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Memorialization in Germany

Germany's past role as the prime perpetrator of the Holocaust and the Second World War, and as a nation formerly divided into capitalist and communist states, have made for a very strong national culture of memorialization: die Erinnerungskultur. There are many memorial museums, sculptures, and plaques dedicated to the memory of victims of the Nazis and the former communist state of East Germany. There is also a project called Stolpersteine ("stumbling stones"), initiated in the late 1990s by a German artist, which has installed tens of thousands of small brass plaques throughout Europe into the sidewalks outside the houses where people persecuted by the Nazis once lived. Let's take a look today at some Yabla German videos that feature the theme of memorialization.

 

The German word for a memorial—sometimes a museum and sometimes just a place of memorialization—is die Gedenkstätte:

 

Und im Rahmen dieses besonderen Tages wurde auch die Gedenkstätte für die ermordeten Wiesbadener Juden ihrer Bestimmung übergeben.

And in the framework of this special day, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Wiesbaden was consigned to its set purpose.

Captions 8-10, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Gedenkstätte am Michelsberg

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Auf dem Gelände der neu errichteten europäischen Zentralbank ist nun eine Gedenkstätte entstanden.

On the grounds of the newly constructed European Central Bank, a memorial has now arisen.

Captions 19-20, Rheinmain im Blick: Neue Gedenkstätte an der EZB

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And here, along with the term das Gedenken ("memory," "remembrance," or "commemoration"), are some other words that use das Gedenken as a root word:

 

Anlässlich des Gedenkens an die Befreiung von Auschwitz vor sechsundsechzig Jahren...

On the occasion of the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz sixty-six years ago...

Captions 2-3, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Ausstellung "Frankfurt-Auschwitz"

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Neben dem Kunstprojekt sind im Jubiläumsjahr viele weitere Gedenkaktionen geplant.

In addition to the art project, many further acts of remembrance have been planned for the year of the anniversary.

Captions 38-39, 25 Jahre Wiedervereinigung: Ampelmännchen wird Einheitsmännchen

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Der 27. Januar ist in Deutschland ein offizieller Gedenktag.

The 27th of January is an official day of remembrance in Germany.

Caption 15, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Eine gigantische nationale Gedenkfeier...

A gigantic national commemorative celebration...

Caption 8, Rhein-Main-TV: Feier zur deutschen Einheit in Frankfurt wird gigantisch

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above in their entirety. One active research aspect of memorialization is the return of stolen and looted cultural assets, such as artworks, to the families of victims of Third Reich. You can watch the Restitution von Raubgut series on Yabla here.

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The German Education System

At this time of year, schools and universities in many countries around the world are in their first weeks of the school year. German schools actually started again several weeks ago, whereas the fall semester for colleges and universities doesn't begin until mid-October. There are many videos on Yabla German that reference the school system in Germany, which can seem a bit complex at first. The system may also differ slightly depending on which Bundesland you are in.

 

In Germany, der Kindergarten is attended by children generally between ages three and six, much like a pre-school in the United States. Prior to that, babies and toddlers may spend time at a nursery, which is called die Kinderkrippe. Day care centers are generally referred to as die Kita, which is short for die Kindertagesstätte.

 

Die sechsjährige Tochter ist im Kindergarten aktuell noch.

The six-year-old daughter is currently still in kindergarten.

Caption 33, Cettina erklärt: Auswirkungen des Coronavirus

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Ihre Kinder können nicht zur Schule oder in die Kita.

Your children can't go to school or to daycare.

Caption 7, Coronavirus: Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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Children usually enter primary or elementary school (die Grundschule) at age 6 in Germany. 

 

Das Singen in der Grundschule ist besonders wichtig.

Singing in elementary school is particularly important.

Caption 27, Freude am Singen: mit Primacanta

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At age ten (and at age twelve in Berlin and Brandenburg), there are then three types of secondary schools students can choose from depending on aptitude and their educational goals. Students who will likely later do an apprenticeship or technical training would most likely attend die Hauptschule. Die Realschule prepares students for a variety of possible careers, whereas das Gymnasium is an academic high school that prepares them for university. The resulting degree after Gymnasium, a high school diploma called das Abitur, more or less guarantees entrance to a German university. In some cities, you may also find a comprehensive high school, more like in the United States, which is called die Gesamtschule.

 

Zum ersten Mal findet der Projekttag in einer Haupt- und Realschule statt.

For the first time, the project day is taking place at a trade-oriented high school and a career-oriented high school.

Caption 21, Gewaltprävention: Gewalt an Schulen

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Wart ihr in Deutschland auf einem Gymnasium oder einer Realschule?

In Germany, did you go to an academically-oriented high school or a career-oriented high school?

Captions 8-9, Nicos Weg: Bewerbung

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Ohne Abitur kann ich doch aber gar nicht studieren.

But without a high school diploma I can't go to university at all.

Caption 33, Die Klasse: Berlin '61

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There are different types of institutions for higher education in Germany. One can attend die Berufsschule, which is a vocational school where students may simultaneously do an apprenticeship, or die Fachhochschule, which is a university of applied sciences. Generally, die Hochschule is a university or college, though larger institutions will be called die Universität. You'll note below that both die Hochschule and die Universität are used to refer to the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.

 

Die Idee dazu hatte Professor Meyer von der Evangelischen Fachhochschule Darmstadt.

Professor Meyer had the idea for it; he's from the Evangelical Technical College of Darmstadt.

Captions 10-11, Bespielbare Stadt: Griesheim

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Ich war jetzt grad zuletzt an der Hochschule in Karlsruhe.

I was just recently at the university in Karlsruhe.

Caption 39, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Was studierst du hier an der universität in Karlsruhe?

What do you study here at the university in Karlsruhe?

Caption 8, Geoökologie: Cettina interviewt Sarah

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch this video in its entirety to see if you can follow the use of these terms in the conversation. This website also provides a good overview of the education system in Germany. 

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German Verbs of Questioning

I've spoken German with native German speakers on a daily basis for many years, but I still think that some verbs related to the root verb fragen are confusing. The fact that they all deal with different types of "asking" just makes matters worse! Let's see if this lesson can help us all get a better overview of the verbs abfragen, anfragen, befragen, and erfragen.

 

Also gut. Dann werde ich dich abfragen, Sabine.

All right. Then I'll quiz you, Sabine.

