How to talk about research in German

The German word for “research” is “Forschung” (f.), and the verb that goes with it is “betreiben” (i.e. “to conduct” research):

– “Wir müssen in dem Bereich mehr Forschung betreiben.” – “We must conduct more research in this field.”
– “Wir generieren ein internationales Forschungsprojekt.” – “We’re generating an international research project.”

The verbs for “to research” are “forschen” and “recherchieren” (the noun here is “Recherche” (f.)), but there are very subtle differences. Germans use “recherchieren” and “Recherche” for gathering information meant to answer specific questions, whereas the terms “Forschung” and “forschen” are more general, and used in the sense of gaining scientific knowledge in a specific field.

– “Die Inhalte der Website wurden mit Sorgfalt recherchiert.” – “The contents of the website were carefully researched.”
– “Er hat drei Jahre an der Universität geforscht.” – “He spent three years researching at the university.”

A “researcher” is a “Forscher” (m.), such as “Marktforscher” (“market researcher”). The word “erforschen” can mean “to explore” and “to investigate”. Relatedly, “research and development” is “Forschung und Entwicklung” in German.

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