Überproblematisieren

There is no English equivalent to the German verb problematisieren. To problem-icize would be the literal translation. To problematisieren means to seek out, define and analyze a situation, to expound on it, to elaborate on in detail.

Germans will almost always err on the side of being overly problembewusst – problem-aware – of going into greater depth and breadth of analysis of the problem and its possible consequences. Germans tend to überproblematisieren. Über means literally over, in the sense of more, further, perhaps too much, too far, in excess.

The German focus on problems, on inefficiencies, on things which could be improved, is one of their many great strengths.