I am currently writing my bachelor thesis in German. The thesis is related to computer science and and I was wondering whether I could write Layer-Architektur instead of Schichtarchitektur.

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    Using the Wikipedia translator, i.e. search the English term and then switch to German. It's at least a term that exist and is in frequent use to have it's own wikipedia page: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schichtenarchitektur though often enough the English terms are also common, so maybe ask your supervisor.
    – haxor789
    Jun 16, 2022 at 12:13
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    I wouldn't use the german wikipedia because in the IT-related articles is a bunch of fundamentalists at work. They might not have the slightest idea about the field but know exactly how to name it. Wikipedia is quite the opposite of a reputable source
    – bakunin
    Jun 16, 2022 at 12:42
  • Could you ask the supervisor? Jun 16, 2022 at 12:42
  • @bakunin Fair enough, using Wikitranslate is a technique that usually works well, but yes some Translations sound really old-fashioned and a lot of technical terms are used in English so many people might be more familiar with them then with made up German equivalents.
    – haxor789
    Jun 16, 2022 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


As i have already stated here one should primarily not care if a word is foreign or not but if the foreign word has added meaning the native word doesn't.

First off, if you want to avoid using foreign words, then "Layer-Architektur" should not become "Schichtenarchitektur" but "Schichtenbauweise". (Corollary: whenever the discussion is about "Fremdworte" it is never about foreign words it is always about english foreign words. Nobody uses a "Selbstbeweger" for transportation or a "Gewebedurchmusterer" to surf the "Dazwischennetz".)

To answer your question: applying what i wrote above the question is "does 'layer' convey something 'Schicht' will not cover?"

The answer is: yes! A layer in IT is not only a "Schicht", where inside something happens but also the specification of the interaction between this and adjacent such layers.

For instance, the OSI ("offene Anordnungsverbindung"??) model defines what happens inside the layers but also meticulously specifies the input format, error codes, return values, etc. the respective layer expects and what other layers expect from it. A "layer" is the sum of what goes on inside AND all these specifications on the outside - in other words, the "API" ("Anwendungsbefehlsanordnungsanschluß"). A "Schicht" is not that at all.

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    Gewebedurchmusterer sounds awesome ;) But to be fair "layer" technically also doesn't convey that information but is also just the English word for Schicht. This convolution of Layer and Interface probably is something that is more common to the German than the English language as for Germans it's a technical term which incorporates the word cloud of associated properties, whereas for a native English speaker that word cloud would probably look different. So it's likely harder for a non-native speaker to be aware of the additional meaning.
    – haxor789
    Jun 16, 2022 at 14:08
  • And your reasoning for "is just the word for Schicht" would be? Exactly this type of comments is why i am loathe to answer such questions at all. The only outcome is to be downvoted to oblivion by people with probably no technical background at all.
    – bakunin
    Jun 16, 2022 at 15:09
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    "Architektur" is far less foreign than "Layer" is. After all, it's a German word spelled differently than in other European languages.
    – RHa
    Jun 16, 2022 at 15:19
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    @bakunin I'm actually very sorry for that, that was not my intention at all. But layer is really just the English word of Schicht, like you can have layered cakes, tic tacs are described to have 100 layers, if you grow substances on a substrate you'd call that layers and so on. And likewise in computing these structures are called layers because they behave like... well layers. Like that's what you want to express with the idea of a layer model. The more technical details which surround the layers are not part of the term. Also my intent was not to germanify words, sorry.
    – haxor789
    Jun 16, 2022 at 17:23
  • @RHa: and what does "Architektur" convey that "Bauweise" doesn't? Moreover, it is a "foreign word" just like "Layer" is. As for "Layer": first, just because "Architektur" is "spelled dfferently" doesn't make it less foreign, second, in German "Layer" is written capitalized (which is different to English and other languages), and third: would you be more comfortable with "Layer" if it would be written "Leja" or so?
    – bakunin
    Jul 28, 2023 at 12:47

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