Human bzw. German | Word of the Week | DW | 13.09.2011
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Word of the Week

Human bzw. German

Learn a funny, quirky German word each week with DW's Word of the Week feature. This week: Human bzw. German.


No word confounds a learner of the German language more than "beziehungsweise," better known by its abbreviated form "bzw." This word has no English equivalent but can be literally translated as "relation manner" or, depending on the context, can mean "and," "but," "rather," "alternatively," "respectively," "more specifically" -- the list goes on. Even Germans criticize the overuse of this confounding word. Here is an example of "bzw." in use: "Languages bzw. German, have many phrases bzw. words that cannot be completely translated bzw. understood by learners of the language bzw. humans."