"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.

June 28, 2013


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. :)

August 22, 2013


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.

February 20, 2015


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

October 5, 2015


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.

June 21, 2016


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.

July 8, 2016


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." ;-)

November 28, 2016


No, I've heard people say that before.

May 10, 2016


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.

August 9, 2015


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."

December 9, 2017


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!

July 16, 2013


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

September 12, 2013


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

July 2, 2014


Danke! I thought it would be something like that.

November 11, 2015

  • 1600

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?

July 16, 2014


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

July 17, 2014


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

September 5, 2016


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!

February 6, 2019


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

January 30, 2015


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

January 2, 2017


"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.

August 1, 2018


Ich komme aus Großbritannien :)

November 23, 2015


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

December 2, 2016


Ich will nach Großbritannien

September 6, 2018


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

February 1, 2014


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

June 26, 2014


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

June 17, 2016


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

I'd be interested in the etymology of this

February 22, 2015


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

February 24, 2015


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

February 25, 2015


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.

February 25, 2015


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.

December 21, 2017


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

January 23, 2016


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.

January 23, 2016


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

January 24, 2016


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

January 25, 2016


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.

May 4, 2017


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".

May 30, 2016


"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.

April 10, 2017


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?

July 9, 2017


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

September 6, 2018


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.

September 6, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Ah yes, meet my good friend Great Britain

    May 5, 2017


    Is kenner like conocer in Spanish, or can it be saber aswell?

    May 13, 2017


    My translation is correct as per English language.

    June 9, 2017


    Shouldn't "I know England" be considered correct?

    July 31, 2017


    Definitely not! England is just a PART of Great Britain which is Scotland together with England and Wales. Calling Great Britain England or England Great Britain is a common occurrence which causes great "Angst" to us Scots. See my various other contributions here for further explanation

    December 21, 2017


    Cuz im in it RIGHT NOW!!!


    October 19, 2017


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

    December 25, 2017


    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!

    December 28, 2017



    January 25, 2018


    I wanna be a translator when I'm older

    Thx duolingo for helping

    February 4, 2018



    February 4, 2018


    But isn't GroB big, not Great? I might be stupid but i don't think this is very well... literated.

    April 1, 2016


    Groß can mean big or great or grand.

    June 14, 2016



    August 16, 2016


    See my reply above. Great Britain is a formal name "big" would just be a description.

    December 21, 2017


    Yay!!!!!!!!!! They're gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2017


    "I know the UK" is correct or not. Please help me.

    October 13, 2017


    Why did it not say it was a new word?

    November 5, 2014


    Why UK is wrong?!?

    July 18, 2015


    Great Britain does not include Northern Ireland, which is in the UK. (It shouldn't be though)

    August 24, 2015


    I expect it means "I have heard of Great Britain". "know" is used in this way in English too, such as when saying where you're from, but generally only with more obscure/little known places of course: "I'm from [obscure place]. Do you know it?"

    July 6, 2013


    Sounds like something one would put on their Gestapo application form under "desirable skills".

    October 21, 2015
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