Leçons Allemand

Thèmes

A "Little" German Lesson

Let's talk today about the adjectives and adverbs we can use for the English word "small" and its synonyms. Everyone should already know klein, but there are also other similar words that are used with similar meaning in different idioms and contexts.

 

Der Prinz hatte nicht die geringsten Zweifel daran.

The Prince did not have the slightest doubt about it.

Caption 57, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse

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Der Enthusiasmus ist ein bisschen gering heute.

I notice that the enthusiasm is a little bit limited today.

Caption 50, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Verben der 2. Kategorie

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So while you could perhaps replace the above contexts with die kleinsten Zweifel or ein bisschen klein heute, the adjective and adverb gering is generally used in contexts where something can't really be counted, such as "doubt" or "enthusiasm." And while you may say die Chancen sind gering ("the chances are low" or "the chances are small"), against all expectation you more commonly say its opposite as die Chancen sind groß ("the chances are great") rather than die Chancen sind hoch ("the chances are high"). The latter is acceptable, but less common.

 

Ich glaub, mein Ruhepuls ist schon sehr niedrig.

I think my resting heart rate is very low.

Caption 8, Generali fragt Angelique Kerber: Lieblinge

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The adjective and adverb niedrig is usually translated as "low," but you have to be careful, for though it may be understandable to native speakers, it would not be correct German to say die Chancen sind niedrig! But the word niedrig is usually associated with the height of things, such as low heart rate levels, or physical things such as low walls or buildings.

 

Let's take a look at some other words relating to "small." The adjective and adverb winzig is also sometimes translated as "diminutive," "minute," or "miniscule":

 

Das Mädchen war barfuß und hinterließ winzige Fußabdrücke

The girl was barefoot and left tiny footprints behind,

Caption 9, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Das kleine Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern

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You should be careful with the false friend schmal, since it resembles the English word "small"— but just because the windows are schmal does not necessarily mean that they are small:

 

Richtig. Meistens sind ja die Fenster dann auch noch recht schmal.

Right. The windows are also mostly really narrow.

Caption 57, Feuerwehr Heidelberg: Löschfahrzeug

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You'll find a "real friend" in mikroskopisch, however, as it does indeed mean "microscopic."

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and look for videos containing the "small" German adjectives and adverbs gering, niedrig, and winzig. You may make up some sentences containing different English words for "small" and translate them to German, then have your teacher or tandem partner check your work.

Continuer la lecture

Verbs with Dative Objects

If you're studying German, you're learning about the accusative and dative cases. You've likely looked at many sentences with a direct and indirect object that look similar to this one:

 

Also: Ich schenke ihm ein Ticket fürs Theater.

So, I give him a ticket to the theater.

Caption 15, Nicos Weg: Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

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In the sentence above, the ticket is the direct object and the pronoun "him" is the indirect object in the dative case, which is why it is ihm and not ihn. Generally in German, the direct object is associated with the accusative case. Here's a classic example, with the accusative personal pronoun dich as the direct object:

 

Weil ich dich liebe, noch immer und mehr

Because I love you, still and more

Caption 9, Marius Müller-Westernhagen Weil Ich Dich Liebe

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However, there are a number of common verbs that normally take an object in the dative case, even when there is no object with the accusative case in the sentence. You may already be familiar with this sort of structure from these common phrases:

 

Wir lassen jetzt die Sabine unser Gericht probieren und hoffen, dass es ihr schmeckt.

We'll now let Sabine taste our dish and hope that she likes it.

Captions 74-75, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte Rheinland-Pfalz

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Ich habe den ersten Teil schon gesehen und der hat mir sehr gut gefallen.

I saw the first part already and I liked it a lot.

Caption 43, Diane erklärt: Fragewörter

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Das braune Portemonnaie gehört dir, oder?

The brown wallet belongs to you, right?

Caption 18, Nicos Weg: Meine Familie

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Here are some other verbs that follow this pattern, each with a dative personal pronoun:

 

Du kannst mir vertrauen. Ich will dir helfen.

You can trust me. I want to help you.

