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44

I would call Goethe the legitimate equivalent to Shakespeare in this regard. A lot of the words and pictures he used in Faust are common in German today. Examples: des Pudels Kern Die Botschaft hör ich wohl, allein, mir fehlt der Glaube "da steh' ich nun, ich armer Tor, und bin so klug als wie zuvor." was die Welt - im Innersten zusammenhält Der Worte ...


21

"Das Kind" is "the child", regardless of the child's gender. "Das Mädchen" has started its life as a diminutive ("Mägdchen", little maiden) and then became the standard word for a female child. Diminutives are always of neutral gender, and they can be identified by their suffix, which in written German is "-chen" or "-lein". Dialects bring a whole new ...


20

Good question. The first verse was dropped, because it was the only verse that was sung in the Third Reich and was so strongly associated with Nazi ideology (also in part due to the way you can interpret it) that it was too uncomfortable as official anthem. Why we have only the third verse left, has a simple reason: Adenauer said so. Daher die erneute ...


18

Capitalization of nouns was introduced in Late Middleages (14th century). The first letter(s) of single words (especially religious terms like "GOtt", but not just nouns) were set in majuscules in order to emphasize these words. Today's capitalization of all nouns was officially introduced in 17th century German. The literary critic und translator Walter ...


16

There are several groups or occasions for fraktur: People who are enthusiastic about fraktur for its own sake. Enthusiast for a fitting epoch, e.g. 1920s enthusiasts. If you want something to look historically authentic, for example props for movies, theatre or roleplaying. If you want to give something an old, traditional or sometimes festive touch. Many ...


15

There is not one German writer that played the role of Shakespeare. The aspect that one also sees with Dante - namely standardizing a language - is much more the work of the bible translation of Luther than of Goethe and Schiller. In particular, if you look at the biographical data, you will see that Goethe and Schiller were rather late to have the same ...


15

Personally, I think the answer is not as easy and depends on which quality of "Shakespeare" you want to have equaled in a German poet. Schiller and Goethe were very much pushed into the position of German "classics", simply because there was no German classic literature at their time. No Shakespeare, no Dante; only bits and pieces. So this German "Klassik" ...


15

I found an article in a local Swabian magazine. It's in two parts, the PDF versions are available on the website http://www.schwaben-kultur.de/ - here (PDF, page 23) and here (PDF, page 18). The author mentions some astounding similarities between Swabian and English, for example: Hören heißt schwäbisch »lisna«, englisch »listen« wird ohne »t« ...


15

The German alphabet (in German "Deutsches Alphabet" or colloquial "A-B-C") is a variation of the Latin alphabet and includes 26 capitalized letters (same as in English) plus the umlauts (Ä, Ö, Ü) and (only) in Germany and Austria the "scharfes S" (ß). The ß ist not part of the alphabet in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. If you're referring to a single letter ...


15

Around the years 1915-1916 there were plans for a constructed/planned German language called Weltdeutsch. In the same years Oswald Salzmann created das "vereinfachte Deutsch" on the basis of standard German. Also in 1915 Adalbert Baumann proposed a solution for the world language problem and named it Wede. Baumann was convinced that a universal auxiliary ...


15

In addition to the other answers I'd like to add that in the Duden Grammatik (the real, fat one) they say that new prepositions develop mainly from adverbs or other prepositional phrases. When a new preposition evolves the case it rules is often Genitive which then later changes to Dative or maybe even Accusative. Also, the prepositions tend to get ...


15

Das heutige Deutsch hat im Großen und Ganzen eine Stammform weniger als das Urgermanische und Althochdeutsche und auch z.B. als das moderne Isländische, das in dieser Hinsicht das ursprüngliche germanische Muster bewahrt (ich verwende es hier anstelle des Standardaltnordischen, das es genauso gut getan hätte). Im Isländischen sehen wir beispielsweise immer ...


14

It seems that most German words that start with the letter p are in fact loan words from various languages. Some words that were spelled with a p in Old High German changed the letter to b, e.g. Baum and Berg: noh paum ... noh pereg ni uuas *(noch irgendein Baum noch Berg war) I scanned a list of old words and I think I found a few exceptions though: ...


14

The word Paar doesn't only mean two items but rather two items that are related to one another. The prime example is Mike und Jenny sind ein Paar. This notion also shows in compounds like Paartherapie, Paartanz or paarweise. The situation of using Paar as a qualifying noun is rather rare. The only example I can think of is this: Ein Paar Schuhe. ...


13

The origin of guillemets in France The usage of quotation marks dates back to times before typography but it was only in 1527 when Guillaume defined them for usage in printingWikipedia France. This was mainly done for France. Interestingly even later in 1663 the German typographer Schottel, being the first who systematically wrote a guide for using ...


13

Separable verbs have actually not been "introduced" but actually have always been there so to speak. Linguists posit that separable verbs are a primitive feature of Indo European languages and can even be found in non Indo-European languages (e.g. Hungarian). You will find separable verbs in: A. Modern Languages Some present-day English phrasal verbs: ...


