15
votes
4answers
806 views

Difference between “ziemlich” & “ganz”

I learned that ziemlich means "quite, rather" and ganz means "whole, entire." but I just encountered this tweet: ganz leichter Schneefall. sehr dekorativ. My dictionary agrees that ganz can also ...
15
votes
1answer
323 views

Is there any source to find German books categorised in terms of reading ease?

There are numerous readability measures like Flesch Readability test, Wiener Sachtextformel, etc. But is there someplace I could actually find common books listed with their respective reading ease ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Does the word “Fahrenheit” mean anything in German?

Is Fahrenheit a real word in German? Does it come from a concept or from a name?
14
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
407 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

W → V, V → F. Why do German speakers wrongly transpose rather than shift when speaking English?

If German "W" is pronounced like an English "V" and German "V" is pronounced like an English "F" i.e. W → V V → F Why is it that I continually hear German speakers pronounce their (English) ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the proper position of “gern”?

For example, which of these is correct: Ich esse gern Pizza or Ich esse Pizza gern
14
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
761 views

“null” (zero) vs. “NULL”

How do German software developers tell the difference between a result of zero and NULL? They both translate to the same word..."null". Obviously you can see the difference on the screen. But what ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is 30-60 minutes per day enough to get fluent in eight months?

I will be spending May - Sept 2012 in Germany and want to be fluent in speaking and proficient in reading / writing by May 2012. I have started the journey to learning German I am currently using ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Wann schreibt man Zahlen aus?

Es scheint, dass man (in einem nicht-akademischen Kontext) nur kleine Zahlen mit Buchstaben ausschreibt. Wo liegt die Grenze? Hängt es vom Kontext ab? Ich habe drei Hunde und 24 Spinnen.
14
votes
10answers
781 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. ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How would you translate “to judge someone” to German?

In English, "to judge someone" often implies a negative opinion, as in "Don't judge me!". Is there a German equivalent for this? How would you translate the example? My dictionary gives "jmdn. ...
14
votes
6answers
914 views

Speaking German with accent: a status symbol or a sign of being a foreigner?

I have been living in Germany for almost 10 years now and despite good command of both written and spoken German I have a noticeable accent and my texts are not absolutely perfect. I have noticed many ...
14
votes
3answers
521 views

What is the meaning of “Das war das Wort zum Sonntag”?

When do Germans say it? What is its origin?
14
votes
5answers
13k views

What's the difference between “genau” and “stimmt”?

When somebody agrees with a point made in conversation they often say "genau" or "stimmt" (often preceeded by "ja"). So what is the difference? Is one slang and the other standard? Or is one ...
14
votes
5answers
392 views

How is the familiar “You” (Du) used in online conversations?

I remain fairly fluent in German from my experience living in Germany back in the 70's and 80's. However, the use of familiar "Du" among relative strangers online surprised me when I recently read ...
14
votes
3answers
524 views

“Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod”: is German really loosing 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
317 views

“was ist der Unterschied” vs. “was ist die Differenz”

I noticed "Differenz" is the equivalent of the English word "difference", since I used "Unterschied" till now. Are the two completely interchangeable?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between “kaufen”, “einkaufen”, “aufkaufen” and “ankaufen”

I'd like to know: What's the difference? Which one needs akkusativ-object?
14
votes
5answers
535 views

Is it an error when I do not use ß when it is necessary?

I'm living in a German-speaking country where ß is not used at all. Therefore, I do not use ß when I write German texts. Now I'm asking myself if this is technically a spelling error? Or is the ß more ...
14
votes
3answers
496 views

How to address more than one person in an E-mail?

I have to address my future German Au Pair family in an E-mail and until now have only been in contact with the woman. However the last E-mail was signed with both names, so I now feel I should ...
14
votes
2answers
409 views

Why is “blauäugig” used with a negative connotation?

Still today the cliche of a German is being tall, blond and blue-eyed. Surprisingly the expression "blauäugig" is most often used with an obvious negative connotation: Professor Otmar Issing, der ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Milch? Milsh? Why the pronunciation difference?

I'm working my way through the Pimsleur German series, and I've noticed that one of the speakers has what seems to me a strange pronunciation of the word Milch. He pronounces the ch like the sh sound ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 Worte?
14
votes
5answers
214 views

How should one pronounce “Denglisch” words when one is a native English speaker?

I'm not sure if this question is completely on-topic since I think it's largely a cultural question rather than being strictly about German language, but I noticed a pronunciation tag so I thought it ...
14
votes
2answers
195 views

Beziehung zwischen dem Warten von Maschinen und dem Warten auf ein Ereignis?

Warten im Sinne von Instandhaltung von Maschinen (engl. "maintenance") scheint für mich wenig mit "auf etwas warten" zu tun zu haben, ist aber das gleiche Wort. Gibt es da eine Verbindung? Wenn ja, ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

“[Ort], der [Datum]” oder “Ort, den [Datum]”?

Wenn man in einem Schriftstück den Ort und das Datum schreibt, dann kenne ich das so: [Ort], den [Datum] also z.B.: Karlsruhe, den 29. Juli 2012 Warum schreibt man den? Warum nicht der wie in Es ...
14
votes
4answers
440 views

Übersetzung für “Fusselst Du?”

Ich habe heute im Internet Folgendes gesehen: und dachte: ehh? Im Wörterbuch konnte ich 'fusseln' nicht finden. Kann mir jemand mit einer Übersetzung helfen?
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

“Schlimm” vs. “Schlecht”?

