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Topic: German words for "number"
Replies: 25   Last Post: Feb 25, 1999 7:55 AM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Horst Kraemer Posts: 249 Registered: 12/6/04
Re: German words for "number"
Posted: Feb 18, 1999 1:16 PM

On Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:42:46 -0600, Ted R Shoemaker
<shoematr@uwec.edu> wrote:

> At least two words in the German language translate the English word
> "number": Zahl and Nummer. Can someone please tell me what is the
> distinction between them?

Number in the abstract sense is "Zahl"

real/complex number : reelle/komplexe Zahl

"Nummer" would be a barbarism in this context.

and if you would translate

perfect number -> perfekte Nummer

you would earn storms of laughter because because the word "Nummer"
has some secondary meanings. One of them could be translated to
english prose by a four-letter-word which begins with 'f' and ends
with 'k'...

If you assign numbers (usually integers) to objects - i.e. whenever
you would use the # character as an abbreviation for "number", you
have to refer to these numbers as "Nummer" and "Zahl" would be
incorrect.

room number : Zimmernummer
line number : Zeilennummer

If you would use "number" in the sense of "count,number of elements of
a set" you would have to use the word "Anzahl"

An odd number of students : Eine gerade _Anzahl_ von Studenten

but

3 is an odd number : 3 ist eine gerade _Zahl_

Regards
Horst

Date Subject Author
2/17/99 Ted R Shoemaker
2/17/99 Benjamin P. Carter
2/18/99 Helmut Richter
2/18/99 Ingrid Voigt
2/18/99 Helmut Zeisel
2/18/99 Dik T. Winter
2/18/99 Victor Eijkhout
2/18/99 Helmut Zeisel
2/18/99 David Seaman
2/19/99 Brian M. Scott
2/20/99 G. A. Edgar
2/20/99 Brian M. Scott
2/21/99 Paul Miller
2/21/99 Benjamin P. Carter
2/21/99 Robin Chapman
2/21/99 Jake Wildstrom
2/21/99 Steven Pigeon
2/21/99 Steve Leibel
2/22/99 Edward C. Hook
2/22/99 Ken.Pledger@vuw.ac.nz
2/25/99 Timothy Murphy
2/22/99 Keith Ellul
2/22/99 Keith Ramsay
2/18/99 Horst Kraemer
2/18/99 M. Doerfner
2/18/99 Iain Davidson