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I am learning German and dealing with nominative, dative, accusative, and genitive.

EDIT

Ex: die Nase des Kindes.

In this genitive case Kind is the origin/genesis whereby the Nase belongs, that's why das Kind became des Kindes.

Watching series TV I figured out the title for "La casa de papel" (spanish) and "A casa de papel" (portuguese) gives an idea of "papel" belongs to the "casa", which means the genesis (origin), genitive of it.

Why in german titled as "Haus des Geldes", whereby the Geld is genitive? Shouldn't be "das Geld des Hauses"? I mean, Haus being the origin where the Geld is made.

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  • Exactly. I am asking why it is genitive, like you said it should not be. But in German translation it is genitive. That´s my question. – Paulo Henrique Guimarães Jan 19 at 9:47
  • Keep in mind that the German title of something is often wildly different that its original title: The most egregious example I know of is Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (Italian), "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (English), Zwei glorreiche Halunken (German). – RDBury Mar 24 at 12:51
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The noun »Geld« is neuter, not masculine, so the correct article is not »der« but »das«:

Das Geld des Hauses

This is a correct German nominal group and it means

English: The money of the house
Spanish: El dinero de la casa
Portuguese: O dinheiro da casa

And if you use the word paper instead of money:

German: Das Papier des Hauses
English: The paper of the house
Spanish: El papel de la casa
Portuguese: O papel da casa

So, German »Geld/Papier«, English »money/paper« and Spanish/Portuguese »papel« are in nominative case, and the thing where it belongs to (the house) appears in other grammatical forms.

But, as far as I can tell (which is more guessing than telling) the Spanish/Portuguese »casa« (which means »house« or »Haus«) in your phrase is in nominative case, and the word »papel« (»paper« or »Papier«) is in genitive case, because it's not the paper/money that belongs to the house, but the house that belongs to the paper/money. The phrase »La casa del papel« does not describe a special kind of paper/money. It describes a special house.

And the German construction is constructed the same way as the Spanish:

German: Das Haus des Geldes. Das Haus des Papiers.
English: The house of the money. The house of the paper.
Spanish: La casa del dinero. La casa de papel.
Portuguese: A casa do dinheiro. A casa de papel.

To omit the article »das« is just a question of style. It just sounds better without article when used as a title.

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  • I mistyped the question der Geld should be das Geld. Excuse me for making the wrong question, but you understood what I meant. Thanks. – Paulo Henrique Guimarães Jan 19 at 5:45
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Native Spanish speaker here. When I read "La Casa de Papel", I see in my mind a house MADE OUT of paper. It's like saying/writing "La Silla de Madera" to describe "The Wooden Chair".

If I wanted to convey that the house is where paper is made/procured/originated, I would write "La Casa DEL Papel".

Therefore, the German translation is not literal, because Haus des Geldes is similar to the latter, which does not convey the same meaning as the original title in Spanish.

Das Goldhaus, I believe, would be the literal translation of the former.

Cheers! Urgard

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  • According to your explanation, "Haus des Gelds" is the first statement that you declared meaning a house made of paper and not the second. – Paulo Henrique Guimarães Jan 19 at 10:51
  • I said that Haus des Geldes is similar to the LATTER, meaning that it is similar to the second explanation, i.e.: the one ending with "La Casa DEl Papel". – Urgard Jan 21 at 22:33
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Actually, Haus des Geldes and La casa de papel are not equivalent. @HubertSchölnmast and @Urgard correctly described what the phrases mean in their respective languages, but what matters most here are the differences between how Romance languages and German express compositions of nouns. I'll try to unravel the hidden misunderstandings first and explain the difference.


The key is what you wrote in the question:

La casa de papel gives an idea of papel [belonging] to the casa

That corresponds with @Urgard's statement:

When I read La Casa de Papel, I see in my mind a house MADE OUT of paper

That is because at least in French, Italian and Spanish (probably also in Portugese and Romanian), the simple de/di without article does not correspond to the German genitive, but would be substituted in German by a compound noun:

  • La casa de papel
  • La maison de papier
  • La casa di carta
  • Das Papierhaus

I guess this is what you meant with "papel belongs to the casa" and insofar you are right. @Urgard almost said this; however, it's either Papierhaus (literal) or Geldhaus (metaphorical), not Goldhaus (that would be casa de oro).

So it's important to note that casa de papel in fact means house of paper/paper house and would be called Papierhaus in German, but another title was chosen in German that is not a translation of the original title as you can see here which I will explain further below.


Different from that is the genitive. That would in all languages require an article:

  • La casa del papel
  • La maison du papier
  • La casa della carta
  • Das Haus des Papier(e)s (or: Geldes)

If you have a phrase like that, it indeed means that the house 'belongs' to the paper (not the other way round). But interestingly, in German this can also mean the house is dedicated to paper, or, more applicable here, money, like a bank or a money printing office.

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