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  5. "Weihnachten ist im Dezember."

"Weihnachten ist im Dezember."

Translation:Christmas is in December.

December 22, 2013



Is "Weihnachten" neuter singular? Then why is "Merry Christmas" translated as "Frohe Weihnachten" and not "Frohes Weihnachten"?


I am not an expert but a native speaker. Weihnachten is kind of a strange word. Normally it is used without article. I think it might be already plural. (literally meaning holy nights in old german) But i have no idea. I am really trying to think of phrases with "Weihnachten" but I can only think of "Frohe Weihnachten" und "weiße Weihnachten" (white christmas) and "ich freue mich auf Weihnachten" (I am looking forward to christmas) in all of these Weihnachten is treated as plural. I think it is a word like people (Leute), which is always plural and there is no singular. But as I said, I am not an expert.


Your answer is fair and complete. It is as best as it can be. You are awesome!


This is how Wiktionary explains it in its "Usage notes":

Weihnachten is originally a plurale tantum with the singular meaning Christmas. This is still invariably used in wishes: Frohe, _gesegnete, _schöne, … Weihnachten! Otherwise the word is most often treated as a neuter singular: Weihnachten ist ein christliches Fest. (“Christmas is a Christian holiday.”) Particularly in Austria and Switzerland the plurale tantum may alternatively be used, then requiring the definite article: .Die Weihnachten sind ein christliches Fest. The neuter singular also has a true plural referring to Christmases in different years: Die letzten drei Weihnachten war er krank. (“He was sick for the past three Christmases.”)

The etimology notes there indicate the word comes…

From Middle High German wīhenahten (“Christmas”), from a dative plural ze den wīhen nahten (“in the holy nights”).

Check the links below for a little more complete info:
and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Weihnachten#Usage_notes


It makes logical sense that it's plural, because Christmas constitutes 12 days on the religious calendar, not just the single day that has come to dominate the consumerist Western conception of Christmas. Thanks for the explanation!


I was wondering the same thing… Maybe an explanation could be that in the German expression the word Weihnachten is pluralized. So it would be something like “Merry Christmases”. Of course this is all conjecture, we´ll just have to wait for the real experts to explain this…


Perhaps Christmas is plural in German because there are 12 days of Christmas from 25 December(Christmas day) to 6 January (Epiphany) . In English there is a famous song about the Twelve days of Christmas - "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me ..... etc."


Until the 4th century, Christmas was observed in January. It still is in some parts of the world (but not in parts that speak German).


Im from Serbia and we are Ortodox. Our Christmas in in january 7.


No, it is in December but It is celebrated according to the Julian Calendar. So the sentence is true anyway ))) (I am from Russia and we also have Christmas in January)


Orthodox christmas is also on december 25th, but of Julian Calendar


why is "christmas is in the december " wrong?


So, in German, they put "the" before each month?


Generally, yes, but not when talking about a span of time. For example, if you say "from July to October" it would be von Juli bis Oktober. The same goes for days of the week.


Is it "der" for each month Like der Juni, der Dezember?


Yes. Also it's "der" for days in week and times in day (except for die Nacht).


Is the German word for Christmas two (or more) separate words just like Christmas is Christ mass?


It's from Middle German Dativ pl. ze den wīhen nahten "in the Holy Nights." Modern equivalents would be weihen "to hallow" and Nachten "nights." There used to be a singular form that referred to Christmas specifically, but now they just use the plural for the days around Christmas and Christmas itself.


How would one say "Merry Christmas"?


According to the website http://en.pons.com/, Merry Christmas is fröhliche Weihnachten!

The entry says: "fröhliche [o. geh gesegnete] Weihnachten! merry Christmas!" I had no idea what the "geh" meant. I looked it up, and found that "If it's from a dictionary, geh. usually stands for gehoben (elevated). If that is correct, it means that saying "gesegnete Weihnachten!" would be a very formal way of saying "Merry Christmas." I'm pasting the url for the dictionary entry below.


Click Here


Interesting... From Google Translate (which I know is not the most reliable source...) "Fröhliche" means happy, "Gesegnete" means blessed, and "Frohe" means merry. All of these are probably fine to use, but I think the most common is Frohe. Thanks for the info!


Oder Januar, wenn Sie Orthodox sind.


I left out one "h" from Weihnachten and Duo said I used the wrong word. I think this should be considered as a typo.


I've found the above descriptions of Weihnachten interesting regarding whether it is technically a plural form because the same is true of Yule, which in Anglo-Saxon 'géola' was a plural, meaning 'the festivities' from Proto-Germanic 'jehwlą', related to Latin 'iocus', a joke or play. The original Anglo-Saxon month names of December and January were 'Ǽrra Géola' and 'Æfterra Géola', the earlier and later Yule, and seems that this time described two months of winter rest from farm labour, it described periods (plural) of time matches with the idea of Weihnachten (Wighnights, or holy nights) being plural.


xmas should be accepted


My first thought was, "Shouldn't it be Weinachten SIND im Dezember because I've only every seen Weihnachten with plural adjectives. But I see it can be treated as singular, and therefore Weihnachten ist im Dezember makes sense. If you mean Christmas Day. Maybe if you mean the whole Christmas season you could say Weihnachten sind im Dezember und (im) Januar. What do native German speakers think?


can we use "in" instead of "im" too? if not, why not?


"Im" is the contraction of "in dem", meaning "in the". In German, months and days in week must be preceded by "dem". Therefore we must say "Im Dezember" and "am Montag", not "in Dezember" and "an Montag".


The Christian religion was first legalized in France so it's surprising Christ isn't in here, or it could be there is no word for Christ in German.


There indeed is one. German uses the Latin form Christus to call Christ, while Christ in German means "Christian".

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