It seems that both words can be translated as Schrank. However, the word "cupboard" has various other translations depending on what you use it for: broom cupboard=>Besenschrank kitchen cupboard=>Küchenschrank built-in cupboard=>Einbauschrank. I suppose that if you want to use the word "Schrank", yes you need to use context to specify it.
I typed in "we need a cabinet"
Did you? I see a report asking for "we have a cabinet" to be accepted, from pretty much the same time as your comment.
If you're certain that you typed "we need a cabinet" and that was rejected: did you take a screenshot? If so, please upload it to a website (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL.
Oh pfui. Sorry, my bad. I did not take a screen shot. I keep assuming (as a long-time programmer) that when the option "my answer should be accepted" is on the list that the report you get includes everything that was typed in (how otherwise can you evaluate the report?) But my assumptions and reality only line up now and then :). I'll try to remember to take screen shots in the future.
I keep assuming (as a long-time programmer) that when the option "my answer should be accepted" is on the list that the report you get includes everything that was typed in
That is correct, which is why I was able to quote the sentence I saw. (But the reports only give the full text and the time, no further indication as to the kind of exercise or the username of the learner or anything else.)
But we can only see what people typed when they choose that report option -- many people just come to the comments without reporting.
Also, there is the option "behind the scenes" of permanently rejecting particular bad translations, with an explanation message (which is unfortunately not generally shown right now - hopefully this will change again). If someone enters a sentence that corresponds to such a permanently rejected translation, I think the report is also not visible. (I'm not even sure whether the report option is even available in that case.)
(For example, we might use this option for sentences such as wir brauchen eine Schrank with feminine eine before masculine Schrank. Things that many learners might write and that will never be correct. No point in deleting the reports one by one if we can reject such an incorrect sentence permanently.)
I'll try to remember to take screen shots in the future.
Excellent! Lingot for that.
The word Schranke does indeed mean a barrier or gate.
But this sentence contains the word Schrank, which is a cupboard, closet, or wardrobe.
Note that die Schranke is feminine and has an -e at the end, while der Schrank is masculine and does not have an -e at the end. They are two separate words.
The word "cabinet" here fascinates me. English is not my native language, but french is; and in french "un cabinet" is used to speak about the place where some people work (doctors who work outside an hospital, lawyers...); in plural "les cabinets" is used for the WC... Funny to compare languages!
Can "schrank" also be used as a slang (I guess) word for fridge? I know fridge is "eis schrank", but I think there have been times when I have heard my mum (who is german) say "schrank" when refering to fridge. Is this something that is actually done, or am I just making things up?
I don't understand the question. Why doesn't Hund = cat?
They just don't.
A Schrank (cupboard, cabinet, closet, wardrobe) is a box with walls and usually a door, while a Regal (shelf) is just a horizontal board. Two quite different things.
Indeed, a cupboard might have shelves inside it.