13
votes
3answers
361 views

What is the meaning of the dative in this sentence: “Dem Tod die Toten.”

I came across the sentence "Dem Tod die Toten" in a book I'm reading ("Der Schwarm" by Frank Schätzing) and I can not understand it. It seems like this use of the dative implies a meaning which in ...
7
votes
2answers
791 views

What is the difference between 'noch' and 'noch immer'?

They would both appear to mean the same thing in English i.e. 'still' How do they differ and under what circumstances might you use either of them?
5
votes
1answer
322 views

How is the cliched plot device of 'not realising a Dr. is female' interpreted in German, where it would be obvious?

In English the title "Doctor" is the same whether or not the person is male/female, but in German there are two different words for this.
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Wann wird “Telegrammstil” heute noch benutzt?

"Telegrammstil" ist eine aus Platzgründen eingeführte grammatikalische Verknappung in Telegrammen. Heute gibt es aber keine Telegramme mehr; dennoch ist der Telegrammstil weit verbreitet. "Bin ...
5
votes
3answers
388 views

How to translate “knowledge” as in “general understanding or familiarity” in this case?

Which translation of "knowledge" would fit into the following sentence? They have the resources, but do they have the knowledge? I'm looking for a literal translation, not an idiom or ...
13
votes
3answers
875 views

Why is “kennenlernen” written as compound word?

According to Duden online the suggested spelling of of the verb is kennenlernen. Why is it written as composite and not as separate words like every other combination of verbs with lernen? lesen ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Siebte” or “Siebente”?

I saw both "siebente" and "siebte" for 7th, does it have two versions? If so, what's the difference?
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Can “anscheinend” mean “apparently” in the surprised sense?

Besides stating something obvious, "apparently" can be used to indicate surprise: I just got my essay back. Apparently "diphthong" is spelt with "th". Could it be translated with "anscheinend" ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Wortwahl: für vs. über

Wie heißt es richtig: Gutschein [für|über] einen Kinoabend. Der Fall "Gutschein über 10€" ist sicherlich richtig, ist aber das Wort "über" auch bei Sachleistungen zulässig?
8
votes
5answers
192 views

Is there a non-regional German expression for the Swabian term “Gschmäckle”?

Is this term only well-known in Southern Germany or also in the deep North? Is there short alternatives for modern High German? Does anyone know a similar English short expression?
10
votes
2answers
293 views

Why is “erstmal” not recognized by my spellchecker and is “erstmals” correct?

I typed the following sentence in an E-Mail in Thunderbird: Muss man sich erstmal einloggen? The German spellchecker said "erstmal" is not a word and suggested that it be replaced with ...
15
votes
3answers
834 views
5
votes
4answers
268 views

Is there a difference in colloquial/juristic use of “Jugendlicher/Teenager/Schulkind” in German?

Germany has a political scandal currently. A 40 year old politician had a sexual relationship with a 16 year old girl/woman. Jugendlicher, Teenager, Schulkind are afaik common terms in Germany with a ...
12
votes
2answers
335 views

Pluralbildung von Musketier und Rentier

Wie kommt es, dass Musketier ausgesprochen und gesteigert wird (Musketiere), als würde es sich tatsächlich um ein Tier handeln, während Rentier (Person, die von regelmäßigen Zahlungen aus in ...
5
votes
2answers
340 views

What does “Achter” in “Achterbahn” mean?

The "Achter" in "Achterbahn" could mean "behind", "figure of eight", "eight place" or "wisdom teeth". According to the Wiktionary article "Achterbahn", Der Name stammt von der ursprünglich oft ...
9
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
424 views

Etymology of “Pech”

Where does the word "Pech" originate, and does it have another meaning? Also, I'd like to know what's the antonym of "Pechvogel"? "lokvogel"?
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Wo kommt “meinen” in der Bedeutung von “lieben” vor?

Im Lied "Die Freiheit, die ich meine", das hauptsächlich in Burschenschaften gesungen wird, und das auch als Titel des Buches von Jörg Haider gedient hat, kommt das Wort "meinen" im Sinne von "lieben" ...
8
votes
2answers
436 views

Book Title Capitalization

At my work we are working on some software involving the capitalization of book titles. Under pronouns it is set to not capitalize, yet "Sie" is always capitalized. I thought pronouns were not ...
1
vote
0answers
137 views

Are there Ger-Eng dictionaries not based on machine translation? [closed]

I searched for an english term for Durchhalteparole. 4 different online dictionaries (leo, dict.cc,...) - 4 different results appeal to hold out,rallying call,exhortation to go on,call for ...
11
votes
1answer
236 views

Are “Schmankerln” always Bavarian?

Is a "Schmankerl" a regional specialty, or does it refer to delicatesses anywhere although the word is used in Bavaria and Austria? Duden and Wiktionary give the meanings "besonderer Leckerbissen" ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

Is there a difference between “Schuld haben” and “schuld sein”?

There are two expression which a very similar in German Schuld haben and schuld sein Is there a difference in meaning, maybe a subtle one? Why is the first "Schuld" capitalized and the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Distinction “prüfen” vs. “überprüfen”

I just read a technical spec in which I found the following sentence: Weiterhin kann zum Überprüfen der geparsten Dateien ein XML-Schema verwendet werden. which translates into "An XML ...
13
votes
4answers
851 views

Is there a German analog for the English expression, “It's not rocket science”?

I never heard Raketenwissenschaft in this context in Germany. Is this a case of anglicism, or are there better suited German synonyms for this expression?
16
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...)? ...
4
votes
5answers
238 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

“Warum/darum”, “Weshalb/deshalb”, “weswegen/deswegen”, is there a difference in usage or meaning?

We may use "warum", "weshalb" or "weswegen" in seemingly the same way in questions as we can use "deshalb" or "deswegen" in answers. Warum stellst Du diese Frage? Weshalb stellst Du diese Frage? ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Does the order of a subordinate clause change meaning?

When building a subordinate clauses we can put them at the end of a sentence, or at the beginning: Er lernt fleißig Deutsch, damit er sein Examen besteht. Damit er sein Examen besteht, lernt er ...
18
votes
2answers
449 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
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. ...
7
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
17
votes
12answers
150k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Leerzeichen vor Einheiten?

Werden Mengen und Einheiten im Deutschen durch ein Leerzeichen getrennt? 12 m/s 1Å
4
votes
1answer
2k 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)
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
457 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.
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Translation for 'abticken' needed

I couldn't find a match for the german "abticken". What is the word in English for that?
10
votes
1answer
944 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
127 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
713 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
3answers
809 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
393 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
277 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) ...
10
votes
3answers
201 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.
16
votes
3answers
240 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to alphabetically sort a list of names?

How do you alphabetically sort German names when a list contains last names starting with "Von ...", "De ...", "Van ..." etc.? Also, how are words with umlauts (ä, ö, ü) and other diacritical ...
16
votes
2answers
499 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?
5
votes
2answers
377 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: ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

“Für was” vs. “wofür” – gibt es Unterschiede und Regeln?

Macht es einen Unterschied, ob man Wofür ist das gut? oder Für was ist das gut? fragt? Wenn ja: warum? Wie lässt sich entscheiden, welche Formulierung richtig ist?
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...

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