a conditional statement uses.

2. A requirement, term or requisite.

4. The state or quality.

5. A particular state of being.

Wiktionary offers translations of all meanings to various languages, most of them with a German representative.

Zustand

[1] Art und Weise, wie etwas zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt ist

Bedingung

[1] Forderung, von der etwas abhängt

[2] meist nur im Plural: Umstände, von denen etwas abhängt oder die etwas begleiten

[3] Rechtswesen: Wirksamkeitserfordernis

[5] Linguistik: Bedingungssatz

3

Unfortunately, I may not comment yet. However let me just add to LangLangC's Answer:

You cannot always translate a medical condition in that way. What you may say is:

Mein medizinischer Zustand ist gut. (My medical condition is fine)

However the sentence

I have a medical condition

would translate to:

Ich bin krank (I am sick)

or:

Ich habe medizinische Probleme (I have medical issues)

Also, keep in mind that there is a false friend 'Kondition' in German, which translates to 'stamina' in English.

  • 2
    "Mein medizinischer Zustand ist gut." - even that sounds quite stilted. Like something Mr. Data might say. "Mein gesundheitlicher Zustand ist gut." is a bit more natural, but most would rather just say "Ich bin bei guter Gesundheit." – O. R. Mapper Feb 6 '18 at 21:07
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    "Mein Gesundheitszustand ist gut" is also a often used alternative. – Mafii Feb 7 '18 at 9:14
2

"Zustand" means "condition" in the sense of "standing." That is a reference to "state of the world," or "shape," etc.

"Bedingung means "condition" in the sense of "stipulation." The would refer to "terms and conditions" or a "prerequisite."

1

Zustand can mean state, for example, in statistical physics.

1

The form "zustand" can also be the past tense 3rd person singular of "zustehen", as in "Er erhielt, was ihm zustand." (= "He got what he deserved/what he was entitled to.")

"Zustand" being a noun can be used as "state", "shape" or "condition", mostly it is being used refering to objects, sometimes to people.

  • 1
    How does this answer when to pick which translation of condition. – O. R. Mapper Feb 6 '18 at 16:37
  • 2
    @O.R.Mapper The question was significantly changed and this answer refers to the initial version of the question. – Eller Feb 6 '18 at 21:34

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