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A lot of German-language web sites have a section called "Wir über uns." Here's an example: Credit Suisse - Wir über uns

To me this seems redundant; I would think "Über uns" is sufficient. That would clearly mean "About us", whereas "Wir über uns" seems like it would mean "We about us", which in English, at least, sounds terrible.

But the expression including "Wir" seems quite common. From a grammatical point of view, how does it work?

  • This is the first time I hear of "Wir über uns". "Über uns" is way more common in my experiance. I have no trouble understanding it but I wouldn't use that myself unless I want to distinguish from e.g. "unsere Kunden über uns" (see accepted answer). – hajef May 29 '19 at 13:19
  • @hajef My impression is that "Wir über uns" is extremely common: Wir über uns – Kyralessa May 29 '19 at 13:23
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Let me start with your last question concerning how it works. "Wir über uns" is an ellipsis of something like "Wir berichten über uns" or "Hier schreiben wir etwas über uns".

Actually, I find the German version to be more precise than the English "About us", for the personal pronoun wir exactly specifies that we, and not others, say something about ourselves. "About us" could, potentially, be interpreted as "Our customers about us" or "The media about us", even if nobody would seriously do so, when reading it on a web site.

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    All three answers say more-or-less the same thing, but I find this explanation clearest. It sounds like an idiomatic English translation would be something like "Us, on us:" (though in English that would sound rather informal). – Kyralessa May 28 '19 at 12:52
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    So selten ist es nicht, dass man auf Webseiten zu Firmen, Produkten und Dienstleistungen Sammlungen fremder Stimmen aufgelistet findet. – user unknown May 28 '19 at 20:51
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    I think it is meant to be more informal and playful in German aswell. Maybe even more personable. – Lichtbringer May 29 '19 at 3:28
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    What @Lichtbringer said - it sounds quite informal, familiar and maybe playful to a german reader too. Makes it sound less "we're a huge corporation, here's our information" and more "you're our friend, here's what we would like to tell you about us". – Syndic May 29 '19 at 7:55
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    To be fair, "our customers about us" and "the media about us" are both sections that do exist on websites, but as something like "testimonials" and "media coverage" respectively. It's really just a matter of standard usage that "about us" means what it does in English, rather than a more accurate and elided description like "Wir über uns" in German as you point out. – Myles May 29 '19 at 9:36
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"Über uns" would be sufficient, but "Wir über uns" sounds more 'natural'. Plus it emphasizes that this is what we are saying about ourselves (as opposed to what other people are saying about us).

Don't make the mistake of thinking that word-for-word translations should make sense.

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    Not sure if I agree with more 'natural'. But the remainder of this explanation I do like. – stephanmg May 28 '19 at 12:42
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Like headlines in general, web page section names do not have to form complete grammatical sentences. "Wir über uns" can be interpreted as "Wir reden über uns", "we talk about us", by omitting the redundant verb.

It is not redundant. "Wir über uns" could emphasize that this is a self-description, not an independent opinion.

But mostly it's just idiomatic. You probably will often find customer quotes on such a page, because this is just what such a page would idiomatically be called.

The English word-for-word translation sounding terrible is really no good indicator for how the German phrase sounds.

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    "You probably will often find customer quotes on such a page" - I do indeed not expect customer quotes to be a major part of a page whose title is "Wir über uns". – O. R. Mapper May 29 '19 at 8:56

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