5
votes
3answers
426 views

Was bedeutet “unfertsch”? Ist es Umgangssprache?

A friend described her university studies to me as "[major] unfertsch". I can't find this word in LEO or either of my dictionaries. I assume it means she didn't finish, because as far as I know, she ...
4
votes
4answers
505 views

Welche Verben lassen sich mit ähnlich vielen Verbalpräfix wie “legen” kombinieren?

Auf Wikipedia findet man eine beachtliche Zahl von Präfixen, die sich mit "legen" kombinieren lassen. ab- an- auf- aus be- bei- dar- ein- er- hin- hinter- nach- nieder- über- (unbetont) über- ...
9
votes
5answers
213 views

Gab es früher mal ein Verb “untergeben”?

Irgendwie hat mich der Brotaufstrich darauf gebracht, dass folgende Vorsilben ab an auf unter über sich gut mit folgenden Verben kombinieren lassen geben gehen laufen schreiben streichen also ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of “tja”?

It seems to me that "tja" is more a typo for "ja" than a word by its own. I have looked in a number of websites, the only satisfying one was Wiktionary but it has nothing about its etymology as a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the politically correct way to say “mentally retarded” in German?

In a setting where it is important to minimise social offense, which words can be used to denote mentally retarded individuals?
4
votes
2answers
213 views

Gehen wir Friedhof?

The other day, I heard the sentence Gehen wir Friedhof? which should express that the person in question asks his mates if they want to take the route via the cemetery - which is not obvious in ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Other interpretations of “darf niemand hier nein”

In this prayer: Ich bin klein, mein herz ist rein, darf niemand hier nein, als Jesus allein. I was taught that the third line ("darf niemand hier nein") translates into English ...
11
votes
6answers
337 views

Was gibt es zweimal im Wort “Zwielicht”?

Wenn sich das Wort "Zwielicht" auf die Dämmerung bezieht, was gibt es da zweimal, wie es "zwie" andeutet?
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Vague “daherkommen”

Why the meaning of the intransitive verb "daherkommen" is quite equivocal (I suppose)? Der Glaube an Gott, Familie und deutsche Einheit kommt meist polemisch daher, gegen den politischen Gegner ...
12
votes
2answers
192 views

What is the original meaning of the augmentative “stock-”?

For several adjectives we can build an augmentative by adding the prefix "stock-" Gestern Nacht war es hier stockfinster. Stocksteif bleib er stehen und bewegte sich nicht von der Stelle. Hans ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Accent placement in “Waldfräulein”

I understand that Fräulein is lexically accented (stressed) more on the first syllable than the second; wiktionary shows IPA pronunciation as /ˈfʁɔɪ̯laɪ̯n/, /ˈfʁɔlaɪ̯n/, and also wikipedia says ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Am I writing these numerals correctly as words?

Please let me know if there is something wrong in the following examples: am 12. April 1961 – am zwölften April, neunzehnhunderteinsundsechzig Jahre mit 35 Jahren – mit fünfunddreißig ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

When do we omit the trailing “-e” in 1st person singular?

When I hear Germans speak - but sometimes in writing too - I observe that the trailing "-e" from verbs in 1st singular person is often omitted: "Ich geh mal schnell zur Tanke." "Ich krieg noch ...
8
votes
1answer
333 views

Comma in infinitive construction

In "Lehr- und Übungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik", I found some sentences: Ich fürchte, dass ich bald entlassen werde. Ich fürchte, bald entlassen zu werden. Sie hofft, dass sie vom Bahnhof ...
6
votes
2answers
359 views

Why do you say “in diesem Sinne” if “Sinne” is a feminine noun?

The LEO page for "Sinne" shows that the noun Sinne is a feminine noun, yet is used in the phrase "in diesem Sinne". Shouldn't that be "in dieser Sinne"?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Words for the degree of carbonation of German mineral water

A typical situation when having guests at home or the office, is - since you know they will have to drive - after asking about their desire for non-alcoholic beverages getting the following reply: ...
4
votes
1answer
367 views

How do we overcome ambiguity when using the particle “wohl”?

