All Questions

7
votes
1answer
170 views

A phrase list for the curious case of the Genitivus Absolutus?

So Hendrik answer on my question "Senkenden Hauptes schlief sie langsam ein" — is this grammatically correct? brought me back to the feared and famous Ablativus Absolutus (at least on my ...
7
votes
3answers
334 views

What does make a question in German (not) rhetorical?

Are there specific terms or grammatical structures that make a question including a statement rhetorical? For example. The statement and question is Ist das römische Reich an seiner eigenen ...
11
votes
4answers
621 views

Gibt es ein deutsches magisches Quadrat?

Gibt es ein deutsches magisches Quadrat, das dieselben Symmetrieeigenschaften hat, wie das lateinische magische Quadrat? SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS Arepo ist möglicherweise ein Name, eine ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Sie (you - formal), sie (she) and sie (they) / Ihr (you - plural), er (he)

How to differentiate pronunciation of these words? Sie (you — formal), sie (she), and sie (they) ihr (you — plural), er (he)
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Translation for 'abticken' needed

I couldn't find a match for the german "abticken". What is the word in English for that?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to add a “mal” after all verbs in imperative form?

I've heard the structure verb + mal a lot, like: Sag mal, schau mal, warte mal Is it a good style? does it sound more friendly? What's the difference between "warte" and "warte mal"? Is it ...
9
votes
1answer
619 views

Is the “was” in “Weißt du was?” really an “etwas”?

In English, there are two idioms with the same meaning: "You know what?" ("Weißt du was?") "You know something?" ("Weißt du etwas?") The "etwas" in the latter German phrase could conceivably be ...
5
votes
1answer
392 views

What is an “Ablaut”?

My understanding is that "Umlaut" represents the diacritical marks over 'a', 'o', 'u', etc. But what is an "Ablaut"? The topic came up in the comments on this question.
8
votes
3answers
581 views

Could a “Kerl” be female?

Some translations for "Kerl" are "fellow", "bloke", "guy", "chap" and "dude". Most of them are (somewhat) gender-neutral. What about "Kerl"?
10
votes
2answers
123 views

“So wären/wäre es Träume nur gewesen?”

I saw a poster with this text: So wären es Träume nur gewesen? The subject seems to be "es", not "Träume". Why is the Konjunktiv plural? I'd write: So wäre es Träume nur gewesen?
3
votes
2answers
647 views

“Scheiße ist Bargeld”

I know the title is a bit rude, but that's exactly what my question is about. The title is what Google Translate recommends as the German equivalent of "shit is cash". I've often seen the expression ...
13
votes
4answers
709 views

“Queen” vs. “Königin”

Is it just an example of an English word creeping in to use in German, or is there a particular reason why Queen is used rather than Königin? And does Die Queen always refer to Elizabeth II of the ...
6
votes
2answers
215 views

Wörterbücher für Fachsprache / Dictionaries for terminology in specific domains

LEO und Co sind zwar für den allgemeinen Wortschatz ganz gut zu gebrauchen. Wenn es aber an die Übersetzung von technischen Dokumentationen geht, helfen sie einem nicht wirklich weiter. Man könnte die ...
5
votes
2answers
233 views

Are Adjectives Sometimes “Stem-Changing”?

Most people that study German learn about "stem-changing VERBs (z.B. singen, sang, gesungen). I don't come across them often, but there appear to be stem-changing adjectives, as well. Example: Gross= ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

How can we abbreviate a subordinate clause by use of a participle

On Takkats advice i separated this part from this question: "Senkenden Hauptes schlief sie langsam ein" - is this grammatically correct? A (maybe) possible (but nowadays uncommon) ...
4
votes
5answers
227 views

“Senkenden Hauptes schlief sie langsam ein” — is this grammatically correct?