Caption 10, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Rheinland-Pfalz

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Dann werde ich euch jetzt abfragen.

Then I'll ask you now.

Caption 4, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Baden-Württemberg

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The verb abfragen is used when you want to formally test or quiz somebody to find out how much they know about something. It is usually translated as "to ask," or "to quiz."

 

Bei Interesse einfach bei einem Outdoorfitness-Anbieter anfragen.

If you're interested, simply inquire at an outdoor fitness provider.

Caption 40, Neuer Fitness-Trend: Kinderwagen-Workout

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Die haben dann auch immer angefragt und wir haben oft denen Sachen hinterhergebracht.

They then always asked as well, and we often brought them things afterwards.

Captions 18-19, Die Klasse: Berlin '61

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The verb anfragen is the best choice of words if you are approaching somebody with a question or inquiry. It's usually translated as "to ask" or "to inquire." 

 

Ich mein, wir sollten sie mal intensiver befragen.

I mean, we should question her more intensively.

Caption 70, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Der Kollege Johannes Lemke hat ihn noch einmal befragt nach der spielentscheidenden Szene.

Colleague Johannes Lemke interviewed him again after the match-winning scene.

Caption 35, Fußball: U21-Nationalmannschaft

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The verb befragen, on the other hand, usually means to get specific information from somebody in a more formal sense, for example in a survey, or even a police interview. It is often translated as "to question" or "to interrogate," or even—as in the above example—"to interview." 

 

Sie können dort sehr gerne die Ankünfte beziehungsweise Ausgänge zu den ankommenden Flügen erfragen.

There you can easily inquire about arrivals or exits for arriving flights.

Captions 24-25, Flugreisen: Was mache ich, wenn...

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... so dass wir alle nötigen Infos vorab schon einmal erfragen und die Drehtermine ausmachen können.

... so that we can request all the necessary information in advance and set up the dates for the shoot.

Captions 11-12, Rund um den Airport: Hinter den Kulissen

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Lastly, the verb erfragen means to get information by asking questions, for instance for an address, directions, the time of day, or an opinion. 

 

As you can see, there seems to be a lot of overlap in the meaning of these words, but if you can remember the following, you'll usually find the right word for the context: 

 

USE                 IF YOU
abfragen          want to find out how much someone knows about something (quizzing)

anfragen           are approaching somebody with a question (inquiring)

befragen           want specific information from somebody (questioning, interrogating)

 erfragen           want to get information by asking questions (requesting).

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and find more examples of the above verbs. See if you can guess the meaning of some other verbs that use the root word fragen, such as ausfragen, durchfragen, gegenfragen, nachfragen, and weiterfragen. You can also look up the German definitions of the words at Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache or on the Duden website.

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Accepting, confirming, declining, and rejecting

In German, there are many ways to accept or reject an offer or a situation, or talk about doing so. First, there is die Zusage and die Absage, and the verb forms zusagen and absagen. The noun die Zusage is essentially a positive answer, a confirmation (another noun is die Bestätigung), or can even refer to an acceptance letter. You may remember that absagen often means "to cancel" rather than "to reject" or "to decline." Have a look at the Yabla examples below:

 

Ich muss den Leuten, mit denen ich gesprochen habe, noch heute eine Zusage geben, sonst ist das Angebot weg.

I have to give the people I've spoken with a positive answer today or the offer is gone.

Captions 27-28, Nicos Weg: Ein Praktikum beim Film

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Aber ich kann Ihnen heute noch nicht zusagen.

But I can't give you a confirmation today.

Caption 34, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

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Es ist bestimmt eine Zusage.

It's probably an acceptance letter.

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Das hört sich gut an!

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... die radikale Absage an Putin, an die Gasimporte.

... the radical rejection of Putin, of the gas imports.

Caption 3, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen: Zu Besuch in einem Wiener Passivhaus

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Am liebsten würd ich ihn absagen.

I'd actually prefer to cancel it.

Caption 10, Nicos Weg: Freizeitstress

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Ich will wissen, warum du unser Treffen abgesagt hast.

I want to know why you canceled our meeting.

Caption 15, Nicos Weg: Der Umzug

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Among the other verbs that can be used in the context of accepting something are annehmen and hinnehmen. The verb akzeptieren can be used in the sense of "to come to terms with something" in German, and hinnehmen may have a negative connotation as well.

 

Die Partner sollten dieses Angebot annehmen und die Chance nutzen...

The partners should accept this offer and use the opportunity...

Caption 63, Angela Merkel: Gemeinsame Pressekonferenz mit Barack Obama

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Wir würden einen kleinen Verlust hinnehmen.

We would accept a small loss.

Caption 43, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Und das ist schwierig zu akzeptieren, dass andre auch vom Grundgesetz profitieren.

And it's difficult to accept that others also benefit from the constitution.

Caption 4, Böhmermann: Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

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There are then the verbs ablehnen, zurückweisen, and verweigern for expressing rejection or refusal, or declining an offer.

 

Früher bedeutete dies, dass man einen Heiratsantrag abgelehnt hat.

It used to mean that you rejected a marriage proposal.

Caption 18, Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter

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Darf die Müllabfuhr wegen falscher Mülltrennung den Abtransport verweigern?

Is the garbage collection service allowed to refuse transport due to incorrect trash separation?

Caption 75, Richter Alexander Hold Wer hat recht bei falscher Mülltrennung?

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Further Learning
You will find many examples of these words in use on Yabla German, so do a quick search to get a better understanding of how they are implemented in sentences. Most of the verbs mentioned above have a related noun (like die Hinnahme and die Ablehnung), so you can also look these up and memorize their articles. 

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Verbs with laufen

There are many German verbs that consist of a rather common or basic verb combined with a prefix. Their meaning may then be somewhat or completely different from the verb they contain. You may have read our lessons about verbs related to gehen and verbs with holen. We also have overviews for sprechen and kaufenToday, let's have a look at some verbs that stem from the verb laufen

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By itself, the verb laufen is sometimes synonymous with the translation of gehen as "to walk." However, it also means "to run," and can be used to describe a human or animal running, but also a machine that is "running." It is often used to describe something that is in progress, happening, in operation, or proceeding. Take a look at how the following sentences are translated:

 

Wir laufen durch die Straßen.

We walk through the streets.

