Meaning of gelten

Was bedeutued ‘gelten’. Es scheint ganz verwirrend, wann man Wörterbuch an sieht.
What is the meaning of “gelten”. It seems confusing when you look it up in a dictionary.

(originally asked by Conanon, thank you)

One comment on “Meaning of gelten

  1. and have indeed a number of translations… but the idea is always the same and could be described as “to be in force (for)” or “to be valid”

    Das Gesetz gilt ab Januar.
    The law will be in effect starting January.

    Gelten can be connected to people using “für”…

    Kein ärztliches Attest, keine Credit points. Das gilt für alle, die öfter als 3 mal fehlen.
    No medical report,no credit points. That goes for whoever misses more than 3 classes.

    Gelten can also take a dative object which is somewhat similar in the idea that it expresses.

    Der Schneeball gilt für dich.
    The snowball is in effect for you…. doesn’t make sense.

    Der Schneeball gilt dir.
    This snowball is for you/at you.

    So “dir” is here target of snowball, and this is how the “gelten” plus dative works.

    Der Applaus gilt dem Dirigenten.
    The applause is for the conductor.

    Seine Liebe gilt der Natur.
    His love is dedicated to nature.

    It needs some abstraction to see how this is the same as “to be in force” …. but in either case there is something (the things that does “gelten” and there is someone who is likely affected by it)
    Another “gelten” is “gelten als”

    Der Mann gilt as guter Redner.
    The man is regarded as a good speaker.

    Again, that kind of makes sense with “to be in force”. We don’t know whether he actually is a good speaker but we have agreed that he is. Kind of like a law.

    And we can get even more abstract.

    Jetzt “gilt” es, einen kühlen Koüf zu bewahren.
    What “matters” now is to keep a cool head.

    So… the “law of the situation” is to keep cool.
    All in all, to me as a native speaker of German, all this is kind of the same thing. Gelten is maybe a version of “to be” that is not based on natural law but on community… but I don’t know if that makes sense.
    I hope that clears it up. If not, please inquire :)

    Oh and by the way…. “gelten” is related to the word “Geld” and to the English “to yield” and the original meaning was something like “to give as compensation/result”

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