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German word of the day: Die Meinungsfreiheit

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German word of the day: Die Meinungsfreiheit
Photo: depositphotos
07:13 CET+01:00
Americans are known worldwide for loving the right to free expression and freedom of speech that are protected by the US Constitution. Meinungsfreiheit, or Meinungsäußerungsfreiheit, refers to the concept of freedom of speech, or freedom of expression in Germany.

Americans are known worldwide for loving the right to free expression and freedom of speech that are protected by the US Constitution. Meinungsfreiheit, or Meinungsäußerungsfreiheit, refers to the concept of freedom of speech, or freedom of expression in Germany.  

Let’s break that down a little: 

- Die Meinung translates to ‘the opinion’ 

- Die Äußerung means ‘the utterance’ 

- Die Freiheit translates to ‘political freedom’ or ‘liberty’ 

Therefore, die Meinungsäußerungsfreiheit, refers to the freedom to utter one’s opinion publicly. 

The word Meinungsfreiheit is more commonly used to signal this concept in Germany. 

The Bundesverfassungsgericht, German Federal Constitutional Court, holds a session. Photo: DPA.

While the right to free expression is protected by the Grundgesetz, or German Basic Law (Article 5), there are some instances where expression is not completely protected. An example of this is Germany’s well-known laws against Holocaust denial. 

The extent of Germany’s constitutional protection for free expression is still a matter of public debate. Meinungsfreiheit is a good word to know if you are interested in German politics and government. 

READ ALSO: Grundgesetz: What does Germany's 'Basic Law' really mean? 

Here are some examples of how you might talk about Meinungsfreiheit in German: 

Deutschland hat die Meinungsfreiheit mit Artikel Fünf des Grundgesetzes gesichert. 

Germany has protected the right to free expression with Article 5 of its Basic Law (constitution). 

Es gibt viele verschiedene Rechtsfälle in Deutschland zur Meinungsfreiheit. 

There are many legal cases about freedom of expression in Germany. 

Was denken Sie, sollte es Grenzen der Meinungsfreiheit geben? 

What do you think, should there be limits to freedom of expression?

 
 
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