Leçons Allemand

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Party like it's 2019?

That's a bad idea at the moment, best not to. But it doesn't hurt to remember better times. The late American president Ronald Reagan once told the United Nations General Assembly, "I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world." Now that we're facing a threat from within this world, we can only hope that it will help people and nations get along better and create a more caring society.

 

It's very strange to be watching television — and that's probably the main leisure activity of most of us most of the time in these COVID-19 days — and see people in large gatherings greeting each other with hugs. It's almost as if we're watching a science fiction movie or some historical drama where people behaved completely differently than they are allowed to now. 

 

In the spirit of better times and in the hope that when things return to "normal," it'll be better than before, let's focus this week on the German noun die Party. It's a loanword from English and in this case takes on the sixth definition listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "a social gathering." 

 

Letzte Nacht haben sie mich zu einer Party mitgenommen mit all ihren Freunden.

Last night they took me to a party with all their friends.

Caption 9, Die Wohngemeinschaft: Die Verabredung

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War die Party gut? -Sehr gut. Die Party war super.

Was the party good? -Very good. The party was super.

Caption 3, Nicos Weg: Andere Länder

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Viele machen sich's gemütlich zu Hause oder sie gehen auf  eine Party.

Many people will make themselves comfortable at home or they will go to a party.

Caption 93, Silvester Vorsätze für das neue Jahr: Linkenheim

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Die größte Party ist natürlich wie jedes Jahr im Piratenland.

The biggest party is, of course, in Pirate Land as it is every year.

Caption 23, Die Insel Fehmarn: Surffestival

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With eine Party, you have to be careful with the plural. German, unlike English, does not have the rule that "y" becomes "ie" when "s" is added for the plural form of the word. In German, "s" is simply added after the "y." The plural die Partys looks like a misspelling or something from a Shakespeare play, but in German it's quite correct: 

 

Wie hält man so viele Shows und Partys nonstop eine Woche lang durch?

How do you keep up with so many shows and parties non-stop for a whole week?

Caption 45, Modewoche in Berlin Halbzeit für Fashion-Fans

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Hier gibt es ein Café, eine Sporthalle und viele Partys.

Here there is a café, a gymnasium and many parties.

Caption 17, Universität Karlsruhe

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Further Learning
Be sure you don't mix die Party up with another noun, die Partei, as the latter means a political party—not the fun kind. Watch the full videos listed above on Yabla German to get into the party spirit and see the word used in a context that we hope will be more like the "real world" soon. You can also read this Zwiebelfisch article about German Partys vs. English "parties." And when you're done, read this article on Psychology Today about the possible positive effects of an alien invasion and see if some of it might apply to our current situation. Staying positive is one of the most important things of all!

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