Das Heft

I answered "das Heft" whilst translating "the magazine", and was marked incorrect. Should this be an acceptable response?

February 22, 2018


Heft is a little more general, as it can refer to exercise books aswell. However, at least in spoken language, it should have been fine.

February 22, 2018

I would say yes. It's a bit colloquial, standard would be Magazin or Zeitschrift. Heft refers more to the paper than to the content, it's also used for notebook or an exercise book, a comic or a similar piece of tacked paper.

Edit: cross-posted with Marie ;-)

February 22, 2018

Again ;)

February 22, 2018

In my opinion, "das Heft" should not be accepted for "magazine" because it is understandable only in contexts in which it is absolutely clear what you are talking about.

I think that the prevalent meaning of "das Heft", without any context, is "notebook", especially for students, "exercise book". If I tell someone that I want to buy "ein Heft", they will most certainly understand that I need something to write in.

In my opinion as a learner, Duolingo should teach us vocabulary that makes it easy for us to communicate; this includes a sufficient degree of precision of the words used.

To exaggerate a little: In almost any colloquial contexts, any object can be called "das Ding": "Gib mir mal das Ding rüber" will be totally understandable if you are in the situation.

But it would certainly not be a good idea to accept "das Ding" as a translation of, for example, "screwdriver" just because you could use that word colloquially in particular contexts. ;-)

Edit: It just occurred to me that "das Heft = magazine" is actually wrong in some contexts. Example:

In my spare time, I love reading magazines.

should not be translated to:

In meiner Freizeit lese ich gerne Hefte.

February 22, 2018

I would agree with this (ie it's not the same), eg if someone asked me to pass the 'Heft' I wouldn't think they meant a magazine even if they were pointing at it. :)

February 23, 2018

if someone asked me to pass the 'Heft' I wouldn't think they meant a magazine even if they were pointing at it. :)

Well, that situation would be clear enough for me if there was no exercise book or similar around that would make the choice difficult.

February 23, 2018

Thanks all! A lot of my practice these days comes from reading things like Perry Rhodan, Mythor, Raumschiff Orion, etc. As a result I frequently speak of "Heftromane", and "Heft" comes faster to my mind than even "Magazin".

February 23, 2018
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