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I'm looking for the proper way to express the word "manageable" in German. Let me give some examples:

  1. The city is large, but very manageable (easy to find your way around).

  2. This car would be more manageable for a person of your size (you are way too big for a smart car).

  3. I think this task is quite manageable (not too complicated).

  4. I'm glad the crowd was more manageable (easy to move around) this time.

I see two possibilities in German: "leicht zu bewältigen", and "überschaubar". Maybe I am just being stubborn, but I find it hard to believe that I would describe a crowd as "überschaubar", and a city as "leicht zu bewältigen". Can somebody help me out here? Thanks!!!

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The city is large, but very manageable. (easy to find your way around)

If you hadn't added the extra info in parantheses, I had to guess what manageable should mean in that context, at all.

Die Stadt ist groß, aber übersichtlich.


This car would be more manageable for a person of your size. (you are way too big for a smart car).

Again, there is a better alternative for this context:

Dieser Wagen passt besser zu Ihrer Körpergröße.


I think this task is quite manageable (not too complicated).

Both options you listed are okay. Using leicht adds an emphasis I'm not sure if it's really covered by quite, given its often understated meaning. I'm always tempted to translate quite as recht or schon, which are as sneaky.

Ich denke, diese Aufgabe ist schon zu bewältigen.

Ich denke, diese Aufgabe ist recht/schon überschaubar.


I'm glad the crowd was more manageable (easy to move around) this time.

Again, there's a far better alternative to your "almost-fit" lookups.

Ich bin froh, dass die Menge diesmal besser beherrschbar war.

  • Thanks a lot! One comment and one question : Yes, it is 100% natural to call a city "manageable", and would always be understood in the context I gave. My question is, for sentence 4., when I say, the crowd is manageable, I dont mean: easy to manipulate, as from the prospective of an event planner or police officer, but rather, it was of a more manageable size, easy for a participant in the crowd to get from one place to another. Would I use überschaubar then? – Mark Jun 22 '18 at 21:22
  • I had guessed it was a mayor or city executive saying that. The translation had to be regierbar in that case. – Janka Jun 22 '18 at 21:42
  • Oh, and I misunderstood the crowd case, too, then. No, überschaubar would mean there was no crowd at all, the festival was deserted apart from the 100 people right in front of the stage. You could easily catch all the people on a single sight, that's what überschaubar means. The correct translation for your meaning would be Ich bin froh, dass die Menge diesmal etwas lichter war. See Lichtung. – Janka Jun 22 '18 at 21:50
  • But if "die Menge ist überschaubar" means the crowd is small, wouldn't "die Stadt ist überschaubar" mean the city is small? A city can be large, but still "manageable", if the streets are arranged in a very understandable way, etc.. – Mark Jun 23 '18 at 10:01
  • Yes, die Stadt ist überschaubar has the connotation the city is small. That's why I used übersichtlich instead. – Janka Jun 23 '18 at 12:20
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gut handhabbar oder gut beherrschbar sind geeignete Übersetzungen:

  1. The city is large, but very manageable (easy to find your way around).

    Die Stadt ist gross, aber gut beherrschbar (es ist leicht den Weg zu finden)

  2. This car would be more manageable for a person of your size (you are way too big for a smart car).

    Dieses Auto dürfte für eine Person ihrer Grösse besser handhabbar sein.

  3. I think this task is quite manageable (not too complicated).

    Ich denke diese Aufgabe ist gut beherrschbar.

  4. I'm glad the crowd was more manageable (easy to move around) this time.

    Ich bin froh, dass die Gruppe dieses mal besser beherrschbar war.

Both terms could be almost always used equally exchangable.

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    "Die Stadt ist gross, aber gut beherrschbar", sagte Louis XVI? Ich vermute da sollte "übersichtlich" oder etwas anderes besser. Mein Scrabbleduden verweigert mir navigierbar oder ähnliches. – LangLangC Jun 22 '18 at 16:31
  • @LangLangC Das würde für meinen Geschmack zu weit von einer möglichst wortgetreuen Übersetzung abweichen. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 22 '18 at 16:35
  • It is okay if "manageable" is expressed differently in different contexts. Would you say, "die Stadt ist gut beherrschbar" on a daily basis? – Mark Jun 22 '18 at 17:54
  • @Mark I don't understand clearly what exactly you mean regarding a "daily basis" here? If you mean something like: You have good facilities to reach any point via public transport (metro, buses, etc.), yes, I'd use that term. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 22 '18 at 17:56

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