Caption 7, Die Pfefferkörner: Cybermobbing

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Und ich hätte wirklich stundenlang dir zuhören können.

And I really could have listened to you for hours.

Caption 42, The Voice of German: Isabel Nolte singt „Als ich fortging“

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Lisa, ich gratuliere dir.

Lisa, I congratulate you.

Caption 7, Nicos Weg: Das ist mir wichtig!

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Bleib bei mir, verzeih mir

Stay with me, forgive me

Caption 16, Clueso: Weil ich dich liebe

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Further Learning
Try to create sentences with other common verbs that follow this pattern: danken, dienen, einfallen, fehlen, folgengelingenpassieren, schwer fallenwehtun, and widersprechen. You can find an extensive list on this website and will also find examples with these verbs on Yabla German.

Continuer la lecture

Pop Music Instruments in German

A few lessons ago, we discussed the names of classical music instruments in German. Let's take a look today at the German names of some of the most common musical instruments used in pop music.

 

We already discussed the piano in the classical instruments lesson, but there are also a number of other kinds of keyboard instruments (das Tasteninstrument) that are used in pop music. They are also called das Keyboard, plural die Keyboards. A person who plays keyboards is der Keyboarder / die Keyboarderin.

 

The Hammond organ is a popular vintage organ that is still much-loved in pop and jazz music. Although Hammond is actually a brand name, it is listed in the German dictionary as a proper German word: die Hammondorgel. Other popular electronic organs from the 1960s, which were produced cheaply by companies such as Farfisa in Italy and Vox in the UK, are often referred to casually—or deprecatingly—as die Schweineorgel, which translates literally to "pig organ"!

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Another popular Tasteninstrument that began to be widely used in the 1970s is the synthesizer (der Synthesizer). It's often referred to casually as der Synthi.

 

Diese ganzen analogen Synthesizer?

All those analog synthesizers?

Caption 115, LOTTE & Max Giesinger: Interview

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Probably the most important instrument in rock music, especially in heavy metal and punk rock music, is the electric guitar, called die elektrische Gitarre (or die Elektrogitarre), or die E-Gitarre for short. Generally, a person who plays guitar is called der Gitarrist / die Gitarristin. A common slang word for the electric guitar, especially among musicians, is die Klampfe. A very old-fashioned term for the guitar is die Zupfgeige, which translates literally to "pluck violin"!

 

So gibt es hier die elektrische Gitarre für den abgebrühten Rockstar.

Thus there is the electric guitar here for the jaded rock star.

Caption 2, Rheinmain im Blick: Musikmesse in Frankfurt

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On the bottom end of the harmonic spectrum, we find the electric bass and upright bass, called die Bassgitarre (or der E-Bass) and der Kontrabass respectively. A person who plays bass is der Bassist / die Bassistin.

 

Sie schafft Platz zu Hause und erfreut die Fans, die bald Burger unter der Bassgitarre futtern können.

She makes room at home and pleases the fans, who will soon be able to scarf down burgers under the bass guitar.

Captions 8-9, Christina Stürmer: ist reif fürs Museum

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Let's look now at the beat, an intrinsic element of most forms of pop music, with the drums at the forefront: das Schlagzeug, or the English-based derivative, die Drums. A person who plays the drums is der Schlagzeuger / die Schlagzeugerin or, perhaps somewhat old-fashioned, der Trommler / die Trommlerin. Again, the English derivative is also available: der Drummer / die Drummerin.

 

Geige ist mir zu langweilig, ich will gleich Schlagzeug spielen.

Violin is too boring for me, I want to play drums right away.

Caption 36, Sons of Sounds: Interview

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Of course, brass instruments have always played a role in pop music, but the most common horn in pop music is probably the saxophone: das Saxofon. A foreign-influenced spelling, das Saxophon, is also acceptable, though the Duden dictionary has das Saxofon as the preferred spelling. A person who plays the saxophone is der Saxofonist / die Saxofonistin, and here too the foreign-influenced spelling is allowed.

 

Ich bin Musiker. Ich spiele Saxofon.