Caption 39, Christina Stürmer: Wir leben den Moment

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Ja, und wie läuft's bei dir so in der Wache? Nein, sag bloß!

Yes, and how is it going with you at the station? No way!

Caption 46, Großstadtrevier: Von Monstern und Mördern

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Und das sind die drei Kriterien, wenn die gut laufen, dann läuft auch der Blindenfußball gut.

And these are the three criteria, if they go well, then blind football also goes well.

Caption 22, Blindenfußball Treffen nach Ton

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Die meisten kennen mich wahrscheinlich aus der Sendung „Der Bachelor“, die sehr erfolgreich auf RTL läuft.

Most of you probably know me from the series "Der Bachelor," which is having a very successful run on RTL.

Captions 11-12, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Sorry, das läuft auf meinem alten Laptop nicht. Da müssen wir zu dir.

Sorry, this won't run on my old laptop. We'll have to go to your place.

Caption 35, Die Pfefferkörner: Gerüchteküche

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And now for some related verbs. Let's begin with ablaufen, which can mean "to go," "to proceed," "to lapse," or "to expire." 

 

Bei manchen Leuten läuft's sogar komplett ohne Symptome ab.

For some people, it even runs its course completely without symptoms.

Caption 23, Coronavirus: Schutzmasken zum Selbermachen

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Jetzt werde ich euch erzählen, wie ein Tag in meinem Leben abläuft.

Now I will tell you how a day in my life goes.

Caption 16, Jenny erklärt: Zeitintervalle

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Deine Zeit ist gleich abgelaufen.

Your time will be up soon.

Caption 21, Küss mich, Frosch: Für immer Frosch?

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Among its many meanings, verb auslaufen can mean "to spill" or "to leak," but also "to run out" or "to peter out."

 

Die Ostalgie-Welle ist auch langsam ausgelaufen.

The wave of "Ostalgie" has also slowly petered out.

Caption 2, Der Trabi: Das Kultauto aus dem Osten

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Then there are the verbs verlaufen and sich verlaufen. As you can see, these have very different meanings!

 

Bis jetzt ist alles wirklich gut verlaufen.

Up until now, everything has really gone well.

Caption 7, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Du sagst, wir haben uns nie verlaufen.

You say we've never gotten lost.

Caption 21, Philipp Dittberner: Das ist dein Leben

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Further Learning
You can find many other verbs in this list, some of which are more common than others. You will find many of these on Yabla German as well. Try to make your own examples with the following verbs: davonlaufen, fortlaufen, entlaufen, and herumlaufen.

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Fractions and Decimals

You know how to count in German, and perhaps you've read our lesson on large numbers. But what about fractions and numbers with decimals? Let's first have a look at some fractions, called die Brüche or die Bruchzahlen in German. If you know how to tell time in German, some of these will be familiar.

 

Ein Pfund, das sind fünfhundert Gramm, also ein halbes Kilo.

A pound, that's five hundred grams, so half a kilo.

Caption 24, Nicos Weg: Mengen und Preise

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Etwa auf der Hälfte des deutschen Autobahnnetzes gilt kein allgemeines Tempolimit.

There is no general speed limit on about half of the German autobahn network.

Caption 3, AutoMotoTV: Schnell fahren auf der Autobahn

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In the two examples above, we can see that halb means "half" in German, and die Hälfte is correct in certain contexts as well. 

 

Außerdem können sich laut einer Umfrage über zwei Drittel der Deutschen, also die Mehrheit, vorstellen, durch ehrenamtliche Hilfe Flüchtlinge zu unterstützen.

In addition, according to a survey, over two-thirds of all Germans, that is, the majority, could imagine supporting refugees through voluntary aid.

Captions 28-29, Flüchtlingskrise: 10 Vorurteile, die nicht stimmen

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Drei Viertel aller großen Metropolen der Erde mit Einwohnerzahlen über zehn Millionen befinden sich in Küstengebieten.

Three-quarters of all major metropolises on Earth with populations of over ten million are located in coastal areas.

Captions 63-64, Evolution: Die Küsten

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After ein Drittel ("one-third") and ein Viertel ("one-fourth"), there is ein Fünftel, ein Sechstel, ein Siebtel, ein Achtel, ein Neuntel, ein Zehntel... continuing up to ein Hunderstel and ein Tausendstel.

 

In anderthalb Jahren macht er seine Prüfung und ist dann Elektroniker.

In one and a half years, he'll take his test and then he'll be an electronics technician.

Caption 61, Deutsche Welle: Lieber Ausbildung als Studium

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Hier gilt ein Drohnenflugverbot im Umkreis von eineinhalb Kilometern zum Flughafen.

A drone flight ban within a radius of one and a half kilometers from the airport applies here.

Caption 18, Rhein-Main-TV Strengere Regeln: Lohnt sich eine Drohne überhaupt noch?

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As you can see, there are two ways to express "one and a half" in German. Numbers containing "one half" are always written as a single word: dreieinhalb is "three and a half." Now consider the following numbers and note what is capitalized: ein drei Viertel (one and three-quarters), zwei vier Fünftel (two and four-fifths), fünf sieben Achtel (five and seven-eighths). 

When it comes to numbers with decimals (die Dezimalbrüche), you may have noticed that Germans use a comma instead of a decimal point. So in English, we say "one point five" (written 1.5), while in German you would say eins Komma zwei (written 1,5). However, there are instances in both languages where the comma or decimal point won't be expressed verbally. Take a look:

 

In der Stadt leben rund drei Komma sieben Millionen Menschen.

Around three point seven million people live in the city.

Caption 11, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Berlin

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Achtunddreißig Komma sechs, das ist leichtes Fieber.

Thirty-eight point six, that's a slight fever.

Caption 25, Mein Weg nach Deutschland: Beim Arzt

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Er ist circa eins fünfzig groß, blonde, halblange Haare.

He's about one fifty tall [one hundred and fifty centimeters], blonde, medium-length hair.

Caption 53, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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Further Learning
You can watch this video on Yabla German for a good overview. When you see a statistic that includes a decimal point in the news or elsewhere, see if you can quickly translate the number mentioned into German!

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Separable verbs starting with ein-

As defined in Wikipedia, a separable verb is a verb that is composed of a core verb and a separable particle. In some sentence positions, the core verb and the particle appear in one word, while in others the core verb and the particle are separated.

