The German language

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Why is German such a cracking good language? What's your favourite German word?

Daniel Giraffe (Daniel Giraffe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:15 (thirteen years ago) link

sehsucht

Baaderonixx immer wieder (baaderonixx), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:22 (thirteen years ago) link

actually make that, sehnsucht

Baaderonixx immer wieder (baaderonixx), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Wasserpumpe.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:23 (thirteen years ago) link

Windschutzscheibenwaschanlage.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Kugelschriber!

(I have no idea if I've spelled that right. But it means ballpoint pen.)

Silver Machine Manor (kate), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Close. It's "Kugelschreiber". Mine is also a real word. Wanna guess?

Colin Meeder (Mert), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I like Hoechstgeschwindigkeit, meaning top speed.

talking of which, one of the things I like about German is that all nouns start with a capital letter. I think it looks both exotic and dignified.

Daniel Giraffe (Daniel Giraffe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:37 (thirteen years ago) link

Colin, I think your word means windscreen wiper

Daniel Giraffe (Daniel Giraffe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:38 (thirteen years ago) link

Very close. It's the windscreen washers, actually.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:41 (thirteen years ago) link

MANNSCHAFT

Konal Doddz (blueski), Thursday, 27 July 2006 08:59 (thirteen years ago) link

Zwiebel

Teh littlest HoBBo (the pirate king), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Geistlos

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:05 (thirteen years ago) link

What's best about the German language is that when you have learned how each letter is pronounced, you can read any german word and you will have pronounced it properly.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:08 (thirteen years ago) link

isn't that the same with every language ?

AleXTC (AleXTC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:10 (thirteen years ago) link

I like how they join a load of words together to make huge nouns so you can usually work it out from a literal translation of each segment. German engineering and technical dictionaries are great for huge words that essentially mean "join all the bits together and you've got one of these."

Onimo (GerryNemo), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:12 (thirteen years ago) link

isn't that the same with every language ?

Plough rough through

Onimo (GerryNemo), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Kaiserschlacht

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:13 (thirteen years ago) link

hum. ok, I get the idea. it's not just german in that case, yes ?

AleXTC (AleXTC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:23 (thirteen years ago) link

entgültig

Soukesian (Soukesian), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Winkelmesser

gentoo (gentoo), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:52 (thirteen years ago) link

German words I hate: Mobbing, Handy, fighten.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Sprudel

StanM (StanM), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Schadenfreude

Ben Dot (1977), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:25 (thirteen years ago) link

What's best about the German language is that when you have learned how each letter is pronounced, you can read any german word and you will have pronounced it properly.

It's not exactly SO, for example the "e" is "Kaiser" is pronounced differently than in "Freund". It's easier than English though. I don't think there's a language in the world where every letter is pronounced the same way every time, though Finnish comes pretty close (with only major exception, the "ng" sound).

Tuomas (Tuomas), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung

(speed limit)

Joe (Joe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:43 (thirteen years ago) link

O WRKLK? JA WRKLK!

weather1ngda1eson (Brian), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't think there's a language in the world where every letter is pronounced the same way every time

Spanish is pretty much like that. You change the sound of c and g depending on what vowel they're followed by, but that's about it.

Cathy (Cathy), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:52 (thirteen years ago) link

my favourite german word and one of the only ones I know is wunderbar.

Cathy (Cathy), Thursday, 27 July 2006 10:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Problembar

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:08 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost i keep saying "wonderbra" by accident (which makes it a classic!)

brustwarze
handschuhe
krankenhaus

lieblingsfach
kunst

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:11 (thirteen years ago) link

"doppelgänger" is pretty cool.
(and shouldn't it be : O WRKLCH ? YA WRKLCH !)

AleXTC (AleXTC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:12 (thirteen years ago) link

NEIN WAI!

weather1ngda1eson (Brian), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't think there's a language in the world where every letter is pronounced the same way every time

mandarin? (but i guess the characters are more like words than letters)

oh and schadenfreude is indeed a good one, and xpost doppelganger

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:15 (thirteen years ago) link

kaputt!

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Mein Hund hat keine Nase!

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:18 (thirteen years ago) link

oh and Ayingerbrau!!

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:20 (thirteen years ago) link

You change the sound of c and g depending on what vowel they're followed by, but that's about it.

What about ll? Or j or h in the beginning of the word? Though Spanish vowels are always pronounced the same, I think.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:21 (thirteen years ago) link

xxxxxpost

I think you'll find that werkelijk = Dutch and wirklich = German, so

JA WEG

StanM (StanM), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:25 (thirteen years ago) link

O WRKLCH ? YA WRKLCH ! NCHT MGLCH ! (with an eagle instead)

AleXTC (AleXTC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Donnerwetter! Mein Gott Im Himmel! Scheiße!!

(See, video games help you learn!)

Onimo (GerryNemo), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:28 (thirteen years ago) link

rnsthft!