I'm a musician. I play saxophone.

Caption 14, Melanie und Thomas: treffen sich

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Let's not neglect a major aspect of pop music, the one item that makes it possible to play so loudly: the amplifier, in German der Verstärker. A guitar amplifier is der Gitarrenverstärker, a bass amplifier der Bassverstärker, and a keyboard amplifier is der Keyboardverstärker. Vocals, horns, and other acoustic instruments are usually amplified through a microphone: das Mikrofon, or its foreign-influenced spelling variant das Mikrophon—or just das Mikro for short. All of these instruments are usually amplifed on larger stages through a PA system. The proper German dictionary word is die Beschallungsanlage, but as Wikipedia will attest, in common parlance, it's most commonly called die PA-Anlage.

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above relating to musical instruments. You can also search for the names of the instruments and find other videos. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in German using these musical instrument words, then compare what you both came up with.

Continuer la lecture

The World of Business

This week's lesson is dedicated to basic German business vocabulary. From news reports about the economy (die Wirtschaft) to videos that take place in office settings, there's quite a lot to be found on Yabla German. In this lesson, we have highlighted all business and workplace vocabulary.

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First of all, there are a number of words for "the business" or "the company":

 

Wir haben einen Vertrag mit der Firma.

We have a contract with the company.

Caption 36, Mülltrennung: in Heidelberg

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Er ist Geschäftsführer des Unternehmens.

He is the director of the company.

Caption 32, Sicherheit im Straßenverkehr: Versicherer entwickeln automatischen Notruf für alle Autos

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Um dies sicherzustellen, habe der Konzern die Frequenz der Belieferungen erhöht.

To ensure this, the group has increased the frequency of deliveries.

Caption 13, Coronavirus: Trotz Hamsterkäufen keine Versorgungsprobleme

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The word for business in general is das Geschäft. Above, you see the word der Geschäftsführer, which would be the director or CEO of a company. The word for "co-worker" is der Arbeitskollege or die Arbeitskollegin, or simply der Kollege or die Kollegin, which is how the employees (der Mitarbeiter or die Mitarbeiterin) at a company would describe each other. They would likely refer to the person they report to as der Chef or die Chefin, which (Achtung!) in German is not someone who works in a kitchen. 

 

Genau, ihre Kollegin, Frau Larsen, hat mir alles gezeigt, die ganzen Büros, und mir die Mitarbeiter vorgestellt.

Exactly, your colleague Ms. Larsen showed me everything, all the offices, and introduced me to the employees.

Captions 9-10, Das Lügenbüro: Die Bewerbung

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„Während ich an meinen Rechnungen saß, kam meine Chefin und hat mir noch mehr Aufgaben zugeteilt.“

"While I was sitting with my bills, my boss came and assigned me further tasks."

Captions 41-42, Eva erklärt: temporale Konnektoren

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In a company, "the department" is die Abteilung. Take a look:

 

Hier in der Personalabteilung ist eine Halbtagsstelle frei geworden.

A part-time job has become free here in the human resources department.

Caption 40, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Sie suchen nach jemandem für ihre Marketingabteilung.

They're looking for someone for their marketing department.

Caption 8, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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In terms of finances and profits, here are some good words to know:

 

Meine Berechnungen für den zu erwartenden Absatz liegen Ihnen vor.

My calculations for the expected sales are lying in front of you.

Caption 55, Mama arbeitet wieder Kapitel 2: Kompromisse zu finden ist nicht einfach

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Siebenundvierzig Millionen Euro Umsatz hat die Messe in diesem Jahr gemacht.

The trade show made forty-seven million euros in gross revenue this year.

Caption 33, Agrarmesse Grüne Woche in Berlin

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Im letzten Jahr wurde ein Rekordergebnis von einundzwanzig-Komma-acht Millionen Euro Gewinn erzielt,

Last year a record result of twenty-one point eight million euros profit was achieved,

Captions 37-38, Fluglinien Niki Air

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Further Learning
On Yabla German, watch our Berufsleben series to listen to conversations taking place in an office setting.