 

The word ein in German can be the particle of a separable verb, or the indefinite article "a" or "an." It is sometimes difficult to see in a sentence which one it is. It will help you to distinguish ein- as a prefix particle of a separable verb if you learn some of the separable verbs starting with ein-.

 

Many German verbs start with the particle ein. This is because in English, you may "drill into a wall," and "into" is a preposition. But in German, the "into" is  part of the verb: "to drill" is bohren, but "to drill into" is einbohren. Thus there are hundreds of verbs starting with ein-, but let's concentrate today on the more common ones. The present tense is shown additionally for examples that aren't in their "separated" form.

 

Er atmete tief ein und spielte eine einzige Note.

He took a deep breath and played a single note.

Caption 38, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Der Rattenfänger von Hameln

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Ne, wenn man hier Magnete einbauen würde...

Right, if you were to install magnets here...

Caption 69, Das 1. Newtonsche Gesetz erklärt am Beispiel des Dodomobils - Part 1

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Present tense: Man baut die Magnete ein.

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Sollen wir nächste Woche ein Meeting einberufen?

Should we call a meeting for next week?

Caption 10, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Present tense: Wir berufen ein Meeting ein.

 

Du bildest dir doch wohl nicht ein, dass du da hingehst?

Surely you don't actually imagine that you're going there!

Caption 21, Märchenstunde: Das Aschenputtel

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Der zeigt, dass das Eis elastisch ist und nicht plötzlich einbrechen kann.

It shows that the ice is elastic and can't suddenly collapse.

Captions 43-44, Unterwegs mit Cettina: Schlittschuhlaufen

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Present tense: Das Eis bricht nicht plötzlich ein.

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and read these three lessons about separable verbs in German. Then see if you can find some Yabla videos that use the following verbs with the ein- particle: einarbeiten, einbilden, einchecken, einkaufen, einkommen, einladen, einloggen, einpacken, einreisen, einschlafen, einstellen, einstufen, eintippen, einwandern, einzahlen.

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Words with Mut and mutig

You may know one or both of the words in the title above: der Mut means "the courage" and mutig means "courageous" or "brave." However, there are many nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that contain these words as roots, some of which have nothing to do with courage. Let's have a look.

As you can see, nouns ending in -mut may refer to a mood, emotional state, or feeling:

 

Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall.

Pride comes before the fall. 

Caption 24, Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter

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Was bei vielen Autofahrern für Freude sorgt, stiftet Unmut bei den Grünen.

What causes happiness among many drivers, causes discontent among the Greens [Green Party].

Caption 19, Deutsche Autobahnen: Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen

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Die Queen residierte hier bereits und Michael Jackson hielt im Übermut sein Baby aus einem Hotelfenster.

The Queen resided here already and Michael Jackson held his baby boisterously out of a hotel window.

Captions 24-25, Berlin: Hotel Adlon feiert 15 Jahre Neueröffnung

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...in spektakulärer Anmut auf die Wasseroberfläche zu klatschen.

...to smack against the surface of the water with spectacular grace.

Caption 8, Evolution: Meeresbewohner

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Notice above that der Hochmut, der Übermut, and der Unmut are masculine, while die Anmut is feminine. You can also look up der Wagemut, der Missmutdie Sanftmut, and die Schwermut. For der Demut, you may more often see the related adjective (note the umlaut!):

 

Es war jedenfalls demütigend genug.

In any case, it was humiliating enough.

Caption 20, Lerchenberg: Das Wunder

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It's additionally good to know the adjectives ermutigend and entmutigend. These respectively mean "encouraging" and "discouraging."

When it comes to verbs, you may have seen zumuten, vermuten, and anmuten. These verbs each have a number of possible meanings.

 

Man vermutet, hier ist irgendwas in der Lüftung vom Willy-Brandt-Haus.

One suspects there is something in the ventilation here in the Willy-Brandt-Haus.

Caption 75, heute-show: Die männliche Merkel hat Erinnerungslücken

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Traditionen sind was Schönes und können für Nichteingeweihte mitunter ganz schön skurril anmuten.

Traditions are something nice and can occasionally appear quite bizarre to the outsider.

Captions 1-2, Barfuß unter Schafen: Schäferwettrennen

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Petrus muss Dortmund-Fan sein, anders ist kaum zu erklären, was der Himmel dem FC Bayern und seinen Fans zugemutet hat.

Saint Peter must be a Dortmund fan, there's almost no other explanation for what the heavens had in store for FC Bayern and its fans.

Captions 1-2, FC Bayern München: Triple-Feier im Dauerregen

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Further Learning
Look up these words using your favorite online dictionary or on Yabla German to understand the full extent of their meanings. Keep in mind that there are other nouns ending in -mut that are unrelated to emotional states, such as das Mammut or der Wermut.

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Insects in German, Part II

Let's continue on from the first lesson about different insect names in German, starting with the sometimes rather annoying fly: 

 

In dem Moment ist mir eine Fliege ins Ohr geflogen.

At that moment, a fly flew into my ear.

Caption 57, 48 h in Innsbruck: Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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There are also a number of German idioms and slang usages that use the noun die Fliege:

 

Damit schlägt sie zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe.

With that she hits two flies with one swatter.

Caption 7, Christina Stürmer: ist reif fürs Museum

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Hau ab! Mach die Fliege, sonst gibt's Ärger.

Get lost! Do the fly, or there'll be trouble.

Caption 39, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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The two translations above are literal, of course. Zwei fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen has the English equivalent "to kill two birds with one stone." And die Fliege machen means to get away quickly, just as flies do. The common housefly is called die Stubenfliege, by the way.

 

Another potentially annoying insect is die Motte:

 

Kleine braune Motten mit scharfen Zähnen flogen aus der Büchse.

Little brown moths with sharp teeth flew out of the box.

Caption 54, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Die Büchse der Pandora

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Die Motten flogen aus dem Fenster und stachen jeden, der ihnen in die Quere kam.

The moths flew out the window and stung everyone who crossed their path.

Captions 63-64, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Die Büchse der Pandora

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Fliegen Motten in das Licht, genau wie du und ich.

Moths fly into the light, just like you and I.

Caption 2, Nena: Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann

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Even though they're technically arachnids, not insects, let's include die Spinne

 

Alligatoren, Schlangen, Spinnen, Skorpione.

