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# rule of thumb - die Maxime, die Regel, die Überschlagsrechnung

Examples/ definitions with source references
Leo has:
by rule of thumb über den Daumen gepeilt
rule of thumb die Daumenregel
rule of thumb der Erfahrungswert
rule of thumb die Faustformel
rule of thumb die Faustregel
* rule of thumb die Maxime
rule of thumb praktische Methode
rule of thumb praktische Regel
* rule of thumb primitive Methode
* rule of thumb primitive Regel
* rule of thumb die Regel
* rule of thumb die Überschlagsrechnung
rough rule of thumb grobe Faustregel

rule of thumb a general principle or a method derived from practice or experience rather than theory. (New Shorter OED)

Main Entry: rule of thumb
Date: 1692
1 : a method of procedure based on experience and common sense
2 : a general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to be scientifically accurate http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rul...

rule of thumb noun a method of doing something, based on practical experience rather than theory or careful calculation. Also (rule-of-thumb) as adj. http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/feat...
Comment
* Some of these translations seem superfluous or slightly misleading to me ...

Ma|xi|me, die; -, -n [frz. maxime < mlat. maxima (regula) = höchste (Regel), zu lat. maximus, maximal] (bildungsspr.): Leitsatz: eine politische M.; die oberste M. seines Handelns lautet: Leben und leben lassen;

Dictionary: maxime A Maxime is not necessarily derived from practice or experience rather than theory. Neither is a simple "Regel", which is clearly simply a rule.

Über|schlag, der; -[e]s, ...schläge: 1. schnelle Berechnung der ungefähren Größe einer Summe od. Anzahl: einen Ü. der Ausgaben machen;
An Überschlagsrechnung is a calculation, and a rule of thumb is a principle or method. A calculation isn't the same as a principle or method.
You could have a rule-of-thumb calculation: "A rule of thumb calculation is that 2Mbps is required for each site" http://www.nesc.ac.uk/technical_papers/VCRepo... - this means a rough calculation which can be used as a general principle. An Überschlagsrechnung is also not necessarily one used as a general principle.
(Sometimes, a rule-of-thumb calculation might just as easily be called a rule of thumb: you could also say "A rule of thumb is that 2Mbps is required for each site", but this could be translated as "eine Faustregel" etc, as in this case "rule of thumb" does not in itself mean a calculation, but a rule.)
An Überschlagsrechnung seems to be a "rough estimate" Dictionary: Überschlagsrechnung as it says on Leo and in my other dictionaries.

I'm also not happy about "primitiv" which I suspect suggests negatively that a rule or method is undeveloped, whereas a rule of thumb is clearly understood as being only very simple, to get an initial impression, for example: its simplicity is not seen as negative, but as practical (see M-W, above). I'd like to hear what native speakers of German think about "primitiv", though.

AuthorCM2DD (236324) 28 Oct 07, 10:31

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LEO: Conjugation/declension table

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