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When reading about these words I keep seeing everyone say that they mean the same. However, I am wondering if there is some difference in connotations? My gut feeling is that the former is more about “getting there takes a long time”, while the former is just about the physical distance – am I right?

Also, while looking for an answer to this question, I found a review of some place and it started with this:

Nicht weit weg, und doch so weit entfernt.

What did the reviewer mean? Based on what I assumed above, my theory is that it is relatively easy to get there, but once you are there it feels calm and remote, is that right?

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    Maybe something like so close, yet so far – Zhanfeng Lim Dec 1 '20 at 11:09
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There is, as far as I can tell, no agreed-upon difference between these two expressions; with the exception, perhaps, of register: some might argue that „weit weg“ is slightly more colloquial.

In my opinion „Nicht weit weg, und doch so weit entfernt“ is just marketing speech, and trying to avoid a “repetition of words” (Wortwiederholung), something that Germans abhor. It would equally well work the other way round: „Nicht weit entfernt, und doch so weit weg.“

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"Weit weg" und "weit entfernt" mean the same for pretty much all intents and purposes.

The sentence "Nicht weit weg, und doch so weit entfernt" just plays with the fact that distance can be understood literally or figuratively in various ways. Even though something is nearby in one sense, it can be "so far away" in a different sense.

For example, if you live in a big city like Munich or Berlin, you can drive out of the city for an hour and be in very rural surroundings that have nothing in common with city life - everything is quiet, not a lot of people around, and you can see the stars at night. So the place is not far away in a literal sense, but at the same time very far away in a figurative sense.

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  • +1 nice example – choXer Dec 1 '20 at 10:27

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