19
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the meaning of “Deine Mudda”?

In germany, i hear a lot of jokes containing "deine Mudda". I don't understand them, what does this mean, and what kind of jokes are containing them?
19
votes
6answers
932 views

Wird Deutsch auch außerhalb von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz gesprochen?

Wird Deutsch auch außerhalb von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz gesprochen? Wobei ich natürlich nicht zwei Deutsche im Urlaub meine, sondern eine deutliche Verbreitung.
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Where can I find a parsable list of German words?

I'm looking for a list of German words in a digital format that is simple and easy to parse by a computer. It should encompass almost all words, but it doesn't matter whether inflections are included. ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Leerzeichen vor Einheiten?

Werden Mengen und Einheiten im Deutschen durch ein Leerzeichen getrennt? 12 m/s 1Å
19
votes
6answers
5k views

Explanation of the prefix “er”

I am finding verbs with the prefix "er" very hard to understand and remember the meaning of. I understand how it works with verbs like ertrinken and ersticken (partly because I used erstochen once to ...
19
votes
4answers
567 views

Recommended news and culture streaming radio stations (auf Deutsch)?

I am specifically thinking of an analogue to NPR in the USA, whose stations generally broadcast a wide variety of show formats (news, interviews, talk radio, & entertainment) covering range of ...
19
votes
2answers
439 views

Is/Was there a Basic German?

There is a whole Wikipedia written in Basic English. This leads to the question if something similar exists for German. Maybe a type of controlled language for teaching aboriginals a simplified German ...
19
votes
1answer
297 views

Is unwillkürlich the opposite of willkürlich?

My dictionary translates willkürlich as arbitrary and unwillkürlich as involuntary. I do not understand in what sense these concepts are opposites. Could someone give an example where this becomes ...
19
votes
5answers
538 views

Is there a difference in meaning or correctness between “anderthalb” and “eineinhalb”?

I remember years ago being taught that “one and a half” is anderthalb, and being corrected when I mistakenly used eineinhalb, but I’ve heard eineinhalb a few times recently on the radio. Any ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Names and total number of floors in buildings: what is correct?

I'm learning German and we've just looked into the topic "Wohnung", including numbering floors in a building. For example, let's imagine a house: ------------------------------- | dritter Stock, ...
19
votes
1answer
496 views

Wann und warum ging das Beugen von Namen verloren?

Beim Lesen von Literatur zu Goethe und Schiller fiel mir auf, dass deren Namen in manchen Texten mitgebeugt wurden, so wie wir das heute noch mit den Objekten machen. Der Lautwandlungsprozess zum ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

German analogue for “on the fly”

What is the best way to translate the phrase on the fly? For example in: I’ll try to capture the data on the fly. The only translation that I was able to find was spontan, but I’m not sure if ...
18
votes
5answers
10k views

Woher kommt die schweizerdeutsche Verstärkung “huren…”?

In der Schweiz hört man oft Wörter wie hurenkalt oder hurengut. Dabei verstärkt die Vorsilbe huren die Bedeutung des Adjektives. Ein Äquivalent wäre die Vorsilbe sau im Deutschen. Woher kommt diese ...
18
votes
7answers
549 views

Selbständig vs. selbstständig

Selbständig and selbstständig seem to share the same meaning. What are the differences in tone and usage?
18
votes
4answers
16k views

What are differences between “fließend” and “verhandlungssicher”?

Filling in a questionnaire, in different languages, after picking a language up, you get 4 options : Basiswissen fließend verhandlungssicher Muttersprache So, how are "fließend" and ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

What time does “Vormittag” start and end?

This morning I read someone's message (written at 7am) saying that he likes "den frühen Vormittag". In my opinion 7am in the morning isn't Vormittag yet. Is there a definition for the time span ...
18
votes
6answers
27k views

Was ist die korrekte Anrede in E-Mails an Personen, die man nicht persönlich kennt?

