German Library Vocabulary Posted by Constanze on Oct 13, 2021 in Culture, Language, Literature, Vocabulary
Guten Tag! Today’s post is all about German library vocabulary. Did you know that Transparent Language Online is available in many libraries all around the world? Perhaps you’re reading this post from a library right now! In this post we’ll look at German vocabulary related to libraries, and I’ll tell you a little about one of Germany’s most prominent libraries. Let’s get started!
The library: die Bibliothek… or is it die Bücherei?
In German, you’ll come across two words for library: die Bibliothek and die Bücherei. These are used interchangeably, though Bibliothek is more commonly used to refer to a larger library – for example, a research library (die Forschungsbibliothek), or a university library (die Universitätsbibliothek), which ordinary members of the public would need a pass (der Pass) to get into.
Bücherei, on the other hand, normally refers to a smaller, community library that anyone can borrow books from. It is also sometimes called die öffentliche Bibliothek in German – the public library.
In Germany, a town or city’s main library will usually have the word ‘Stadt’ (town/city) at the front of its name. Examples include Stadtbücherei Frankfurt and Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart.
Inside the library
Here is a selection of vocabulary for things you will see in a library:
Librarian – der Bibliothekar (m), die Bibliothekarin (f)
Book – das Buch
Bookshelf – das Bücherregal
Reading place – der Leseplatz
Workspace – der Arbeitsplatz
Computer – der Computer
Audio book – das Hörbuch
Kids’ library – die Kinderbibliothek
Printer – der Drucker
Scanner – der Scanner
Photocopier – das Fotokopiegerät
Looking for a book on a particular subject? Here are some categories in German:
Literatur & Fiktion – Literature & Fiction
Roman – Novel/Romance
Krimi & Thriller – Crime & thrillers
Persönliche Weiterbildung – Personal development/self-help
Kunst – Art
Fotographie – Photography
Geschichte – History
Politik – Politics
Gesundheit – Health
Wissenschaft – Science
Religion – Religion
Philosophie – Philosophy
Gartenarbeit – Gardening
If you were to browse for a book online or take one out, the following vocabulary would come in handy:
Library card – die Bibliothekskarte/der Bibliotheksausweis
Library catalogue – der Bibliothekskatalog
My account – Mein Konto
Password – das Passwort
To borrow – ausleihen
To return – zurückgeben
To extend – verlängern
Loan period – die Leihfrist
Fine – die Geldbuße
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
The German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, or DNB for short) is arguably Germany’s most important library. Located in both Frankfurt and Leipzig, this is where all German and German-language publications get collected and archived, and have been since 1913. All visitors to the DNB must have an account and a valid library card. People may also use the library’s Lesesäle (Reading Rooms) to work in by applying for the date they want to visit.
Fun fact: There are approx. 36.1 million Bücher in the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek!
Head to Libraries – Foreign Language Learning and Instructional Tools for Libraries if you’re interested in learning more about Transparent Language’s work with libraries.
Bis bald (see you soon)!
PS. If you liked this post, you might like this one, too: German School & Childcare Names
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.