Konzern, der

The mismatch between concern and der Konzern has caused endless grief, though the evidence suggests this is in fact an indirect Anglicism, having entered the German language via French, and thus gaining a double twist along the route. In English, a concern is any kind of enterprise, large or small, and is a useful word to describe an enterprise of a size unknown to the speaker. Judicial verdicts often use the word, since judges may not have been presented with the necessary evidence about the correct legal title of an incorporated (or perhaps unincorporated) organization that is indirectly party to the case. The word is also useful for describing an organization which is not a business, but functions in a business-like way, as in this example from the International Herald Tribune (2008-06-16) about Barack Obama's presidential campaign organization: "As the chief executive officer of Obama for America, a concern of nearly 1,000 employees and a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, Obama is more inclined to focus on the big picture over the day-to-day whirl." In German however, Konzern has a specific legal meaning as a group of companies with some kind of interlocking shareholding, an overall chief executive and a set of accounts that portrays the businesses as a single whole, where the turnover and assets of each are weighted in proportion to the parent company's equity in each subsidiary.
Konzern is capitalized, given masculine gender, inflected with -...- in the genitive and pronounced with a proper German Z that includes the T sound.

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