Especially I would like to know when this is a correct complete German sentence: What type of grammatical structure do the first two words belong to? Is it common to speak that way? I mean the ...
10
votes
3answers
195 views

Synonyme für “(über)schwappen”

Ich suche nach guten Synonymen für das Verb "schwappen". Es geht um das Verhalten einer Flüssigkeit, die ihr Gefäß, z.B. bei einem Stoß, verlässt.
14
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
856 views

Höfliche Anrede mit zweiter Person Plural: »Ihr solltet zugeben, dass Ihr ganz einfach Angst habt.«

Die zweite Person Plural wird ab und zu verwendet, um Höflichkeit auszudrücken. Folgendes Beispiel stammt aus dem Buch "Die unendliche Geschichte" von Michael Ende: »Held Hynreck«, sagte Bastian ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Is There More Than One German Word For “Free”?

The obvious translation is "frei." But that is the word related to "freedom, right? If I wanted to say "free of charge," I'd use another word, like kostenlos. Or would I? The question comes from ...
17
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
332 views

What is a suboptimal question?

Attention, rhetoric question ;) Actually i came upon suboptimal and thought over its meaning and origin. Is it a anglicism, german euphemism, slang... Because the meanings i get are quite contrary: ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

“ist” oder “sind” bei Aufzählungen

Üblicherweise verwendet man bei Aufzählungen den Plural. In konkreten Fällen kann sich das aber schon einmal komisch anhören. Beispiel: Folglich sind in Abbildung 1 ein Subsystem und in Abbildung ...
1
vote
5answers
358 views

What is the difference between “verdachten” and “vermuten”?

What is the difference between "verdachten" and "vermuten" and am I using the proper words in my translations of the popular American songs: (Du weiss) ich liebe dich, sehr geliebte Jedes Tag ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Was bedeutet “heuer”?

Im Hochdeutschen gibt es diesen Ausdruck m. E. nicht, ich habe ihn allerdings schon öfter gehört ... was bedeutet er genau, wie wird er verwendet, wo kommt er her und wo wird er benutzt (Bsp.): ...
5
votes
2answers
407 views

Is it good style to use latin phrases? [closed]

I don't know how much and deep school kids in Germany actually get in touch with Latin. For some areas of studies it seems to be a prerequisite. In US literature, also scientific, it has -to my ...
8
votes
2answers
319 views

“blieben” und “bleiben würden”

Was sollte ich im folgenden Satz besser verwenden? Mit dem Erhalt der Förderung möchte ich auch meine Chancen auf berufliche Positionen verbessern, die mir ohne diese Förderung eventuell verwehrt ...
0
votes
1answer
302 views

How do you call somebody basically a “Klugscheisser” without causing offence? [closed]

Often your boss/team mates seems just to know everything better despite having expertise in a specific discipline. What polite metaphor/periphrasis would you choose that states clearly and shortly ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

Where does/did word-formation in German language happen?

I am interested in a comprehensible overview, summarization where most of word-formation in German language actually happen. How are new words finally accepted to end in an official dictionary like ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

When EXACTLY can/do you start calling one an “Experte” [closed]

Im pretty much annoyed by this term and its imho mis-use for many pseudo-experts. Experts for terrorism, amok, climate, babysitting... you probably all know this phenomenon of people designated in ...
9
votes
2answers
978 views

Genus der Flüsse: eine komische Regel

Im Grammatikbuch Hammer's German Grammar and Usage habe ich eben gelesen , dass Flüsse im Ausland männlich sind: der Ganges der Nil Im Gegenteil sind die Flüsse innerhalb Deutschlands ...
1
vote
2answers
478 views

English analog to “Stelzbock” or why so few sexual cusses for men?

german female version of Stelzbock someone told me would be Flittchen - Hussy (eng). Is there an appropriate translation? Imo, Macho and Gigolo doesn't match , to less animal-like and more a ...
15
votes
2answers
418 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?
8
votes
2answers
148 views

Aller “interessierter” oder “interessierten” Menschen?