Alligators, snakes, spiders, scorpions.

Caption 3, Summer Cheergirl: Fotoshooting mit lebendigen Spinnen

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And then there are the amazing traps that spiders lay and live upon:

 

Das sieht aus wie ein Spinnennetz.

That looks like a spider web.

Caption 55, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

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As well as an idiomatic expression that means "how horrible":

 

Aber einem Menschen seine Krankheit vorzuwerfen: Pfui Spinne!

But criticizing a person for his illness: ugh, spider!

Caption 54, heute-show: Die männliche Merkel hat Erinnerungslücken

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And here's another idiomatic expression using die Laus (plural: die Läuse), which is asking here if you are upset about something:

 

Ist Ihnen schon wieder eine Laus über die Leber gelaufen?

Did a louse walk over your liver again?

Caption 13, Weihnachtsmann gesucht: Der echte Weihnachtsmann

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Further Learning
See if you can guess the meanings of the following German insect words, and then make them plural in German and check if you were correct: die Mücke (or die Stechmücke); die Kakerlake; die Libelle; and lastly an easy one: der Grashüpfer. Then go to German Yabla and watch some other videos about insects.

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Verbs with holen

The verb holen itself most often means "to get" in the sense of "to retrieve" rather than "to receive." As you see below, there are also other uses:

 

Hast du die Butter für mich geholt?

Did you get the butter for me?

Caption 36, Deutsch mit Eylin: Pronomen

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An die Wasseroberfläche kommen sie nur, um Luft zu holen.

They only come to the water's surface to draw breath.

Caption 17, Evolution: Meeresbewohner

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However, holen is also the root of many other verbs, some of which are separable and some of which are inseparable. Let's take a look at those that are most commonly used: 

 

Non-separable verbs: (sich) erholen ("to recover," "to rest"), überholen ("to overtake," "to pass"), wiederholen ("to repeat")

 

Heute haben sich die weltweiten Bestände der Buckelwale weitestgehend erholt.

Today, the global populations of humpback whales have largely recovered.

Caption 50, Evolution: Meeresbewohner

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Ihr seid erst gleich schnell gefahren, aber dann hat es dich überholt?

You first drove at the same speed, but then it passed you?

Captions 17-18, Konjugation: Das Verb „fahren“

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Kannst du das bitte noch einmal wiederholen?

Can you please repeat that once again?

Caption 19, Nicos Weg: Mengen und Preise

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Separable verbs: abholen ("to pick up"), nachholen ("to make up"), einholen ("to catch up to")

 

Vielleicht ist es besser, wenn wir sie am Bahnhof abholen?

Maybe it's better if we pick her up at the train station?

Caption 49, Die Wohngemeinschaft: Besuch

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Ein Mann möchte mit dreißig Jahren in Deutschland sein Abitur nachholen.

A man wants to make up his high school diploma in Germany at the age of thirty.

Caption 34, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Ich hab gedacht, ich hab sie abgehängt Aber sie holt mich immer wieder ein.

I thought I'd left it behind But it keeps catching up with me.

Captions 1-2, AnnenMayKantereit: Ozean

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Further Learning
Look up the additional verbs aufholenausholen, rausholenzurückholen, and dazuholen using a dictionary, then search for examples on Yabla German.

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Insects in German, Part I

Now that all the insects have come out to enjoy the nice summer weather, it seems like a good time to talk about different kinds of bug names in German. Most insect names in German are feminine with the definite article die in the nominative case, end in -e, and are made plural by adding an -n to the end of the word. This being German, there are some exceptions, of course, so keep your eyes open for those!

 

Katzen sind meistens faul, Ameisen am liebsten fleißig.

Cats are mostly lazy, ants prefer to be diligent.

Captions 38-39, Deutsch mit Eylin: Adjektive und ihre Gegenteile

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An ant (singular die Ameise) is also a German slang word for a forklift, as you can see in this video.That makes sense if you think about how ants are able to carry objects much larger and heavier than they are, just like a forklift can.

 

Bienen, Wespen und Hummeln verschwinden.

Bees, wasps, and bumblebees are disappearing.

Caption 2, Umwelt und Natur: Wo sind all die Bienen hin?

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Bees (singular die Biene, plural die Bienen), wasps (singular die Wespe, plural die Wespen), and bumblebees (singular die Hummel, plural die Hummeln) may buzz in English, but in German, Biene, Wespe und Hummeln summen

 

Wie lautet der Name Ihres ersten Autos? -VW Käfer.

What is the model of your first car? -VW Beetle

Captions 27-28, Kein Kredit: im Land der Klone 

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The old Volkswagen Beetle (or Bug) was also called der Käfer (plural die Käfer) in Germany. Of course, Käfer also refers the insect "beetle" in German. The ladybug—in British English called the ladybird—is called der Marienkäfer in German. It seems funny that ladybugs are called beetles in German, because even though ladybugs are indeed beetles, they always seemed very nice compared to big black beetles or other kinds of beetles with big pincers! 

 

Das Wort „Tausendfüßler“ kommt aus dem Lateinischen und bedeutet „tausend Füße“, aber die meisten Beine, die jemals bei einem Tausendfüßler gefunden wurden, waren 750.
The word "millipede" comes from the Latin and means "thousand feet," but the most legs ever found on a millipede was 750.
 

 

Das Wort „Hundertfüßler“ kommt aus dem Lateinischen und bedeutet „hundert Füße“, und obwohl er Hunderte von Beinen haben kann, ist die genaue Anzahl immer eine ungerade Zahl.
The word "centipede" comes from the Latin and means "hundred feet," and though it can have hundreds of legs, the exact number is always an odd number.

 

Note that der Hundertfüßler and der Tausendfüßler are common names for these insects, but the technical term for them has no L in the word: der Hundertfüßer and der Tausendfüßer. Either way, they’re pretty creepy!

 

Further Learning
Look for more examples of die Ameise, die Biene, der Käfer, and der Schmetterling on German Yabla to see the words used in different contexts. You can also watch the video Umwelt und Natur: Wo sind all die Bienen hin? and learn more about bees and the environment! 

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Easily Confused Words

Words that look and sound similar can be difficult when learning a new language, especially if they also have a similar meaning! Today we'll offer some clarification using examples found on Yabla German

 

1. die Macke = the defect, der Mangel = the deficiency, the lack
What makes these two especially confusing is that the adjective mangelhaft means "defective," and like die Macke can be used, for example, to describe a broken product. Note below that the noun der Mangel, which refers instead to a lack of something, is used with the preposition an.

