Software X is producing printed reports, based on user input. How would I translate accurately 'produced with X' and 'produced by X', as both erstellen and erzeugen seem to be very near in their meaning:

  1. Mit X erstellt
  2. Mit X erzeugt

What is the better translation for 'produced with' and 'produced by'? What are the subtle nuances?

Or maybe I am missing some other, better translation?

  • generiert, erstellt, erzeugt, produziert where from first to last the focus is changing from mental performance to machine productivity ....
    – bummi
    Mar 23, 2013 at 15:39
  • 2
    @bummi: thank you for your reply -- you should however use the 'answer' button, not the 'comment' link for your answer to get a better visibility. This is how the StackExchange sites work. Mar 23, 2013 at 15:57
  • a answer would have to be more founded IMHO
    – bummi
    Mar 23, 2013 at 16:17
  • I could have up-voted it ;-) Mar 23, 2013 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


To me, erzeugen implies a slightly more thorough involvement than erstellen. Corresponding English translations that preserve this nuance would be erzeugen → create and erstellen → compile. The former implies the product is made from a much more basic input. For example, you would never use erzeugen in the context of building a physical object and you would never use erstellen in the context of biological creation (e.g., babies). (Note, however, that either word is rarely used in these example context and usually an altogether different word is used.)

In your specific context, I would use erstellen if the program only compiles some source data (which seems to be the case), while I would use erzeugen if the program actually generates the data. For example, for a random number generator, I would use erzeugen, while for a plotting program, I would use erstellen.

The authors of the Duden support my perception: erstellen, erzeugen. Keep in mind, that all this is only a nuance, and both versions are most likely to be understood as intended.

PS: If you want to emphasize that the software only compiles the data, you might consider using zusammenstellen.

  • Thank you! From your explanation, I'll probably settle to 'Mit Crésus Lohnbuchhaltung 10.0.067 erzeugt', since the program does some complex calculations based on the original user input. Mar 23, 2013 at 16:00
  • 4
    Fascinatingly, I would prefer erstellt in your context of accountancy, while erzeugt slightly implicates that the program also helped to generate the raw data. But as already stated, this is only a nuance.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 23, 2013 at 17:01
  • 1
    The verb used in German for the tasks of creating lists, overviews, reports, balance sheets, etc. is usually 'erstellen' (in a more narrow context zusammenstellen=assemble/compile). Eine Lohnabrechnung erstellen, eine Kontenübersicht erstellen, eine Bilanz erstellen (or aufstellen), … The term 'erzeugen' would be closer to computer lingo referring to the technical process of generating computer-based objects (files, computer graphics, object code).
    – TehMacDawg
    Mar 23, 2013 at 19:44
  • I agree with Wrzlprmtf... erstellen is what I would recommend and it matches up with the explanation since the program transforms input and it doesn't really create (as the great example "random number generator" would)
    – Emanuel
    Mar 23, 2013 at 20:44
  • Thank you for the discussion. I think that I now better get the subtle difference. So it should be ... erstellt -- but is this true even if the program has to do possibly complicated computations to conform with Swiss law? Mar 24, 2013 at 19:56

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