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QUESTION

Is there a standard way to translate phrases like "a _ used for _".

Example: I'm trying to define 'Ohr' in German as "organ used for hearing". Based on what I've read, I've come up with a few possibilities, but I'm not sure which to prefer:

  1. Organ für Gehör benutzt

  2. Organ für das Gehör benutzt

  3. Organ zum Gehör benutzt

  4. Organ benutzt zu hören

Are any of the above correct "_ used for _" translations? Also, does a construction like that sound weird in German?

{ asked by Mirov }

ANSWER

Wiktionary, for example, defines the ear as

Anatomie: Sinnesorgan zur Wahrnehmung von akustischen Signalen (Gehör)

This actually is already a good way to translated used for into German: zu + Substantiv.

Organ used for hearing, thus, could be translated as Organ zum Hören.

If you'd like to go with the verb benutzen, you should add the implicit "which is" into the English sentence: An organ which is used for hearing.

Ein Organ, das zum Wahrnehmen von akustischen Signalen benutzt wird.
Ein Organ, das zum Hören benutzt wird.

This sentence now follows the English phrasing most closely but it sounds less good than the other one.

Note, that "Wahrnehmen von akustischen Signalen" is the formal way of saying "Hören"

{ answered by Em1 }
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