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Veränderung vs. Änderung

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Mxcrn, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Mxcrn New Member

    UK
    Romanian
    Is there any difference between the two nouns: Veränderung/Änderung? The dictionary lists it as "(Ver)Änderung", so can they be used interchangeably? Then, what's the use of the particle "Ver" and does it have a stand-alone meaning?

    (Please reply in English. Thanks!)
     
  2. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    They have the same meaning, but they often cannot be used interchangeably.

    A good reference is Duden. Duden explains the words in other words and gives examples.

    http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Veraenderung
    http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Aenderung

    In some context the differences are very small.
    Die Änderung des Vertrags. - This is on purpose, it is formal process,
    Die Veränderung des Vertrags. - This is not used, if you change the conditions together with the partner.
    It may be used for example, if the material is changing (in old contracts), or if you change it secretly to get advantages.

    Änderung often shows a status change, Veränderung often shows the process of a status change.

    In cases where it is synonym, often "Änderung" is preferred.

    In many cases the difference is just in usage.

    The Duden is in German.

    The question is very generic. Do you have a more specific question?
    In what sentence do you want to use the word?

    ---
    PS: "Ver" has no standalone meaning. It modifies verbs - and the derived nouns or adjectives, but the modifications are very different. It is used very frequently.
    Often it is used in "negative" words, but this is not the case here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. Mxcrn New Member

    UK
    Romanian
    For instance:

    "In Liepzig hat es viele Veränderungen gegeben."

    So, this means there's been many changes in Liepzig. Would the meaning shift if "Änderungen" was used instead?
     
  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    Hi,
    without additional context I would use
    "In Leipzig hat es viele Veränderungen gegeben."
    This refers to all kinds of political and other changes, like streets changes, buildings changes, architecture changes, way of life.

    "In Leipzig hat es viele Änderungen gegeben."
    is possible, too, but I would expect it refers to a lot of single (of special) changes, for example in management or in rules, if there is no other context to explain "Änderungen".
     
  5. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    I have a follow-up question here. Is "Veränderungen" (as opposed to simply "Änderungen") typically used to indicate changes that are

    (a) of a more permanent nature, or
    (b) of a more significant nature, or
    (c) both of the above?

    Thanks in advance. :)

    Cheers
    Abba
     
  6. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Well, it does. The generic meaning is far, away. You use it if something moves away from its original, natural or correct state (verfahren, verlaufen, verraten, verlieren, verrücken, verloben, verstoßen, verhungern, ...).

    Accordingly, if the parties modify a contract, it is an Änderung. If someone falsifies the contract document, it is a Veränderung.

    If a Chameleon changes its colour, say from red to yellow, to green and back again to red, one would usually speak of a Farbänderung. If the skin colour of a person changes to an unnatural one as a result of an illness (like here), you would usually call it a Farbveränderung (especially if the change is permanent).
     
  7. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    Bernd gave a good rule for usage of "ver" together with forms derived from verbs.

    I will try to insert it in my posting now. I mark it bold-cursive


    .....................................................................................................
    It is hard to say. I tested it in different context and did not find a clear rule.

    In some cases it seems to be synonym.

    Der Satellit änderte seine Umlaufbahn.
    Der Satellit veränderte seine Umlaufbahn. <--- related to the original one
    Das Hemd änderte seine Farbe.
    Das Hemd veränderte seine Farbe. <--- related to the original one

    In following case I would use it differently:
    Ich änderte die Farbe meiner Hemden. = Ich färbte sie um.
    Ich veränderte die Farbe meiner Hemden. = Ich zog Hemden mit anderer Farbe an. Here I do not see this principle to explain the difference, but maybe it holds.
    But even here it is not an absolute difference.
    Ich änderte/veränderte die Farbe eines Hemdes. (umfärben) Here I do not see this principle to explain the difference, but maybe it holds.

    Die Menschen ändern sich. - meist auf den Charakter, das Verhalten bezogen
    Die Menschen verändern sich. - auf alles, auch das Verhalten bezogen. Here it seems to work.
    But if you use a noun, the difference collapses because it mostly gives context.
    Die Veränderung des Verhaltens/die Änderung des Verhaltens Here I do not see this principle to explain the difference, but maybe it holds.

