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    Materialien = materials or material?

    Betrifft

    Materialien = materials or material?

    Kommentar
    I posted a query in "Übersetzung korrekt" last night but have got only one response, and I'd like to check a little further.

    I'm reviewing an article in English in which the author cites a 1989 book by H. Schmitz: "Leib und Gefühl: Materialien zu einer philosophischen Therapeutik". He translates the title as "Material for a philosophical approach to therapy".

    The obvious translation for Materialien is materials (plural), but the author uses singular. But he is much more fluent in English than I am in German, and maybe material (singular) is preferable.

    (This might be analogous to Informationen (German) which should be translated as information in English, and never informations. However the cases are not fully parallel, because materials and material are both regularly used in English, with similar meaning, while informations is never used in plural in English.)

    Thanks for your opinions on this question.
    Verfassereric (new york) (63613) 29 Nov. 07, 17:33
    Kommentar
    Materials which in English you can count seem to be like ingredients in a recipe: for building a house you need steel, concrete, stones, shingles and so forth. These I would consider materials (you're the native, please crrect me if I'm wrong). Such a thing would be for example "Baumaterial".

    Material which you cannot count is "stuff" that you need to come up with some result. In German, "Materialien" is sometimes used as a replacement for "Dokumente" but in a sense of "I don't even pretend to present all documents, only some of them - those I want to use for my consideration".

    The more abstract point of view is that
    - "Material" in German is uncountable and means some concrete object (that is very often part of and making up some other object) and
    - "Materialien" are always in the plural and designate a basis for thought.
    #1Verfasseritzamna29 Nov. 07, 18:06
    Kommentar
    itzama: You wrote "- "Materialien" are always in the plural and designate a basis for thought."

    Then I think that "material" is probably the better translation in English in this case.

    Thanks.
    #2Verfassereric (new york) (63613) 29 Nov. 07, 18:24
     
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