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The most common use of “die Bahn” is to refer to a form of transport. English speakers translate it as rail, railway(s) (railroad in US English) or train. If
you travel “mit der Bahn”, then you travel by train “mit dem Zug”.
„Ich fahre mit der Bahn / ich fahre mit dem Zug,” there’s no difference in meaning, except when you’re talking about the railway
company, “die Deutsche
Bahn,” in which case you would NOT use “Zug”: „Die Bahn hat schon wieder die Preise
erhöht.” ‘The Deutsche Bahn has increased the prices again.’
“Die U-Bahn” is translated as
the underground (subway in US English) or, especially in London, the Tube.
In sport, “die Bahn” refers to
part of a running track or swimming pool. This is translated as lane. In ice skating, English speakers translate “die Eislaufbahn” as skating
rink or ice rink, and in bowling, “die Kegelbahn” is
called a bowling alley.
In astronomy, English speakers use “die Bahn” to describe the
path travelled by a planet. Usually it translates as orbit: “Die Bahnen der Planeten um die
Sonne” — “The orbits of the planets around the sun.
And finally “in neuen Bahnen denken”, can be
translate as thinking out of the box and trying a new approach or you can use the traditional thinking patterns and use the well trodden tracks: “die vorgelegten Bahnen