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27 votes
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Need help to read Fraktur from a 18th century book

The sentence is: Diese beyden letzten Dinge wollen wir indeß bey Seite setzen, um den Fall nicht zu sehr zu verwickeln. Aendert... Some of the words had a different spelling in that time. What you ...
27 votes
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Help translating the old German word hewrigenn

Hewrig/heurig (akk: heurigen) means "of the current year" or also "new", "young" (also here). This is still in use in Austria, for example for new wine or new potatoes. ...
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25 votes
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What is the origin of the two past tenses in German?

I interpret the question as: How did the functional difference between a "narrative" and a "conversational" past come about? I assume the development of the forms is not relevant (i.e. the fact that ...
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21 votes
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Origin of the word "Abenteuer"?

das Abenteuer In 12th century the Old French word aventure was imported into the German language. In Middle High German it soon became aventiure and soon (still in Middle High German) v turned ...
20 votes

Warum “Flugzeug“, nicht “Fliegzeug“?

... wäre Fliegzeug dann nicht logischer? Definitiv nein: Ich bin gerade einige Verben durchgegangen, bei denen sich das Substantiv, das die Tätigkeit beschreibt, und das Verb im Vokal unterscheiden: ...
19 votes
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What or where is "Foriaul"?

The text is not in modern German, sure. But at first glance this short excerpt looks like it might be an older form of German like Middle High German, Early New High German, low German, or perhaps ...
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17 votes

Is or was the word "gebenedeit" used in everday language?

From a native speaker's perspective: No, gebenedeit (as well as the infinitive benedeien) is not a word used outside a religious context. Interestingly though, the opposite vermaledeit is a ...
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17 votes
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Why do translations of German books read so differently from other books?

The answer to your question is actually simple: The books you are currently reading are books from late 19th (or early 20th) century; moreover they seem to tend to be written by statesmen (politicians ...
16 votes

What is the origin of the rules about the capitalization of the first letter of each noun?

You are correct in observing that German is probably the only language to still capitalise common nouns. (Note the emphasis) First of all, this is because capitalisation can only happen in scripts ...
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16 votes
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What could the old German (or maybe Bayrish?) word gestu:ep mean?

According to the DWDS I tend to powdered spice ("gepülvertes gewürz") in the context with the mentioned cookbook. The spelling deviates somewhat with the search term with gestüpp. ...
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15 votes
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Evolution of the digraph “ae” in the German language during the centuries

All images are hyperlinks to their sources. As with all historical typographic and linguistic developments, it’s much more easy to say what happened than why it happened. The following is a brief ...
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15 votes
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Does capitalization work differently in German than it does in English?

Yes, the rules of capitalization are different. In English, only the beginning of sentences as well as proper names (of people, of organisations, of "special things" such as specific celebrations, e....
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15 votes

Schrieb man früher "Beet" statt "Bett"?

Der Duden sagt Folgendes: mittelhochdeutsch bet(te), althochdeutsch betti, auch: Beet; ursprüngliche Bezeichnung für das mit Stroh und Fellen gepolsterte Lager entlang den Wänden des germanischen ...
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13 votes

Mache dich, mein Herze, rein

Die Kommentare sagen es schon: Es ist eine direkte Anrede an "mein Herz", das rein werden soll, um Jesus ganz aufnehmen zu können.
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13 votes
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Is or was the word "gebenedeit" used in everday language?

»Gebenedeit« is the Partizip Perfekt of »benedeien«, and »benedeien« is a loanword from Latin. The latin origin is »benedicere«. It means »to bless« (»segnen« in German) or »to praise« (»preisen« or »...
13 votes
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Etymology of "Mohn"

A quote from DUDEN Das Herkunftswörterbuch Etymologie der deutschen Sprache, 3. Auflage, 2001. ISBN 3-411-04073-4: On Page 536: Mohn: Der Name der alten Kulturpflanze (mhd. mān, māhen, ahd. māho,...
12 votes

Mache dich, mein Herze, rein

Das ist in der Poesie ein klassisches Muster auch außerhalb des biblischen Kontexts; ich hoffe ein anderer Antworter hat den Fachbegriff dafür parat, einen fiktiven Stellvertreter zu benennen und den ...
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12 votes
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Why is "das Weib" grammatically neuter?

Since the etymology of Weib is unknown (1,2), there is also no way to explain its gender.
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11 votes

Why was Fraktur abolished in Germany?

Es gibt mehrere Theorien über den möglichen Grund des Verbots: Deutschland wollte zu einer Weltmacht aufsteigen, und seinen Einfluß (kulturell, politisch) in der Welt sichern. Mit Schrifttum, das im ...
  • 59.8k
11 votes
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Proto-Indo-European language or "Indogermanische Ursprache"?

We have these pairs: English term - German term Proto-Indo-European language = Indogermanische Ursprache Indo-European languages = Indogermanische Sprachen Proto-Germanic language = Urgermanische ...
11 votes
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Modern name or translation of the illness "der rothen Sucht"

I have no idea how you were able to decipher that as a non-native speaker. Good work! Yes, it's some kind of Kurrentschrift. Sütterlin was another type of Kurrentschrift, but it wasn't created until ...
10 votes

Why doesn’t German have a present continuous tense?

It does not make much sense to ask why a certain language has this or that feature. Why does english have just only one noun class (i.e. gender)? (with the exception of pronouns for persons; he, she, ...
10 votes
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Casus in »Er satzte sich bei die Knechte.«

Der gleiche Text in Matthäus 26 lautet in einer Bibel von 1912 Petrus aber folgte ihm nach von ferne bis in den Palast des Hohenpriesters und ging hinein und setzte sich zu den Knechten, auf daß er ...
  • 59.8k
10 votes
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What difference is there between “Geschlechtes” and “Geschlechts”?

There are a lot of German nouns whose genitive have two different forms, typically one ending on -es and one on -s. This has historic and etymologic reasons. The older form of the genitive which was ...
  • 38.2k
10 votes
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Was bedeutet Thée auf Deutsch?

Not until recently (in language history terms) the German spelling of tea indeed was Thee It is listed in old dictionaries, and was use by Goethe and Schiller too. The accent was unusual even then ...
  • 70k
9 votes

Does German language have "possessive apostrophe"?

Your question has already been answered very well. But to add some more information about the meaning of German apostrophe: In German, an apostrophe is always the hint that one letter is missing (in ...
  • 351
9 votes

Why doesn’t German have a present continuous tense?

The Rheinische Verlaufsform - the proper scientific term being “am-Progressiv” - is seeping into common language. It is mostly used with a valency of zero or one in High German. There are other ...
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