"Ich sehe Zahlen."

Translation:I see numbers.

February 28, 2013

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valerielee333

The difference between 'Zahlen' and 'Nummer' : http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1206849#top

Just saw this earlier in some other discussion, just in case anyone needs it :)

April 30, 2013

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

The best explanation in that thread: " Nummern designate something specific, such as a phone number, or indicate the order of something, such as house numbers or room numbers. In contrast to Zahlen, you cannot apply arithmetic operators to Nummern. You may, for instance, add two telephone numbers (Telefonnummern) as if they were Zahlen, but the result is completely meaningless."

January 22, 2015

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

Yes, that happened to be the best answer amidst the ocean of german blabbering they were throwing at a beginner student

June 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liol67

Tip : Nummer is like 'numéro' in french

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorn61

Thanks. So...... is the answer that Nummer is for text that happens to be made up of digits, while Zahl is for numbers we can do sums with?

January 25, 2014

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

I'd rather say that "die Zahlen" is the matematical term for numbers, while "die Nummern" is for the "every day" usage. Also, as a rule of thumb, you can tell that generally "eine Nummer" is not just a number, it usually has a meaning whereas "die Zahl" just quantifies something.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eileen117444

Could it be translated as "the count"?

March 26, 2019

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

No, zahlen (lower case) is "to pay", Zahlen (upper case) is "numbers", and zählen (lower case and umlaut) is "to count".

March 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fred824139

In poetuguese there is a great translation Zahlen = Algarismo Number = Número I thought that there would be some sort of "algarism" but it looks like there isn't.

March 16, 2018

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

English only kept it as ‘algorithm’ (which Portuguese has too, in the form of ‘algoritmo’). The doublet ‘algarismo’ seems to be an all-Portuguese innovation, many other European languages preferred using words derived from ‘ṣifr’, while English decided on a noun going back to the Latin for ‘finger’ (namely ‘digit’, from Latin ‘digitus’, whence also Portuguese ‘dedo’). In fact, ‘digit’ is also the noun you use to indicate fingers and toes indiscriminately.

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/serge212847

"digit" is also understood as number, depending of the usage in portughese.

January 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mehdi.Benhenia

Wait people, I'll make it easy for y'all. Nummer = Number. Zahl = digit.

In fact, "zahl" in french is translated to "chiffre", and "chiffre" as well as zahl or even another german word for zahl which is "Ziffer" all that comes from the arabic word for: "Zero" said "Sifr"... Early arab mathematics and algebra was very developped and they discovred that new number and replaced the roman system (ex: I II III IV V VI etc.) ... Even the word "algebra" is arabic. Not the arabic word for "the" which is "al" But I digress. Anyway ;)

September 13, 2014

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

So is alcohol. Between alcohol and algebra, I blame the old Arabic language for all these modern problems. : P That is true in French, (le) chiffre is the word for a figure or sum, or as I like to translate it, an "amount". Phone numbers, for instance (in French, [le] «numèro [de téléphone]») are not amounts. They have a meaning and a significance, but not mathematically. If you can differentiate that Zahl/chiffre is an amount, and Nummer/numèro not necessarily so, it may help.

March 24, 2016

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

Digit is one small part of a quantity. 1 is a digit whereas 11 is a quantity (a number made up of 2 digits).

February 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregNelson15

So all that makes sense, but then why (other than the randomness of such a sentence) isn't "I see digits" a reasonable translation of "Ich sehe Zahlen"? I understand why "figures" would be preferred but I would have thought that digits would be literally correct.

February 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mz147

die Zahl is NOT a digit! It's a number. Letters are to words as digits are to decimal numbers. So it's like saying letters = words. For digit, use die Ziffer oder das Zahlzeichen.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shahbaj1

Die zahlen, Mason, what do they mean?

November 7, 2015

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

Mason is that you?

May 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bookworm_1962

to clarify...Nummer refers to a number that identifies something, such as a house number or telephone number; and Zahlen refers to a numeral such as used in mathematics...is this a correct understanding of the discussion?

April 15, 2014

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

Yes, that seems to be the consensus.

I'm just surprised because Nummer/Zahl is nummer/tal in Swedish, so easy for me to learn and understand - I've just never thought about what the difference between the two are!

February 8, 2019

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

What is the difference between ´Zahlen´ and ´Nummer?

