Say It in German: Computer Science

posted in: German, German Vocabulary, Informatik | 0

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IPA: [ɪnfɔʁˈmaːtɪk]

die Informatik / die Computerwissenschaft – computer science

Since I named my category “Informatik”, it makes sense to start with this word.

Actually, I have typically referred to my course of study in German as Computerwissenschaft when I talk about it.

Only recently did I learn that in German, Informatik also refers to computer science.

In English, “informatics” (which is the word that looks most like Informatik) is something else. It’s not the same as computer science.

But I’d gotten used to how French referred to my course of study as informatique, and Italian called it informatica. I’d long accepted that the word that looks like “informatics” in another language doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning.

I think the surprise was primarily because German already had a term for computer science (in my mind at least – because I encountered Computerwissenschaft first), and it was a literal translation.

I had jumped to conclusions and incorrectly thought that Informatik meant “informatics”, as in English.

Well, at least now I know better, and so do you (if you hadn’t already known)! 🙂

(Side note: I found an article – in German – on this topic, if you’re interested. Unfortunately, I have to admit that it’s beyond my level, and there’s a fair bit that I do not understand. Still, it looks interesting enough and I intend to come back to it.)

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