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Heiße vs Ich bin

Guten Tag Duolingers! I ran over a problem. The thing is, I used 'I am Karl' for translation of Ich Heiße Karl. And as far my knowledge is confined, 'I am' can be written as Ich bin in German. So, if I use Ich bin instead of Ich Heiße, will that make a difference?

June 15, 2018



"ich bin" does not work with your surname only. It needs your given name or your full name. (Same in English I presume.)

Ich bin Müller. WRONG (unless you are a miller by profession)

Ich bin Klaus Müller.

Ich bin Klaus.

"ich heiße" is more specific and can be used with any name part:

Ich heiße Klaus.

Ich heiße Müller.

Ich heiße Klaus Müller.

Since "ich heiße" refers exclusively to the name rather than to an entire person it can feel a bit more factual and distant (depending on context). Personally, I would use "ich heiße" to merely state my name and "ich bin" to introduce myself in a friendly way.

copied from reddit


Uhm. I'm a native speaker and I don't think "Ich bin Müller" to be inherently false. Reading it I imagine an artisan/craftsman to introduce himself - in a informal yet slightly distant social setting.
This may be because they often run small businesses that run under their last name - so the clients expect a Müller and not necessarily a Klaus Müller.

But sure, the other options sound better.


"Ich bin Müller" works as an answer to a question like "Which of you is Mr Müller" - "That's me, I am Müller"


Also a native speaker (female). If my last name was "Bauer", I'd never introduce myself or respond to someone with "Ich bin Bauer." If anything at all, under the right circumstances, I might say "Ich bin die Bauer." On the other hand, if I was a male farmer, then "Ich bin Bauer." would be correct, but it would describe my profession, not my name.


"Ich heiße ... " is the equivalent to "My name is ..."

Pretty please: do not use the B as a substitute for the ß.

You need to enable the German characters on your keyboard (instructions are out there depending on your system) for any progress.


I agree, never use a capital B instead of a "scharfes S", rather use a double s instead, if you lack the real one. Double S is not completely right (unless you're from Switzerland) while capital B is always wrong, wrong, wrong


My keyboard do not have that 'scharfes S'.


If you don't have ß, then use "ss". It's an acceptable substitute and people will understand what you mean. "B" is a completely different letter


Ok dude, seems like I need to use the default keyboard. The current keyboard app which I am using doesn't supports scarfes S.


Thanks, but I think I need to replace the current keyboard app to the default one as it doesn't support any special German characters like umlets and scharfes S.


You need to know the 'w' words. Wie means how. Wie heißt du? means 'How is your name?' Ich heiße means 'I am called' It makes sense in German but not in English.

'Ich bin' means 'I am'. You can use it t say 'I am J.Cassar', but you can use it to say ' Ich bin ein Katzenliebhaber', whch means 'I am a cat-lover'.


Any personal experience, anyone?


it's right "mein Name ist Mike" = "my name is Mike" "I am " with that I introduce myself as a person.

My name is Peter Müller, I'm 28 years old and a baker by profession. Many surnames are derived from occupations. My name is Peter Baker, I'm 28 years old and a baker by profession. ;-)

If you are in a large group and imagine, it is possible as follows.

Hello everybody, I'm glad you all came. Please introduce each other individually.

My name is Karl

My name is Conrad

My name is Claudia

I am the Vanessa

(and so on)

and now a joke

You sit in a train and hot sausages are offered for consumption.

The service person shouts loudly "HOT SAUSAGES, HOT SAUSAGES" (in german heisse Würstchen)

Then another person answers "I do not care what your name is, I want a coffee"


I get it captain mcTavish. Sorry, Captain McPitty.


Use 'My name is Karl' as translation for 'Ich heiße Karl'. That is the closest to a literal translation you will get as English lacks the verb 'heißen'.

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