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  5. "Ich suche den zuständigen Mi…

"Ich suche den zuständigen Mitarbeiter."

Translation:I am looking for the responsible coworker.

April 17, 2018



How would you say, "I am looking for the coworker responsible"


Isn't that the same?


A responsible person as a trait or detail about them means that you consider them a responsible person etc.

The person responsible for something means that they are liable or at fault or in control of a noun or adjective.

Does that help clarify?


I think it would be something like "ich suche nach dem Mitarbeiter, den (dafür) zuständig ist", which would be "I'm looking for the co-worker who is responsible (for it)".


Wouldn't that be " ...der (dafür) zuständig ist"?

("Er ist dafür zuständig/verantwortlich")


You are correct. I wrote "den" but it should be "der".


Yes that's true in English, but are you a native German speaker? I'm not, but I have the feeling that the German version can mean both of the English sentences you give.


Personally I think the German sentence can mean either of the English ones. But I'm not a native German speaker, so we'd need to check with one.


"coworker"? why would anyone say that...

EDIT: Okay, since that doesn't seem to be a valid question to a random downvoter... let me elaborate: if you are looking for the person in charge or something along those lines, why would you use the term "co-worker"? If it's a coworker, you'd know who it is.

What I was going for was is this exercise actually going for "Anyone seen the guy who actually does his job well (instead of the idiot who screws everything up)?" or does it mean something a bit different? I wasn't sure, that's all.


I think it's weird too. If I was at work and looking for someone who was responsible for a project or a a particular bugfix, or a problem with the HVAC, I'd either say "the person responsible for" or their role: engineer, administrator, libertarian, whatever.

You say coworker when you're telling stories to your friends: "I have a coworker who..."

Because when you're at work, everyone is a coworker; coworker isn't a differentiating term.

So I wonder how German speakers use Mitarbeiter.


we are being taught a lot of sentences that one might ask... why would anyone say that?? : D


I'd say "I am looking for the employee in charge.", which isn't accepted. Any thoughts?


One of the translations of "zustandigen" is competent, which I thought would a better fit than responsible in this sentence. I was marked wrong though which I don't quite understand, it's a clumsy sentence either way...


Zuständig means competent in the sense of authorized (to do sth.)/responsable (for sth.)/in charge (of sth.), not in the sense of capable or qualified.


In English, competent doesn't have a sense of being authorized. Responsible does.


I can confirm this (native Brit). In England, authority and competency are inversely proportional.


I don't find it that "clumsy", it's just a bit more complicated.

Someone could be competent, but not allowed or have the authority to do something. For example, it could be a police emergency and you would use "zuständig" in that context when asking who's responsible for running the operation. It's not only "competent" but indeed also "qualified", "authorised", "in charge of" and so on.


can "Ich suche" not be translated to "I seek"?


It often sounds overly poetic or old-fashioned in English. "To look for" sounds better in the majority of situations.


I agree, though I do believe it should be a valid answer (Duo marked it wrong). As well "searching for" seems like a good translation. I guess I might be grasping for phonetic similarities as it makes it easier to remember.


I'll have a look through the database and try to improve consistency a bit.

But just be careful not to develop bad translation habits for the sake of using similar-sounding words. Due to Duo needing to accept "ok" answers in addition to the "best" ones, it can be easy to get lost down this path!


Yes, wise words -- and the right way to go IMO. Might differ quite a lot between courses. On another course somewhere they're debating the "me" vs "I" thing, as in "neither I/me n/or the other guy ..." and currently they are not accepting the "me" variation. To me that's excessive nitpicking for many reasons.

Grasping the correct structure of the foreign language sentence is by far more important than a slight mistake in the source (provided there's no critical misunderstanding). British people think Americans are wrong and vice versa, and at the same time there are a lot of non-natives who probably couldn't care less about things so trivial.


Sometimes small errors can cause confusion and end meaning something entirely different than intended. This can even happen due to differences between British and American English, though it is rare.


Wise words....


Why not "Ich suche nach dem zuständigen Mitarbeiter"?

  • 1394

I used the exact same sentence and it was accepted.


Such a stupid English sentence..


Not really. How else would you say it?


