"Die Partnerschaft ist gut."
Translation:The partnership is good.
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What I like in English and German is that fundamentally they are similar and one can find correspondences, like "-ship" and "-schaft". This is the real core of the language, which is still traceable in English, no matter how many Latin and other foreign words it may have.
Well, just a word of caution... I was thinking the same thing; and while it does help for they are clearly related (I'm doing Norwegian and Dutch)-- you will find that some, while spelled almost alike--will still have very different pronunciations. Others will have very different spellings...and yet very similar pronunciations (e.g. German Maus, Dutch Muis)...I have found German MUCH easier (particularly in pronouncing) than Dutch which races so fast you often do not hear entire syllables. --But I still am enjoying it... always wanted to study the Germanic languages of my ancestors!
Not necessarily. German (and Spanish, incidentally, and probably other languages) uses the definite article in lots of places where English would not. For example, (examples taken from another forum): 'die Monarchie ist eine Staatsform' can be perfectly translated as 'monarchy is a form of state'; 'das Leben ist zu kurz' should be translated as 'life is too short'; and 'die Liebe ist wunderbar' translates to 'love is wonderful'. So there is nothing wrong with 'partnership is good' as a translation of this sentence.
In the abstract you'd say "Partnerschaft ist gut". Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any rule that would reliably separate cases so similar to each other as Monarchie/Partnerschaft. I can only tell you the de facto usage patterns. There are, however, a few rules that might be useful in other (more clear-cut) cases: http://is.gd/PjcGB3
How do you know what it refers to? It's a sentence in isolation. As londoncalling said, nouns of generic reference use the definite article in German but not in English. This sentence could be interpreted to have either meaning and so "Partnership is good" should be accepted.
Ah, or are you saying that some nouns of generic reference use definite articles in German, but others don't? Bad news for those of us trying to learn it :-(
My question is, here in the US partnership is a term which is also used to describe a homosexual relationship, rather than just the business sense; so since this is the family lesson I was wondering if this is meant, or can be meant, in the same sense (a homosexual relationship) in German.
Also, although it shouldn't matter anyhow, such a relationship does not have to be same-sex. At least where I am (Vancouver, Canada), participants in any committed relationship other than actual marriage (and even then, sometimes) tend to refer to their "other half" as their partner.
In the US - It is similar to relationship, but is most often used in a business sense or when one or more persons work together to accomplish something. When used romantically, it almost always refers to gay couples. 99% of the time, the full word "partnership" is used for business relationships.