When in English a number of people form a group this is called ‘a gang’ and translates to ‘eine Bande’. In German you’ll come across many different and confusing meanings of der Gang. The word is derived from gehen (past tenses: ging, ist gegangen), so its original meaning is ‘a way gone by foot’ and ‘the process of going’.


Der aufrechte Gang des Menschen for example, translates into the straight walk of the human being.


In an office, ein Gang is the narrow area between rooms.
It is translated as hallway or corridor.


On a train or in an aeroplane people ask for an aisle seat: Ich hätte lieber
einen Gangplatz. — “I would prefer an aisle seat.


Aisle is also what one calls the passage down the centre of a church – der Mittelgang.


A car, motorbike or bicycle has Gänge und eine Gangschaltung  to enable it to travel efficiently at different speeds. Mein Fahrrad hat 15 Gänge. — “My bike has 15 gears.”


To adjust the speed, you change gear(s) – in einen anderen Gang schalten.


A meal can consist of different Gänge –  various courses: Wir haben
ein Sieben-Gänge-Menü gegessen. — “We had a seven-course meal.”



If something is im Gang(e), it is under way, up and running or in progress. An
operation, process or party can also be in vollem Gang. – in full swing.


Ich wünsche allen einen aufrechten Gang! Bis zum nächsten Mal!


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