Continuer la lecture

Classical Music Instruments in German

A few lessons ago, we discussed the Performing Arts (die darstellende Kunst), one of which is music (die Musik). Let's take a look today at the German names of some of the most common musical instruments used in classical music.

 

The piano is one of the main instruments in Western culture, and many musicians who specialize in other instruments and singing are often required to learn some basic piano skills. This is because of the piano's large range, from deep bass to high treble, which allows it to cover all of the ranges used by orchestral instruments. The piano is also important for musical composition, and many works for orchestra have been composed using the piano. 

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In German, the piano may be called either das Klavier or das Piano, although the latter is more old-fashioned and sometimes used in jest. A person who plays the piano is called der Klavierspieler / die Klavierspielerin or der Pianist / die Pianistin. This reflects the English terms "piano player" and "pianist" respectively.

 

Piggeldy wollte wissen, wie man Klavier spielt.

Piggeldy wanted to know how to play the piano.

Caption 2, Piggeldy und Frederick: Das Klavier

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Er ist eigentlich klassischer Pianist.

He is actually a classical pianist.

Caption 54, Rockfabrik-Open-Air Love-Street: Interview

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The violin also has two common names in German: die Geige or die Violine. A person who plays the violin is called either der Geiger / die Geigerin or der Violinist / die Violinistin.

 

Die beiden Spezialisten, haben von klein auf klassischen Unterricht bekommen, das heißt, Violine und Klavier.

The two experts received classical instruction from an early age, that is, violin and piano.

Captions 26-27, Sons of Sounds Open: Air in Karlsruhe

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Star-Geiger David Garrett war für einen Kurzauftritt angereist

Star violinist David Garrett had traveled here for a brief appearance

Caption 52, rheinmain Szene: Live-Entertainment-Award in Frankfurt

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Of the remaining bowed string instruments, the viola is called die Bratsche and is played by der Bratschist / die Bratschistin. The cello, which is actually short for "violoncello," is called the same in German: das Cello. A person who plays the cello is der Cellist / die Cellistin. The double bass—also called the upright bass or acoustic bass—is the deepest of the string instruments. In German, it's called der Kontrabass and its players are called der Kontrabassist / die Kontrabassistin.

 

Der Mensch braucht eine Geige, ein Klavier und einen Kontrabass.

A human being needs a violin, a piano and a contrabass.

Caption 65, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Was braucht der Mensch?

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The highest of the woodwind reed instruments are the clarinet and the oboe, called die Klarinette and die Oboe respectively. The clarinet is played by der Klarinettist / die Klarinettistin and the oboe by der Oboist / die Oboistin. The deepest is the bassoon, in German das Fagott, which is played by der Fagottist / die Fagottistin

 

There are also several non-reed woodwind instruments such as the flute and the recorder, respectively called die Flöte and die Blockflöte in German. A flautist is der Flötist / die Flötistin, and a recorder player is der Blockflötist / die Blockflötistin.

 

Der Rattenfänger ging auf die Hauptstraße und zückte seine Flöte.

The Pied Piper went out onto the main street and pulled out his flute.

Caption 37, Märchen: Sagenhaft Der Rattenfänger von Hameln

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Of the brass instruments, the most commonly used are the trumpet and the French horn, respectively die Trompete and das Horn in German. The players are der Trompetist / die Trompetistin and der Hornist / die Hornistin. In the lower registers there's also the tuba, die Tuba. It's played by der Tubist / die Tubistin, or alternately der Tubaspieler / die Tubaspielerin. 

 

Und mit dir Trompeten, Geigen und Chöre...

And with you, trumpets, violins and choirs...

Caption 69, Wincent Weiss & Benni Freibott: Musik sein

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Lastly, the main percussion instruments used are the marimba (die Marimba), the snare drum (die kleine Trommel), and the timpani (die Pauke). The snare drum has a variety of names in German, but it's often informally referred to simply by its English name, die Snare. The person in the orchestra playing these instruments is called der Perkussionist / die Perkussionistin

 

Dann Paukenschläge auf Trommelwirbel...