Wie wird "interessiert" im Genitiv Plural gebeugt, wenn kein Artikel vorhanden ist? Beispiel: Diese Frage wurde im Sinne aller an Sport interessierter Menschen beantwortet. Ich stolpere bei ...
4
votes
1answer
394 views

What's the German for “A Bird in Hand…”?

I remember the proverb as something like, "Ein Spass in der Hand (versus) Ein Vögel, am Dach." Or something like a sparrow in hand versus a bird on the roof. The best support I could find was this ...
5
votes
2answers
980 views

Two-way prepositions used with non-movement verbs.

The two-way prepositions are all the prepositions that can take both the accusative and dative case. When they are used together with a verb indicating movement there is a simple rule for figuring out ...
5
votes
3answers
986 views

When is 'to' translated with “um zu”, when with “zu”

The infinitve marker "to" can not simply be translated with "zu". Apparently in most instances it translates with "um zu", wheras in other instances "zu" alone is used. 1 "Del" is the key to ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Can “sonst” Sometimes Be Used as a Substitute for “oder”?

My understanding is that "oder" means "or," and "sonst" means "otherwise," or "or else." The context is another verse of the poem I presented a couple days ago. Both the English and German text are ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

What's the quality of clip2go?

Here seems to be a neat site. I like the real samples from (I assuming) real Germans...or at least people fluent in German. But I'm always concerned with learning a new language from a system that ...
11
votes
3answers
194 views

Terms for “Nicht-Verstehen signalisieren”

As I read here: The first two sentences are classified as "Nicht-Verstehen signalisieren". Are there other widely known terms or interjections to signal you didn't understand something?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the appropriate usage of “Gemütlichkeit”?

"Gemütlichkeit" ist für die Deutschen ein positives Wort aber es gibt nicht nur eine Erklärung für das Wort, Alle haben eine individuelle Lösung. Here are my questions about the term: I'd ...
11
votes
4answers
578 views

Do we use “Du” or “Sie” to address users in a German operation manual?

When writing or translating an operation manual for software (including game software) or hardware users are mostly addressed by the polite form "Sie". Increasingly however we can also find manuals ...
9
votes
2answers
873 views

How is the prefix “uber-” differently used in German vs. English?

In English usage the prefix "über" (loaned from German) has the meaning of: über-, uber-: denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing. Oxford Dictionaries ...
18
votes
3answers
5k 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
545 views

What is the difference between “vorne” and “vorher”?

They both mean "before," right? But does one refer to "time," and the other to "space?" And am I using them correctly in the following translations of popular American songs? First, from Guys and ...
8
votes
2answers
184 views

Usage of “die ganzen …”

I've noticed that Apple's current German homepage (July 2011) uses the expression "mit deinen ganzen Apps" as you can see in this screenshot I took: The whole sentence is [...] Und weil ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

Which is a Better German Translation of “Will”?

Is it "Wunsch", "Wille" or something else? The context is an original poem. Both the English and German text are mine. Wo ist sie, die eine (or jemand)? Die so "schön, und starke sei. ...
15
votes
2answers
472 views

Hat sich das Geschlecht von “Antwort” mit der Zeit geändert?

Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich im Buch von Bohnenblust Pour Bien Savoir l'Allemand (Payot, 1930) gelesen, dass das Substantiv "Antwort" früher sächlich verwendet worden, aber der Gebrauch damals schon ...
5
votes
0answers
166 views

Name current software/online services for HIGH-QUALITY speech recognition in German [closed]

There are alot free, shareware, open source, proprietary programs & online services with highly variating quality. Esp. the quality differences for different languages are high. Google & ...
3
votes
0answers
138 views

Name current software/online services for HIGH-QUALITY text-to-speech (TTS) in German [closed]

There are alot free, shareware, open source, proprietary programs/apps & online services with bad - medium (IMHO, often sounds robotic and not spoken fluently) quality. Esp. the quality ...

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