    Die Veränderung des Stromes - here it shows a purpose. I do something, I change the current. It indicates an influence.
    Die Änderung des Stromes - here it may be that I mean the difference of the original and the later current. Here it seems to be working..

    I thought about such differences as ABBA showed to give a rule of thumb, but found every times counter examples.

    At first I thought that "Veränderung" shows the process and Änderung shows a status change. In many cases this works, but there are lots of examples where you cannot say it.

    The words have many meanings and some are idioms.

    Du musst dich verändern. (Wohnung, Gegend) <---Here it works literally.
    Du musst dich ändern. (Verhalten.)
    Both have no related noun.

    Maybe, someone can give rules of thumb when to use which.

    One difference in style:
    If Änderung and Veränderung are synonymous, Änderung is a little bit more formal.

    special terms
    Ich messe die Stromänderung. - Here it is not *Ich messe die Stromveränderung. <--- Here I do not see this principle to explain the difference, but maybe it holds. I measure the difference, not the absolute value.

    ---

    "Ver" is a non-separable syllable, and I did not see it standalone.
    In many cases it has not or no more the "far away" meaning. It is at least hidden and forgotten now.
    Verheiraten, versprechen, verdienen, verdanken, verantworten, vermehren and others.

    ---
    Can we use the "ver"-meaning to decide which one to use in case of Änderung/Veränderung? I do not find a rule of thumb for this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  8. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I don't think so.
    Der Satellit änderte seine Umlaufbahn. -- E.g., because the thrusters have been fired to bring the satellite back on course.
    Der Satellit veränderte seine Umlaufbahn. -- The satellite has left its intended position. We have to do something.:eek:

    Das Hemd änderte seine Farbe .... in Schwarzlicht. (I.e. in artificial light. In daylight it will get its original colour back.)
    Das Hemd veränderte seine Farbe.... wenn man es mit bleichehaltigem Waschmittel wäscht. (I.e. as a result of a non-reversible chemical reaction.)
    (In this case, this is a tendency only. It wouldn't really be "wrong" to to swap the verbs in these two sentences.)

    Er hat sich geändert. --- His behaviour has become more acceptable now.
    Er hat sich verändert. --- He is not the nice chap he used to be any more.

    What is the original, natural of correct level of current as such? 1Amp, 10Amps, 100Amps? So, there is no reason to use the ver- prefix.
    On the other hand, if the current drawn by a consumer is 10Amps in normal operation and it all of a sudden rises to 20Amps and this is a sign of a malfunction, you would indeed say Ich messe die Stromveränderung. (Better: Ich messe eine Veränderung der Stromstärke.)

    ____________________________________________
    PS: This comment crossed with Hutschi modifying the post of his I replied to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  9. ichbinru New Member

    India - English & Hindi
    I came across this thread while looking for the difference between Veränderung and änderung, my ever persisting doubt.
    It was nice reading the comments above, thank you.

    Apart from the various meanings / differences, what i could sense that there is a slight negative edge to the term Veränderung. A few examples from the comments above:
    Er hat sich geändert. --- His behaviour has become more acceptable now.
    Er hat sich verändert. --- He is not the nice chap he used to be any more.

    Or
    Accordingly, if the parties modify a contract, it is an
    Änderung. If someone falsifies the contract document, it is a Veränderung.

    Just a thought. :)
    Thanks,
    ru
     
  10. bearded man

    bearded man Senior Member

    Milan
    Italian
    How does that apply to verraten (from Rat, raten) and verlieren (*lieren = Engl. lose?, but 'forlorn') ?
    Those are verbs you gave yourself as examples.
    Thank you for explaining.
     
  11. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    Wir finden Hinweise in der Grimms "Deutschem Wörterbuch"

    http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?sigle=DWB&mode=Vernetzung&lemid=GV02561#XGV02561
    verlieren - (von sich lassen) - hier funktioniert es.


    verraten
    http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?sigle=DWB&mode=Vernetzung&lemid=GV03262#XGV03262
    Hier hat es funktioniert, doch gab es eine Bedeutungsänderung. 'falschen rat geben, falsche unterstützung geben (s. oben 8, 174), irre leiten',
     
  12. bearded man

    bearded man Senior Member

    Milan
    Italian
    Danke, Hutschi.
     
