KudoZ home » German to English » Tech/Engineering

use of apostrophe to mean thousands

English translation: At German Universities ' is used as thousands, '' as millions, ''' billions and so on.

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:use of apostrophe to mean thousands
English translation:At German Universities ' is used as thousands, '' as millions, ''' billions and so on.
Entered by: Andy Lemminger
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

05:48 May 1, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering
German term or phrase: use of apostrophe to mean thousands
I believe that I have seen this done in German before, but am not certain.
"Es stehen am Donnerstag ca. 20-30' Stück zur Auslieferung bereit."
The documents I am translating involve a problem where parts were sent to be plated, and 100,000 of them are awaiting processing at the plating facility. In the meantime, the customer who is to receive the plated parts is in danger of haveing to shut down his own production for lack of parts. Therefore, having only 20 to 30 parts ready for delivery on Thursday makes no sense, and it must be 20 - 30,000.
I am pretty sure the apostrophe is used in German as an abbreviation for thousands, but would appreciate confirmation, if anyone can give it.
TIA, Beth
Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 00:15
Yes
Explanation:
Lots of different answers, here another one: I studied Business Administration in Germany and we used ' as thousands, '' as millions, ''' billions and so on.
Selected response from:

Andy Lemminger
Canada
Local time: 22:15
Grading comment
Thanks for the confirmation!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
naYes
Andy Lemminger
naea. (each)
Tom Funke
nayes, we use apostrophe to mean thousandsKaktus
naMay be SwissMike McDonald
nano apostrophe
Alexander Schleber


  

Answers


37 mins
no apostrophe


Explanation:
The Oxford Guide to the English Language only lists and apopstophe as being uised for an "omission" such as '96 for 1996.
No other mention of any use with nulmers is made.
HTH

Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 06:15
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2340
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr
May be Swiss


Explanation:
I do a lot of work for German-speaking Swiss companies and they almost always use ' as a separator for 000s, i.e. 200'000 instead of 200 000 or 200.000 as used in Germany, but I've never seen it used as you describe. Perhaps it's some very lazy sort of shorthand as with our 200k.

Mike McDonald
Local time: 05:15
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 74

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Katie01

Bono
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs
yes, we use apostrophe to mean thousands


Explanation:
I live in Germany and work at a German bank. My colleages and I use apostrophe to mean thousands. For example:
financial information: someone earns 30' DM a year.



    own experience
Kaktus
Local time: 06:15
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Fuad Yahya

Leslie Nelman

Trudy Peters
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs
ea. (each)


Explanation:
In your context, the apostrophe evidently stands for “ea.” (each, as used in English parts lists etc.).

I rememberr having run into an entirely different (and in my view unwise) use of the apostrophe and upper quotes before:
‘ million(s)
“ billion(s)

It’s in my main online glossary, and I recall came from a good source, but I’ve unfortunately lost the source entry.

All the best, Tom




    your context
Tom Funke
Local time: 00:15
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 2419

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Trudy Peters
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs
Yes


Explanation:
Lots of different answers, here another one: I studied Business Administration in Germany and we used ' as thousands, '' as millions, ''' billions and so on.


    native German, own experience
Andy Lemminger
Canada
Local time: 22:15
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 1127
Grading comment
Thanks for the confirmation!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Fuad Yahya

Trudy Peters

Vesna Zivcic
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search