"We do not know of the Rhine."
Translation:Wir kennen den Rhein nicht.
Because if you’re negating the entire idea of the sentence, or the verb itself, then nicht should go as far toward the end as possible.
more about this: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/negationexpl.html
Actually, In English, there is a distinction, even for a river.
"I know of the Rhine." = I have heard of this river [but may never seen it].
"I know the Rhine" indicates a familiarity; for example, "I have travelled the length of the river many times, and recognize every bend and twist."
@ Soglio, I had one doubt: why ... "I know...of the Rhine". Thanks a lot for your explanation, which shows me the difference. Your comment made me curious to look what there is about a trip on the Rhine.
1840 veröffentlichte Victor Hugo seine Rheinreise. / 1840 Victor Hugo published his Rhine journey.
Source: in German.: wikipedia Rheinromantik https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinromantik ...//...
In English : Rhine romanticism
(Text in German) ....Victor Hugos Rheinreise (Rhine journey) von Dagmar Aversano-Schreiber http://www.regionalgeschichte.net/fileadmin/Superportal/Bibliothek/Autoren/Aversano-Schreiber/Rheinreise-Victor-Hugos.pdf
Here Victor Hugo describes his Rhine journey in French: "Le Rhin : lettres à un ami" (380 pages) http://booksnow1.scholarsportal.info/ebooks/oca10/10/lerhinlettresun02hugo/lerhinlettresun02hugo.pdf
I hope that it is possible to open the long links, if anyone has interest.
"to know of something" means to be aware of its existence. "to know something/someone" means to be personally aquainted with. Example: "I know him" = "He and I are friends", "I know of him" = "I am aware that he exists". In German, the context decides which meaning is inferred.
Absolutely not. First of all; it's "wir wissen", and secondly the verb "wissen" is not used like that. It only deals with knowledge of facts.
"Wir wissen, dass der Rhein ein Fluss ist" (we know that the rhine is a river) would be an example of how to use it.
Or "Ich weiß, dass du den Rhein kennst" (I know that you know the Rhine) :P
In sentences like "I know him", "I know of him", "I know about him", the verb "know" corresponds to "kennen" in German.
An easy rule to separate the two is that if you can say "I know THAT bla bla", (sometimes the "that" disappears in speech and casual writing) the German verb is "wissen", and in all other cases it's "kennen".
I put "wissen" because in English, knowing "of" something automatically indicates a factual knowledge, much like wissen, as opposed to the more vague knowing a place, which could be factual knowledge or emotional. Is "wissen" actually gramatically incorrect in this context, or is it just odd?