 

...oder die Platte eine Macke oder so? Ich meine, das war ja sehr alt, das Zeug,

...or the record has a defect or something? I mean, it was indeed very old, that thing,

Caption 68, RT Radiotonteam: Erinnerungen retten

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...insofern haben die ernstlich nie ernsthaften Mangel an Nahrung

...to this extent, they never seriously have a dire lack of nourishment

Caption 27, Freilebende Papageien: Überwintern in Wiesbaden

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2. die Löcher = the holes / die Lücke = the gap
This can be a bit tricky, but die Lücke describes a gap in one's teeth or a gap between the platform and the train, whereas das Loch, and therefore die Löcher, is a hole that you dig, drill, or cut out. 

 

Dann zeichnest du zwei Löcher ein, schneidest die aus...

Then you draw two holes, cut them out...

Caption 113, Coronavirus: Schutzmasken zum Selbermachen

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Und mit jedem Baum schließt du eine Lücke, die bereits in den Regenwald gerissen wurde.

And with every tree you're closing a hole that's already been torn in the rain forest.

Caption 52, OroVerde - Regenwald schützen: CO2, Regenwald und Klimaschutz

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3. übrig = left over, remaining / üblich = common, usual, typical
The adjectives übrig and üblich have quite different meanings, but still can be a bit difficult to keep straight. 

 

Ich hab die jetzt einfach gemischt, weil ich von den beiden übrig hatte.

I've now simply mixed them, because I had some of both left over.

Caption 18, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Apfelkuchen mit Marzipan und Mandelsplittern

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Oh nee, wenn der so weitermacht, haben wir bald gar nichts mehr übrig für den Flohmarkt!

Oh no, if he keeps this up, we'll soon have nothing left for the flea market at all!

Captions 83-84, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Heute ist dies allerdings nicht mehr üblich.

Today, however, this is no longer common.

Caption 43, Jenny zeigt uns: die Uhr

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Sie liefen wie üblich und es war auch das übliche norddeutsche Wetter.

They walked as usual and it was also the usual North German weather.

Caption 7, Piggeldy und Frederick: Wanderdüne

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In case you are wondering about the word übel, we have a whole other newsletter you can look at!

 

Further Learning
You can find more examples of these words used by native speakers on German Yabla, or make your own sentence with each one.

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raten or beraten?

The German verbs raten and beraten can both mean "to advise," or "to give advice," but to correctly choose the right word, you need to learn the different ways they are used. Let's take a look at some different ways that raten and beraten are used in the sense of advising, so we can better understand which verb is appropriate to specific situations. Note that raten can also mean "to guess," and beraten can also mean "to discuss," but these are not definitions we're concerned with here.

 

The verb raten, in its meaning "to advise" or "to recommend," generally has a direct object stating what that advice is: 

 

Und ich kann unseren britischen Freunden nur raten, sich hier auch nichts vorzumachen.

And I can only advise our British friends not to have any misconceptions.

Caption 15, Brexit-Votum: Merkel warnt vor Spaltung Europas

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Alle meine Freunde raten Dich mir aus dem Kopf zu schlagen.

All of my friends advise me To put you out of my mind.

Captions 23-24, SDP feat. Adel Tawil. Ich will nur, dass du weißt

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Experten raten im Gegensatz zum Gesetzgeber zu mindestens vier Millimeter.

In contrast to legislators, experts advise at least four millimeters.

Caption 25, Winterreifen: Wenn der erste Schnee naht

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Note that with the verb raten, if the person who is being given the advice is stated, it is always in the dative case. The advice itself thus stated as the direct object, and the person to whom it is directed is the indirect object. 

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The verb beraten, on the other hand, has the person being advised as the direct object in the accusative case, and generally the actual advice is not mentioned in the same sentence. Note too that beraten can often be alternately translated as "to receive advice" (to be advised by) or "to give advice" (to advise).

 

Ein Bankkaufmann muss Kunden beraten.

A banker has to advise clients.

Caption 10, Nicos Weg: Mein Beruf

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Alternately: A banker has to give advice to clients.

 

Der Apotheker oder die Apothekerinnen beraten die Kunden.

The pharmacist or the pharmacists advise the customers.

Caption 21, Eva erklärt: Gesundheit

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Alternately: The pharmacist or the pharmacists give advice to the customers.

 

Suchen Sie dann den nächsten Schalter Ihrer Fluggesellschaft auf und lassen sich vor Ort beraten.

Search then for the nearest ticket counter of your airline and let them advise you on the spot.

Captions 7-8, Flugreisen Was mache ich, wenn...

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Alternately: ...let them give you advice on the spot. Note that the form in this case is sich beraten lassen.

 

To conclude, you should use raten if you want to specifically advise something, but you should use sich beraten lassen if you are suggesting somebody gets advice, and jemanden beraten if you are suggesting somebody gives advice

 

Ich rate dir den Arzt zu besuchen.
I advise you to visit the doctor.

 

Ich rate dir dich vom Arzt beraten zu lassen
I advise you to get advice from your doctor. 

 

Der Arzt hat mich beraten.
The doctor advised me.
Or: The doctor gave me advice.

 

We could even translate the next-to-last sentence as "I advise you to be advised by your doctor," but it's a bit clumsy, isn't it?

 

Further Learning
Go to German Yabla and find other examples of raten and beraten to see them used in a real world context. You can also compare raten and beraten to the similarly-used verb empfehlen.

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The Verb lösen and its Prefix Versions

Even without a prefix, the verb lösen has quite a few different meanings. Compare the following sentences:

 

Schon geringste Bewegungen lösen Sediment von den Decken.

Even the slightest movements loosen sediment from the ceilings.

Caption 18, Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten

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Ich bin froh, dass die beiden einen Weg gefunden haben, ihre Probleme zu lösen.

I'm glad they found a way to solve their problems.

Caption 54, Die Wohngemeinschaft: Probleme

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...sodass ich mich von allem anderen lösen kann.

...so that I can free myself from everything else.

Caption 48, Sons of Sounds: Open-Air in Karlsruhe

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Also, wir lösen die Bremse, geben Gas, der Schubpropeller schiebt uns.

