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I am wondering if there is a germain equivalent for a prepper. dict.leo.org didn't "know" this word. Would the average ordinary german person understand the word prepper?

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    please explain what a prepper is. I am german nativespeaker and do not know all exotic english words. Apr 7, 2012 at 11:22
  • Do you mean what used to be called preppies, kind of the opposite of punkers? Guys who dress stylishly and all that? The English word will be used just like with punkers.
    – Kevin
    Apr 7, 2012 at 17:36
  • I just noticed the same question (although for English). english.stackexchange.com/questions/63461/…
    – user89
    Apr 7, 2012 at 19:04
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    Like a Selbstversorger but with far more of a military gear fetish... kind of a hybrid Selbstversorger and Mall Ninja... May 22, 2017 at 11:38
  • I would say ` Privatvorsorger`. I have a friend who "preps" tobacco and honey for the world end.
    – efkah
    May 23, 2017 at 19:53

4 Answers 4

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There is a german website about preppers: http://prepper.de/prepper

They do not translate the word. "Prepper" is used as a foreign word in german, but most people will not know what is meant with it.

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    Ich denke, das hat sich heutzutage geändert. Es gibt immerhin eine Netflixserie, die Prepper heißt.
    – Iris
    Jan 16, 2020 at 13:04
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    Und was ist Nextflix? Das sind diese Fernbusse, oder? Jan 16, 2020 at 20:43
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I don't know if I'm an average ordinary German person, but prepper was unknown to me.

I found this definition:

Prepper (noun): An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-reliant), or without substantial assistance from outside resources (govt., etc.) in order to minimize the effects of that change on their current lifestyle.

In German it could be Selbstversorger, but I think that's more general (a self-supporter).

http://prepper.de/prepper contains also no translation, only explanation of the word. They introduce prepper as a new word. So I think there is no translation, German needs a new (foreign) word for it. Prepper seems to become a loanword.


I had another idea: Autarkist. This word doesn't exist in German - but I think it can be understood by native speakers (at least I would). It is a derivasion of Autarkie (autarky) or autark sein.

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    Bohnen, blaue Bohnen und Gold. Die Bohnen sind für den Hunger, die blauen Bohnen gegen die Nachbarn, das Gold... wird sich schon 'ne Verwendung finden für. Apr 7, 2012 at 15:59
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    I like the Autarkist suggestion. Apr 7, 2012 at 16:55
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Prepper is a relatively new word in English as well. Therefore it is of little suprise that there is no German equivalent. Given recent language history I bet this will not come up but instead Prepper will stay an English loanword until it has become out of fashion again.

Closest to the main characterisics of a Prepper, and in case we desperately need to translate this word to a German-only expression we may take

Überlebenskünstler

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    I am not sure if Überlebenskünstler conveys the meaning of prepper (as I understand it). knut's Selbstversorger seems to be the better alternative. I see an Überlebenskünstler as someone who survives in spite not preparing for anything as opposed to a prepper who wants to survive and prepare for that goeal. Apr 7, 2012 at 12:56
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    Well, prepper is a form of survivalism. I would not recommend to translate prepper but we may need to explain it because it is not well known. Selbstversorger also is something else as knut already ponted out. A prepper may be sort of a mixture from Selbstversorger and Überlebenskünstler.
    – Takkat
    Apr 7, 2012 at 13:11
  • Wie wärs mit Verschiebe-nicht-auf-morgen-was-du-heute-kannst-Besorger? (Stupid Microsoft Word spellcheck puts a squiggly red line underneath.) Apr 7, 2012 at 15:09
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    I'm not sure what people think it they hear about a "prepper". In my mind preppers tend to be suspicious of the government and preparing mostly for a state of "without rule of law". This is a thing which is quite rare in Germany (good luck stockpiling guns :3) and the term "Überlebenskünstler" describes more of an Bear Grylls or Rüdiger Nehberg type of person. "Selbstversorger" on the other hand do not prepare for something, but are already living a certain lifestyle.
    – 0x6d64
    Apr 8, 2012 at 8:22
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    @0x6d64: When I hear "Selbstversorger", I think of someone who produces their own food, possibly also their own clothes. The mental image I have is someone who wants to live ecologically and who would maybe rather support a peace movement than arming themselves. Google Image illustrates the difference quite well: "Selbstversorger" yields images of gardens, gardening equipment, and happy-looking people amidst their plants, whereas "prepper" yields images of canned food and people with camouflage clothing and rifles. Jan 16, 2020 at 20:53
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There is a English netflix Serie called "Preppers". The German description is: "Überlebenskünstler, die sich auf unterschiedliche Katastrophenszenarien und den Untergang der Zivilisation vorbereiten"

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