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  • Topic

    cf. versus see

    Wenn ich in einem englischen Text Literatur angebe und mich dabei auf ein bestimmtes Werk (also XY 2001) beziehe, schreibe ich dann eher cf. oder see XY 2001? Oder geht womöglich beides? Oder läßt man beides weg?
    Im Deutschen würde ich an einer solchen Stelle dann übrigens vgl. schreiben.
    Danke für jeden Hinweis!
    Authorastrid15 Mar 03, 13:02
    Das Zitieren ist natürlich schon eine diffizile Sache. Das fängt ja schon damit an, daß man "naturwissenschaftlich" oder "geisteswissenschaftlich" zitieren kann. Ich verwende eigentlich am liebsten die naturwissenschaftlich Zitierweise und die andere nur, wenn ich muß. Die naturwissenschaftliche ist ja grundsätzliche sehr spartanisch (was ich gut finde, diese ewigen Anmerkungen gehen mir auf die Nerven). Da lasse ich das "siehe", "vgl." bzw. "see", "cf." weitgehend weg. Nur wenn es mir sehr wichtig erscheint, benutze ich das, quasi als Verstärkung. Ich habe allerdings keine Ahnung, ob es da nicht vielleicht doch eine Regel gibt. Das cf. verwende ich, wenn es nötig ist im Text.

    So, jetzt habe ich nochmal in ein paar englischsprachige Fachbücher geschaut. Dort wird "see" in erster Linie verwendet um auf andere Teile im Buch hinzuweisen (see Appendix, see Chapter X). Bei Literaturangaben habe ich es nur sehr selten gefunden und dann nur, wenn der Autor auf eine bestimmte Stelle in dem zitierten Werk ausdrücklich hinweisen wollte (e.g. "...(see the example given by Hesse and Wapnish <1985: 70>).
    #1AuthorNadja O.15 Mar 03, 14:40
    I agree with Nadja that 'see' is clearer and more modern, and scarcely longer. 'Cf.' is probably on its way out. And I agree re the general tendency to avoid footnotes and abbreviations wherever possible.

    But as I understand it, even though 'see' and 'cf.' are often used nowadays as if they were completely interchangeable, there is in fact a slight technical difference. Namely, 'cf.' literally means not 'see' but 'compare' (Lat. 'confer'). So traditionally 'see' points to additional information that expands further on the argument made in the text, such as a more detailed source, whereas 'cf.' points to a somewhat similar source whose differences may actually be the feature most worth noting.

    I would expect 'siehe' and 'vgl.' to show exactly the same difference; perhaps native speakers can confirm.

    By the way, the old abbreviation for 'see' is actually 'v.' (Lat. 'vide'), but this has largely been dropped, as it looks like so many other V-things. (Like versus, or verb, or...)
    #2AuthorHil15 Mar 03, 17:54
    Yes, Hil, I'd say that strictly speaking the difference between "vgl." and "siehe" reflects what you say about "cf." and "see". But in German this distinction isn't being observed by a lot of people either.
    #3Authorrob-byyyyy :-)15 Mar 03, 18:06
    Agree with all of the above, and would also add that the increasing rarity of 'cf.' is part of the continuing movement to drop Latinisms in AE in favor of the vernacular.

    The only abbreviated Latin usages still commonly in use in that come to mind are these--for speech: a.m., p.m, and [mostly expats:] c.v.; occasionally you hear e.g. and i.e. In writing, a few more are seen in general use (outside of text citation or other specialized areas), viz.: et al., etc., n.b., p.s., vs., viz., and Q.E.D.

    This list is personal in the sense that I've used all the ones in the first group in speech, and all the ones in the second in writing; others may have different usage.

    (The Beatles' "P.S., I Love You" was unusual in hearing this spoken, but you could argue it's a special case because it's reciting something that was written.)
    #4AuthorPeter &lt;us&gt;16 Mar 03, 01:06
    cf. = “see by way of comparison" and not simply "see"
    just as vgl. is improperly used when it simply is used automatically in a reference and does not add further opinions that are offered as a contrast or comparison to the first (and are not merely the reference to the quotation).

    "see by way of comparison" by the way is from The Chicago Manual of Style
    #5Author rcurtis (1013901) 26 Jun 14, 12:29
    Properly used, cf. ("compare") and see have distinct (if similar) meanings. That distinction can help readers decide whether pursuing the reference will be worthwhile.

    In my observation, "cf." still gets used in legal writings, at least.
    #6AuthorHappyWarrior (964133) 26 Jun 14, 12:44
 ­ automatisch zu ­ ­ umgewandelt