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:30 (thirteen years ago) link

As far as I know, Japanese pronunciation is incredibly faithful to the spelling system.

I agree with Ken that the word Handschuh is a total classic.

Can we hear it for German syntax, please? e.g. Today have I heard that a man who for Germany football played has has in England to come decided.

Daniel Giraffe (Daniel Giraffe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:30 (thirteen years ago) link

What about ll? Or j or h in the beginning of the word? Though Spanish vowels are always pronounced the same, I think

yeah, a double l means a different sound to single l, and same with double r. and j and h are the same sound at the beginning of a word as they are within it - h is never pronounced, anyway.

Cathy (Cathy), Thursday, 27 July 2006 11:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I gather Finnish is extremely phonetic which I am sure is nice in theory but how do I learn to pronounce all of those VOOOOOWEEEEELS? Words I know in Finnish already =

KIPPIS - cheers!
Hei - hallo!
Moi moi - bye bye!
KRAPULA - HANGOVER!

Hooray!

Bhumibol Adulyadej (Lucretia My Reflection), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:19 (thirteen years ago) link

"krapula" is a great word ! (especially for a french speaking person)

AleXTC (AleXTC), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Arschkalt

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Megahammeraffentittengeil

Colin Meeder (Mert), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:39 (thirteen years ago) link

CRipes, what do these words mean, DV and Colin?

Daniel Giraffe (Daniel Giraffe), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:43 (thirteen years ago) link

Dreilochstute

StanM (StanM), Thursday, 27 July 2006 12:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Es war einmal ein Leibesriese,
der machte eine Liebesreise.
Des Abends sprach er: „Reib es, Liese!“
Und Liese kam und rieb es leise.

maximum waste and minimum joy (oder doch?), Friday, 7 December 2018 01:32 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Frohe Weihnachten!

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 25 December 2018 15:17 (one year ago) link

wot's german for wobs

j., Tuesday, 25 December 2018 17:18 (one year ago) link

It's pronounced 'vaubz'.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 17:21 (one year ago) link

ach, ein lehnwort!

j., Tuesday, 25 December 2018 17:23 (one year ago) link

Wie so oft.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 17:24 (one year ago) link

Fast immer, glaube ich

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 25 December 2018 18:01 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Redewendung des Tages: Pi mal Daumen.

Theorbo Goes Wild (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:58 (ten months ago) link

Oder besser gesagt:
Gott sei Dank, es ist Pi-Tag!

Theorbo Goes Wild (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:00 (ten months ago) link

Pi-Tag ist 22/7.

Three Word Username, Thursday, 14 March 2019 22:06 (ten months ago) link

warum?

das ist pi-annaeherungstag

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Thursday, 14 March 2019 22:25 (ten months ago) link

3.14 ist kein Datum in der deutsche Schreibweise.

Three Word Username, Friday, 15 March 2019 02:17 (ten months ago) link

Vielleicht doch in Texas?

seandalai, Friday, 15 March 2019 11:58 (ten months ago) link

wikipedia:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi-Tag

Zum anderen wird ein Pi-Annäherungstag (Pi Approximation Day) am 22. Juli gefeiert, mit dem die näherungsweise Darstellung von π durch Archimedes als 22/7 ≈ 3,14 geehrt werden soll.

pi ist 3,14

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Friday, 15 March 2019 21:16 (ten months ago) link

eight months pass...

Kleinvieh macht auch Mist.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 November 2019 23:08 (one month ago) link

Small /something/ power also poop?

viborg, Saturday, 30 November 2019 23:53 (one month ago) link

small animals also poop I think

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Saturday, 30 November 2019 23:54 (one month ago) link

Sorry little m not big M - 'makes'.

viborg, Saturday, 30 November 2019 23:54 (one month ago) link

My favorite word was always 'Eisdiele', not sure why. Typical grade school bs I guess.

viborg, Saturday, 30 November 2019 23:55 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Kruzitürken!

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:33 (one month ago) link

Was zum Kuckuck?

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:37 (one month ago) link

Dann gibt es Mort und Totschlag.

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:38 (one month ago) link

Was zum Kuckuck?

dat haal je de koekoek!

breastcrawl, Thursday, 19 December 2019 14:13 (one month ago) link

Fjandinn hafi það!

