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Anyone for German?

Anyone for German?

Anyone for German?

If I were to write the following in English...


Tool design for assembly equipment and test equipment
I would drop the first 'equipment' and write


Tool design for assembly and test equipment

Does the same general rule apply to German, dropping the first 'mittel'?


Werkzeuggestaltung für Zusammenbaumittel und Prüfmittel


Werkzeuggestaltung für Zusammenbau und Prüfmittel

I'm struggling to find anything in my various German grammar books.

RE: Anyone for German?

Given that "Zusammenbaumittel" and "Prüfmittel" are single words, I don't think it is appropriate to truncate.

RE: Anyone for German?

I'm sorry, I know just enough German to not embarrass myself when eating in a restaurant winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone for German?

Also keep in mind that German expectations for reasonable length of a word or sentence is considerably greater than Anglophone expectations.

RE: Anyone for German?

In English you could say - Tool design for assembly equipment and testing. Would that translate easier into German?

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

RE: Anyone for German?

You can do it if you add a dash:

Zusammenbau- und Prüfmittel

Apart from that: Zusammenbaumittel does not exist. There is no direct German translation of assembly equipment.

RE: Anyone for German?

Germans are adept at creating new, lengthy, ultra-descriptive compound words.

RE: Anyone for German?

A few years ago, I attended an international conference on wind engineering. I attended a paper which was presented in German, with real-time translation services on-the-fly. (Most attendees had English as their first language.) Part-way through the lecture, the audio went silent, but the presenter was still talking. At first, I thought my headset might be faulty, but looking around, I saw that everybody else in the room was looking around in puzzlement.

After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably only a few seconds), the translator cried out in exasperation:
"The verb, Man, I need the go**am verb!"


RE: Anyone for German?

Hello TED7,

I have some experience translating German technical descriptions to a Scandinavian language, having had both the original German and the translation to English available. As a Scandinavian, neither of the two languages is my native.

I often find the English translation, at some point or other, a technically less precise description than the original German. The reason is, as mentioned above, the German inbuilt possibility to construct words by combination of single words and endings, and the English specialist language often constructed for one (and one only) technical meaning.

To translate the original German description it is sometimes necessary to use an extended description by adding an extra sentence or using a complete different wording, replacing with 'local/alternative' descriptions. This goes also the other way round.

If the technical equipment is unfamiliar, or the technical solution is not completely described, you can't give a good translation.

For your sample this is the case, I would have to have a picture of what you are talking about before giving an advice.

(Maybe zusammenbau is not correct here, perhaps 'Werkzeugdesign/Werkzeuganbau/Werkzeugsammenbau für montage und test/prüfungszwecke'?????)

Good luck!

RE: Anyone for German?

My favourite compound German word has been: zwischengehäuse


RE: Anyone for German?

I would write it as follows:

"Werkzeuggestaltung für Zusammenbau- und Prüfmittel"
dash -

RE: Anyone for German?

Werkzeuggestaltung für Zusammenbau- und Prüfmittel

RE: Anyone for German?

"Es hätte gut gehen können" - my favourite German expression. Can be used in most situations.

Gunnar Englund
Half full - Half empty? I don't mind. It's what in it that counts.

RE: Anyone for German?

Quote (Mark Twain)

You observe how far that verb is from the reader's base of operations; well, in a German newspaper they put their verb away over on the next page; and I have heard that sometimes after stringing along the exciting preliminaries and parentheses for a column or two, they get in a hurry and have to go to press without getting to the verb at all. Of course, then, the reader is left in a very exhausted and ignorant state.....

The Germans have another kind of parenthesis, which they make by splitting a verb in two and putting half of it at the beginning of an exciting chapter and the other half at the end of it. Can any one conceive of anything more confusing than that? These things are called "separable verbs." The German grammar is blistered all over with separable verbs; and the wider the two portions of one of them are spread apart, the better the author of the crime is pleased with his performance. A favorite one is reiste ab -- which means departed. Here is an example which I culled from a novel and reduced to English:

"The trunks being now ready, he DE- after kissing his mother and sisters, and once more pressing to his bosom his adored Gretchen, who, dressed in simple white muslin, with a single tuberose in the ample folds of her rich brown hair, had tottered feebly down the stairs, still pale from the terror and excitement of the past evening, but longing to lay her poor aching head yet once again upon the breast of him whom she loved more dearly than life itself, PARTED."

From "The Awful German Language" https://www.cs.utah.edu/~gback/awfgrmlg.html

RE: Anyone for German?

Back to the original question.

I am no grammatical expert, but I believe that in both German and English related languages it is generally allowed when two words following in one sentence, both with the same 'describing' word-ending, to omit the ending in the first word, and let the last ending describe the full meaning of both words.

This is the case here, even if the word is written in two separate parts, and you can discuss if it should be a different use of full words and hyphen.

I believe that both sentences abbreviated give a full and correct meaning. The answer to your question is yes.

RE: Anyone for German?

My favorite single word in German is "Eisenbahnfensterplatz".

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Anyone for German?

I always liked "Autobahnkreuzung".

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone for German?

***off topic, kinda****

I've been using the German voice commands on my Waze navigation lately. Why, I can't answer except that I got tired of the other voices and I can understand the German commands.

I noticed that there were a few extra words, like "Beigen links ab funf und funfzig TEY HAH street" First of all, I wish they would say "strasse" because it would be less jarring. Then I started to wonder about this TEY HAH. It wasn't until I went down 52nd street "Beigen rechts ab zwei und zwanzig EN DAY Street" that I realized the TAY HAH is the th in 55th and EN DAY is the nd in 2nd. Then I went down "Martin Luther King Yott Err Street" in Berkeley and laughed the rest of the day. I'm never changing the German directions. I'm looking for more entertaining street names.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: Anyone for German?

Yes, it's like the owners manual for my first Honda motorcycle, a 1965 305 Superhawk. It was obvious that it was translated word-for-word from Japanese to English. Some parts of it was almost unintelligible.

But even human speakers when confronted with an odd place name can produce a funny result. There's a small town in Northern Michigan, not far from where I grew up, named Mio. I was back in Michigan on business once when there was forest fire near Mio but on the news that night the TV reporter on the Detroit station kept referring the to the place as "M10", as in "M Ten". Now this wasn't a translation error just not understanding that the letters were NOT numbers. I'm sure that the 'script' that the newsreader was following on the air that night was in all caps and just missed the fact that this was the name of a town. Perhaps they thought it was referring to a state highway, which in Michigan are designated by an 'M' followed by a number. Anyway, it was still a good laugh for someone who was familiar with the place name and the village.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Anyone for German?


I have an automobile GPS that does traffic directions. Islington Avenue in Toronto is "Eyeslington". The QEW (Queen Elizabeth Expressway) is "kew". When it sees the letters "sdrd", it pronounces them, it does not understand that it stands for "sideroad". This is fairly entertaining.


RE: Anyone for German?

Mike Halloran,
I like " Zugfenster " better.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Anyone for German?

Are we talking about An Assembly or Assembling?
Because an Assembly is translated into Baugruppe

Ronald van den Broek
Senior Application Engineer
Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd
NX9 / TC10.1.2

Building new PLM environment from Scratch using NX11 / TC11

RE: Anyone for German?


Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Anyone for German?


ask me - I try to translate german special words in easy english.


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