Say It in German: Multiple Inheritance

posted in: German, German Vocabulary, Informatik | 0


die Mehrfachvererbung - multiple inheritance

die Mehrfachvererbung (pl. -en) – multiple inheritance

Multiple inheritance is when one class inherits from two or more classes. (You could have a chain of classes inheriting from one another, and have grandparent classes, but this would not be considered multiple inheritance. Just normal inheritance.)

Multiple inheritance is a tricky thing. Because of the complexity and its problem, not many languages do not allow for multiple inheritance.

One of the most famous is the diamond problem (das Diamond-Problem), nicknamed “the deadly diamond of death”.

It is so named because the class inheritance diagram in this problem represents a diamond.

It arises in its most simple form when you have 4 classes. For now, I’ll call them A, B, C, and D.

B and C both inherit from A. D inherits from both B and C.

The question is, what happens when a method from A is overridden in both classes B and C?

Which parent (B or C) does D inherit the method from?

(In practice, different languages handle this… differently.)


Since the previous post was on inheritance (Vererbung), I will look into Mehrfach this week.

Duden simply says that it comes from the French multiple.[1]

Looking into mehr and -fach separately, I found the following:

  • mehr comes from Middle High German mēr(e) and Old High German mēr(o)[2]

-fach (the suffix) comes from Late Middle High German -vach, probably from the old word -valt (-fältig).[3] Either way, it comes from the noun das Fach, which is also from Middle High German vach, meaning a piece, part, section of a wall.[4]

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