https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Useful German abbreviations

Some German abbreviations that may be useful to know:

  • usw. = und so weiter = and so on (etc.)
  • u.v.a.m. = und viele andere mehr = and many others
  • u.a. = unter anderem = among other things
  • u.U. = unter Umständen = possibly
  • m.W. = meines Wissens = as far as I know (AFAIK)
  • m.E. = meines Erachtens = in my opinion (IMO)
  • m.M.n., mMn = meiner Meinung nach = in my opinion (IMO)
  • bzw. = beziehungsweise = (see the note below)
  • bzgl. = bezüglich = with regard to, concerning
  • d.h. = das heißt = that is to say (i.e.)
  • z.B. = zum Beispiel = for example (e.g.)
  • m.a.W. = mit anderen Worten = in other words
  • z. Zt., z.Zt., zZt., zzt. = zur Zeit, zurzeit = at the moment
  • vgl. = vergleiche = compare (cf.)
  • s.o. = siehe oben = see further up
  • s.u. = siehe unten = see further down
  • s.a. = siehe auch = see also
  • S. = Seite = page (p.)
  • f., ff. = und folgende = and the following one, and the following ones (et seq., et seqq.) - used in contexts such as "S. 46f." = pages 46 and 47; "S. 50ff." = page 50 and the next few pages
  • i.A. = im Allgemeinen = in general
  • i.e.S., i.w.S. = im engeren/weiteren Sinne = specifically / broadly
  • u.A.w.g. = um Antwort wird gebeten = please reply (RSVP)
  • LG = Liebe Grüße = cordial letter closing
  • MfG = Mit freundlichen Grüßen = polite letter closing
  • hdl = hab' dich lieb = love you
  • hdgdl = hab' dich ganz doll lieb = love you lots
  • WIMRE = wenn ich mich richtig erinnere = if I recall correctly (IIRC)

Note: "bzw." is difficult to translate into English! It sometimes means "respectively" (die erste und zweite Klasse haben am Montag bzw. Dienstag ihren Elternabend = the first and second grades have their parent-teacher conferences on Monday and Tuesday, respectively) and sometimes "as the case may be" (Die Kinder haben den Zettel ihrem Vater bzw. ihrer Mutter gegeben = The children gave the note to their fathers or their mothers, as the case may be = depending on which of their parents had accompanied them to the event). Note that "bzw." comes between the nouns or phrases that are connected whereas the English translations usually come afterwards.

If you see someone writing "resp." in an English text, especially if it's between two things, you can be pretty sure that it's written by a native speaker of German -- "bzw." is used a lot more often than "respectively" is in English, and I've never seen "respectively" abbreviated to "resp." except by Germans.

September 20, 2015

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolyn250

Duly copied in my notes. Thank you so much!

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dessert-Rose

Same here! I copy nearly everything (unless it's easy to memorize!)

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablitoneal

Awesome list, these are often hard to find even in online dictionaries and they're not always clear from context. I wanted to add another:

mMn or m.M.n. = meiner Meinung nach = in my opinion

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Thanks! Added.

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablitoneal

I have few more that I see almost daily:

bzgl. = bezüglich (plus Genitiv) = regarding, concerning, with reference to

LG = Liebe Grüße = [ending for written communication between friends, per du]

MfG = Mit freundlichen Grüßen = sincerely, kind regards, [ending for professional written communication, per Sie]

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Thanks!

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heschmat

awesome list, thanks.

another abbreviation of interest could be:
hdl => hab dich lieb = love you :-D

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Danke, das ist aber süß :) ida

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamijaH.

You have a lingot from me and I will copy and paste this to my facebook page :D eheehehe

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blockhause

Very useful. In many German articles in Immersion abbreviations are used. Now there is no need anymore to look them up. Thanks!

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AsphodelZarafa

Das ist sehr nützlich. Vielen Dank! * gives lingot * :)

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lhpch

Another lingot. Thank you so much!!!

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeonMoogle

I only knew a few of the abbreviations. Thanks, this is quite helpful!

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dr_marco

you make a huge difference thanks :) Vielen Dank !

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HD7374

Danke sehr! A lingot for you and also a link: http://german.about.com/library/blabbrev.htm

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voidIndigo

Thank you very much. This is very useful!

September 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam9812

This one is extremely colloquial but I have seen it used in games where there is text speak. "wg" is short for "wie geht's" which means "how are you".

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablitoneal

I've always heard WG used as an abbreviation for Wohngemeinschaft. It looks like it can also be used for wegen: http://www.dict.cc/?s=WG

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HrMike

That's correct. WG usually means "Wohngemeinschaft" and "wg." is short for "wegen". I've never seen it as "wie geht's".

You'll find many very specific abbreviations in the context of online chats, instant messaging and the like. It's also a hype among younger people who seem to hate to write in full sentences or with correct grammar. So you'll see newly invented abbreviations in that context every day. Most of them are not used anywhere else.

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yeah - the hdl/ida thing, for example (hab dich lieb/ich dich auch), is pretty much a chat thing.

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam9812

Yep. I like to play games and learn to speak German in that way, but I guess that is not as helpful as I thought.

For example, nö is almost always used instead of Nein as a negative response.

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nena5000

Very useful. Thanks for posting.

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siebenundzwanzig

Sehr cool. Danke für die Hinweise. Ich füge die alle in meiner deutschen Notizen hinzu auch. Ich hatte mich oft gefragt, was dh bedeutet... xD Es erscheint mir nun so einfach. Nun ja.

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HrMike

I'm German - and I've never heard "WIMRE" before :). Where did you find that?

September 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Possibly USENET, possibly somewhere on the web.

It's out of my head, not from a page.

Try googling it; it will appear a bit (for example, at https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_von_Abk%C3%BCrzungen_%28Netzjargon%29 under "I", as an alternative to "IIRC"). Perhaps it's not as common in the general Internet as in the places I had hung around :)

September 22, 2015
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