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I'm writing a text about children who have experienced war in some form. In my own language, we have an umbrella term for any situation involving war in some sense, and when I look it up in a dictionary, I get the translation "war event", but when I google "war event", it seems to appear more or less exclusively in a gaming context. So, now I'm wondering whether I can nevertheless use this in "my" context, or whether there's another word or phrase I should use.

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  • Out of interest, what is the term in your language?
    – James K
    Oct 2 at 20:52
  • @James K It's krigshändelser; krig = 'war', and händelser = 'events' or 'incidents'. (I have no idea why we add an s in the middle; I'm sure there's a linguistic explanation for it, but I don't know what it is)
    – Hannah
    Oct 2 at 21:02
  • To give you a solid answer, we'd need a fuller context of what you're actually talking about, like some examples.
    – gotube
    Oct 3 at 5:31
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"War event" is valid English, but it is not a particularly usual or familiar phrase in general English. If you use it in the way you describe, you may well want to define or explain your usage at or ner the start of your text.

Other phrases you might want to consider:

  • experience of war
  • war experiences
  • encounter with war
  • experience of combat
  • affected by war

None of these is a set phrase, as it seems the phrase in your native language is, and you may be able to come up with a better choice.

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It may be wise to define it upfront, but I don't think you're going to find a better term.

Possibly "war experience"?

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I'd suggest "Wartime events/incidents" as a generic translation. I think that "war events" sounds like "events that are wars" more than "events during wars". Using "wartime" avoids this sense.

Your google isn't my google. When I google "war events" I get links to "Cold war events" or "Korean war events".

In your particular context, a different translation may be appropriate. It may well be better to rephrase as, for example:

Children witness many terrible things that happen during wars.

Instead of

Children witness many terrible war events.

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  • Thanks for your answer! Interesting about google; I guess it may be because I've got a whole herd of kids who often use my computer to show me things involving the games that they play :)) Having said this though, I think "Cold war events" and Korean war events" aren't really instances of an underlying concept WAR EVENT, which are modified by "cold" and "Korean" respectively, are they? Rather, these are instances of EVENT, which are modified by "Cold war" and "Korean war", wouldn't you say?
    – Hannah
    Oct 3 at 10:31
  • Or, put another way: COLD WAR and KOREAN WAR are unitlike concepts, so here we're no longer talking about WAR, but of two specific historical 'things' (which happened to be wars) (or, well not even that, because the Cold war wasn't really a war in the normal sense)
    – Hannah
    Oct 3 at 10:34
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    That is a reasonable analysis. That is why I think "wartime incidents" is a better general translation. But idiomatically you would probably not use the same phrasing in English as in Swedish.
    – James K
    Oct 3 at 10:40
  • Very true - we wouldn't :)
    – Hannah
    Oct 4 at 9:34

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