I have searched in my dictionary to notice any difference but none appears. The meaning of both is "notification".

Is it that "Mitteilung" may be a notification on phone(when a message or notification is received) and "Benachrichtigung" an official notification(about a request)?

  • 2
    Die Benachrichtigung focuses on the action of having someone take notice, while die Mitteilung focuses on the content of the message.
    – Janka
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:27
  • Is there any more precise context other than "on the phone" or "official" for using notification? We will not be able to choose the appropriate term for you without knowing what it was meant for.
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 7:14

3 Answers 3


This is primarily a matter of formality. "Mitteilung" is rarely used in normal speech because it's an abstract word; you're more likely to talk about a concrete "Brief", "Anruf", "Text", "Aushang", "Anzeige" etc.

"Mitteilung" is only used when you talk about any possible kind of notification - for instance, a law might mandate informing the public about something but leave the channel unspecified. This makes "Mitteilung" rather formal.

"Benachrichtigung" is very formal - it's used almost only in Amtsdeutsch (officialese).


We call letters from the authorities rather »amtliche Mitteilung / Bescheid« than »amtliche Benachrichtigung«. They often come unexpectedly and are mostly bad news. E. g.:

Sie sind zu schnell gefahren.
(You drove too fast.)

Sie müssen Steuern nachzahlen.
(You have to pay more taxes.)

Ihr Haftantritt wurde vorverlegt auf den 1. Mai.
(Your imprisonment was brought forward to the 1st of May.)

In Kalenderwoche 42 wird Ihre Straße aufgerissen.
(In calendar week 42 your street is torn up.)

A »Benachrichtigung« is more often one of those:

  • private

  • expected or desired / pre-ordered

  • alert-like

with possible content:

  • a person has reached a location

  • calendar app reminds of a date

  • a forum thread has a new answer or an answer has a new comment

  • ...

  • 1
    Don't you think the use of one or the other depends very much on the context that we unfortunately do not know?
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 8:34
  • @Takkat: Je genauer gefragt wird, umso genauer kann man antworten. Es geht aber auch so.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 9:01
  • Auch so ist kaum mehr wert als ein Wörterbucheintrag und genau das wollten wir eigentlich vermeiden.
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 9:11

There is no difference in the occurence of Mitteilung vs. Benachrichtigung on translating notification by phone or from official sources.

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Still, depending on the context, the content or nature of that notification they are not 100% synonym. We will prefer one over the other but for official notifications Bescheid is more common.

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