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What is a good translation of the word passphrase into German? I refer, of course, to the technical term. I.e. when used with encryption.

Would it be legit to use the old, but arguably suitable, German word: Losung?

What do you folks think about:

{ asked by 0xC0000022L }


The mostly used German word for both, a password and a passphrase is "Passwort".

For example see this guide from the Bundesamt für Sicherheit und Informationstechnik on data encryption where we read about a "Passwort" when in fact a passphrase was meant:

Der geheime Schlüssel wird zusammen mit der Partition / Volume abgespeichert. Dieser geheime Schlüssel wird mit einem Passwort gesichert. Die Sicherheit Ihrer Daten hängt wesentlich von der Komplexität (Sonderzeichen, Zahlen, Groß- und Kleinschreibung) und Länge (z. B. 20 Zeichen) der Zeichenfolge des Passwortes ab. BSI

Only recently the importance to make a difference between a simple password and a more complex passphrase was recognized:

These examples also show that we do not have a good translation for passphrase but rather use the same word as loanword. This is made easy as both words "Pass", and "Phrase" are proper German nouns which are used to build this composite noun.

Rarely we can also hear the Sanskrit term "Mantra" professionals use for a passphrase. This term is not widely known to the public in the context of data encryption.

Deshalb brauchen Sie das "Mantra", um mit Ihrem geheimen Schlüssel zu entschlüsseln oder zu signieren. GnuPG

In summary in the context of data encryption "Passphrase" is well understood by technical savy persons, and more and more by laymen too. Only if we had good reasons to not use a not yet so thoroughly established loanword we may also use "Passwort", or "sicheres Passwort".

{ answered by Takkat }