Lezioni Tedesco


Subjects, Fields, and Disciplines

We know you're learning German, but what other subjects have you studied? Even if you're not currently in school, it's always interesting to talk with people about what they studied, and which subjects are still relevant to their lives today. 



First, we can start with the natural sciences and the applied sciences, respectively called die Naturwissenschaften and die angewandten Wissenschaften in German. 


Jan hat heute seine Physikarbeit zurückbekommen.

Jan got his physics paper back today. 

Caption 2, The Simple Physics: Schrödingers Katze

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Ja, das ist Mathematik oder Mathe.

Yes, this is mathematics or math.

Caption 8, Deutsch mit Eylin: Denk schnell!

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...das heißt wir gewinnen zusätzlich noch in dem Bereich Biologie auch eine gewisse Kapazität.

...which means we also gain a certain capacity in the field of biology.

Caption 40, Für Tierfreunde: Przewalski-Wildpferde

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Ich habe schnell gemerkt, dass mich Elektrotechnik sehr interessiert

I quickly noticed that electrical engineering really interests me.

Caption 10, Deutsche Welle: Lieber Ausbildung als Studium

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In these next captions, you will find some fields that relate to the social sciences, or die Sozialwissenschaften, and the world of business. 


Ja? Das wäre so eine Geschichte, ähm, mit interdisziplinärem Input aus der Sportwissenschaft, der Sportmedizin, der Psychologie und der Soziologie.

Yes? That would be something, um, with interdisciplinary input from sport sciences, sports medicine, psychology, and sociology.

Captions 65-66, TEDx: Lebenslange Fitness

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Ich hab schon in Spanien zwei Semester Jura studiert.

I already studied law in Spain for two semesters.

Caption 7, Nicos Weg: Am Bankautomaten

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Ich studiere Wirtschaft und arbeite in einem Café.

I study economics and work in a café.

Caption 27, Magie: Die Zaubershow

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The humanities, or die Geisteswissenschaften, include history, languages, literature, philosophy, and often the arts as well. For more on the arts, you can refer to two recent lessons, one which covered the visual arts, and the other on the performing arts


Kunstgeschichte wird ja von Kunsthistorikern gemacht. Da haben Sie recht, das waren immer Männer.

Art history is written by art historians. You are right about that, those were always men.

Caption 25, Malerei: Impressionistinnen

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Interessierst du dich für Literatur?

Are you interested in literature?

Caption 9, Nicos Weg: Das macht mir Spaß!

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Further Learning
Based on what you read above and have found on Yabla German, see if you can figure out the meanings of the following: die Politikwissenschaft, die Kulturwissenschaft, die Religionswissenschaft. Some disciplines, like die Philosophiedie Geografie, die Geologie, die Anthropologie, or die Medizin, have similar names to their English counterparts and may be easy to identify. And then, of course, some subjects have simply adopted the English term, such as das Marketing and das Management.

Opening and Closing

At one point, we wrote a lesson on the difference between eröffnen and öffnen. The verb öffnen is basically what it sounds like, while the verb eröffnen can also be used with non-physical entities that can be "opened," as well as something that is established or instituted.


When it comes to closing something, you probably know the word schließen. And just as aufmachen can substitute for öffnen, zumachen is another verb used to talk about closing something. 


Jetzt schließe ich meinen Koffer.

Now, I'll close my suitcase.

Caption 22, Christiane: fährt in den Urlaub

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Die Polizei sagt, er solle seinen Kofferraum aufmachen.

The police officer says he should open his trunk.

Caption 4, Sabine erzählt Witze: Die Pinguine

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Wenn keine Tür da ist, kann man sie auch nicht zumachen.

If there is no door, you can't close it either.

Caption 26, Piggeldy und Frederick: Haus

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That is all relatively simple, but when it comes to locking and unlocking something like a door, there are many more verbs you can use, such as aufschließen, zuschließen, verschließen, and abschließen. The first two are similar to aufmachen and zumachen, but would refer to something that is shut very securely or locked. You may know the verb abschließen as "to finish" or "to conclude," but it can also mean "to lock up." Interestingly, aufgeschlossen is also an adjective used to describe a person being "open" or "receptive."


Frankreich plant nachzuziehen und auch London will aufschließen.

France plans to follow suit and London wants to open [its financial markets] up as well.

Caption 41, Frankfurt wird Handelszentrum für die chinesische Währung Yuan

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Die Schachtel ist total sicher verschlossen.

The box is completely and securely shut.

Caption 58, The Simple Physics: Schrödingers Katze

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Also, die Leute sind sehr aufgeschlossen.

Well, the people are very receptive.

Caption 7, Eva Croissant: Interview

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It then gets even more specific, with verbs like entriegeln and entsperren, which could also mean "unlatch" or "unbolt." 


Maik gibt den vierstelligen Code ein und entriegelt das Schloss.

Maik enters the four-digit code and unlocks the lock.

Caption 28, Fußballspieler Maik Franz: "Call a Bike"

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Further Learning
You can find many examples of these verbs on Yabla German, which is the best way to understand the nuances in their meaning. You can also look up the list of possible translations for each verb with an online dictionary like leo.org to get a sense of this as well. While you're at it, consider aufsperren and zusperren, two additional verbs more often used in Southern Germany. Based on the other verbs you have learned, what do you think these mean?

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