Does the name "Magdeburger Gartenpartei" sound ambiguous to Germans, in that rather than merely referring to the name of a political party, it sounds like a party of the social kind which happens in a garden (possibly a "Gartenparty")? That is, does it have the same sort of problem the Reason Party had when it was called the Australian Sex Party?

  • 1
    Sowohl ein politischer Verband als auch ein Fest sind von sozialer Art. Der Unterschied liegt in "Verband" vs. "Fest", nicht in "of social kind". Jun 3, 2018 at 15:55
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    No. "Partei" is unambiguously a political organisation - the social gathering can be any of a number of terms, including the loadn word "Party". Jun 4, 2018 at 6:18
  • @KilianFoth Not completely. A "Partei" can as well be a treaty partner (Vertragspartei) or someone who rents an apartment (Mietpartei). But in so far you are right, it can never be used for a "party" in the sense of a celebration.
    – glglgl
    Jun 4, 2018 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


Yes, it sounds ambiguous but for another reason than you think. There's the word


which paradoxically isn't a political party you could rent (for small money, I guess) but rather a tenant in a block of flats.

So, the first thing I thought when I heard of


was an allotment holder in a garden plot, not a political party. I think this is intended, to create that cozy feeling of having your own tiny garden.

A Fest can also be called die Party in German, never die Partei.

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    There is nothing paradoxical about this.
    – Carsten S
    Jun 3, 2018 at 12:42
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    (+1) Note that this meaning of Partei also exist in English (party to an agreement, a contract) and comes from legal French and ultimately Latin.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 3, 2018 at 14:43
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    (Miet-)Partei, pars pro toto, Partition, Partitur und Partei gehen doch alle auf den gleichen Stamm und die gleiche Bedeutung zurück. Mietpartei ist nur eine andere Spezialisierung als politische Partei, und ohne weiteren Kontext wird Partei leicht zuerst als pol. Partei verstanden, bevor man erwägt, der allgemeine Begriff könnte gemeint sein. Jun 3, 2018 at 16:02
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    Tschuldigung, es heißt "Magdeburger Gartenpartei", nicht einfach "Gartenpartei", in dem Fall ist die angebliche Ähnlichkeit doch ziemlich schwer konstruiert. Man kann es wirklich nicht als nicht-politische "Partei" deuten ("Magdeburger Gartenpartei" is not ambigous because it contains more context ruling out other non-party interpretations). Jun 3, 2018 at 20:13
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    This ambiguity only exists when you are actively looking for ambiguity here.
    – moooeeeep
    Jun 4, 2018 at 7:03

No, it does not sound ambiguous.

A political group is a "Partei", pronounced [paʁˈtaɪ̯]

A social gathering is a "Party", pronounced [ˈpaːti]

They sound similar, but not so similar that one could be easily confused for the other.

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    @user unknown: Ich verstehe dein Problem nicht – ähnlich, aber nicht zu verwechseln.
    – chirlu
    Jun 3, 2018 at 16:34
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    @userunknown "socket" and "sock" are also sounding similar, but are not easily confused if you want an english equivalent. Jun 3, 2018 at 20:08
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    A political group is a "Partei" - there are political groups that are not "Parteien", and there are "Parteien" which are not political groups. There are social gatherings that are not Parties. "Partei" and "Party" do not sound more similar to me than any other words. So, while all your sentences are somewhat valid, I wouldn't really subscribe to all of them, except the first one, and they may be less than helpful for a non-native speaker, confusing things more...
    – AnoE
    Jun 3, 2018 at 22:31
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    @AnoE: You are confusing this answer with a dictionary entry. A dictionary needs to give a precise and complete definition of a word; however, this answer in the context of this question just needs to give a hint at which word is which.
    – chirlu
    Jun 4, 2018 at 2:31
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    @chirlu: Dass die erste Silbe gleich ist wäre relevant, wenn man die zweite in beiden Fällen häufig verschlucken würde. Das tut man aber nicht, weswegen die Wörter nicht ähnlich klingen. Habe ich damit Dein Problem adressiert? Jun 4, 2018 at 3:25

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