  13. Glockenblume Senior Member

    France
    Deutsch (Hochdeutsch und "Frängisch")
    Als Faustregel sehe ich:
    Änderung ist stärker beabsichtigt als Veränderung
    Oder:
    Es besteht ein stärkerer Zusammenhang zwischen denjenigen, die etwas ursprünglich geschaffen haben und dann die Änderung durchführen.
    Die Familie Meyer wollten ein Einfamilienhaus bauen. Doch nach einiger Zeit änderten sie ihre Pläne und bauten ein Zweifamilienhaus. Sie verkauften das Haus an Familie Stein. diese veränderte das Haus und baute eine Veranda davor.


    Veränderung ist nicht zwangsläufig negativ ("Du hast Dich sehr zum Positiven verändert!"); nur wenn Kontext oder sonstige Angaben fehlen, besteht eine stärkere Tendenz, das Wort für negative Inhalte zu verwenden.
     
  14. ichbinru New Member

    India - English & Hindi
    Richtig. Danke allen.
     
  15. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    One would expect as a general rule that the prefix ver- would add a layer of meaning absent from the base word.
    This corresponds to the English version of the prefix, that is, for- (forsake, forlorn, forbear, forswear etc.)

    The idea of departure from a natural or intended condition involves a judgement as to what the original state ought to be. This suggests that Veränderung expresses a value judgement, whereas Änderung does not.

    If that principle is valid, one might draw two conclusions:
    (1) in cases where it is not possible to apply a value judgement, that is, where nothing more than the fact of change comes into consideration, Änderung is the proper choice;
    (2) in cases where it is possible to apply a value judgement, either word can in principle be used, depending upon whether the speaker wishes to express a value judgement or not.

    This is the kind of reasoning which a native speaker might confirm or reject in the light of usage: but I am not in a position to do that myself. For me, it is a working hypothesis.
     
  16. Gwunderi Senior Member

    German (CH) / Italian - bilingual
    I think so too. "Änderung" sounds more intentional than "Veränderung".
    Veränderung is perhaps also more a general change.

    Veränderung: something has changed (I state it)

    Änderung: something (particular) has been changed (by somebody/something)

    Examples:
    Die Fassade hat sich verändert.
    The facade has changed (it doesn't look the same anymore).

    An der Fassade wurde etwas geändert / an der Fassade wurde eine Änderung vorgenommen.
    Something has been changed on the facade; a particular change was made on it.

    To make it more complicated, there's also the verb "abändern".
    Means to change somethink to make it fit better. I.e. "Ich habe das Kleid abgeändert" = "I made changes on the dress so it now fits better."
     
  17. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    In some cases there are fixed forms

    Er änderte die Hose, so dass sie passte. Änderungsschneiderei.
    Dazu gehört zum Beispiel Kürzen bzw. Verlängern der Hosenbeine. (Die Hose bleibt hier im Prinzip gleich, sie wird passend gemacht.)

    In diesem Fall sagt man "ändern".
    Interessant scheint mir, dass ich keine Regel finde, warum es Kürzen" - aber "Verlängern" heißt.
    (I do not know why here "kürzen" is used, but "verlängern".)
     
  18. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    These examples seem to me to confirm the hypothesis put forward in post 15.
    Here a value judgement is being expressed.
    Here, the fact of change is being emphasised (it is in the words wurde ... [geändert] and wurde ... vorgenommen, which are both passive expressions, that the intention is expressed, not in the words geändert or Änderung).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  19. Gwunderi Senior Member

    German (CH) / Italian - bilingual
    Somehow I agree - hadn't read it yet when I posted my comment.

    Not necessarily, I state that the facade has changed, that it doesn't look the same any more (this doesn't express any judgemet at first).

    Exactly what we mean : )
     
  20. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    In your example you compared a transitive to a reflexive use. That should be avoided. You should compare either reflexive with reflexive or transitive with transitive.
     
  21. Glockenblume Senior Member

    France
    Deutsch (Hochdeutsch und "Frängisch")
    abändern: oberflächlichere (Ver)änderung > to modify ??
     
  22. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    If we say that it does not look the same, though, this means we have already compared two things, the former state and the present state, and decided that they are different. Even if this mental process is so fast as to be unobserved, it is still a judgement.
     

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