15
votes
5answers
347 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
235 views

Meaning of “Lars kam sich unendlich verlassen vor”

I'm reading Kleiner Eisbär, wohin fährst du? von Hans de Beer but I'm puzzled by this sentence: Lars kam sich unendlich verlassen vor. If verlassen is a reflexive verb as the word sich suggests, ...
15
votes
3answers
445 views

What's the origin of “Bock haben”/“Null Bock”?

I've heard about "Bock haben" or "Null Bock!" which colloquially means to be up for sth. (or not), but where has it developed from? It seems to have started around 1980 (look at ngram).
15
votes
3answers
217 views

To which extent should repetitions of “der”, “die” and “das” be avoided?

When I speak, it often happens that pronoun/article homonyms crop up after each other. So viele Katzen! Ich mag die, die den Hut trägt. Ich mag die, die die Mütze trägt. Welches ...
15
votes
3answers
265 views

Is “wir feiern mit euch mit” correct?

We received a wedding invitation with the following sentence to fill in: [x] Wir feiern mit __ Personen mit Euch mit It seems to me that the last "mit" is superfluous but only to the same extent ...
15
votes
2answers
518 views

Why are the German guillemets inverted?

I've been wondering for some time, Why do Germans use inverted guillemets (»…«) in contrast with the original French use (« … »)? When did such usage begin? (They are originally French, right? ...
15
votes
1answer
460 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
642 views

Is there a rule which preposition to use for a place?

Is there a rule for choosing between the prepositions zu, in, bei, nach, an for a special place or does one have to memorize all of them? For example: Beim Arzt An den See Nach Berlin Zur ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

“Meines Wissens *nach*” - erlaubte Variante oder komplett falsch?

Ich höre ab und zu die Phrase meines Wissens nach, habe aber selbst gelernt, dass es nur meines Wissens heißt. Beispielsatz: Meines Wissens (nach) fährt hier die Linie 1 ab. Ist das Wörtchen nach an ...
15
votes
1answer
325 views

Verwendung des umgangssprachlichen Verbs “bongen”

Mir ist die Redewendung Ist gebongt! geläufig. Sie ist eine umgangssprachliche Form von "ist ausgemacht!". Anscheinend ist gebongt das Partizip Perfekt von bongen. Ist dieses Verb – außerhalb ...
15
votes
2answers
580 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" ...
15
votes
2answers
529 views

Zusammen oder getrennt? Gibt es eine Regel?

Es gibt viele Wörter im Deutschen, deren exakte Schreibweise sich meiner Kenntnis schon immer entzogen haben. Das größte Problem ist dabei die Frage: zusammen oder getrennt? Ich nenne mal ein paar ...
15
votes
4answers
991 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
227 views

Woher kommt die „goldene Ananas“?

„Die Goldene Ananas ist als umgangssprachliche Redewendung ein fiktiver Preis, der für einen Wettbewerb mit eigentlich irrelevantem Ausgang vergeben wird“ … und sie hat sogar einen eigenen ...
15
votes
1answer
346 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
437 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
5answers
1k views

When is “sch” spoken like “sh” and when like “s” “ch”?

Regarding the words like Hose, Dose, Rose the pronunciation of the diminutive (Höschen, Döschen, Röschen) is with an explicit "s" phoneme. Opposite to the usual "sch" pronunciation. Is this a rule? ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
4k 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
3answers
6k 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
2answers
2k views

Is the second verse of the German national anthem offensive? Why is it not used?

My understanding is that today's national anthem, "Einigkeit, und Recht, und Freiheit..." was the third verse of the original and that we're not supposed to sing the original first verse, ...
14
votes
5answers
891 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
6answers
6k 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
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
1k 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
652 views

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

When do Germans say it? What is its origin?
14
votes
5answers
404 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
591 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
5answers
2k views

die Worte vs die Wörter

Worte and Wörter are both plurals of Wort. Is there a difference in meaning between them?
14
votes
3answers
384 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
5answers
624 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
1answer
3k views

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

I'd like to know: What's the difference? Which one needs akkusativ-object?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Kann man “erinnern” (ohne “an”) auch intransitiv verwenden?

Ich höre seit einiger Zeit immer wieder Sätze wie Ich erinnere, dass das Brot früher anders geschmeckt hat. ...und es rollen sich mir die Zehennägel hoch! Für mich fühlt sich das an wie ein ...
14
votes
3answers
548 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
452 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
2k 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
4answers
329 views

Was bedeutet “todunglücklich” genau?

Ich habe diesen Satz in einer Kurzgeschichte gelesen: Er ist todunglücklich! Was bedeutet es genau? Ist er so unglücklich, dass er tot gewesen sollen? Ist er so unglücklich, dass es für ihn ...
14
votes
1answer
224 views

Monk recommends: knock down women on sight

I read today: Ein weiser Möch sagte einst: "Wenn deine Augen eine Frau erblicken, schlage sie nieder" Am I misunderstanding something? Because it is kind of hard to consider knocking down woman ...
14
votes
2answers
219 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
10k 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
456 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
4k views

What's the difference between “können” and “könnten”?

I'd like to know when it's appropriate to use "können" and when "könnten", are they completely interchangeable? Is it like the difference between "can" and "could" in English? Können Sie mir bitte ...
14
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
239 views

“Geht's” becomes “gehts”

This is a title from the book "German Grammar in a Nutshell" by Langenscheidt I suppose the word gehts stands for geht's (which is a clitic form of geht es). Is it correct to drop out the ...
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
386 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
305 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

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