So, we release the brake, give it gas, the thrust propeller pushes us.

Caption 44, Ultraleicht-Flieger: Der Gyrocopter

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Now let's take a look at the various prefix versions, starting with auslösen, which can mean "to trigger," "to spark," or "to provoke."

 

Eine wenig schmeichelhafte Stern-Titelstory über Bushido löste Debatten über kriminelle Clans aus.

A hardly flattering Stern cover story about Bushido sparked debates about criminal clans.

Captions 17-18, Jahresrückblick 2013: Deutsche Promis

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Wir haben die erste Stufe bereits ausgelöst.

We have already initiated the first level.

Caption 44, Die Stunde der Offiziere: Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944

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The verb auflösen, on the other hand, can mean "to dissolve," "to dissipate," "to disappear," or "to disperse."

 

Die muss aufgelöst werden im bisschen lauwarmen Wasser.

It has to be dissolved in a bit of lukewarm water.

Caption 16, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bayern

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Matteo kann sich auch nich' in Luft auflösen.

Matteo can't just disappear into thin air.

Caption 14, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

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The verb ablösen can mean "to detach," but also "to relieve," as in taking over from someone when doing shift work. In the following sentence, however, this is actually better translated as "we took turns."

 

Hier für das Wallnau-Projekt haben wir uns immer abgelöst mit'm Filmen.

For the Wallnau project here, we always took turns filming.

Caption 26, Die Insel Fehmarn: Wasservogelreservat Wallnau

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Lastly, the non-separable verb erlösen means "to release," "to redeem," or "to free."

 

Und dann kamst du und hast mich erlöst, mein Engel.

And then you came and released me, my angel.

Caption 1, Küss mich, Frosch Die Zeiten haben sich geändert - Part 2

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Further Learning
You will find many examples with lösen, auslösen, auflösen, ablösen, and erlösen on Yabla. Here is a longer list of related verbs that you can learn as well.

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Two different plurals for das Wort

The German word for "word" is das Wort, as you surely already know. But had you noticed that there are two different plurals for it: die Worte and die Wörter? It's hard to know which is correct without understanding the distinction in meaning between the two possibilities. Let's take a look at some examples, starting with die Worte

 

Worte sind jetzt fehl am Platz...

Words now are out of place...

Caption 26, Florian Bronk: Du und ich

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Und Worte können das nicht ändern, nein.

And words cannot change that, no.

Caption 22, Luxuslärm: Einmal im Leben

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So, liebe Anja, vielen, vielen Dank für deine netten Worte.

So, dear Anja, thanks very, very much for your kind words.

Caption 62, Anja Polzer; Interview

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Flüchtlinge können bei ihrer Ankunft oft nur wenige Worte oder gar kein Deutsch.

Refugees can, upon their arrival, often speak only a few words of German or none at all.

Caption 3, Flüchtlingskrise: Deutschkurse für Flüchtlinge

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And moving on to die Wörter

 

Kennt ihr diese kleinen Wörter?

Do you know these little words?

Caption 4, Deutsch mit Eylin: Pronomen

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Nun kennt ihr also die Wörter für die wichtigsten Farben.

So now you know the words for the most important colors.

Caption 40, Eva erklärt: Farben

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Hierfür werden dir einige Wörter vorgeschlagen.

For this, several words will be suggested to you.

Caption 40, German Intro: Cettina

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Hier, ein Notizbuch für alle neuen Wörter auf Deutsch.

Here, a notebook for all of the new German words.

Caption 14, Nicos Weg: Wo ist der Bahnhof?

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As you may have noticed above, die Wörter is usually used in a context of learning German and relating to a specific word—to the words themselves as such: Fremdwörter, Lieblingswörter, Modewörter, Passwörter, and Reimwörter are some compound word examples.

 

Die Worte, on the other hand, is talking about the context of words in terms of quotations, ways of speaking, or entire topics: Bibleworte, Ehrenworte, Grußworte, Nachworte, and Zauberworte, for instance.

 

A few words even allow for both types of plurals. For instance, if you are making a list of keywords for a website, you'd use Stichwörter. But if you are talking generally about keywords in the more abstract sense of concepts or guiding principles, you'd use Stichworte

 

Further Learning
Try and guess the meaning of the compound words listed above that use das Wort as their root, and then check your dictionary to see if you got it right. You can then go to German Yabla and find other examples of the words discussed above to see them used in a real world context.

 

If you're feeling extra brave, you can read the (as always) brilliant article by Der Spiegel author Bastian Sick about Worte vs. Wörter. As he so cleverly puts it: Wörter bestehen aus Buchstaben, Worte aus Gedanken.

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Talking about the Five Senses in German

 

Ich würde mich hauptsächlich erst mal auf meine Sensorik, also auf mein Auge, auf meinen Sehsinn, auf meinen Tastsinn und auch wieder auf meinen Geruchssinn verlassen.

I would rely mainly first on my senses, that is, on my eye, on my sense of sight, on my sense of touch and, also again, rely on my sense of smell.

Captions 6-9, Kochhaus Berlin: Frische Zutaten erkennen

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In the Yabla example above, a chef discusses how he uses his senses when picking out produce. He first mentions sight—der Sehsinn—which relates to the verb sehen and was covered in a previous newsletter.

 

Das kann man besonders gut hier sehen.

You can see that particularly well here.

Caption 22, Eva erklärt: Farben

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Der Tastsinn refers to touch. Here, there are three verbs you will regularly see: not only tasten, but also berühren and anfassen. Generally, anfassen refers to intentionally touching something in order to get a better sense of it, or possibly to hold onto it. The verb berühren could refer to barely touching something, or touching it carefully or accidentally. It can also refer to being emotionally moved or "touched" by something. The verb tasten often refers to touching with the intent of finding something, like when you feel around for something in a bag or purse. 

 

Sie können's auch mal anfassen. -Das sieht so echt aus, so... -Ja.

You can also touch it. -It looks so real, so... -Yes.

Caption 50, Karlsruher Stadtgeburtstag: die Majolika-Manufaktur

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Papa Wutz kann seine Zehen wirklich nicht berühren.

Papa Wutz really can't touch his toes.

Caption 35, Peppa Wutz: Sport

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The chef in our first example lastly mentions der Geruchssinn, the sense of smell. The related verb here is riechen, which can be used to refer to both the act of smelling something or the state of smelling (like something). 

