Beziehungsweise - bzw - Germany

Meaning of this German abbreviation

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Tim
Beziehungsweise - I get mixed translations from Leo and Google. My GF says it means something like 'and in particular'...

Any thoughts?
UrbanAngel
bzw changes its meaning upon context, hence the variety of meanings.

Do you have a specific sentence in mind?
Silva
I use it as "in relation to" ...
UrbanAngel
Dict.leo meaning : and... respectively
as the case may be

I've also seen it used meaning a straight forward 'or'
Tim
Yep, I think that is part of the problem. It seems to creep up in lots of places and can be confusing. My GF says it is a bit of a garbage word and you can sometimes just ignore it...
Small Town Boy
I often use it simply to mean 'and' or 'or'. I often proof-read English texts written by Germans who write 'resp.' - short for respectively I guess. I cross it out and write 'and'.
Owain Glyndwr
beziehungsweise just means "or" where more emphasis is placed on the fact that you are providing an alternative. "respectively" is a mis-translation, imho, and doesn't really convey the same meaning in English as bzw. does in German. You would use bzw. in German when the two or more things are shown is a direct relationship to each other. "Respectively" in English defines the oder in which they are stated and not the relationship to one another.

Tim, your girlfriend has the right sense of the meaning but it is more of an "or" rather than an "and".

Sorry Silva, but "in relation to" one its own is wrong .
interplanetjanet
I dunno. Along the lines of what Silva's saying, I've seen many circumstances where it would most appropriately be translated as "with respect to."
The Artful Dodger
any examples?
Owain Glyndwr
all i meant was that "in relation to" on its own is wrong. It needs the exta meaning of the "or". so it is always implying an alternative that is in relation to the first thing.

Das Adverb beziehungsweise (Abkürzung "bzw."), welches oft als Füllwort gebraucht wird, soll andeuten, dass sich der nachfolgende Gedanke zwar auf das vorher Gesagte bezieht, aber von einem unterschiedlichen Standpunkt aus betrachtet
Silva
Beziehung comes from bezug as in "im bezug auf". Therefore: "in relation to" or "with regard to" or "referencing"
interplanetjanet
"referencing"
Maybe "regarding" would be a better choice there.
Tim
Owain, your first explanation makes sense, but it foes go further than that.

Here is the example that prompted the discussion:

Hallo,
das Auto sieht bildschön aus.und interessiert mich, bzw. meine Frau sehr.
In this case it seems that it could mean or, and, in particular, etc.
Owain Glyndwr
i would translate that with "or rather my wife"
tom_a
I'd say it means either "or" or "and" in this context (not clear which of the two). Quite definitely, it does not mean "in particular".
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