Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/vvkrastev

What's the common word for cell phone/smartphone?

vvkrastev
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1736

In everyday German speech, what does everyone call their smartphone? Is it ein Telefon, ein Handy, or something else entirely?

I'm asking because in practicing the communications skill Duolingo asked me to translate where's my phone into German - and my brain went straight to Handy (associating phone with cell phone). Of course I was told I had to use Telefon which makes sense but now I'm curious what word is commonly used.

Thanks!

2 years ago

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Delta1212
Delta1212
  • 25
  • 12
  • 12
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4

In my experience interacting with Germans, it's Handy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
az_p
Mod
  • 24
  • 12
  • 2

"Telephone attached to a wall" = Telefon
"Telephone you carry with you everywhere" = Handy

I think your understanding of the concepts is solid, and the slight confusion came from the stubborn insistence of the course moderators that "phone" DOES NOT MEAN MOBILE PHONE, which is of course out-of-touch with modern usage.

Duolingo takes the stance that "phone" = Telefon and nothing else. Also, that Handy = "cell phone" or "mobile phone" but NOT "phone". Despite all the comment discussions, 'problem reports', evidence of usage in such insignificant English-speaking countries as the UK, NZ, Australia, and even some regions of the US... the only response from the course staff is to add a tut-tut note re-educating us on the 'correct' usage of "phone"...

I'm not sure why they're so stubborn on this, given the frequency of situations in the rest of the course where it's perfectly acceptable for context and common-usage to play a part in conveying the meaning.

2 years ago