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The Message or the News?

The German noun die Nachricht is often translated into "message" in English, such as a message left on your voicemail:

 

Sie haben eine neue Nachricht.
You have a new message.
Caption 27, Die Pfefferkörner: Gerüchteküche

 

In a slightly confusing twist, both the singular and plural form of die Nachricht (plural: die Nachrichten) are often translated into "news" in English: 

 

Die Nachricht von der schlafenden Prinzessin verbreitete sich in vielen Ländern.
The news of the sleeping princess spread throughout many countries.
Captions 57-58, Märchen, Sagenhaft: Dornröschen

 

Gute Nachrichten für Hessens Wirtschaftsminister Tarek Al-Wazir. 
Good news for Hessia's Minister for Economic Affairs Tarek Al-Wazir.
Caption 1, Frankfurt wird Handelszentrum: für die chinesische Währung Yuan

 

This may seem odd, but the reason that the word is translated the same regardless of whether it is singular or plural in German is that the word "news" is a mass noun in English. The Oxford dictionary defines a mass noun as "A noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g., a substance or quality), in English usually a noun that lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article e.g. luggage, china, happiness."

 

Further Learning
Do a search for the word Nachricht on Yabla German and see how the different contexts of its usage can help you understand whether it's best to translate this word as "message" or "news," as well as decide when you should choose die Nachricht or its plural die Nachrichten when using it to mean "news."

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