The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'

...and, at the end of the article, a humorous bit on why
English is such a problem to learn.
© Copyright 2019, R. Fleischer

Most of the time there are few problems with native language documents as translated into other languages and then published by factories that made the product. Once in awhile even a factory goofs. One such goof is from the math-challenged person who translated the BMW correct torques specified in Nm (if, IMO, sometimes too high) to incorrect values in Ftlbs. Incorrect Ftlbs values were then published in many BMW factory publications.  You may find such incorrect values used by non-factory publications, so, translate those Nm figures yourself!  You may want to read article 71A and 71B on the author's website,

Sometimes there are problems with spelling and/or sound, resulting in the opposite..or otherwise wrong meaning than what was meant. The German "Auf" is such a situation.  It does NOT mean OFF!

We usually order by part number or perhaps from a sketch or we describe where it goes/fits/etc. Almost all the time, this works quite well. Not always.   Be cautious about numbers on things.  Examples are the use of BOSCH numbers; and partial BMW numbers; and, be aware that BMW markings on such as assemblies and castings, etc., may be CASTING numbers, and have no similarity to the actual part number one might order the part by.

There are a few instances where languages have caused some serious confusion (besides politics and personal relationships!). There are situations where something is not described in your language properly, only in German, in literature pertaining to our motorcycles.

Sources for this article included past articles in BMW MOA ON magazine; a posting by Joe 'Cuda' on 20 January 2001 to the Airheads LIST; my own input; and, corrections supplied to me by Hans-Jürgen of Germany. Further corrections were made on 3/29-30/2012 from additional input by Joe, and I made some of my own corrections at times, in later years.

I did not take nor use 100% of everyone's suggestions, primarily due to COMMON USE in the USA; thus, any quibbling about things on this page can be blamed on ME!

In some instances in this article I have used ASCII code to show how the German's might show letters and words in PRINT. It is possible that some things will look totally weird on YOUR computer; and, possibly print something not like a German letter. Computers vary in display, depending on how you have set certain preferences, and the language settings in particular. I have found this happens more often with the dieresis marks (umlauts) which are the double dots (a pair of dots, located over a vowel). The purpose is to soften the sound. An example of these letters are the following, which, again, MAY NOT show up properly on YOUR computer. It is possible for these to display correctly, or partially correctly, or not at all, depending on your computer AND even differently in different programs or keyboard settings in your computer.

ë ö Ö ä ÿ Ü

In the rest of this article you will find this: ü

For a site for German, English, French, and Spanish translations, etc. try: That site explains things IN DEPTH, and you might want to shorten the URL, depending on what their webmaster does to that site now and then.

For simpler explanations or translations, use a Google or Duck Duck, etc. search, and for a translation, just writing on the URL search line of your Google Chrome, or favorite browser something like:

Translate   XXXXXXXX    to  YYYYYYYY

You may find that some spellings are different. An example: ü may be shown as ue.
Germans have different ways of showing spelling in print form.

Another example would be flüße which is the same word for river as fluesse. That funny looking "B", which is not a B at all, it is printed like ß pronounced as if it was one long S:    SSSSSS.

I can only hope YOUR computer displays these characters as I intended.

EI sounds like EYE

IE sounds like the ee in tree.  

This remainder of this article is only available for Airheads Beemer Club members. Please Log In..or..Click Here to join the Airheads Beemer Club, after which you will enjoy access this article and all members only content of the ABC web site. 

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