Daniel Sanders

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Daniel Sanders

Daniel Hendel Sanders (born November 12, 1819 in Strelitz ; † March 11, 1897 ibid) was a German lexicographer and linguist as well as poet and translator .

life and work

Daniel Sanders was the second son of the Jewish merchant Hendel Sanders and his wife Amalie. He first attended the Jewish free school in Strelitz , then the Carolinum grammar school in Neustrelitz . In Berlin he studied mathematics and natural sciences with Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet , Jakob Steiner , Johann Franz Encke , Paul Erman and Heinrich Wilhelm Dove . In philology were his teacher August Boeckh and Jacob Grimm , philosophy he studied with Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg . He received his doctorate in Halle (Saale) in 1842. In the same year he was employed as a senior teacher at the Jewish free school in Strelitz as its head.

Through his acquaintance with Adolf Glaßbrenner , he was won over to the ideas of democracy and civil rights. Within the reform movement of 1848, Daniel Sanders quickly became one of the democratic leaders in Mecklenburg-Strelitz . In 1848 he was editor of the Wendischer Bote and the papers for free folklore , the mouthpiece of the Neustrelitz Reform Association. In 1850 he was one of the Mecklenburgers invited / to be invited to the Braunschweig Democrats' Congress , but in the end he did not take part. After his school was closed in 1852 because of its democratic orientation, he worked as a private scholar, linguist, dictionary writer and publicist.

Already in 1852 and then in 1853 Sanders caused a sensation with his vehement and principled criticism of the dictionary by the Brothers Grimm, which appeared in his first deliveries and which he called "completely wrong in its entire structure and largely also in its execution". He made his criticism based on numerous details, but also on fundamental defects. Unfortunately, this critical examination of the scientific outsider also led to Sanders being completely rejected in the circles of university scholars and his later dictionary work was undeservedly not received by the science of the time. Because he himself had the intention of creating a better and more useful dictionary, and therefore tried - a novelty - even before starting work to become clear about the basic structure of such a work. With the publication of his large, two-volume, three-part dictionary [s] of the German language. With documents from Luther up to the present (1860–1865; 2nd unaltered reprint 1876; first delivery 1859) he succeeded in creating a work of its own value and from a single source. With this, his main work, Sanders gave a comprehensive, practically usable dictionary of his time. This great achievement can also be measured by the fact that the much more extensive dictionary by the Brothers Grimm, published since 1852, was not completed until 1960 (list of sources not until 1971). Sanders' supplementary dictionary , published as a book in 1885 , then offered the linguistic changes from 1865 in the same way, but also further finds and evidence for his large dictionary. With his subtitle completion and expansion of all previously published German-language dictionaries, including Grimm's , the lexicographer confidently opposed his work against Grimm's work and the university scholars who rejected it.

The following points, derived from Sanders' own criticism of the dictionary by the Brothers Grimm, characterize his work and later became quite defining for modern and practical dictionaries:

- In contrast to Grimm, Sanders starts from the current language usage of his time; He does not want to give a linguistic history of the respective word and rather takes etymologies into account where they are useful to clarify the meaning, but instead uses the entire German vocabulary as well as the common foreign words.

- Sanders offers a clear and analytical unfolding of the various contemporary meanings of a word, illustrated by apt explanation and related evidence. The author takes this evidence from German literature from Luther, but also from scientific works, collections of proverbs and - unusual for the time - from magazines, whereby the dictionary aptly reflects the language of the present. In terms of method, Sanders starts from the main meanings of a word in the word articles and then records secondary meanings and nuances from there.

- Sanders arranges the words in such a way that the respective basic word (e.g. step) is followed by derivatives and compounds (e.g. progress). As the example shows, the basic word for Sanders is the last part of the word composition. This non-alphabetical arrangement of the vocabulary makes it difficult for the modern reader to use the dictionary today, but it gives a good insight into the linguistic creative power of German and also enables the numerous derivatives and compositions to be included in great completeness, where the Grimm dictionary, the the compositions alphabetically, but incompletely and unsystematically, ultimately remains inadequate. In Grimm's dictionary (at least in the first volumes) the word meanings are also rather fleeting, occasionally only represented by a Latin name, and the evidence is unevenly distributed and not always appropriate.

