It's got several meanings depending on the context.
- In a restaurant you'll usually understand it as waiter. Another german word usable here would be Ober.
- In a shop it can be the person who helps you find stuff, or any other shop assistent
- When used with machines, it is the operation/handling of it.
I think 'die Bedienung' can be thought of in a gender neutral manner like one might think of 'the help' or 'the staff'.
Also, 'Bedienung' is a noun made from the verb 'bedienen' (to serve) by dropping the -en and adding -ung. German nouns made this way are feminine. A fun link that goes into creating nouns from various suffixes is at https://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/Wortbildung/Suffixes.html
Another question about "Ober" If in restaurant, you call a waiter "Herr Ober !" Then, if you call a waitress "Frau Ober" or "Fräulein!" or WAS ???!! Especially if the service person is female and looking very senior, do we still call her Fräulein oder gibt's andere moderne Ausdrücke?
'Die Bedienung' means service in general, not a specific person. This makes little sense when referring to Der Kellner or die Kellnerin (either of whom you must never address as such). To attract attention and avoid the sexist connotations of 'Herr Ober' or Fraeulein', 'Entschuldigung' works best.
operation is the wrong word. You would either need operation manual (don't know if accepted) or one of my explanations above.
operation itself can also have different meanings in german btw., e.g. the operation in a hospital, an acitivity, the functioning of a machine. I'm not elaborating on details now, because I think generally it's pretty similar to the english word.
Again, the two sentences are already different in english. You see the waiter means that he is somewhere in you're line of sight at some randomly given point in time. You are seeing the waiter, of he is e.g. in front of you right now, at that particular moment when you say the sentence.
The same is valid for german.
I have to correct you on this, Astrodan? According to Duolingo's "tips and notes" for the lesson "Present 1"
NO CONTINUOUS ASPECT
In German, there's no continuous aspect, i.e. there are no separate forms for "I drink" and "I am drinking". There's only one form: Ich trinke.
There's no such thing as Ich bin trinke or Ich bin trinken!
When translating into English, how can I tell whether to use the simple (I drink) or the continuous form (I am drinking)?
Unless the context suggests otherwise, either form should be accepted.
If you are using Duolingo on a smart phone or a tablet, I believe the Tips and notes are not available. You would have to go to the website. They are very helpful, as they contain all the grammar explanations!
Here's how to find them on the Duolingo website:
If you are on your Duolingo Home page, you will see the list with all the skills. In the German for English-speakers course, the first skill is Basics 1. If you click on Basics 1, you will see 3 lessons available. Right below that, are the tips and notes. I copy and paste the tips and notes into a document for reference. They are quite helpful!
I typed "They see the server" and it was accepted. In the U.S. a few words with the -ess suffix which denotes a female have become obsolete e.g. waitress (server), stewardess (flight attendant), poetess (poet). Curiously we still speak of an "actress" but I have seen "actor" refer to a female.
The words (without the -ess or -ette ending) are not obsolete. They are very sexist and are only used by those who are anti-women. They don't respect or even acknowledge female gender.
I am not intending to stir up any controversy here. No hate and discontent, please. I am here to learn a language not fight with people, but I do feel strongly that women should be respected, and stripping their gender out of the language is very disrespectful.