Then timpani strikes over a drum roll...

Caption 71, Wincent Weiss & Benni Freibott Musik sein

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above relating to musical instruments. You can also search for the names of the instruments and find other videos. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in German using these musical instrument words, then compare what you both came up with. In an upcoming lesson, we'll talk about the different kinds of musical instruments used in pop music!

Continuer la lecture

Landscapes and Landforms

In a previous newsletter, we looked at the German words for various bodies of water. This week, we'll take a look at different landscapes and landforms found in Germany and around the world. Germany itself has a surprising number of these diverse landscapes, with forests, rolling hills, valleys and mountain ranges, rocky and sandy coasts, and even wetlands. 

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Yabla has many videos about the incredible ecosystems of das Gebirge, the mountain range. You may also hear die Berge ("the mountains").

 

Nur wenige Menschen nehmen das beschwerliche Leben im Hochgebirge auf sich.

Only a few people take on the arduous life in the high mountains.

Caption 27, Die letzten Paradiese Schätze der Natur: Südtirol 

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Im kalten Stellisee verläuft ihre Entwicklung langsamer als im Tal.

In the cold Stellisee [a lake], their development proceeds more slowly than in the valley.

Caption 4, Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten

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Denn wenn das Eis der Gletscher schmilzt, fließt das Wasser von den Berghöhen durch Spalten tief ins Gebirge hinein.

Because if the ice of the glaciers melts, the water will flow from the mountain heights through fissures deep into the mountains.

Captions 35-36, Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten

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Fast die Hälfte der Landesfläche ist von Wald bedeckt.

Almost half of the state's area is covered by forest.

Caption 51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Rheinland-Pfalz

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People may indeed think of forested mountains when they think of Germany, but there are also landscapes that we might associate more with other countries:

 

Einfach durch den Sumpf reiten konnten wir natürlich nicht.

We couldn't just ride through the swamp, of course.

Caption 10, Jan von München: Als ich mich einmal selbst aus dem Sumpf befreite

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In den Hügeln der grünen Insel Irland lebte einmal ein armer Kerl namens Niall O'Leary.

In the hills of the green isle of Ireland there once lived a poor fellow named Niall O'Leary.

Caption 5, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Ein Topf voll Gold

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Es sah hinaus auf die Wiese, die etwas weiter reichte, als es sehen konnte.

It looked out onto the meadow that extended somewhat farther than it could see.

Caption 45, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Das hässliche Entlein

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Near the North Sea or Baltic Sea, you will find completely different landforms (including islands!) and ecosystems:

 

Natali und Florian zieht es zunächst an die Küste Cornwalls.

Natali and Florian proceed first to the coast of Cornwall.

Caption 28, Abenteuer Nordsee: Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

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Die Hauptattraktion ist hier natürlich der Strand.

The main attraction here is, of course, the beach.

Caption 8, Berlin: Wannsee

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Of course, there are some landscapes that you simply won't find in Germany:

 

Sindbad kroch durch den Dschungel.

Sinbad crept through the jungle.

Caption 27, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Sindbad, der Seefahrer

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Die Wüste war heiß, die Berge waren hoch

The desert was hot, the mountains were high

Caption 5, Clueso Weil ich dich liebe

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Further Learning

There are many nature videos on Yabla German, and most of them include detailed descriptions of the landscape like in this series about the Alps. How would you describe the landscape of the country or region you are from? Try to talk about it with a tandem partner, or write down a few sentences. 

Continuer la lecture

The Literary and Performing Arts in German

A few lessons ago, we started learning about different kinds of Visual Art in German: architecture, ceramics, conceptual art, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Let's continue today with the Literary Arts (die Literatur) and the Performing Arts (die darstellende Kunst).

 

Literature (die Literatur) as a creative field does not usually include news journalism or technical writing, but usually includes poetry (die Dichtung or die Poesie), drama (die Dramatik or das Drama), and fictional and non-fictional prose (die Prosa). A person who creates literature is usually called an author (der Autor / die Autorin), a dramatist or playwright (der Dramatiker / die Dramatikerin), a poet (der Dichter, die Dichterin), or simply a writer (der Schriftsteller, die Schriftstellerin).