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 19 December 2019 15:57 (one month ago) link

der Gabelstaplerführerschein

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 28 December 2019 02:04 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

anyone have any good tips/cheats to look our for (and use) for more native-sounding vernacular spoken german?

e.g. in french class you'll learn to use 'ne... pas' to negate a verb but often in spoken french they'll just drop the ne completely. similarly, privileging use of 'on' over 'nous'; adding 'quoi' for emphasis; running words together ('tu as dansé hier soir' becomes 't'as dansé hier soir' etc). that's before you get to even slang words (les mecs; BCBG; bouffer; etc)

||||||||, Saturday, 11 January 2020 14:59 (one week ago) link

^probably all bad habits (certainly in written french) but w/e

||||||||, Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:00 (one week ago) link

well German has slang too of course, you could also lean into a Dialekt

VOTE! In the 2019 EOY Poll (seandalai), Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:13 (one week ago) link

but even after living in Germany for a year my lecturers told me I spoke like a book so I'm probably not going to be that helpful

VOTE! In the 2019 EOY Poll (seandalai), Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:16 (one week ago) link

use "halt" in every sentence

groovemaaan, Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:38 (one week ago) link

use "ne?" at the end of a sentence to mean "which i'm sure we all agree on?", use "oder?" to mean "don't you think so?" (slightly less rhetorical), never use past simple unless you want to sound like the finanzamt or a 19th century nursery rhyme. "na?" is "sup?", use "zwo" instead of "zwei" (espec on telephone) "geil" for "wicked"/"awesome" (although that is kinda teenage) i'm sure further tips will occur to me later

massaman gai (front tea for two), Saturday, 11 January 2020 16:15 (one week ago) link

re: past simple - what i mean is use present perfect instead, regardless of how counterintuitive it might seem

massaman gai (front tea for two), Saturday, 11 January 2020 16:17 (one week ago) link

also, folks rarely say in a cafe, bakery "ich möchte.../ ich hätte gerne...", preferring "noun/ ein noun bitte" or "krieg ich noun" oder "ich nehme noun"

massaman gai (front tea for two), Saturday, 11 January 2020 16:20 (one week ago) link

ha, I remember I used to ask for the check by saying “Herr Ober, ich möchte bezahlen, bitte.“ My Turkish friend put me straight

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 January 2020 16:26 (one week ago) link

I never use my (at best intermediate) German any more but I still sometimes end English sentences with “oder”

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Sunday, 12 January 2020 01:05 (one week ago) link

if something is good say <<das ist der Hammer>>

VOTE! In the 2019 EOY Poll (seandalai), Sunday, 12 January 2020 21:46 (one week ago) link

Somebody once told me it was a bit more idiomatic to say “ein wenig”as opposed to “ein bisschen.”

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 12 January 2020 21:56 (one week ago) link

Klar

lefal junglist platton (wtev), Monday, 13 January 2020 16:52 (one week ago) link

these are all great thanks. so far some others I have learned as I start the journey from A0 - just say “wie geht’s” not “wie geht es einen/dir”; just say “wiedersehn” or even tschüss

||||||||, Monday, 13 January 2020 16:58 (one week ago) link

“Ciao“ works as well, these days.

And it’s “Wie geht es Ihnen,” not “einen.”

oder doch?, Monday, 13 January 2020 17:16 (one week ago) link

ganz peinlich, schatzi

Death to (NickB), Monday, 13 January 2020 17:26 (one week ago) link

thanks - trials of learning primarily via YouTube + pimsleur...

xp

||||||||, Monday, 13 January 2020 18:19 (one week ago) link

makes it a whole lot easier learning a language when you live with a fluent speaker you can bounce questions off and speak with

||||||||, Sunday, 19 January 2020 19:16 (five days ago) link

This is not a great idea unless you are benchmarking a specific region and maybe even subculture within the region. The dangers of sounding like late 90s Björk talking are great.

Three Word Username, Sunday, 19 January 2020 19:31 (five days ago) link

the guy in pimsleur is a shagger

||||||||, Monday, 20 January 2020 16:52 (four days ago) link

can you to me that please on the map to show?

yoga ass language

||||||||, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 18:39 (three days ago) link

nico (from nico's weg) has a preternatural ability for picking up the german language

||||||||, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 23:06 (three days ago) link

here's my approach so far:

0. have set some language priorities for first three months, and have a 12 month goal
1. listen to 1 episode of pimsleur in the morning first thing, while walking to work (these are pretty slow with limited vocabulary but find them good for tuning your ear to stuff)
2. jot down any new vocabulary in notes while walking (transfer into anki later)
3. if it's raining, listen to coffee break german on the bus instead
4. do some self talk while in e.g. shower, on bike etc
5. ask partner questions (using german only, to extent possible... not always possible obv)
6. do occassional anki session (max 35 cards per day) when have some downtime at night
7. look up things when (if) I think of them
8. maintain a diary of words, sentences I've made up, and things I've done during the day etc (this is really basic but just about getting me thinking/narrating in the language)

basically a mix of structured learning and organic (as-and-when things come to me) learning. only scribbling this down for my posterity and in case it helps anyone else

||||||||, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 23:13 (three days ago) link

that all sounds like... a lot, but most important thing for me is trying to at least touch the language every day. some days I will do a couple of hours of learning (exhausting), others it will only be the pimsleur. and I don't do the pimsleur on the weekends, so the learning activity is a little lighter then (mostly just annoying partner w/questions)

||||||||, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 23:15 (three days ago) link


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