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  5. Why Vogelfänger and not Vogel…


Why Vogelfänger and not Vogel Fänger?

So, I know that Vogelfänger means 'bird catcher', but if 'bird catcher' is 2 words, why is Vogelfänger not Vogel Fänger? Thanks for the help, it would be great.

March 10, 2018



we do it in english sometimes... toothbrush

  • 1731

English does it too... how about: boyfriend, policeman greenhouse, software, redhead, output, haircut, rainfall, motorcycle .... :-)

And yes, German language probably does it more, but it's nothing unusual in most languages.


If you write "Vogel Fänger", I'll understand a bird called catcher (like Kanzler Merkel, Präsident Trump, der Opel Astra). If the words are not connected, they're understood like the last one is specifying the first, but if they are connected, the first word is specifying the last (Vogelfänger = Fänger der Vögel = catcher of birds).

To my disapproval, in marketing it's very common to split the words, because "it looks better". You can try to read this: https://deppenleerzeichen.de/wie-kommt-es-zum-deppen-leerzeichen/

Also the pronunciation changes if you split the words. With to single words you have to stress the last, with two conntected words you stress the first.


Good point. My first thought when I read the thread title (and that idea was wrong, but I'll write this anyway) was that OP might be confusing it with "der Vögel Fänger", which would be "the catcher of [the] birds" in archaic, poetic German. E.g. "Wer (...) hörte mich denn in der Engel Ordnungen?" "Who in the ranks of the angels would hear me?"


Germans really like writing compound words as one.

main actor = Hauptschauspieler

Was ist deine Lieblingskartoffelzubereitungsmethode? = What is your favorite potato preparation method?


I correct myself: they don't really use the word Hauptschauspieler, but Hauptdarsteller.


You probably will like this nice little story about Rhabarberbarbara ..if you don't know it already...


I knew it already :)


what about "am Schneesee", a wee pixi book my kids just loved to listen to ;-)


I don't know that...

  • 1348

Oh good, I found another favorite word! Would you find Lieblingskartoffelzubereitungsmethode in a German dictionary?


I heard it in a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w67eHrJMEc&t=165s at 2:42

I doubt it would be in a dictionary. I checked it in leo.dict and dict.cc and it isn't.

This is an interesting question: what counts as a word. Only the words found in a dictionary, or any word you could possibly create in German?

  • 1348

jzsuzsi - I don't think it is a single word. I think it is:

Lieblings Kartoffel Zubereitungsmethode


But it was written as one word in the video... :(


It has to be one word. Even if it's not in the dictionary, it must be a compound noun, either with hyphens or totally joined. Why would you join Zubereitungsmethode and separate the other two words?

See also: https://www.duden.de/sprachwissen/rechtschreibregeln/bindestrich and https://www.duden.de/sprachwissen/rechtschreibregeln/getrennt-und-zusammenschreibung

Die Getrenntschreibung von substantivischen Zusammensetzungen, die aus grafischen oder anderen Gründen vor allem in Eigennamen und Produktbezeichnungen gelegentlich verwendet wird, entspricht nicht der amtlichen Regelung der Rechtschreibung (Abenteuer Verlag, Wildschwein Pastete). Korrekt ist dagegen die unverbundene Nachstellung von genaueren Bestimmungen: Universität Mannheim, Aldi Süd, Frankfurt Süd oder Frankfurt-Süd

  • 1348

Oh, I thought you heard the word. If you say it is in a video it must be right!



I heard it and also read it in the subtitles :)

  • 1348

Cool, it is now again one of my favorite words in German. Danke,


why is aircraft factory Flugzeugfabrik in German? I guess they just like joining nouns together...


And who can forget the Welsh: llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave?


is that really a word? i mean is there really someone u would be able to pronounce this with all those consonants lined up?

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