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Forum Rocket German German Vocab die Bundeswehr vs. die Armee

die Bundeswehr vs. die Armee

PaulS108

PaulS108

Included in lesson 23.7 is the word “die Bundeswehr” with the translation “Army”. It appears that another translation for this German word is “Armed Forces”.  I have referenced a number of sources for clarification because the meaning of Armed Forces includes not only the army, but also the navy and the airforce. 

To confuse the issue even more, there is also the word “die Armee”, which too, apparently translates as both “Army”  and “Armed Forces”. 

I would appreciate a clarification of these terms so far as newspaper and television usage is concerned. How is one to know whether the term used in a newscast refers to the overall armed forces or simply the specific branch of the army (for example, if a country is recruiting new personnel)? 

Thanking you in advance for your explanation.    

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo PaulS108,

 

Thank you for your question and our apologies that the given translation was a bit misleading. I will pass this on to our development team to be looked at. 

 

First of all, you are right, “die Bundeswehr” are the ”German Armed Forces" which consist of:

“das Heer” - “the army”

“die Luftwaffe” - “the air force” and

“die Marine” - “the navy”.

 

The word “die Armee” has more than one meaning and this is when it get's confusing. Its primary meaning is “the armed forces (of a nation)”. Historically speaking, “die Armee” was also known as a large military unit, e.g. “die zweite Armee” during World War II. As this was "eine Feldarmee/ein Feldheer" - “a field army”, you will find that the word “Armee”  is still used in this context today even though its primary meaning is the same as “Bundeswehr”. 

To add to this ambiguity, “die Armee” and “das Heer” also share another meaning which is “a large number” as in “eine Armee/ein Heer von Ameisen” - “an army/a large number of ants”

 

I hope this provides some clarity on these terms. Let me know if you have any further questions!

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

 

 

 

 

PaulS108

PaulS108

Vielen Dank Julia. Ich denke, dass es wichtig ist, den Unterschied zwischen diesen Wörtern zu verstehen. Ich danke Ihnen, dass Sie mir geholfen haben, die Unterscheidung zwischen den Begriffen zu verstehen.

Viele Grüße,

PaulS108

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