The particle "wohl" can be used in two different meanings: "Auf GL&U kann man sich vorzüglich über Deutsch informieren." "Das ist wohl wahr." - This is probably true. "Das ist wohl ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Looking for translation of “Tanzverbot ”

How would you translate the German word "Tanzverbot" and more interesting, Why can't I find any ("official") translation online, nor a wikipedia article about the issue, even though (probably) Germany ...
5
votes
3answers
366 views

Translating what The Queen said: does she always address her subjects as «Du»?

Today’s General-Anzeiger Bonn has an article containing an excerpt from The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee message in which to your service is translated as in Euren Dienst Now I don’t believe ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Enthält der Duden und vergleichbare Werke alle gebräuchlichen, einfachen Komposita?

Das der aktuellen deutschen Rechtschreibung zugrunde liegende Dokument das Wörterverzeichnis2006 siehe IDS enthält definitiv nicht alle Komposita, sondern legt durch Regeln fest, wie zusammengesetzte ...
8
votes
5answers
345 views

How would one say 'I solved the Dirac equation.', and 'You solved the Dirac equation?'?

Given a statement and a question of nigh identical substance, I'm curious how each might be translated, specifically wondering: would they differ based on whether it is me or you concerned? For ...
6
votes
2answers
871 views

Woher kommt der Begriff “Laufhaus”?

Mir ist aufgefallen, dass sich Bordelle bei uns (Wien) seit einiger Zeit "Laufhaus" nennen. Vor ein paar Jahren war das noch anders. Woher kommt dieser Begriff?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it “mir ist übel” and not “ich bin übel”?

To express we feel nauseous we may say Mir ist übel. Mir ist schlecht. Mir ist schwindlig. What are the grammatical rules behind this? Why don't we say "Ich bin übel" when we say Ich bin ...
2
votes
1answer
497 views

What are some reading comprehension activities for early language learners? [closed]

I am a German teacher at the secondary level, and my German 2 students are reading the Lese-Novelas von Hueber Verlag, such as Anna, Berlin. The book is very good for beginners, but I'm running out of ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Are second-hand books suitable for learning German?

On the second hand market there are lots of opportunities to buy used books for little money. As in 1996 there was a major orthography reform in Germany I am uncertain if reading second-hand books ...
4
votes
2answers
786 views

What does this German sentence mean?

While perusing this question, I generally was at least able to understand what all of the playful examples of word repetition meant. There was one, however, that left me completely baffled. Selbst ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is “eu” used for spelling the sound “oi”?

My little daughter, allthough not being in school yet, is very keen in writing words - naturally, she writes them as she thinks they are written by translating each sound to a letter. Recently, she ...
9
votes
2answers
430 views

Was bedeutet eigentlich “laufen”?

Laut LEO kann das Wort "laufen" sowohl mit "to walk" als auch mit "to run" übersetzt werden. Wann wird "laufen" verwendet und wie weiß ich, was gemeint ist? "Er läuft die Straße entlang." - Is he ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Welche Schriftsteller oder Dichter waren für die Entwicklung der deutschen Sprache ausschlaggebend?

In jeder Sprache gab es Schriftsteller und Dichter, die für zeitgenössische Sprache stehen und einen erheblichen Einfluss in der Entwicklung der Sprache haben. So war es Chaucer für die englische und ...
5
votes
1answer
508 views

Is there a style guide for German similar to The Elements of Style for English?

Is there a German style guide similar to "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White or "Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace" which are well known for English?
3
votes
1answer
261 views

Roman Numeral 2 (II) under Bundesadler

I have a west german military greatcoat that I found on ebay. On the shoulder there is a patch with the Bundesadler and a roman number 2 (II) underneath it. What does this mean? I was hoping to ...
5
votes
3answers
144 views

Did the connotation of “emsig” change?

When looking up the meaning of "emsig" (assiduous, diligent) it seems it has an entirely positive connotation unausgesetzt fleißig, ununterbrochen tätig DWDS The first that come to mind with ...
3
votes
3answers
478 views

Are the subjunctives of “brauchen” and “verbrauchen” different?