Was ist die korrekte Anrede in E-Mails an Personen, die man nicht persönlich kennt? Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren oder Sehr geehrte Frau / Herr ... Beides klingt sehr formell, Hallo ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

Suggestions on preparing for the Zertifikat Deutsch (internationally accepted certificate in German) exam

I will be taking the Zertifikat Deutsch exam soon, and was looking for tips and ideas on the preparation required. This exam is legally recognized, for instance for citizenship applications, and has ...
18
votes
6answers
26k views

Difference between “weil” and “denn”

Both mean because. I know that denn does not change the sentence structure of the subordinate clause, but weil does, i.e. pushing the verb to the end. Other than that, is there a difference between ...
18
votes
4answers
563 views

What gender has a “Virus”?

In German there is some confusion on the gender of "Virus" where both masculine and neuter are used: Das Influenzavirus ändert jährlich seine Oberflächenstruktur. Ich habe mir den Virus im ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Wofür steht “hoch” im Begriff “Hochdeutsch”?

Wie kam es zum Begriff Hochdeutsch? Was bedeutet(e) das Wort hoch in diesem Zusammenhang? Hat es etwas mit "gehoben" zu tun oder ist es als Abgrenzung zu Niederdeutsch zu sehen?
18
votes
1answer
24k views

Der, die oder das Email?

Is there an official rule on whether it's die Email or das Email? I've heard people use both, although more commonly the female form.
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Woher kommt das Adjektiv “vollschlank”?

Woher kommt das Adjektiv vollschlank? Warum bedeutet es quasi das Gegenteil von dem, was es ausdrückt? Wie nennt man solche Wörter?
18
votes
2answers
471 views

Großschreibung von Hauptwörtern und schnelles Lesen

Es gibt Studien, dass deutsche Leser einen Text langsamer lesen, wenn alles kleingeschrieben wird. Das könnte aber auch an der Gewohnheit liegen. Ich erinnere mich, gehört zu haben, dass es eine ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

Meaning and origin of 'Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof'

What does the following sentence mean and what is its origin? Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. I've heard this expression from some friends – I guess it's what you say when you don't really understand ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Talking About Money

When talking about money, for instance as a cashier and you are giving the total, how do you typically do this? In English I will typically say the amount as to separate numbers ($9.16 would be nine ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the best free word frequency list in German?

I'm looking for a very high quality word frequency list in German. This is a list of how often words are used in the German language. The best one I have found so far is here: 10,000 words. ...
18
votes
5answers
454 views

Schibboleths für verschiedene norddeutsche Regionen?

Schibboleths sind Wörter, anhand deren Aussprache man die Herkunft des Sprechers zuordnen kann. Ganz allgemeines Beispiel für Muttersprachler vs. Ausländer: "Streichholzschächtelchen". Für den ...
18
votes
2answers
820 views

Wie spricht man von der deutschen Sprache?

Es klingt fast wie eine Metafrage, aber wie spricht man eigentlich von der deutschen Sprache (oder von einer anderen)? Sagt man eher die Schönheit des Deutschen oder die Schönheit vom ...
18
votes
3answers
219 views

Ich suche eine gute Anrede für Bedienungen

Ich suche eine gute Anrede für Bedienungen im Restaurant. Seit der Kriminalisierung von »Fräulein« denke ich oft über eine Alternative nach. Ich habe bereits etliche Bedienungen gefragt und oft fanden ...
18
votes
1answer
192 views

What means my car's displayed diagnosis “KÜHLMITTLE NIEDR MOTOR ABSTELLEN”?

I'm French and I purchased a used (2001) Volvo V70 which was initially buyed in Switzerland, and where diagnosis are displayed in German, so for me it's often a painful task to understand what the ...
18
votes
1answer
495 views

Woher stammt die Verwendung des Infinitivs als Ersatz für den Imperativ?

Immer häufiger sehe ich den Infinitiv, wo ich den Imperativ erwarte: Statt Haltet die Einfahrt frei. steht da also Einfahrt freihalten. oder sogar Die Einfahrt ist freizuhalten. ...
18
votes
3answers
877 views

Spelling to pronunciation

It is said that German spelling is largely phonetic (unlike English spelling), and that there is a fairly reliable set of rules to convert spelling to pronunciation. (Sure, there are some exceptions, ...
18
votes
2answers
357 views

Was ist das (der?) Effeff?