March 31, 2013

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

From what I understand thanks to other discussions, "Nummer" is used for something with numbers, like a telephone number, a house number on a street or a username that has numbers in it. But "Zahlen" is used where there is a specific quantity - like in maths or statistics. "47 cars" or "23 plus 34" etc.

April 13, 2013

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

So basically Zahlen answers "how many" and Nummer answers "what's the number?"

October 17, 2013

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

I found somewhere a clearer difference - you don't perform mathematical operations on "Nummern" but do on "Zahlen". You can double the "Zahl" of deliveries but doubling a telephone "Nummer" makes no sense.

November 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4of92000

Is this what a mathematician says every time he takes a knock on the head? Can anyone think of a better context, or is this just one of those odd Duoisms?

June 11, 2014

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

It's still an "odd Duosim," but here's a somewhat-real situation that I can think of: As a person taking Calculus, the majority of the characters involved are Latin (and sometimes even Greek!) letters, so that's what I'm used to seeing when doing math. If, however, I were to take a test on basic arithmetic, I could all of a sudden yell out in joy, "I see numbers! Finally! My long wait is over!"

November 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xR-JAYx

What do the numbers mean Mason?!

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scintilla72

... Ich sehe tote Zahlen?

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abaty4176

I feel like this. I could be wrong. But if the number would make sence if you added a half to it it would be zahlen. If not it would be nummer. So. A phone number wouldn't make sense as 555-555-5555.5 and an address as 456.8w wouldn't make sense, so it would be nummer. And 3.6 cookies makes sense so it would be Zahlen

October 18, 2014

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

From the provided link at the top of this discussion, I think the contribution from Bahiano as the most helpful ...

- Zahl is a mathematic value wich you can perform mathematic operations (calculations) with. A Zahl always consists of digits (0-9). Exception: We say Postleitzahl (zip code) and Lottozahlen (lottery numbers) although there's no mathematical operation possible, but they still consist of digits.

- Nummer is a designation, a label for something. You can compare it with Name. A Name usually consists of letters (A-Z, a-z), while a Nummer can consist of both digits and letters Examples: Hausnummer 38b, Seriennummer CGZ564-008, Telefonnummer 0049-711-890..., etc.

June 18, 2017

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

How can I select between "Zahl" and "Zahlen" in sentences like "Ich sehe ... (Zahl, Zahlen)."? For me both are correct.

January 16, 2018

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

Zahl’ is a count noun, which means that in the singular it needs an article or determiner, just as in English. To clarify:

  • ich sehe Zahlen’ — ‘I see numbers’ ✓ ok

  • ich sehe eine/die/diese Zahl’ — ‘I see a/the/this number’ ✓ ok

  • ich sehe Zahl’ — ‘I see number’ ✗ not ok

January 16, 2018

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

I have the feeling I was answering a different question with my previous answer, so I'm going to put it more clearly: ‘Zahl’ is singular (‘number’); ‘Zahlen’ is plural (‘numbers’).

February 20, 2018

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

Call of Duo: Language Warfare

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexRiley10

die Zahlen Mason! Was meinen sie?

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hunter.Ownbey

I thought that "Zahlen" meant "Counting"

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    Zahl is a noun, meaning "mathematical number". The plural is Zahlen. All nouns are capitalised in German.

    zahlen is a verb, meaning "to pay (an amount)". Verbs are only capitalised at the beginning of a sentence, and the ending changes according to the subject (verbs are conjugated).

    zählen is a verb, meaning "to count". Note the umlaut (dots above the letter ā). This is a different letter in German, so if you leave the dots away you are changing the spelling into a different word.

    You should usually be able to tell whether zahlen/Zahlen is being used as a verb or noun by considering the sentence as a whole, and the context, even when spoken (when you can't see the capital letter).

    January 25, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hunter.Ownbey

    Is that why in the word "Pay" the German word is "Bezahlen"?? Thank you by the way

    January 25, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      bezahlen is related to zahlen, and is a verb meaning "to pay (to someone or for something)". Very often in conversation it's used interchangeably with zahlen, but technically the meaning is different. I don't know if there is any connection to Zahl(en) the noun.

      January 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renato.JK

      I see pay.

      February 24, 2018

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

      zahlen (lower case) is "to pay", Zahlen (upper case) is "numbers", and hlen (lower case and umlaut) is "to count".

