"Lehren heißt lernen."

Translation:Teaching is learning.

August 30, 2013

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To teach is to learn


Better translation


Could this be translated as "Teaching is called learning."?


I don't think so. Lehren und Lernen are opposite of each other.

Es heisst can also be translated into it means. So if you teach, it means you also learn.


Can confirm. It's not meant to be taken literally.

"Was heißt das?" does mean the same as "Was bedeutet das?"


"Wie heißt das?"

asks for the name of something.


Ok, so in this case is lernen a name? Shouldn't it be with capital L?


You can think of this sentence as, "To teach is to learn."


Good question, I see what you mean. It is not being used as a noun in this sentence. It is still a part of the verb or verb phrase. Therefore, no, it should not be in Caps.

However, if I am wrong please! someone correct me.


Both "lehren" und "lernen" are verbs, but they are used here as gerunds (reference this article re gerunds in German and this re gerunds in general ). That means they are functioning as nouns and are in no way part of the verb. GustavoSar16 is exactly right, "Lernen" should be capitalized, just like all nouns.

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How does "heißt" become "is" ?


There are a few meanings of heißen that can be translated into English as some form of to be. One of the most common relates to personal introductions:

  • ich heiße Frauke | I'm Frauke

Here are a few more example phrases from the Duden Online entry, followed by my own English translations:

  • „guten Abend“ heißt auf Französisch „bon soir“ | "good evening" is "bon soir" in French
  • ich komme morgen, das heißt, nur wenn es nicht regnet | I'm coming tomorrow; that is, only if it doesn't rain (same as Latin id est, abbreviated i.e.)
  • der Titel des Romans heißt „Krieg und Frieden“ | the title of the novel is "War and Peace"


"learnig" is not same with "study" ?????


They are closely related concepts; however, learning would typically occur in a classroom while studying is something you would usually do in private or at a library.


Consider these:

learning: amassing knowledge

studying (e.g. studying a butterfly in the garden): seeking better understanding of something

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lernen isn't a noun here (no caps) so I am presuming its is the infinitive of lernen used an adjective. There are lots of pages where this is discussed on the internet, but none that look definitive to me. No comments from the German experts ?


It is a noun, actually, and it probably should be capitalized. "Teaching means learning" or "To teach means to learn" are equivalent in English; the first uses gerunds (more regular, at least in American English), but the second uses infinitives (like German, which doesn't have a Gerund). Both infinitives and gerunds are types of verbal-nouns (nouns made from verbs, which still keep some verbal flavor). What we have here in German directly corresponds to the English sentence with infinitives.


According to GermanForEnglishSpeakers.com German does have gerunds, and they are formed by capitalizing (like all nouns) the infinitive form of the verb.


You could also say "Zu lehren heißt zu lernen". You can also replace "heißt" with "bedeutet".


Can we say "Lehren ist Lernen"?

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