1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Das Mittel"

"Das Mittel"

Translation:The means

March 3, 2014

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

Mittel looks a lot like middle... "mean" is supplied as a translation, but I'm wondering if the word also carries the additional English meaning of "average".

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regney
  • 2041

der Durchschnitt = average, e.g., Du bist der Durchschnitt (You are the average), und Unsere Noten liegen ├╝ber dem Durchschnitt. (Our grades are above average.)

In DL's German to English, "the middle" is an accepted translation for "das Mittel". It was rejected here (and leaves me wondering whether it's a mistake on the other side, or if it's an omission here. (I'm reporting it.)

Mittel is often seen in German words where the meaning is "means", e.g., Lebensmittel, (groceries, specifically unprepared foodstuffs, not soap etc.), but if you dissect it, it is literally, life-means. Another example is Hauptnahrungsmittel (main food) which, when dissected, is literally, main nutritional means. Arzneimittel (pharmaceuticals) --> medicinal means... the list goes on. I hope that helps. :)

February 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

Very much so, thank you

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MugundhanG1

Excellent. Thanks a lot

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mckeever0

Its september 2017 and "the middle" is no longer accepted :(

September 28, 2017

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

Rightly so, I think - I don't think their meanings overlap.

We don't talk about "the middles of production" or "the middle of the numbers 4, 8, 11, and 17" or "we do not have the necessary financial middles to continue" or "the doctor prescribed me a middle against my hair loss" etc.

And conversely, you can't say Er steht im Mittel des Zimmers.

September 29, 2017

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

That's because the "middle" is "DIE MITTE." Das Mittel and Die Mitte are two VERY different things. Get a dictionary.

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nmangamer1

What exactly is a main food, or hauptnahrungmittel? Is it a main course?

December 8, 2017

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

No; it's the kind of food that you eat most.

For example, one might say that rice is the Hauptnahrungsmittel in Japan -- the staple food, the main food.

December 8, 2017

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

Yes, as in "das arithmetische Mittel", "das geometrische Mittel" (arithmetical mean, geometrical mean).

Also in sentences such as "Die Regenmenge liegt im Mittel bei 20 cm" (rainfall is 20 cm on average).

But without an adjective or outside the collocation "im Mittel", "der Durchschnitt" is a more common word for "average".

June 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

Thanks for the response

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nmangamer1

I find it interesting how rainfall, "Regenmenge" is literally just the rain amount.

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wofi2

Plural would be "Die Mittel". "Das Mittel" is singular.

June 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wofi2

Supplement: "Das arithmetische Mittel" is singular too. Plural: "die arithmetischen Mittel" i.e. of several series.

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karen3388008

The word was pronounced incorrectly.

May 25, 2016

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

Definitely sounds like Mikel to me.

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karen3388008

I played it several times to be sure. Needs correction.

March 12, 2019

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

Das Mittel can mean: drug (remedy), device, means, method... and so on and so fort.. ;)

March 3, 2014

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

So why doesn't "the middle" work?

April 6, 2015

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

Because that would be "die Mitte" - different word ending, different gender.

June 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Curran919

An exhaustive yet entertaining explanation of Das Mittel and all of its uses and related words: https://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/mittel-vermitteln-ermitteln-meaning/

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nmangamer1

I love this blog.

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2182

I am wondering about the plural here (the means)?

March 3, 2014

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

This word is usually used in English in the plural form, but may have singular or plural agreement ("This means of communication is rather outdated", for example).

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2182

You're right, thank you. For some reason, I guess, I was thinking about statistics, arithmetic mean, back then. As many others here.

January 13, 2016

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

Why not average?

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regney
  • 2041

der Durchschnitt is a better translation for average. I wrote a comment above on this. I hope it helps.

February 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

it helped me, thanks RaineyM

February 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikka86

I just reported that myself. The average is one of several meanings of Mittel.

http://dict.leo.org/#/search=mittel

http://en.pons.com/translate?q=mittel&l=deen&in=&lf=de

October 23, 2014

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

Good, I have also reported.

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob20020

What exactly does "Means" mean? Never heard this in my English before.

January 13, 2016

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

As in "means to an end" or "means of transportation".

"(used with a singular or plural verb) an agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end:
The telephone is a means of communication.
There are several means of solving the problem."

or in other words:

"the medium, method, or instrument used to obtain a result or achieve an end: a means of communication"

(both from from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/means )

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piervito0

Why do you (and Duo) use the word "means" (plural of "mean", as singular? (I am not a native english)

June 16, 2016

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

I don't know? It's just how it's used in English - sometimes the word is treated as singular and sometimes as plural.

So I suppose the reason to "why do I use it like that" is "because I heard my father use it like that".

June 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piervito0

Thanks. The reason might be that "means" is treates like "news" in several contexts... "This is a good news" = "The telephone is a means of communication."

June 16, 2016

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

Though I don't think news is countable in English - "This is good news" but not "This is a good news" nor "He told me three news".

June 16, 2016

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

Means is to have the financial resources, the capability, wealth, a method. Mean is cruel or definition.

September 15, 2016

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

Duo suggests "means, funds, average" then says that the answer is "vehicle" I know that in English you can have experience vehicle meaning the same as "the mens by which something may be achieved" but this seems very obscure

September 19, 2017

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

This is what I got as well. It is a little bit confusing. I was considering reporting it.

September 28, 2017

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

I have envisioned the Arithmetic mean. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic_mean

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

medium?

June 22, 2016

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

the middle

January 21, 2017

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

= die Mitte

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the.pyat

This is an excellent example of too much ambiguity given in an exercise. "Means" needs a whole lot more context than "the means" provides. The mean in English math is different from the average. In one you pick a number that comes in the middle of a list. In the other you add up the numbers and divide the sum by the count. Means is something entire different. A synonym for the "means by which" is the "way by which." Whatever enabled an event to occur.

March 16, 2017

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

There are three types of average:
The mean: add up the numbers and divide the sum by the count
The mode: the number in a set of numbers which occurs the most
The median: The number in the middle of a group of numbers.

From: https://revisionmaths.com/gcse-maths-revision/statistics-handling-data/averages

March 25, 2019

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

For example, 'Kampfmittel' is 'means of war', that obviously means 'weapon'.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoMon365886

The audio! The audio!

August 6, 2017

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

It certainly sounded like Mitte to me, with no "L" at the end of the word in either normal or slow speed.

March 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SydneyBlak4

Is "remedy" the correct word to translate "mittel" with. A remedy for a disease could be a drug, surgery, radiation, excersice etc. In the medical environment a "mittel" is a drug and I dont think all the other meanings of mittel applies. A drug is also the thing that a scientist is going to develope. The other remedies are developed by clinicians. (who, according to Duo, are not scientists.)

March 12, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.