Difference between revisions of "Style/Language/German"

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Revision as of 07:59, 15 March 2009

This page outlines the capitalization rules for the German language. It forms part of the MusicBrainz CapitalizationStandard.

Auf Deutsch

Das erste Wort sollte groß geschrieben werden. Für den Rest gilt die übliche Groß- und Kleinschreibung.

In English

Capitalize the first word of a title, and use normal German capitalization rules for the rest of the title.

For non-German speakers the main rule of this document in short: Nouns (also "common" nouns, not only proper nouns) and the first word of a sentence/title are capitalized, everything else is not. This is not completely correct, but appropriate most of the time.

As noted in the Wikipedia article on eszett, ß is the only European letter that does not have a corresponding capital letter (not any more). Since it never appears at the beginning of a word there is no need to convert ß to SS (or SZ) for capitalization. However, when correcting the capitalization of a title that is in all uppercase, it may be necessary to convert SS to ß (e.g. Rammstein's "WEISSES FLEISCH" should be capitalized as "Weißes Fleisch"). Please note that the use of ß has changed after the spelling reform (most important: new spelling dass and muss instead of old daß and muß, but still ß after long vowels e.g. groß).

If you need help you might contact one of the moderators with ModeratorLanguage/German or ask on the UsersMailingList.


Capitalization of mix names.

Divide mix thingies into two parts: the mix name and the mix words (e.g. in "Blub version" "Blub" would be the mix name and "version" the mix word). Then imho the mix words should always be in lower case as said in RemixStyle - if they can be both german or english words ("Version", "Radio", "Karaoke", "Mix", ... can be seen as german or english words).

In many cases, german spelling would require a compound word or at least a hyphen. So if it is written "radio version" in two words, it is english, and german would be "Radioversion" or "Radio-Version" (this rule applies if even the first word is a noun). If the first word is a name, the use of the apostrophe is an indicator: "Peter's mix" (english) or "Peters Mix" (german). -- mymycry 09:59, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I vote for converting remix and variant names to english as proposed in RemixStyle, because this makes it possible for foreign people to distinguish it from a part of the title. Editor:selig


Apply the old capitalization rules only if the record was released before the reform (1996-07-01) and/or the cover shows it in the old way (this for example touches the use of caps on "Du"/"Dich"/"Dein"/... which now are never capsed).

with the Reform of the Reform (which has to be approved by some governmental institution) Du/Dich/Dein is now allowed again. --Cord

Opinions? If we can agree here I'd like to see this integrated in the guideline. :) --Shepard

See http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_der_deutschen_Rechtschreibung_von_1996 for details. This is nuts. Why can't anything in this country be straight forward? :-) Note that technically, you're free to "invent" your own spelling in Germany. (Some newspapers do it, so artists should have the same right.) The most correct way to do this would probably be:

  1. Follow the old rules before 1996-07-01.
  2. Follow the reformed rules between 2005-08-01 and 2006-08-01.
  3. Follow the "reformed-reformed" rules after 2006-08-01.
  4. In the transition phase between old and reformed, correct obvious mistakes and maintain per-release consistency.
  5. Probably we should also keep the old spelling (or however it is spelled on the cover) if
    1. evidence exists that the artist intends to do so, or
    2. for re-released tracks (see note below).

Another (more simple) approach would be to skip the reformed rules and follow the "reformed-reformed" rules directly after 2005-08-01 (since they just reverse some of the new rules). I vote for the simpler way. Any objections to that? Note also that discography sites, even official ones, are often misspelled. Editor:selig

Re-released tracks

The new capitalization is mandatory since 1th August 2005. Between 1996 and 2005 both variants were correct. I suggest to follow the cover for the transition period. What I am missing is the information to use the capitalisation (same for orthography etc.) that was valid on the release date. (Think of classical entries) --DeKarl

On the release date or on the recording date/original release date? For example I have seen a compilation of Nena songs which was released after 1996 but the songs were originally released before the reform and are written in the old way on the cover of the compilation. For this case I kept the old style. --Shepard

Shepard: If you keep the old spelling on re-released tracks, it has the advantage that you keep a consistent spelling (which would allow a computer to automatically recognize the re-release, or whatever.) What to do in the case that the re-release cover uses a different spelling, though? Can't decide on that one. Editor:selig

selig: There's a good example of this on Rammstein's "Live aus Berlin". It contains a live version of "Weißes Fleisch", but the cover says "Weisses Fleisch". In MusicBrainz, however, it spelled as the original spelling to remain consistent. ... The same situation could be applied to any other language. Take English English, for example. Let's say there's an update to English English that changes the spelling rules to incorporate phonetical spellings. As an example, this would affect words ending in "que" that produce a "k" sound at the end, turning "cheque" into "check". Let's just pretend that people play along with the change and any new releases adhere to the new spellings. A re-release of an album in the UK with the track titles conforming to the new spelling standards gets entered into MusicBrainz. Would you keep the original "cheque", which is how the original track title is spelled, or go with the new "check", despite it being technically (historically) inaccurate, even though it is on the new album cover? Editor:cparker15