0

In English, especially in India, people use the terms "arranged marriage" that is the partner is found by parents or relatives and "love marriage" wherein both partners fall in love first and then proceed for marriage. Then, there are also matrimonial websites wherein one can search matching partner for marriage through online matrimonial websites. What are the equivalent terms in German for the same?

  • Arrange/arranged Marriage
  • Love Marriage
  • Matrimonial Websites
2
  • 2
    Have you tried checking a dictionary? At least for the first two, you should be able to find some results, given that the concepts are by no means alien to German culture (thinking of past dealings concerning arranged marriage in the circles of nobility). The third term seems almost like a separate question - but are those matrimonial websites specific to arranged marriages, or are they the same as matchmaking services that are typically used in the context of love marriage/partnership elsewhere? Jan 5 at 8:59
  • Yes, matrimonial is same as matchmaking but not similar to dating websites. This matrimonial sites are more about family background and religion, caste, job informations. Yes, I have checked dictionary. But, the meaning were not relative. I had assumed Hochzeit would be only for wedding day that's the reason, I was looking for any other term. Hubert's answer has clarified my doubts. Jan 11 at 6:01
5

The verb "to arrange" has a french origin (fr. "arranger" = to order, to bring in a line, especially soldiers during exercises), and also in German we use this french loanword. It is "arrangieren". The perfect participle of this verb is "arrangiert".

The word "marriage" has two meanings:

  • The ceremony of officially becoming a married couple. This ceremony typically lasts for a few hours. An English synonym is "wedding".
    This ceremony is called "die Hochzeit". This is the most common used term. Other words, that are also used quite often are "die Heirat", "die Trauung", "die Eheschließung" and "die Vermählung". (They are all feminine nouns, as you can read from the feminine article "die".)
  • The period of usually many years during which two persons are married. It begins with the ceremony and ends either when one of them dies or when they get divorced.
    The name for this span of life is "die Ehe". All synonyms that exist are compound nouns containing this word like "der Ehebund", "das Ehebündnis" or "der Ehestand" and they all are used less frequently than "die Ehe".

So, when you talk about the ceremony, the most frequently used term is

die arrangierte Hochzeit

When you talk about the state of being a married couple, then it is

die arrangierte Ehe


The German word for the noun "love" is "die Liebe". German has the fantastic feature of building compound nouns. You can use compound nouns to build one word to describe one thing where you would need two or more words in other languages to describe the same thing. And this happens in the next two German nouns:

A love marriage is, when you talk about the ceremony:

die Liebeshochzeit

The span of life is

die Liebesehe


In European culture we don't have matrimonial websites. When we search for a partner, then we don't search for a person to marry. We search for a person to have fun with, for a person to talk and to be friends for a longer period of time. Marriage is an option, but in Europe many couples live together without being married. Some of them also have children without being married. I also know a couple who lived together for 16 years, then they married and got divorced just 10 month later, and now they again live together without being married. For many people here in Europe a marriage is a too strong and too official method. They feel captured in a marriage and prefer to live in loose partnerships, which in fact can sometimes be more stable than some marriages.

So, we don't have matrimonial websites but we have dating websites. And German has another fine feature: We often import words from other languages and use them as foreign words or as loan words. And this is also true for the term you are searching for.

In German we call a dating website

die Dating-Website

This term is pronounced like in English, and again it is a feminine noun. (The English original doesn't have any grammatical gender, but all German nouns must have a gender, and here it is feminine.)

But in German we also have the word "die Seite" which is a false friend of English "site". It means "page" which also is a frequently used term for internet representations. In English these terms have different meanings: A site is the whole internet exposure of a company while a page is only what you can see at one time in your browser (including scrolling but excluding clicking). So, a website typically contains many web pages. But because the German word for page ("die Seite") sounds almost the same as the English word site, most German native speakers don't make a difference between "die Website" (which is compound word of two foreign words) and "die Webseite" (which is a compound word of an English foreign word and a German word). And for this reason you also very often will find this term:

die Dating-Webseite

or just (more frequently used)

die Datingseite

Remember: Although the German word literally means "dating page" its real meaning is "dating site".

But you also will find pure German words like:

die Partnervermittlungsseite

which again is a compound noun and literally means "partnership broking page" but sounds very bureaucratic and therefore is not often used.


Addendum

(Thank you, Paul Frost, for mentioning this topic in your comment)

There also is another term in this context and this is "forced marriage". The German terms for this are:

die Zwangsheirat (the ceremony)
die Zwangsehe (the state that begins with the ceremony)

The term "Zwangshochzeit" is rarely used, because the literal meaning of "Hochzeit" is "high time" in the sense of "happy time" and usually people who are forced to be married are not happy.

An arranged marriage is when other people than the bridal pair (very often their parents) decide that they should marry, and the bridal pair agrees with this decision. So, the first step was not made by the bridal pair, but they still like each other, maybe they even fall in love with each other and then marry. Arranged marriages are strongly discouraged by our society. We believe that nobody but the bridal pair itself is allowed to decide who they should marry. But arranged marriages still are legal.

In a forced marriage the bridal pair will not be asked if they want to marry. They have to marry, even if one or both of them don't want it. To force people into a marriage they don't want is a crime.

It is a crime in Austria where I live (§ 106a in Austrian StGB) and also in Germany (§ 237 in German StGB) and I strongly believe, that it is a crime in all European countries. People who forces other people into a marriage in Austria or Germany will be sent to prison for 6 month minimum, 5 years maximum.

6
  • Perhaps it would be worth to mention also the concept of Zwangsheirat. It is certainly not the same as an arranged marriage, but see Abgrenzung zur arrangierten Heirat.
    – Paul Frost
    Jan 5 at 11:08
  • 3
    I'll just add that in the 20th century, before the internet was in every home, the term "Heiratsanzeigen" was still in use for classified ads in newspapers from people looking for a partner. This term has died out by now though.
    – HalvarF
    Jan 5 at 11:37
  • @HalvarF: Replaced by what? I think I have seen such sections titled just "Kontakte", given that requests for partnership and for friendship (and anything in between) are mixed in such sections. Jan 5 at 12:04
  • 1
    @O.R.Mapper: Yes, "Kontakte", "Bekanntschaften" or "Kennenlernen", e.g. here: marktplatz.zeit.de/kennenlernen/suche?cat=Er%20sucht%20sie BTW, "Heiratsanzeige" ist still in use, but with a different sense, namely classifieds announcing marriages that have taken place.
    – HalvarF
    Jan 5 at 12:52
  • 1
    @NoishaStudieren : You surely mean Hubert Schölnast.
    – HalvarF
    Jan 11 at 13:20
2

The term arranged marriage is usually translated word for word: arrangierte Ehe (see Beispiel [3]). It must not be confused with Zwangsheirat, which would be a forced marriage.

Although the term love marriage can as well be translated directly (to Liebesehe), the translation Liebesheirat, which literally means love wedding, is more idiomatic.

Matrimonial websites are called in various ways, for example, Partnervermittlungsseiten, Dating-Seiten or Dating-Webseiten.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.