With the bourgeois public, Sanders was quite successful, which he was able to expand with numerous other lexical works. An obituary, particularly praises his dictionary of German synonyms , published in 1871, with further later contributions, as one can get to know its advantages here - the great attention paid to differences in meaning and nuances. His one-volume concise dictionary of the German language , which appeared for the first time in 1869 and expanded the vocabulary for practical use without the evidence or etymological explanations, brought it to five editions during his lifetime and his concise dictionary of the main difficulties in the German language , which was first published in 1872, corresponded to it Audience needs so well that by 1908 - after Sanders' death - a total of 31 editions had appeared.

Also to be emphasized are the educational language works to be explained from Sanders' past as a school teacher and headmaster, which were intended to lead students and adults to a better use of German, especially his German language letters , which appeared from 1878 until after his death (21st edition, 1906) or his foreign dictionary (1871, 2nd edition 1891), which clearly shows the use of ancient Greek, Latin and especially French foreign words, which was still quite common at the time, and the only gradual advance of Anglicisms.

His pedagogical commitment is also evident in the fact that at the 1st Orthographic Conference in 1876 and during the subsequent public debate he took a liberal view of orthography based on language usage. In meaning-distinguishing double forms (for example orphan and wise ) he saw the result of a "justified striving for clarification".

Daniel Sanders, who was made professor by the Strelitz Grand Duke in 1877 and an honorary citizen in 1889 by his hometown Strelitz , lives on in the largest German-English dictionary named after him, Muret-Sanders . Sander's scientific and practical achievements are documented in his bibliography, which includes a total of 35 individual works (excluding subsequent editions) as well as the publication of the Zeitschrift für Deutsche Sprache. The Jewish scholar Daniel Sanders, who saw his dictionary work as evidence of “German hard work and deep love for the great German fatherland”, as a “gift” to the German people, is one of the most important German lexicographers of the 19th century alongside the Brothers Grimm.


The city of Neustrelitz is said to have (allegedly) posthumously awarded Daniel Sanders honorary citizenship in 1992. A corresponding decision by the city council has not yet been announced.

The 200th birthday of Daniel Sanders was celebrated in 2019 in Neustrelitz with various events.

Daniel Sanders Awards

Since 1999, the city of Neustrelitz has been awarding the Daniel Sanders Language Prize every year for students who live or go to school in the Mecklenburg-Strelitz region. The language award is endowed with 500 euros.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Sanders' death, the Daniel Sanders Culture Prize has been awarded every two years by the Mecklenburg-Strelitz district since 1997 and was endowed with 5,200 euros. After the establishment of the Mecklenburg Lake District, the award has been continued in a similar form since 2015 by the Mecklenburg-Strelitz Cultural Property Foundation .

Works (selection)

Daniel Sanders, Pocket Lexicon of General Knowledge, approx. 1895, foreword to the first edition
Daniel Sanders, Pocket Lexicon of General Knowledge, ca.1895, advertisement for book with stand
Daniel Sanders, Pocket Lexicon of General Knowledge, approx. 1895, preface to the second edition as a conversation lexicon
Daniel Sanders, Pocket Lexicon of General Knowledge, ca.1895, example, p. 22.
Title page of the encyclopedic English-German and German-English dictionary Muret-Sanders, hand and school edition from 1905
  • Modern Greek folk and freedom songs. 1842.
  • The popular life of the modern Greeks. 1844.
  • The German dictionary by Jakob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm critically examined. Hamburg 1852 f.
  • Dictionary of the German language. 2 volumes, Leipzig 1859–1865. ( Digitized version of the 1st volume (in the 2nd edition from 1876) )
  • The Song of Solomon. Leipzig 1866 and Hamburg 1888. (Translation from Hebrew)
  • Concise dictionary of the German language. 1869.
  • Foreign dictionary . Vol. 1-2. Leipzig: O. Wigand, 1871.
  • Dictionary of German synonyms. 1871.
  • Concise dictionary of the main difficulties in the German language. 1872. (38th edition 1915 under the title Dictionary of Major Difficulties in the German Language )
  • Suggestions for establishing uniform spelling. 1873.
  • German vocabulary sorted by terms for easy identification and selection of the appropriate expression. A stylistic aid book for every German writer. (= Lexicographica. Series Maior. Volume 6/7). Reprint of the Hamburg edition 1873–1877. Two volumes. Vol. 1: Systematic part. Vol. 2: Alphabetical part. With a detailed introduction and bibliography by Peter Kühn. Max Niemeyer, Tübingen 1985.
  • Orthographic dictionary. 1874.
  • Language teaching for elementary and community schools. 1876.
  • From the best hours of life. Own and appropriated. 1878.
  • German language letters. 1878 ff. (21st edition 1906) (digitized version)
  • History of the German language and literature up to Goethe's death. 1879.
  • Outline of German verse art. 1881.
  • Greek grammar. 1881.
  • History of Modern Greek Literature. 1884.
  • Large German-English dictionary. 1889.
  • From the workshop of a dictionary writer. 1889. ( Digitized and full text in the German text archive )
  • Foreign dictionary. 1897.
  • Citatenlexikon. Collection of citates, proverbs, proverbial sayings and sentences. Weber, Leipzig 1899.
  • German literary history up to Goethe's death. 1899.

