https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YV.BG

What's the difference between der Vetter and der Cousin?

Hello, doing my practice in Memrise today I came along these two words - 'der Vetter' and 'der Cousin' and it translated them both to 'cousin'. Is there any difference between the two or are they interchangable? Is 'der Vetter' a German word in origin, and der Cousin is simply what came in with the French influence? Or is there any difference between the two? When should we use the one, and the other?

March 22, 2019

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the.sheepster

Vetter is kind of outdated. At least I cannot think of when I heard someone say it the last time. Basically everybody where I come from says "Cousin" instead. There might be regional differences though.

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YV.BG

Thank you. :) That's good to know. I will stick to 'der Cousin' and will only keep in mind that 'der Vetter' means the same - if I ever encounter it. :) Have some lingots.

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

Huh? I still say Vetter... I guess I am way outdated, too. :( Where are you from, btw? I’m from Northrhine-Westfalia with Northern German influence.

If one says Cousin, one also has to use the matching feminine form Cousine. But I have never ever seen it spelled like that, it’s always Kusine. Vetter und Kusine.

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

Vetter und Kusine? Ich kenn nur Vetter und Base oder Cousin und Cousine.

Ps. Here in my aerea Vetter is still used too. Same goes for Base which is an older German word for Cousine ( feminin). While Cousin and Cousine which are lend from the french language are only used by the younger generation...

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the.sheepster

I am from the border between Hesse and Thuringia.

March 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

As the others said, "der Vetter" is the old version of "cousin". Keep in mind that this is only the male cousin, the female cousin would be called "Base" (with the stress on the 'a')

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

Die Base ist wirklich ein sehr altes Wort, vielleicht so 19.Jh. Nicht zu vergleichen mit Vetter!

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

Da hast du schon recht, aber das ist nun mal das passende Wortpaar. Vetter und Kusine ist wie "ein bisschen schwanger", nichts halbes und nichts ganzes. Ich wohne nahe der französischen Grenze, da ist Cousin nichts ungewöhnliches. Es wird aber selten französisch mit Nasallaut sondern eher wie "Kusseng" ausgesprochen.

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Garnetskull

The real difference is that "der Cousin" is a French loanword, whereas "der Vetter" is native German descendant from Middle High German.

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dirgenie

Der Vetter ist ein veraltetes Wort für Cousin. Der Vetter kommt nur noch in alten Romanen vor.

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

Ich komme nicht aus einem alten Roman, und ich sage immer Vetter, nicht Cousin. Für mich hört sich eher das französische Cousin altmodisch an. Die Zeiten, in denen das Französische in Deutschland so angesagt war, sind schon lange vorbei.

March 23, 2019
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