13

It has nothing to do with radio. Zwo is the female version (from Middle and Old High German zwō, zwā) for the numeral Zwei: Zwo Frauen whereas zween is the male version (from Middle and Old High German zwēne) zween Männer Nowadays it isn't any longer in this use. At least zween is marked as archaic. Zwo is used colloquial and when you want to ...


13

This is a temporary answer to give the community an opportunity to decipher the handwriting. Please feel free to edit this post whenever you feel you found out a missing word. Of course this should be followed by another answer giving the translation, and a guess on the temporal origin if possible. Vom Meiſter Huſſen dem Ketzer dz(?) der zu ͦ Coſtentz ...


12

The distinction is pretty easy. "Das Mädchen" simply means girl (=female child), "das Kind" means child (= neutral), and for a male child or boy you would use "der Junge" (old-fashioned "der Knabe", southern dialects as well "der Bub(e)"). As far as I can see, the neutral gender for "girl" comes from the ending "-chen". This is a diminutive and always ...


12

Summary: Books with the title "Frohes Schaffen" have been published by an Austrian social-democratic publisher of children's books since 1925, so a Nazi origin seems unlikely. It's still quite possible that they used and popularized that phrase later, though. There seems to be a book series that was published at least since 1925 with the title Frohes ...


12

Der Duden hilft wie immer. Eine e-Endung deutet, bis auf wenige Ausnahmen (Junge, Kaese u.A.), auf ein feminines Substantiv hin. Zahlsubstantive sind ausnahmslos feminin. Ich nehme an, dass die Endung schlicht verloren ging. Bei den Zahlwörtern von zwei bis zwölf waren früher bei substantivischem Gebrauch die Formen auf -e durchaus gebräuchlich, ...


12

I'm very surprised that most posters seem to classify the second verse as neutral, or to imply that it might very well have been picked instead. To me, the inappropriateness of the second verse is rather obvious. Anthems are supposed to represent ideals of a nation - it's hard for me to imagine Germans not long after the war proudly declaring in song ...


11

Willkürlich habe ich nach einigen dieser Begriffe in NGrams gesucht. Einige sind dabei unauffällig (Thor/Tor, möglicherweise in diesem Fall, weil es den Namen Thor ja auch noch gibt). Andere, zum Beispiel Theil/Teil, Werth/Wert, Wirth/Wirt, zeigen einen typischen Verlauf: Hier ist auffällig, dass der Wechsel kurz vor der Jahrhundertwende um 1900 erfolgte. ...


11

Vorab eine Präzisierung: Namen werden auch heute noch gebeugt, allerdings nur im Genitiv: Ich habe Müllers Kuh gekauft. Goethes Briefe sind aufschlussreich. Es liegt auf Direktor Meyers Schreibtisch. Bei einigen Namen wird auch der Plural gebildet: "Alle Marias bitte aufstehen!" Allerdings ist es wahr, dass z. B. im Dativ keine ...


11

I wouldn't call Schiller a "German-language Shakespeare", but he did coin a lot of figures of speech in the German language. (While I do agree with user unknown that the same applies to Goethe, I don't know if any of the two has a priority in this respect.) Here's a sample: Bis hierher und nicht weiter! Bretter, die die Welt bedeuten Da werden Weiber ...


11

German is an indoeuropean language. The Proto-Indo-European language had 8 to 9 cases including the 4 cases still present in contemporary German. During the development of German out of Proto-Indo-European, the other 4 to 5 cases were dropped (cases merged, alternative constructions replaced case constructions, …)(Verweis). Old High German still had the ...


11

First, of all, it looks as if Google digitalised the long s (ſ) as s most of the time. Then, one has to consider the following four variants of s-spelling. I distinguish between the case where a long s (ſ) is used (mostly blackletter fonts) and where it is not (mostly antiqua fonts): Heyse’s rules – ſs (ss) after short vowels: dass, müsst, ließ (antiqua); ...


9

You answered your own question. It can be used figuratively to describe a rapid movement (not necessarily airborne) or, more abstract, a rapid change of a situation. You already provided a nice, diverse list of examples covering possible uses. Other than that, it still perfectly describes the motion of an object that moves through the air. The implication ...


9

The origin of reich according to the German Wiktionary: Das Adjektiv lässt sich auf das althochdeutsche rīhhi und das mittelhochdeutsche rīch oder rīche (edel, mächtig, von vornehmer Herkunft) zurückführen. Diese beiden ja-Stämme lassen sich wahrscheinlich [...] als Ableitungen vom germanischen Substantiv rīk- (Herrscher, Fürst) auffassen. Dieses ...


8

I learned in school that the alphabet has 26 letters, A to Z, that was in the 1970s and 80s in Germany. Somehow the umlauts and the eszet were never mentioned when the alphabet was enumerated, I suppose because they are not considered proper letters in German. As for the letter "c", we have plenty of them, but in german words they only occur in the ...



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