Literature (selection)

  • Festschrift for Daniel Sander's seventieth birthday. (November 12, 1889) . Lupelow, Strelitz 1889.
  • Edward SchröderSanders, Daniel Hendel . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 53, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1907, pp. 705-708.
  • Peter Kühn: Daniel Sanders' contributions to the lexicographical synonymics of German. In: mother tongue. Volume 89, 1979, pp. 187-200.
  • Peter Kühn: The "German language treasure" by Daniel Sanders. In: Daniel Sanders: Deutscher Sprachschatz arranged according to terms for easy finding and selection of the appropriate expression. A stylistic aid book for every German writer . Volume 1: Systematic Part. (= Lexicographica - Series maior. Volume 6). With a detailed introduction and bibliography by Peter Kühn. Reprint of the Hamburg edition 1873–1877. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1985, ISBN 3-484-30906-7 , pp. I-LXXVII.
  • Ulrike Haß-Zumkehr: Daniel Sanders. Enlightened German studies in the 19th century. (= Studia linguistica Germanica. Volume 35). de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1995, ISBN 3-11-014331-3 .
  • Jürgen Storost : Heinrich Krohn and Daniel Sanders. A Mecklenburg alliance to the idea of ​​a German Académie Française or the unfulfilled pairing of money and spirit. In: Jürgen Storost: In memoriam Vladimiro Macchi . Aspects of the history of science. Selected subjects (= treatises on language and literature. Volume 172). Romanistischer Verlag, Bonn 2008, ISBN 978-3-86143-181-7 , pp. 267-302.
  • Alfred Etzold: Daniel Sanders. 1819-1897. Mecklenburg, Jew, dictionary writer. (= Jewish miniatures. Volume 82). Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-938485-99-6 .

Web links

Wikisource: Daniel Sanders  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Daniel Sanders  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Sanders, Daniel. In: Lexicon of German-Jewish Authors . Volume 19: Sand – Stri. Edited by the Bibliographia Judaica archive. de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2012, ISBN 978-3-598-22699-1 , p. 3.
  2. ^ The German dictionary by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, critically examined. 2 booklets. Hamburg 1852, 1853. The quotation can be found in the 1st issue on p. 5 with the first introductory remarks and is printed in a locked manner! Werner Betz also cites this remark in his introduction and bibliography in the reprint: Daniel Sanders: Dictionary of German Language. Volume 1: AK. (= Documenta Linguistica, Series III dictionaries of the 19th and 20th centuries ). Hildesheim 1969, p. VII *
  3. ^ Program for a new dictionary of the German language, Leipzig 1854.
  4. Supplementary dictionary of the German language. A completion and expansion of all previously published German-language dictionaries including Grimm's. With documents from Luther up to the latest present. Berlin 1885 (deliveries 1879–1884).
  5. Scientific analyzes of the methodology and the structure of the articles in Sanders' dictionary are offered by Ulrike Haß-Zumkehr: German dictionaries. Berlin / New York 2001, p. 143 ff ( Die bürgerliche Sprachbildung - Daniel Sanders ) and Ulrike Haß: Daniel Sanders Dictionary of the German Language. (1859–1865) In: Ulrike Haß (Ed.): Large encyclopedias and dictionaries of Europe. European encyclopedias and dictionaries in historical portraits. Berlin / Boston 2012, p. 253 ff.
  6. Edward Schröder: Sanders, Daniel. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 1907 (online version)
  7. ^ Daniel Sanders: Dictionary of German synonyms. 1st edition. Hamburg 1872. 2nd edition. Hamburg 1882 as well as new contributions to German synonymy . Berlin 1881 and building blocks for a dictionary of related expressions in German. A legacy to the German people. Berlin 1889.
  8. Werner Betz: Introduction and Bibliography ... (see note 3), pp. XV * - XVII *.
  9. ^ Foreword to the large dictionary (as in note 3) or foreword in the supplementary dictionary (as in note 5)
  10. Homepage of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz Cultural Property Foundation , accessed on June 22, 2015.