It is about Software Engineering, where it usually comes to problems in communication between the customers (domain-specific, functional, professional lexis) and developers (technical, generic lexis). So could one write:

"Während dieser Phasen treten (or entstehen) meistens Kommunikationsprobleme zwischen dem fachlich geprägten Kunden und dem technisch argumentierenden Entwickler auf."

so that the stylistic nuance of the sentence would be kind of contrast between the customer and the developer?

  • 1
    Well, why not? And the same answer you will get here will also be valid for English and all other questions. It's not about language usage or syntax or whatever. This question is on a semantical level, i.e. what you wanna express. And there's (almost) everything possible. A sentence can be grammatically perfectly fine but doesn't make any sense. In this case it's grammatically fine and it make sense ;)
    – Em1
    Mar 18, 2013 at 7:49
  • Thank you! Although it is really correct that this question is on the semantical level, but it is implicitly a question also on the syntactical/grammatical/morphological level: I am not sure about the correctness of "technisch argumentierenden Entwickler", maybe "technisch argumentierten Entwickler"?
    – static
    Mar 18, 2013 at 8:06
  • Agree with @Em1. Furthermore, the contrast between the participle "geprägt" and the gerund "argumentierend" is a popular stylistic device and in no way incorrect. ("technisch argumentierter Entwickler", on the other hand, would be incorrect.) There is a subtle nuance here, too, as the participle "geprägt" carries overtones of immobility whereas the gerund "argumentierend" carries a note of dynamism. Mar 18, 2013 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


We probably do not have the idea of "geprägt" in this example, as this being derived from the verb "prägen" is used in the literal or figurative meaning. e.g. being embossed, formed, or affected by something. In the example given:

ein fachlich geprägter Kunde

this could be interpreted as the customer being a person who from his experience was formed into an unchangeable professional being.

If however we only wanted to express that the customer in question is not a layman or unexperienced user we may want to use "versiert" instead.

ein fachlich versierter Kunde

Then the example works:

Während dieser Phasen entstehen meistens Kommunikationsprobleme zwischen dem fachlich versierten Kunden und dem technisch argumentierenden Entwickler.

Sidenote: using plural "Phasen" should only be done when there are more than one stage, otherwise, or if the project phase was further specified earlier, it feels better to use sungular

  • Ich hätte in die gleiche Richtung argumentiert, dass 'geprägt' zu passiv ist, und 'ausgerichtet' vorgeschlagen, jedoch der Kritik, geprägt hieße auch unveränderlich, schließe ich mich nicht an. Sie widerspricht diametral der Erfahrung, die die Menschheit mit geprägten Münzen seit je hat: Der Kaiser stirbt, und die Münzen werden umgeprägt auf den nächsten Kopf. Allerdings wird dieser Umstand oft verkannt, so dass der Sinn beim Hörer vielleicht genauso ankommt wie er gemeint ist. ;) Mar 20, 2013 at 1:08

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