There seems to be a difference when building subjunctives from the verb "brauchen" when used alone, or in the composite verb "verbrauchen". Hätten wir überall Energiesparlampen, verbrauchten wir ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “Kollegen” mean exactly?

I think "Kollegen" means only the male colleagues. Or does it mean the female colleagues, or even both? I can't find an explanation in the dictionaries.
9
votes
2answers
399 views

Did “zwo” exist before invention of radio?

Was "zwo" often or ever used before radio, or was it developed as a result of radio? Or has it just always been used around crowds and loud noises? And have other numbers ever had similar ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

How are we polite without using “bitte”?

When asking someone for a favour it is considered rude to omit "please" in English. This seems not to be the case in German. In a shop or a restaurant I can frequently hear: "Was bekommen Sie?" - ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Differences between “Klausur”, “Prüfung” and “Examen”

Is there any differences in usage between Klausur, Prüfung, Examen, Test*, and (Klassen)arbeit*? * Edit: added more synonyms based on answers below.
10
votes
3answers
860 views

Woher kommt “Total gaga sein”?

Woher stammt das seltsame Wort "gaga" und was bedeutet es tatsächlich? Woher kommt "Total gaga sein"? Where does the strange word "gaga" come from and what does it actually mean? Where does "Total ...
14
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is “ladies and gentlemen” translated as “meine Damen und Herren”?

Why is "ladies and gentlemen" translated as "meine Damen und Herren"?
4
votes
5answers
409 views

Gibt es einen kürzeren Ausdruck für “abgerundete Ecke”?

Gibt es ein Wort oder einen kürzeren Ausdruck für "abgerundete Ecke"? Beispielsatz: Ich bevorzuge diesen Bildschirm (dieses Bücherregal), denn er (es) hat abgerundete Ecken (Kanten).
5
votes
1answer
272 views

Explaining case and usage of “Richtung”

Just curious. How would you explain to someone the proper use and appropriate case of Richtung as a directional indicator, in simple terms? whether showing movement or simple location or direction ...
10
votes
5answers
588 views

What's the difference between “das Domizil” and “der Wohnsitz”?

What is the difference between these two terms? In what contexts are they used? Also, which one best fits with "gewählt- ~"? Dictionaries were not helpful enough this time. Edit: I wanted to ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

Articles for compound words

I was wondering, in compound words or "complex" ones, let's say, do the article matches with its last word? For example, "Kontrollakt". It's made of Kontrolle + Akt, the former being "die", and the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How do Germans call someone from the United States?

If "the united states" is translated to "Vereinigten Staaten" then how do you call people from there? I have always heard "Amerikaner" but that one refers to the whole continent.
10
votes
1answer
341 views

“Bäckt” or “backt”?

In Dreyer/Schmitt, "bäckt" is given as the main third person form of "backen". Since I never used this and have not heard it often in my area (northern germany), I was very surprised about this and ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Are sentences with and without “dass” equally common? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sind „Ich denke, dass [Nebensatz]“ und „Ich denke, [Hauptsatz]“ auswechselbar? Are these two sentences used equally in informal conversation, or is one form preferred ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Word choice: “manuell” or “von Hand”?

I've been toying with learning German for a few months now, and I'm trying to use my basic knowledge to update the translation to one of my iPhone apps. What word should I use for "manual" as in "set ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Welche Schreibweise ist korrekt “Es schneite in rauen Mengen” oder “Es schneite in rauhen Mengen”

Duden-Online verrät, dass beim Wort "rauh" die Rechtschreibreform zugeschlagen hat und es jetzt "rau" heißt. Anderseits hat man der Form aufrauhen ihr "h" gelassen. Woxikon nennt Korrekte ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Are these two terms interchangeable?

While going through some legal terms from Italian to German, I found these two: istigazione = Anstiftung. istigazione a delinquere = Aufforderung zur Begehung einer strafbaren Handlung. ...

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