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  5. "Ich kenne Großbritannien."

"Ich kenne Großbritannien."

Translation:I know Great Britain.

June 28, 2013



I went with a literal translation here, but does "Ich kenne Großbritannien." convey the idea of having seen it/visited it? I think in conversation you would say something like "I've been to Great Britain." But to say "I know Great Britain" just sounds bizarre and as if Great Britain were something other than a country (almost as if it were a person). Any answers are much appreciated.


Kenne can refer to knowledge of a place or a person.

Just like English.

  1. Location: "I know Hungary"
  2. Person: "I know Bill."

It may sound weird, but it's appropriate. :)


Yeah, but what tfinlon is saying, and I agree with him, is that you wouldn't say "I know Hungary" in English, so it's not really just like English, that's the point.


Maybe "I know about Hungary" is what it means?


But does it mean you know the place personally? For example, I know a lot about Germany, but I don't know it like I know the UK.


In the other foreign languages I speak, when you use the equivalent for "to know" like kennen, it does indeed mean "have you been there," aka "do you know it from experience". I'd love to hear from a native German speaker, but that is the case in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, and Italian.


You might say it some situations. For example: " I know Hungary, and I can tell you there is no decent Mexican food served there." (Totally hypothetical. For all I know, there may be some restaurateurs from Mexico living in Hungary." ;-)


No, I've heard people say that before.


I think "I know britain" is a perfectly normal thing to say. I might say "I know Dublin" if somebody were to ask me for directions in the city for example.


It sounds like here we're talking about personal familiarity (in Spanish, "conocer" rather than "saber"). In English, "I know this city" would mean that I've been here before and am familiar enough with it to act as a guide. However, I could also say "I know all the state capitals" to simply refer to knowledge that I've accumulated.


It is used in English this way but it is more obscure. An example would be a scene in "Band of Brothers" where Lt. ❤❤❤❤ asks Lipton where he is from and then says "I don't know it."


Kennen was explained to me as "to be familiar with" something or someone. Wissen means to know something. Habe ich recht?


Essentially, yes. "Kennen" refers to places and people; "wissen" refers to ideas or concepts or facts.

  • 2050

In that case, would "Ich wisse Großbritannien" mean that you know of Great Britain, although you might not be familiar with it or have visited it?


The first person singular is still "weiß". (I'm not sure if wissen can be used that way, though.)


Danke! I thought it would be something like that.


I think it is something idiomatic. I know in Spanish you use the word "conocer" which is equivalent to "kennen" when you refer to places you've visited. I can only assume it is the same for German. I think you would use "visited Great Britain" when you're referring to a specific trip you made whereas you would use "kennen" to imply that you've been there, no matter when or how many times. Hope it helps!


Kennen can also mean to be familiar with a place, not just a person.


Context is important here as elsewhere. If you were in a discussion, or even an argument, with someone over whether Birmingham had better public transport than London, you could argue that, "Look, I KNOW Britain--I've been there, and you haven't!


It's funny that in Scotland they can undarstand you saying "I kenn him" instead of "I know him".


It is spelt ken rather than kenn though.
(Just another example of the Germanic roots of the Scots language ;) )


"Do ye ken John Peel with his coat so grey?/ Do ye ken John Peel at the break of day?/ Do ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away/ With his hounds and his horn in the morning?" My aunt had a music box stein with this (Northern) English folksong when I was young.


Ich komme aus Großbritannien :)


Ja, Ich Auch. Es ist Gross, Ich liebe es.


Ich will nach Großbritannien


are all country names neuter? They forgot to mention the gender


Someone linked this in a previous question and I found it useful. http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/Gender-Of-Countries.htm


I wish, but sadly some of them are feminine. :(


Does Groß mean grand/great? So in grandparents, does it carry the same connotation?

I'd be interested in the etymology of this


Great Britain was created in 1707 as a result of the Treaty of Union that "united" Scotland with England and Wales. The UK was then formed in 1801 when Ireland was incorporated.


And then after several revolutions Ireland told yous to f**** off


As well as learning "Großbritannien", we ought to learn "das Vereinigte Koenigreich" ("das VK") so as to include Northern Ireland, "Nordirland".

"Das Vereinigte Koenigreich" obeys the rules for declining nouns and adjectives, so that, for example, "to the United Kingdom" is "nach dem Vereinigten Koenigreich".

Somebody please correct me if there are any mistakes in what I've just said.

P.S. Since I wrote the above I've learned elsewhere on Duolingo that Germans use "das Vereinigte Koenigreich" only on legal documents, and in everyday speech use "Großbritannien".


Yes. Großmutter is grandmother, Großvater is grandfather, and Großeltern would be grandparents.


Perhaps my question wasn't clear.

I was just asking if the word had the same kind of connotations (like great as in tremendous) - or if it doesn't carry a meaning in that sentence.

I'm not sure how to phrase the question better, but what I'm asking is something along the lines of if groß carries a reverential meaning here


Sorry, I understand your question now. Groß does carry the meaning you described, and I believe it can also be added to a word to define it as large.


Why is "I am familiar with the Great Britain" an incorrect translation of "Ich kenne Großbritannien"?


Everything in your translation looks okay except for "THE" Great Britain. I would not use the article with Great Britain. My interpretation of "Kennen" is to know someone or something, to be familiar with, or to be aquainted with.


Thank you for responding. Ich danke Ihnen für eure Antwort! ☺


Gern geschehen aber, nichts zu danken. Wir helfen uns!


Great Britain is a specific place, one that cannot be specified further, so you do not need the definitive article "the". Of course there are situations where it could be used ("This is nothing like the Great Britain that I've heard of.") but in those situations there are figuratively more Britains rather than realistically.


I found this word weird too, it seems here "kennen" just means you have an idea of something, definitely different from "wissen" that you gain some facts and knowledge of something. But "kennen" is still far from "to be familiar with somebody", that should be "kennenlernen".


"Kennen lernen" is about getting acquainted, not being acquainted. Ich habe ihn kennen gelernt und jetzt kenne ich ihn. – I have gotten to know him and now I know him.


Does 'Groß' mean great, then? I thought it was 'tall'. Perhaps 'Toll' means something is great as in good and 'Groß' means the grand type of great. Grand, great, tall? Is this correct?


I think it's historical, in that "great" meant the larger one. Brittany, in France, was sometimes called "lesser/little" Britain.


Whats that funny "B" thing thats pronounced as "s"?


It's an "eszett". It's used instead of "ss". And it's ß, not B. NEVER USE A B BECAUSE PEOPLE WON'T UNDERSTAND IT!


I put "I know the UK" and it was correct, although the UK and Great Britain are not synonymous. According to Google Translate, "The United Kingdom" translates as "Das Vereinigte Königreich". Do Germans use that term (or even VK) to refer to the UK, or just Großbritannien, even if it's not technically correct.


I'd been wondering the same thing. I've learned elsewhere on Duolingo that in everyday speech German-speakers use "Großbritannien" not "das Vereinigte Koenigreich", despite the fact the "Großbritannien" doesn't include "Nordirland".

I suppose it's the fault of us Brits because when Great Britain and Ireland were united in 1801, the better to withstand Napoleon, no term for the inhabitants of the new political entity was coined, nor adjective meaning "of the UK". We are obliged to fall back on "Briton" and "British" in English and in German on "der Brite/die Britin" and "britisch". It's hardly surprising therefore that the term used for the UK in everyday German is "Großbritannien".


There's nothing great about Britain

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