I'm writing a text and I want to say that "the windows cannot be climbed".

Is this all right? I'm honestly not sure even what is the name of this form. Where can I learn more about it?


Edit: probably "klettern" is the wrong verb here. I'll give some context. The action happens in a bouldering hall with windows and you are not supposed to climb through the window and go outside (you shouldn't). The windows are at the height of a human person's head.

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    I don't understand the meaning of the English sentence. Do you mean to climb on the windowsill? Or climbing across a window? (How can you do this?) Nov 4 '20 at 21:44
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    @Hubert Schölnast -- Yes the situation does seem very odd. Possibly it's a cartoon, video game, or maybe Spiderman is involved somehow. The grammatical issue seems clear though.
    – RDBury
    Nov 4 '20 at 23:26
  • @HubertSchölnast, yes, imagine a window that is at the height of your head and you climb through it and go outside Nov 5 '20 at 21:01
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    So, you mean "You are not allowed to climb through the windows"? This is a completely different sentence than "The windows cannot be climbed". First: "You cannot do something" is different from "You are not allowed to do something" ("You can't walk through solid walls" vs. "You are not allowed to pass the door") Second "to climb" is different from "to climb through" ("climb a wall" vs. "climb through a hole") Nov 5 '20 at 22:06

My guess is you mean the windows are on a featureless wall so they cannot be climbed e.g. by a burglar. That action is called erklettern in German. It's often used in the context of mountain climbing but also in that context of burglary.

Die Fenster können (von außen) nicht erklettert werden.

Another way to express this thought is

In die Fenster kann (von außen) nicht eingestiegen werden.

Einsteigen into a house means to break into.

  • not exactly, please see edit Nov 5 '20 at 21:03
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    It's the same verb erklettern, but you have to use the modal dürfen. Die Fenster dürfen nicht erklettert werden. or, as typical German signage would put it: Das Erklettern der Fenster ist verboten., or short Erklettern der Fenster verboten. or even shorter Fenster erklettern verboten.
    – Janka
    Nov 5 '20 at 21:18
  • I'm marking the answer as accepted because of your comment, if you want add it to the answer. "Die Fenster dürfen nicht erklettert werden", that's the phrase I wanted to learn, thank you Nov 6 '20 at 11:17

With the edit, the straight-forward translation seems to be:

Nicht aus den Fenstern klettern!

This would be the appropriate text for a warning sign, to discourage a behavior which one might try otherwise.


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