      March 8, 2018

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

      ich sehe zahl / ich sehe zahle/ ich sehe zahlen - ?

      April 1, 2018

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

      (die) Zahl” is the singular form of the word, but “ich sehe Zahl” without any article is ungrammatical (the same way that “I see number” is). “Ich sehe eine Zahl” would be ok, but it would mean “I see a number”.

      Zahle” isn't a noun in German. It can be a conjugated form of the verb “zahlen” (“to pay”), for example: “ich zahle”, “I pay”.

      Zahlen” is the plural form of the word, this is why “ich sehe Zahlen” is the correct translation for “I see numbers”.

      April 1, 2018

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

      what is this choices

      April 1, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvonne608224

      die Zahl = a numeral or number figure, you can add or subtract numerals or figures in a math problem.

      May 7, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The-German-Hit

      Why Zahlen, and not 'zahl'? I don't understand

      July 29, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

      Zahl translates to 'number', whereas Zahlen is 'numbers'. You don't say "I see number" you would say "I see numbers" which is why zahlen is used here.

      May 27, 2019

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

      I have just completed a test out at level 5 numbers. It was insultingly easy and agonizingly repetitive. It tested my knowledge of two three and four and the plurals of man, boy, girl, woman, egg, the word for numbers and that is all!! There was definitely more content than that in 20 lessons! Not impressed.

      April 3, 2019

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

      Better than dead people

      April 15, 2019

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

      Both involve figures....

      May 15, 2019

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

      I'm so confused i typed number in Google and got all this:

      [noun]

      die Anzahl: number

      die Zahl: number, figure, numeral, cipher, cypher

      die Nummer: number, item

      die Reihe: series, row, number, range, set, line

      die Ziffer: numeral, digit, number, cipher, figure, cypher

      die Ausgabe: output, edition, issue, expenditure, spending, number

      das Heft: issue, notebook, booklet, book, handle, magazine

      der Numerus: number

      die Seitenzahl: number, number of pages, page number

      die Autonummer: number

      die Kreation: creation, number

      [verb]

      nummerieren: number, paginate

      zählen: count, number, score, reckon

      beziffern: estimate, figure, number

      Apparently "Zahlen means [0-9] and Nummer means [0-infinity] but why?

      February 3, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HUGHGIBSON3

      one answer tells me its digits and the other one tells me figures, the answer is figures or not?

      January 25, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RPD85

      What Zahken not Zahl?

      February 15, 2018

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

      Zahl’ is singular, ‘Zahlen’ is plural (numbers).

      February 20, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam82410

      why is "i see digits" incorrect?

      June 24, 2018

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

      "digits" is Ziffern and the word to translate is Zahlen - "numbers".

      June 24, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5tal1

      Is that you John Nash?

      July 6, 2018

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

      Is there a way to distinguish between an abstract number and its representation in some notation system?For example, "three" is the first odd prime number (this is a mathematical abstraction), whereas "3", "3.0", "11(base2)" are all notations for that abstract concept. So if "Ich sehe Zahlen", am I having a mathematical vision, am I surrounded by loads of accounting files, or could either one be what's happening?

      August 13, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MehrdadCha1

      Do they talk to you? If yes ,go find a shrink. If no also go find a shrink.

      November 1, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jazzyrat1

      Ich is E what!?

      December 27, 2018

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

      Is there a specific reason why Duolingo will not take "Die Nummern" for a translation of "The numbers"?

      February 26, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Minervas37

      Technically "Die Nummern" is a correct translation for "The numbers".

      But in German everyday use you'll hardly find anyone who uses "Nummern" instead of "Zahlen" in this sentence. Duolingo tries to convey the contemporary everyday use of words and sentences in the German language.

      April 12, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnuyaTendu1

      Why Ich sehe zahl is wrong

      April 11, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Minervas37

      To say "Ich sehe Zahl" in german is like saying "I see number" in english. - wrong.

      In this example it's about the plural. "eine/die Zahl" = "a/the number" is singular and "(die) Zahlen" = "(the) numbers" is the plural.

      If you want to express that you see ONE (more or less specific) number you'd say

      "I see a/the number" in english and "Ich sehe eine/die Zahl" in german.

      April 12, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghaith415370

      Why not zahl?

      May 22, 2018

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

      The question has been asked and answered ad nauseam in this very comment section. Please read the other comments before posting.

      May 23, 2018
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