"Das Personal ist gut."

Translation:The staff is good.

March 20, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Could not hear properly the word "Personal", pronounciation must improve


Das Perszwhcshcwh ist gut


Das Cozumel ist gut.



I am from Germany and the voice definately does not say "Personal", which i am shure it was meant to be. Instead she pronounces "personal" which would translate as "persönlich".


The word “Personal“ is spoken just like the English “personal“. That's not correct, the speaker should speak German!


Its like you hear tge sound of a glass bottle breaking when she pronounces "pe" , reported as of November 2018


I guess the proper translation would be "The personnel are good." Am I right?


There is a debate in English grammar circles. "personnel are good" is well used and accepted, but sometimes debated by "experts".


I read on another discussion in this lesson that U.S. English treats collective nouns as singular, and U.K. English treats them as plural. After questioning the way I form sentences (I'm English and tested several collective nouns, with varying singular and plural results), I had a little root around online and have read that while U.S. English does treat the vast majority of collective nouns as singular, U.K. English can treat them as either depending on whether the sentence is emphasising the group as a whole, or its component members. Wikipedia quite amusingly quotes Elvis Costello: "Oliver's Army is here to stay / Oliver's Army are on their way"

Of course, it Spiritfire's assertion is correct, and "personnel" is a plural noun, not a collective noun, then the previous paragraph is irrelevant.

In any case, we're not here to learn English, we're here to learn German, and it would seem that auf Deutsch, 1. Das Personal is a collective noun, and 2. Collective nouns are treated in their singular form.

A caveat is that I have based point 2 entirely on the handful of collective nouns I have come across so far; German is full of exceptions to rules, so there may well be others about which I am wrong.

EDIT: Cambridge Dictionaries cites "personnel" as a singular or plural noun. Incase you wanted to know.


I agree. This is a difference between UK English and US English. The personnel would be have different verbs, I think this should be modified. We are not here to learn English, but German. If the Germans use the collective nouns with a singular or plural verb, we can learn that, but it should be translated to the appropriate speaker. So for US speakers collective nouns take is, for the UK, it would be are. What matters is that the student of German understands what this phrase means in his/her understanding of English. I think there should be multiple options.

[deactivated user]

    There are some, myself included that do the reverse courses, i.e. Learn English via German, as a complement to their main objective of learning German from English. So I think the debate is useful.


    You say "Manchester United are....". I'm a Yank. We love our big brothers in the UK.


    In my 70 years I have never heard the expression "the staff is good", normally a collective noun is modified to express singularity ie: "the member of staff is good", "that sheep is lame", "those sheep are lame", "the staff are good"


    I think Siebenundzwanzig is right. I don't perceive that there has ever been a debate about this. Personnel is a plural word. The personnel are doing well, for example. I checked a couple of English grammar sites and the online Oxford dictionary before I posted this. I'm not trying to be argumentative here - just want to make sure this point isn't misunderstood. "The personnel is good" should not be an acceptable answer.

    [deactivated user]

      No, staff is a group word. It normally under US English rules be treated as singular, like team, family, police, and a raft of other words that are treated as either singular or plural according to UK English usage.


      Their claim was about "personnel" not "staff"


      But it isn't plural in German? That creates a problem.. for translators


      I am German. You are right, it's definitely no plural in German.


      I can't fathom why anyone would debate that.


      Because we are here to learn languages, and grammar matters. Though U.S. and U.K. English are very similar, there are a few differences that matter, like how collective nouns are treated.

      [deactivated user]

        Because sometimes on DL you are marked wrong when treating collective nouns as plural!


        "Personnel" in English works like the words "population", "group" or "crowd".


        I kind of see personnel as a singular unit, like group or team.


        This is partly a Brit/US difference. Brits are much more likely to use a plural verb with a collective noun. (I grew up in England but have lived a long time in the US, so I'm almost a perfect bi-lingual.)


        Yes, or “The staff is good“. I am German. The pronunciation is not correct, it's spoken like the English word.


        The pronunciation of 'Personal' is off.


        I hear a totally different thing, the lady pronounces bizarely.


        yeah, it almost sounds like the english word "personnel". but the german word is pronounced [pɛrzoˈna:l].


