I am trying to translate the following sentence into German:

Due to the delay, I had an unexpected one-day stay in Berlin.

(Assuming this is proper English; I am not a native speaker.)

I am considering to use the word "Tagesaufenthalt". According to my web searches, the word has at least three meanings in German:

  1. A one-day stay in a hotel or a spa
  2. The place where people or animals dwell during daytime
  3. A building where homeless people can stay during daytime.

Furthermore, "einen Aufenthalt haben" gives some web hits, but I am not sure if these are machine-translated and might actually sound silly in German.

So my question is: Would "...hatte ich einen unerwarteten Tagesaufenthalt in..." be an appropriate translation of the sentence in question?

  • "einen Aufenthalt haben" is a common phrase for such situations, but it will not define how long this stay was. In you case I would use "einen längeren Aufenthalt haben" whichdoes not define the amount of time too, but with the context of traveling (and not finished the tour yet) it should work. Because I agree with the answer of convaldo, this is a context adding comment only Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 10:32

2 Answers 2


Yes, "Ich hatte einen unerwarteten Tagesaufenthalt" would be correct, at least when the context of travelling is given. However, another possibility would be

"... hatte ich unerwartet einen eintägigen Aufenthalt"

I think most native speakers would use the second sentence when speaking, as it sounds more natural (at least for me).

  • 3
    To me, it does not sound very natural at all to use neither Tagesaufenthalt nor Aufenthalt in the translation. I would rather go for something like '..., musste ich unerwartet einen Tag in Berlin bleiben/abwarten."
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 11:08
  • The problem with jarnbjo's otherwise fine translation is that it frames the sojourn as a Müssen. But it was only unexpected.
    – Coppélia
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 11:45
  • 2
    One could still use jarnbjo’s translation and use “bin geblieben” instead.
    – eurieka
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 17:37

Your translation is correct, and any ambiguity in meaning resolved by the context (even if I don't remember to have encountered the homeless meaning).

The sentence sounds very formal,howver, and I consider the composite noun Tagesaufaufenthalt to be responsible for it. Composite nouns have their merits, but colloquially one would more likely say something like:

... musste (or, according to your comment, if the pleasure was more important than the delay: konnte) ich überraschend den restlichen Tag (or einen Tag) in Berlin verbringen

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