Is there an established German translation of "locale"? The term appears mostly untranslated as "Locale"; a single time I've seen "Lokal". Where I'm located, we say "Örtlichkeit" or "Ort".

Quoting the nLab: A locale is, intuitively, like a topological space that may or may not have enough points (or even any points at all). It contains things we call open subspaces but there may or may not be enough points to distinguish between open subspaces. An open subspace in a locale can be regarded as conveying a bounded amount of information about the (hypothetical) points that it contains.

Note to future readers: Even though I accepted an answer, I would still be grateful if somebody could propose a proper German translation.


Wikipedia uses "Locale", capitalized as a German noun but otherwise unchanged. It seems to resonate with how the word was originally introduced by John Isbell:

"an inspired choice, which conveyed all the right overtones about the spatial nature of these objects without causing their algebraic underpinnings to obtrude, and which at the same time was easily capable of all the necessary inflections".

[Handbook of the History of General Topology, Volume 3]

I might add that "locale" is a Fremdwort in English as well: the Oxford Dictionary gives its origin als "late 18th century: from French local (noun), respelled to indicate stress on the final syllable".

Some places of usage: locales --- Lokale

  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, the terms "Örtlichkeit" and "Ort" do not allude to the algebraic underpinnings very well -- this is an important point, thank you. But I'd still prefer a proper German translation. $\endgroup$ – Ingo Blechschmidt Jan 3 '14 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ In the last line, both links seem to be broken. $\endgroup$ – HeinrichD Sep 16 '16 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ @HeinrichD --- thanks for noting this: archived versions: locales --- Lokale $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Sep 16 '16 at 19:46

In German it is: Punktlose Räume - Lokale. It means a generalisation of a topological space ("Ein Lokal"). The following article uses this, for example here.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Do you know references which are pitched at a higher level? (The notes you linked to are targeted at a general lay audience.) I only know of a single one, namely a seminar in Hannover of 2006. $\endgroup$ – Ingo Blechschmidt Jan 3 '14 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @IngoBlechschmidt: Yes, good question. Implicitly here: algrotopoi.de/topdr.pdf, but it seems rarely mentioned in the scientific literature. $\endgroup$ – Dietrich Burde Jan 4 '14 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the additional reference. But I think that these slides also target a general audience. For the moment, it appears that "Lokal" was academically only used in the linked seminar in Hannover. $\endgroup$ – Ingo Blechschmidt Jan 7 '14 at 12:14

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