Can someone shed some light on when to use "schlimm" and when to use "schlecht"? I've found an explanation here that tries to clarify the issue, but in my opinion does a fairly poor job. Every ...
14
votes
2answers
332 views

What or who is a “Scholli”?

I hear people say: "Mein lieber Scholli, das war knapp!" What does "Scholli" mean in this context? Is using this idiom in any way offensive or insulting?
14
votes
2answers
286 views

If I'm on 'du' terms with the wife (my colleague), am I automatically on 'du' terms with the Husband too?

What do you understand the rules to be on using 'du' and 'Sie'? Is it usual to use 'Sie' until something else is offered? Confused in Germany
14
votes
4answers
423 views

Wie kann man 気持ちいい am besten auf Deutsch ausdrücken?

Wie kann man das Japanische 気持ちいい kimochi ii am besten auf Deutsch ausdrücken in den folgenden Situationen: ein kimochi ii Pullover eine kimochi ii Massage kimochi ii Wetter generell kimochi ii, ...
14
votes
1answer
423 views

Does Swabian have English influences?

Many variations of the swabian dialect contain words and pronunciations that to me always subtly sounded like influenced by modern english. One of the more prominent examples is the pronunciation of ...
14
votes
2answers
642 views

Füllwort “traun” - Wo kommt das Wort her und was bedeutet es genau?

Ich kenne das Wort traun von früher; jetzt lese ich es in einer Übersetzung des "Timaios" (Plato) auf zeno.org: Timaios: Traun, lieber Sokrates, tun doch das wohl alle, die auch nur ein wenig ...
14
votes
2answers
254 views

Why “alle” is used in “Diese Busse fahren *alle* fünfzehn Minuten vom Hauptbahnhof ab” instead of “jede”?

I think in the following sentence, "alle" should be replaced with "jede": Diese Busse fahren alle fünfzehn Minuten vom Hauptbahnhof ab. It means "these buses leave every fifteen minutes from the ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommended ways to learn the cases?

My German tutor recently told me that the only real way to learn the cases - Accusative/Dative/Nominative/Genitive - is just to memorize which verbs are which. She suggests memorizing the Dative and ...
14
votes
2answers
455 views

Wie verwendet man Bindestriche bei mehrteiligen Eigennamen richtig?

Ich stolpere oft über die Bildung von zusammengesetzten Wörtern mit Hilfe von Bindestrichen, v. a. wenn diese Eigennamen enthalten. Ich bin oft versucht die Wörter durch einfaches ...
14
votes
2answers
515 views

Wann starb der Plural auf “-s” im (Alt-)Deutschen aus oder wo kommt der Plural auf “-s” im Englischen her?

Im Englischen werden die meisten Plurale mit der Endung "-s" gebildet ("houses", "cars") und nur die wenigsten auf die im Deutschen übliche Art mit "-en" ("oxen", "children"). Den Plural auf "-s" ...
14
votes
3answers
280 views

In welchen älteren literarischen Werken kommen derbe Ausdrücke vor, die heute auch noch verwendet werden?

Goethe schreibt zum Beispiel in Faust, jemand werde einem anderen mit der Faust in die Fresse fahren, und sein Götz von Berlichingen erwidert anstatt sich zu ergeben, man solle ihn im Arsche lecken. ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Where to find IPA transcriptions of Hochdeutsch online?

Where can I find a comprehensive online resource for IPA transcriptions of the "official" pronunciation of German words?
14
votes
3answers
475 views

Woher kommt das g in „Kopenhagen“? Why is there a g in “Copenhagen”?

Der zweite Wortteil des dänischen Namens København bedeutet, wie man auch leicht errät, Hafen, und in der Tat ist der schwedische Name Köpenhamn, wobei hamn das schwedische Wort für Hafen ist. ...
14
votes
2answers
830 views

International interpretation of “Public viewing”

The phrase "Public Viewing" was created and established during the world championships in 2006 in Germany. It describes the viewing of an event (like a football match) in a public crowd. As ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Warum wird “wohlgesinnt” von “wohlgesonnen” verdrängt?

Man liest und hört heute häufig den folgenden Satz: Er ist mir wohlgesonnen Nun ist "wohlgesonnen" aber grammatikalisch nicht richtig, denn es muss "wohlgesinnt" heißen. Der Duden listet ...
14
votes
1answer
357 views

Beugt man jemand oder niemand mit Endung?

Diese Wörter und ihre Varianten findet man ja in vielen Büchern endungslos gebeugt, zum Beispiel: Ich habe jemand gesehen. Ist das niemand aufgefallen? Dies ist absolut korrekt, klingt für mich ...
13
votes
7answers
745 views

How to say “practice what you preach” in German?

Some people will advocate a policy, like higher taxes, and then try to get out of it themselves. This is hypocrisy (Heuchelei). Others will gladly do themselves what they advocate for others. These ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “Lebensraum” a taboo word in German because of an association with Hitler and the Nazis?

Much associated with Hitler and the Nazis has become taboo or gauche in the English-speaking West as a result of the terrible tragedies of the Second World War; one can point to many things, from ...
13
votes
11answers
475 views

Contemporary music to learn vocabulary from?

What are some bands/songs that are good to learn vocabulary from? I'm not particular about the genre. I would like music that is comprehensible to an absolute beginner (I'm still fairly new to German ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...

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