        I do not understand the word "Personal" in this question!!


        Not sure what your question is, but in English 'personal' means private or individual, relating to ones own person. 'The letter was personal. Which is to say private or just for the individual receiving it. In English 'personnel' refers to the employees of a company. 'The personnel department'. It is plural in nature, like crowd or population. It would not be used to refer to an individual employee. In German, 'Personal' apparently translates to 'personnel' in english. 'Personal' in english is 'persoenlich' in German (oe is umlaut e, my keyboard doesn't have umlauts).


        thanks for your help ntkonn but I mean the way that the audio says personal. I do not understand it because it is said in a strange way.


        Thanks Mr.ntkonn you made it clear now :)


        I was taught that collective nouns were singular so for me it should read the staff is good.


        That's correct. I am German.


        Staff is singular word? Really?

        [deactivated user]

          In US English collective nouns (family, team, youth, etc) are mostly grammatically considered as singular.


          pfft, nothin personnel, kid.


          Should be 'the staff is good'


          Personnel is a very slightly old fashioned word for Human Resources departments in companies, so "Personnel is good" can be correct.


          But I would not say "the personnel is good", I would say " the personnel department is good". I think it should be "The personnel are good"


          I am German. No, it's not Human Resource as an department, it's the staff, each one of them. But in German you can summarize them as “das Personal“.


          In that case, it would make perfect sense, because it's about a "department" which is singular.


          "Personnel is good" is not correct grammar in English. The "Personnel department" does well, or "Personnel does well" (meaning the people in the department), or the "Personnel staff are good" are correct, but not the "Personnel is good". This is bad English grammar.


          can the german here refer to one staff member, or only to the whole team?


          "Das Personal" refers only to the whole team. A single member of the staff would be "der Angestellte" (m) or "die Angestellte" (f)


          So, this is a collective noun right? It's not talking about a single employee, but the employees as a whole?


          How does a k-sound become a part? Something wrong with the pronunciation.


          Aweful sound, it doesn't sound like "Personal" at all!


          You are right. It is English instead of German.


          I needed to click on the turtle button because Personal sounded like a chocking robot.


          I'm going to weigh in here and say that since 'personnel' is obviously a plural word in English, the correct grammar should be "The personnel are good"


          Staff should be considered one body, as in a herd, a pod, etc. The staff IS good.

          [deactivated user]

            No, only in US English are the rules so strict, and even there, there is more latitude than you think. Elsewhere in the English speaking world it's common to treat group nouns as plural, depending on context.


            "The personnel are okay" is wrong? Does "good" have another context here?


            What is the difference between person and personnel ?


            Person is one individual, one man or woman. Personnel is staff or a team of a company or something.


            Thank you very much. This is very helpful for me to understand this sentence A lingot for your explanation


            What is wrong with "The personnel are well"? Doesn't "gut" also mean "well"?


            “Well“ is an adverb, “gut“ = “good“ is the correct adjective.


            why is personal not accepted


            Sound is really bad for personel


            Personal is pronounced as in English


            "Das Personal sind gut" is not correct?


            That's right; it's not correct.

            das Personal is grammatically singular and requires the verb form ist.

            Some English speakers use a plural verb after a singular noun referring to multiple people, but German does not do this.

            "The police are looking for the thief" would be Die Polizei sucht den Dieb, for example, not Die Polizei suchen den Dieb.


            The correct answer should be “The staff is good” as staff is singular, not plural.


            Ok, so I have read all the threads about this and for a change, I have found a discussion thread that has not been closed (prematurely, when you want to raise a point not yet raised about that question and now it is impossible to do so). I got this correct, but it was because although as a native English speaker I would have preferred to use the word 'are' as staff is a plural word, (singular would be 'staff member'), I was forced to select 'is' for my answer. I think to help everyone an 'are' option could be included and then either would could produce a correct response. However, if the Germans do not use plural for what English use plural for, then we need to learn the German way as this is a German language course. However, I don't think that native English speakers are likely to use 'is' instead of 'are' in relevant translations as it goes against the grain for a native English speaker.

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