In England we don't really use "coworker", at least I don't know anybody that does. We would probably say "I am looking for the person responsible"


In German "Mitarbeiter" is rather used for an employee. It's someone who participates in doing the work in a business rather than someone who is working with you. If someone is talking about "meine Mitarbeiter", he is the boss, because they do "his" work.... I don't really know which words one would use in English.


Here is what I learned from another lesson: Der Mitarbeiter= co-worker or colleague

Der Arbeitnehmer= employee

Der Kollege= the colleague


I thought the same thing, "an employee." What word to use in English? I thought the normal word would be "worker" -- but that didn't work. Oh well, next time I'll write "coworker."


"I am looking for the person responsible" Makes more sense to me, but I don't think "I am looking for the responsible coworker." is wrong. I don't feel it is wrong, though. I (personally) wouldn't report it or anything.


Just a memorization tip, think of suche as search/look(ing) for.


From the English translation given are we to assume that there is only one responsible worker and that all the others are irresponsible?


Zuständig means responsible in the sense of in charge of sth. There can be multiple employees "zuständig" for the same task at a given point of time, but often there is exactly one. Often you're also asking for the department that is "zuständig" for your request/problem/whatever.



Thank you Max but my comment concerns the English structure which should be 'coworker responsible [for]...' .


i agree with you HvliVGD5 about the word order in English in this sentence


Mitarbeiter is also plural. Did I get marked wrong because i used a hyphen in co-workers?


never mind, I see I didn't pay attention to the singular masculine artile in the accusative case that would tell me it's just one worker.


This English translation is awkward due mostly to word order, but the awkwardness also leads to a heightened sense of confusion over the intended meaning.

"the coworker responsible" sounds quite a bit better, but is still odd. "the employee responsible" is much better. However, the English is still vague about whether you are looking for an employee who is currently responsible for something, or for the employee that is responsible for some past event, whether or not it was their job.

Does "den zuständigen Mitarbeiter" have the same range of meanings?


I would add that putting responsible before coworker conveys a different sense of responsible, as in "trustworthy", but then it should be "a responsible employee". It is not as if I am expecting there is only one.


"... the coworker responsible" would be the more idiomatic English equivalent, but alas, it is not considered correct, and spoiled what would otherwise have been a perfect placement test.


I wrote: I am looking for the most competent employee. Seeing as we really don't use the word coworker in the UK (other than in a Rudolf Steiner context), come on Duo, get it right.


But there's nothing in the German sentence that supports the use of "most" in your translation.


How about this sentence "I find the responsible colleague."? I wrote like this, and Duo marked it wrong.


"Suchen" means "search" or "look for". You may or may not "find" what you are looking for, so it doesn't work as a translation here.


Wow, I understand it. Thanks!!


why is 'person in charge' not accepted?


Because that's the boss You can be responsible for particular role and still be an ordinary employee or even contractor. I think"member of staff" covers the German meaning.


I wish they would penalize or at least tell me when I miss an umlaut. I am here to learn and letting that slide is a dis service.


Hmm, I always get warned when there are missing umlauts. There's a (subtle) comment at the bottom on the screen saying something like: "Pay attention to the umlauts". It doesn't mark the sentence wrong, however. (I'm using the web-based version, not the app: not sure if that makes any difference.)


What's different between zuständig and verantwortlich?


"die züstandige Person" means the one who is meant to do the job (ie, the person responsible for actually doing it), while "die verantwortliche Person" is the one who will have to bear the consequences if the job doesn't get done (this could be a supervisor, or a government minister, rather than the one actually performing the task).


So why is this not "Ich suche die zuständigen Mitarbeiter."? I thought we were supposed to use accusative case here.


It is accusative. "Mitarbeiter" is singular and masculine, so the accusative would be "den" and not "die".


Oh, thank you sir, I don't know why I thought it as if it's plural, silly me :(


Does the German have a positive or negative connotation here? Eg I am looking for the responsible employee. -meaning a good worker. or - meaning something bad has happened and the boss wants to know which worker did it (was responsible for doing it)


The adjective for this meaning in English ( ie someone with authority) must come after the noun, otherwise in front on the noun, it is describing a person who is reliable and conscientious.

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