I have to create 2 button labels on a Computer Application window labeled Done and Cancel.

Which version of each word in German should be used?

Update/Edit Please forgive my brevity or lack of context to my original question. I did come to this site not as an escape from searching or using online dictionaries. I did attempt to use them. I am also a speaker of Romance languages (Spanish/Portuguese/Italian and a little French but I don't claim to be conversational with French). I know from reading bad translation in languages I am familiar with, how a poorly translated label or sign could be taken by a native speaker because the translator simply picked one word from a long list in an online translator without thinking if the single word or short phrase really fits the subject.

In my profession we create mobile applications that facilitate functions for guests of many languages. Our challenge is when we create new functions and need to direct a user to move through the windows by clicking on labeled buttons. If the button label does not convey the correct meaning our users are frustrated. Or if the wrong word is selected then we do not look professional in the eyes of our users. With that all said my original question is:

In a function where a user completes an order they filled out in a mobile app's window they have the 2 button option of "Done" as in "this action/request/order is completed and I want to show it as Done so I can proceed"


"Cancel" as in "I have second thoughts on submitting this at all and wish to Cancel (clear the order completely) and proceed.

I was going to originally go with "Erledigt" and "Streichen". But with Cancel I had so many options (19 according to Google translate) that I wanted to consult true German speakers for an assist that I was selecting the correct one for this context.

  • Localisation of software controls is a task best given to professional services. – Christian Geiselmann Jul 31 '18 at 8:34
  • If you do not provide information what the buttons do, all the answers here are likely going to be false. – user33621 Jul 31 '18 at 21:38
  • To me, "OK" and "Abbrechen" sounds the most natural, but I am not a native speaker. But I use a lot of German software everywhere. Btw, I think there is no reason to worry on a closure, if you've already got your answers (I gave a reopen vote anyways). – peterh Aug 4 '18 at 7:44

Your question lacks context for a definitive answer because software translation is not only about finding similar words in a different language. Platform conventions are equally important. For example, Windows might require a different translation than Apple and different again than KDE.

In most shoddy translations violations of the platform conventions is one of the major problems, so don’t ignore it. Search for a style guide of your platform vendor. You should find a lot of helpful hints there.

That said: If you are in a wizard-like context where you perform a sequence of steps until a larger task is done, then my intuition from years and years of using mostly Windows GUIs makes me expect:

Done -> Fertig (with the F as underlined accelerator key)

Cancel -> Abbrechen (with the A as underlined accelerator key)


The logic behind the button texts is often found like this:

  • OK / Abbrechen: Click on »OK« applies the data and closes the window.

  • Übernehmen / Abbrechen: Click on »Übernehmen« applies the data, the window stays open.

  • Schließen / Abbrechen: The window only shows data which cannot be changed by the user. Click on »Schließen« closes the window, button »Abbrechen« might be unnecessary.


OK und Abbrechen is the most common pattern seen in UI's.

Variants for Done instead of OK might be

  • Fertig
  • Fertigstellen
  • 3
    "Fertigstellen" ist aber ein Imperativ und bezieht sich zweifellos auf die Zukunft, während sich "Done" auf die Vergangenheit bezieht. – user unknown Jul 31 '18 at 0:18
  • In der Tat, "Fertigstellen" entspricht eher "Finish". – RHa Jul 31 '18 at 9:04
  • "Fertigstellen" is a really good label for a button to finish an action in a software, consisting of multiple steps (i.e. a wizard). I saw that being used often in such cases. An "OK" button would be a bad choice for wizards, in my opinion, since the user might not expect, that the whole process is going to be completed with a click on it. Another good word for completing an order can be "Abschließen" ("Complete" (the order)). – Igor O. Aug 4 '18 at 7:09

Even though the other answers suggest that "Done" schould be translated as "OK", I do not agree with that. The word "Done" was probably used on purpose.

That's why I'd translate this as:


  • 1
    That's the issue with this careless question: It does not give a bit of context. And context is decisive here. – Christian Geiselmann Jul 31 '18 at 13:49

As an programming standard, use "OK" also for German. There are some programmers who tend to use "In Ordnung" for OK. And for "Done", it depends on the application. For any form filling application or registration or user account creation type of application, it is "Abgeschlossen". For a program installation, "Fertig" For a program installation and the entering user details or when the application runs last minute steps like updating or connecting to internet, it is "Fertigstellen"


Done > Erledigt

Cancel > Abbruch

  • Was ist daran soo falsch? – Ralf Joerres Aug 1 '18 at 16:56

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