 

Ich rieche daran, ob die wirklich auch nach einer Erdbeere riecht.

I smell it to see if it also really smells like a strawberry.

Caption 23, Kochhaus Berlin: Frische Zutaten erkennen

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Boah, das riecht schon sehr gut. 

Wow, that smells very good indeed. 

Caption 50, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Baden-Württemberg

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Der Geschmackssinn is not mentioned, as you generally don't try food before buying it unless invited to do so. You will often see not only schmecken, which is used to describe how something tastes, but also kosten, which refers to the act of trying food.

 

Das heißt, die Sachen schmecken ganz normal.

This means that the things taste quite normal.

Caption 37, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Aber die meisten Leute kommen her, um das leckere Essen zu kosten.

But most people come here to taste the delicious food.

Caption 11, Weihnachtsmärkte: mit Eva

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The chef also doesn't mention das Gehör—the sense of hearing. Luckily, we have a lesson all about listening that you can peruse, as well as one on unrelated verbs that contain the root hören

 

Hört man das? -Ja, ja, man hört es. 

Can you hear this? -Yes, yes, we can hear it.

Caption 41, Böhmermann: Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

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Further Learning
Practice describing what you can hear, see, smell, touch, and taste, and go to Yabla German to find other examples of the relevant verbs and nouns. 

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Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof!

For today's lesson topic, we'll discuss the different German ways of saying that you "have no idea" about something, or admitting you just don't know. The simplest way, of course, is to say ich weiß nicht, but let's look at some more interesting options, starting with one that you must already know:

 

Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie ich das der Person sage,

I have no idea how to tell the person

Caption 49, Deutsche Welle: Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen in Namibia

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Occasionally, you'll also hear ich habe keine blasse Ahnung, which translates as "I haven't the faintest idea."

 

...obwohl er keinen blassen Schimmer hatte, wer das sein sollte.

...although he ​​hadn't the faintest notion as to who that could be.

Caption 36, Märchen, Sagenhaft: Der gestiefelte Kater

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The literal translation of blasser Schimmer would be "pale shimmer" or "pale gleam," but it's a German idiom similar to the English expression "the faintest notion" or "the faintest clue."

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Der hat voll die Peilung.

He completely understands.

Caption 21, Filmtrailer: Free Birds

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The noun die Peilung means "bearings" or "soundings," as in "keeping your bearings" and not getting lost, but here it is being used in a figurative sense. Thus, if you negate the sentence above and say ich habe keine Peilung, it means that you don't understand.

 

Ihr Name ist Hase. Ihre Kreditkarte wird Ihnen per Post zugestellt.

Your name is Bunny. Your credit card will be delivered by mail.

Caption 22, Kein Kredit: im Land der Klone

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The above is a play on words in the video: a customer calls a bank asking for a credit card for her pet bunny, and the automated response is "Your name is Bunny." This has a double meaning, since the idiom Mein Name ist Hase is slang for "I don't know" or "I have no idea."

 

Also, ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.

Well, I don't understand anything.

Caption 27, Die Pfefferkörner: Gerüchteküche

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This phrase suggests a foreigner in Germany who only understands the German word for train station—which is one of the first words that a visitor to Germany learns. It is especially appropriate when you don't understand the details of a particular topic that somebody is discussing.

 

Further Learning
Go to German Yabla and find other examples of the phrases discussed above to get a better feel for the contexts in which they can be used. 

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A look at pronunciation, Part 1

When it comes to German pronunciation, Yabla has you covered. In the videos, you hear German spoken exclusively by native speakers, and have the ability to slow down their speech. Additionally, Yabla has videos that point out the rules and tackle particularly tricky aspects of pronunciation. This week, we'll look at one topic for beginners and one that's a bit more advanced. In the examples, vocabulary related to pronunciation is highlighted.

In the German alphabet, there are standard pronunciations for the vowels—actually more so than in English. However, it's very important to know the following rule:

 

Wenn in einem Wort ein doppelter Konsonant vorkommt, werden die Vokale, die davor stehen, kurz ausgesprochen.

When a double consonant occurs in a word, the vowels that precede it are pronounced short.

Captions 24-25, Deutsch mit Eylin: Alphabet, Betonung und Aussprache

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An example of this is provided here:

 

Zum Beispiel „Ebbe“: Das „E“ wird kurz ausgesprochen. „Eben“: Das „E“ wird lang ausgesprochen.

For example, "ebb": The "E" is pronounced short. “Even”: The “E” is pronounced long.

Captions 26-27, Deutsch mit Eylin: Alphabet, Betonung und Aussprache

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Another topic that can be tricky is the "ich" and "ach" sounds that are so common in German words. Luckily, the following two-part video explains the rules for when they are used and how to make each sound:

 

Wenn das „CH“ nach „ä", „ö", „ü", „e“, „i“, „l“, „n“ und „r“ erscheint, ist es der „Ich“-Laut.

If the "CH" appears after "ä," "ö," "ü," "e," "i," "l," "n," or "r," it's the "ich" sound.

Captions 33-34, Deutsch mit Eylin Aussprache: Ich- und Ach-Laute - Part 1

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It's worth noting that like the vowel "e," the vowel combinations "ei" und "eu" are also followed by the "ich" sound. 

 

Wenn das „CH“ auf „a“, „o“, „u“ und „au“ folgt, dann ist es der „Ach“-Laut.

If the "CH" follows "a," "o," "u," or "au," then it's the "ach" sound.

Captions 14-15, Deutsch mit Eylin Aussprache: Ich- und Ach-Laute - Part 2

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Listening to the following example is a good way to understand the difference: 

 

In dem Wort „Töchter“ hörst du den „Ich“-Laut. Im Wort „Tochter“ den „Ach“-Laut.

In the word “daughters," you hear the “ich” sound. In the word “daughter," the “ach” sound.

Captions 11-12, Deutsch mit Eylin Aussprache: Ich- und Ach-Laute - Part 1

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Further Learning
We will be back with more tips on pronunciation and references to helpful Yabla videos in the future. To learn more about the topics in this lesson, watch the three videos mentioned above on German Yabla in their entirety. The first video contains a guide to the entire alphabet. The other two look at many more examples of "ich" and "ach" sounds and explain how to make these sounds like a real native speaker!

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