In a lot of situations, the English adjective "high-level" can be translated by "hochrangig", when it implies something out of the ordinary. But "high-level" is also very often used with the sense of "simplified" or "partial".

For instance this dialogue: Q: Have you fully audited the accounting data ? A: Not yet, so far I have only performed a high-level review.

What would be the corresponding German adjective for this usage of "high-level" ?

  • 2
    If you "high-level" should mean something like "not very detailed" you could use e.g. "überblicksmäßig" or "grob". BTW: Is the word "controlled" correct in the English sentence? I would use "checked" instead.
    – Bodo
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 12:37
  • 2
    I'm not sure I agree with your definition of "high-level" meaning "simplified"; it's not listed in Wiktionary. But I think I see what you're getting at. You can talk about a 'high-level" computer language, which hides details of implementation from the programmer, but Python is not a simplified version of assembly language.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 13:46
  • 1
    Thanks for your comments! @ Bodo:yes, the verb "checked" or "audited" would be better in the English sentence. And thanks for your suggestion with "überblicksmäßig". @ RDBury: yes "high-level" in this sense may not be in Wiktionary, but I can assure you it is very commonly used in this sense in private companies, be it in the UK or in Continental Europe. I basically hear it every day. Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 8:45

3 Answers 3


While in German translating the adjective is possible (see answer by a_donda, e.g. oberflächlich or flüchtig), more likely a properly modified verb is used instead or in addition, as

  • durchgeblättert
  • überflogen
  • quergelesen

(I don't like the word, but I also hear durchgescrollt, i. e. quickly press page down until end of document is reached, which of course applies to electronic documents only; I would always prefer durchgeblättert.)

  • 1
    "Durchgesehen" may also work if "durchgeblättert" sounds too papery.
    – HalvarF
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 16:07
  • Thank you @guidot and HalvarF for your answers ! Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 8:47

Suggested translation for "[...] so far I have only performed a high-level review":

Bislang habe ich mir lediglich einen kursorischen Überblick verschafft.

Bis jetzt hab' ich die Daten nur quer gelesen.

Ich habe mir die Daten nur oberflächlich angesehen.

Ich bin die Daten bisher nur flüchtig durchgegangen.

... and possibly others.

  • 2
    I have to admit I've never read "kursorisch" before. It seems to be a literal equivalent of English "cursory". Duden lists it as rare and "bildungssprachlich": kursorisch.
    – Hulk
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 15:23
  • 1
    @Hulk yep, seems it is the same, including the formal use. Common root in Latin.
    – user41853
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 16:26
  • Thank you @a_donda and Hulk for your answers and proposals ! Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 8:48
  • 2
    To 'counterbalance' the first comment, I will just say that I use kursorisch from time to time and also enocunter it rather frequently. By the way, duden.de doesn't say it's "rare", if I'm reading this correctly, just "bildungssprachlich" (that's certainly true) -- to provide some perspective, a corpurs search returns 302 matches for "kursorisch*" in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (daily) newspaper between 1992 and 2020, suggesting they use it about 11 times a year. That's not too bad. #teamkursorisch ;-)
    – johnl
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 17:16

One more suggestion:

Bis jetzt konnte ich nur eine Plausibilitätsprüfung machen.

A variant with a Denglish ingredient would be

Bis jetzt konnte ich nur einen Plausibilitätscheck machen.

  • Danke @Frost für deinen Vorschlag! Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 16:09

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