Say It in German: Screenshot

posted in: German, German Vocabulary, Informatik | 0

das Bildschirmfoto (pl. Bildschirmfotos) – the screenshot

Bildschirmfoto machen – to take a screenshot

I think this is rather cute. The word meaning is really transparent.

“Bildschirm” (screen) + “foto” = Bildschirmfoto

This made me realise the English word “screenshot” is also very much constructed similarly: “screen” + “shot”. “Shot” is another way to say “photograph”, although only used in some contexts.

I hadn’t really realised in English we say “take a screenshot” the same way we do “take a photo”, using the same verb, “take”. Not that I didn’t know the word to use should the situation arise, but I was just not conscious of the use of the word.

It was only looking at how it was used in German that made me look again at English.

My thought process was something like this: German uses the verb “machen” for taking photographs, much like how “prendre” (take) is used in French. Ah, both are “foto”, so perhaps that’s why it’s the same word… but wait! In English, we use the same word too!

I think it’s because the action of taking a photo seems so different from taking a screenshot that I didn’t make that connection immediately.

This is why I like to look at how other languages say certain things. It makes me take a closer look at English, and sometimes I discover something that I had missed.