Having decision making power over someone’s assets

I am trying to translate the German word “verfügen” or “Verfügung” in its legal sense into English. In dictionaries, I only find the translation of “to dispose” or “disposition”, as in the “power of disposition”, but this just doesn’t seem right to me. I understand “to dispose of” basically to mean “to get rid of … Read more

English translation of german bureaucratic term: “Weglegesache”

The German bureaucratic term Weglegesache is used in German public administration to refer to documents that they are forced to keep for a certain amount of time, but which are very unlikely ever to get retrieved/used. I am searching for a translation that keeps the bureaucratic context and communicates that it refers to a bureaucratic … Read more

Is “diversified” really a suitable translation for what Germans call “abwechslungsreich”?

I need a word to describe a meeting or conference or other event which was the opposite of boring due to the variation of activities there.* German language has abwechslungsreich, literally rich-of-changes. All dictionaries I have available recommend diversified, but then, more precise definitions all meander around “diversifying a business” etc., and that’s quite a … Read more

How can I say I can’t guarantee information I’m about to give is correct?

In German, there’s an idiom that goes like “Nagel mich nicht darauf fest” (literally, “don’t nail me down on that!”) usually followed my some kind of information that is given without complete assurance or guarantee that it is correct. Now I’m wondering what would be the correct way of saying this in English. Is it … Read more

“Body Leasing”: Is it English?

In my country, we sometimes call working arrangements where one company “leases” individual employees to another “body leasing”. “Body” and “to lease” are obviously English words of good standing, but is the term itself used outside of Germany? When I google it, I get mostly German results (and the English ones might be from Germans … Read more

Origin of ending a sentence with a preposition-German separable verbs?

One thing I’ve noticed about the usage of ending a sentence with a preposition is how similar the construction is to German separable verbs. With German separable verbs, the prefix is often a preposition when taken by itself, such as “mit-kommen” = accompany, but is “come with” if it’s broken into parts. In a regular … Read more

is “predatory capitalism” a correct word?

Jean Ziegler invented the German word Raubtierkapitalismus for huge companies without ethics and morality. For example Amazon, Google and Facebook. What are similar words in English? Best would be a list, where I can choose from. I am not looking for historic terms. I am addressing the current issues (2018) with monopolies and capitalism. I … Read more

English idiom equivalent to the German Gretchenfrage “wie hast du’s mit…?”

In German, a Gretchenfrage is: Compound of Gretchen (diminutive of the given name Margarete) and “Frage” “question”. In reference to Goethe’s “Faust” (published 1808), where the character of Gretchen asks the protagonist, who is secretly in league with the devil, ”wie hast du’s mit der Religion?” “what is your take on religion?”. […] Any question going directly … Read more

Why is it “Rhine”, but “Rhenish”?

Being a native German speaker, I just came across the word “Rhenish” (as a translation of German “rheinisch”, belonging to the Rhine). I am a bit confused about this, and am at a loss for the proper “language words” to describe it… I have long since ceased to think about either German or English in … Read more

What nouns of German origin should be given capital letters?

On another post an interesting fact has just been discovered about the OED’s treatment of nouns adopted into English from German (loan-words). A lot of them e.g. Nazi are spelled with a capital letter. Similar words, which are not of German origin, such as communist or socialist are not spelled with a capital. Equally Zeitgeist, … Read more