Was ist das (der?) Effeff im folgenden Satz? Das müsst ihr aus dem Effeff können!
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Woher kommt die Redensart “eine Leiche im Keller haben”?

Über Menschen, die etwas zu verbergen oder zu verheimlichen haben, hört man manchmal, dass sie eine "Leiche im Keller" haben. Zum Beispiel hier in einem Bericht über die Steuerfahndung: Wer noch ...
18
votes
1answer
177 views

Herkunft der Nachsilbe “-wesen”

Die Nachsilbe "-wesen" wird in für eine Reihe (mehr oder weniger bekannter) formaler, abstrakter "Branchenbezeichnungen" verwendet. Bauwesen, Brauwesen, Bankenwesen, Molkereiwesen, … Ich ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Is “selbstbewusst” a negative word?

Sometimes I see translations of selbstbewusst as confident, arrogant or selfish. I would like to know if this word has a negative or positive denotation. If I call someone of selbstbewusst, is it a ...
17
votes
12answers
168k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

How do you say “geek”/“IT guy” in German?

How do you call the kind of people who either work in IT or spend a lot of time with this kind of stuff? The only word I’ve found is Streber but it seems to have a negative connotation (like nerd).
17
votes
9answers
3k views

How easy/difficult is it for a native German speaker to understand Swiss German?

Assuming she has never had any experience with it before. Would it be mostly comprehensible? Or mostly unintelligible? Or in between? Edit: I am referring to the Swiss German dialects ...
17
votes
5answers
515 views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen “Haarspalterei” und “Erbsenzählerei”?

Die beiden Begiffe Haarspalterei und Erbsenzählerei lassen sich auch als Eigenschaften Personen zuschreiben. Er ist ein Haarspalter. Er ist ein Erbsenzähler. Gibt es Unterschiede zwischen ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Does “sollen” imply an external agent?

I spent three weeks at a German high school right after I graduated from my own high school. One day I said to my host (a student at the school): "Ich soll mehr Deutsch sprechen." His response? (He ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

“Don't all shout at once” in German

Suppose you are giving a talk, or some sort of presentation, and every now and then you ask a question, in order to give the audience an opportunity to take part in the discussion. Now, it often ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

In which situations would you use either “Toilette”, “Klo”, “WC” or “Bad”?

Inspired by this question on the English StackExchange sister site, I'm asking the following question. Which of the following synonyms is suitable for different situations (formal, colloquial, ...)? ...
17
votes
3answers
10k views

Meaning of 0815 and ger/eng alternatives?

Does 0815 simply mean something is very standard and common, or does it carry any connotations? Where can one use it, e.g. for description of processes, objects, persons? Can you give alternative ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there an online German dialect dictionary?

I've recently stumbled upon some words that my dictionary can't translate: nitt (nicht) passt scho (passt schon) zwoa (zwei) Is there an online resource for finding out what such words mean, and ...
17
votes
11answers
2k views

Good online resources for improving German over Summer Vacation?

I recently finished an evening class in beginners German (Common European Framework A1/A2), and plan to take an intermediate class in September. I don't want to slip out of practice over the summer. ...
17
votes
4answers
872 views

“Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod”: is German really losing Genitiv? (evolutionary viewpoint)

"Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" is an interesting German phrase which originates this question. I'm interested in knowing how true is it/will it be. Has German always had four cases? Or were ...
17
votes
5answers
6k views

“Die Worte” vs. “die Wörter”

This question also has an answer here (in German): Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "Worte" und "Wörter"? Worte and Wörter are both plurals of Wort. Is there a ...
17
votes
4answers
386 views

Was ist das Partizip Perfekt eines englischen Lehnwortes wie “booten”?

How do I form the perfect participle of an English loan word like booten (for a computer)? Was ist das Partizip Perfekt eines englischen Lehnwortes wie booten? Ich boote meinen Computer. → ...

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