to steer, to direct, to be at the helm, to guide
(The focus is clearly giving direction or "make go in a direction". For guidance that includes stuff like giving knowledge or motivation, "führen" or "leiten" is the better word.)
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Word of the Day - "lenken"

A fun look at the meaning of "lenken", the difference to "steuern" and how that relates to the German word for "to distract".


lenken, der Lenker, ablenken, das Gelenk, das Lenkrad

Word of the Day - "Steuer"

A fun look at the meaning of "die Steuer" and its brother "das Steuer" and the surprise connection between steering can taxation :). Also: a mention of "lenken"


das Steuer, die Steuer, steuerbord, die Steuererklärung, die Steuerung, die Mehrwertsteuer

Word Family

Root: *kleng-

This is one of multiple Indo-European roots that were about the core idea:

bending, turning

This family is fairly small and the main English relatives are to link (bending something so you can connect it), flank (where the body bends) and flinch (bending the face).

The German lenken has shifted toward the sense of “giving a direction“.

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