 

Man hat einen tollen Schauspieler gesehen, aber auch einen großen Freund der Literatur.

You have seen a great actor, but also a great friend of literature.

Captions 50-51, Rheinmain im Blick: Klaus Maria Brandauer liest Goethe

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Und ich habe gedacht, dem Autor fällt etwas Besseres ein.

And I thought the author would come up with something better.

Caption 9, Nicos Weg: Essen gehen

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The next category is the Performing Arts, which includes dance, drama, or music—all of which are performed in front of an audience.

 

Dance (der Tanz) as an art form, simply defined as "the art of dancing," is usually referring to contemporary dance (der zeitgenössische Tanz) and ballet (das Ballett), but may include figure skating (der Eiskunstlauf), synchronized swimming (das Synchronschwimmen or das Kunstschwimmen), and some forms of gymnastics (das Turnen or die Gymnastik). A person who designs a dance performance is called a choreographer (der Choreograf / die Choreografin).

 

Mit ihrem anderen Hobby, Ballett, hat sie deshalb aufgehört.

That's why she quit her other hobby, ballet.

Caption 25, Spiegel-TV-Magazin: Skaterin Lilly Stoephasius: Mit dem Skateboard nach Tokio

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Die Tänzer in den Videos brauchten bestimmt nicht so viel Zeit.

The dancers in the videos definitely didn't need that much time.

Caption 41, Konjugation: Das Verb „brauchen“

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A person who performs music (die Musik) is a musician (der Musikerdie Musikerin), or named after the instrument they play. A person who writes music is called a composer (der Komponist / die Komponistin) or songwriter (der Songwriter / die Songwriterin)—alternatively der Liedermacher or die Liedermacherin.

 

„Beethoven, dessen Musik weltbekannt ist, war am Ende seines Lebens taub.“

"Beethoven, whose music is world famous, was deaf at the end of his life."

Caption 38, Deutschkurs in Blaubeuren: Der Relativsatz

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Ein bekannter Komponist aus dieser Stadt hat dort gelebt.

A famous composer from this city lived there.

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Ein Bürger dieser Stadt

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The last form of the performing arts is theater (das Theater). Clearly this extends beyond works performed in theaters to all forms of acting (das Schauspiel), which may also include any of the other Performing Arts of dance and music. Although theater and film production encompass hundreds of types of jobs, the main performing artist is called an actor (der Schauspieler / die Schauspielerin).

 

Ich werde am St. Pauli Theater arbeiten als Assistent für Kostümdesign.

I'll work at the St. Pauli Theater as an assistant for costume design.

Caption 4, Drei Leute: beim Kofferpacken

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Daniel Brühl gilt mittlerweile als einer der erfolgreichsten deutschen Schauspieler.

Daniel Brühl is now regarded as one of the most successful German actors.

Caption 9, Jahresrückblick 2013: Deutsche Promis

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above relating to art forms and professions. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in German using these art words, then compare what you both came up with.

Continuer la lecture

Last Week's Election

As you may know, the parliamentary election in Germany took place on Sunday, September 26th. On a national level, the SPD (Social Democratic Party) took the lead this time, whereas the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) suffered losses. The significance of this election in particular lies in the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel had decided not to seek re-election, meaning that the SPD now will appoint the next Chancellor rather than Merkel's CDU party. 

 

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The word for "the election" in German is die Wahl, which can also simply mean "the choice." As you can see below, die Stimme means not only "the voice" but also "the vote" in German. 

 

Sie zählen die Stimmen nach dem Ende der Wahl.

They count the votes after the end of the election.

Caption 4, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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The related verb for die Wahl is wählen

 

Parlamentsmitglieder, die von den Bürgern und Bürgerinnen gewählt werden, nennt man Abgeordnete.

Members of parliament who are elected by citizens are called representatives.

Captions 38-39, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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When it is a matter not of an election, but a vote, you will likely see the noun die Abstimmung and the verb abstimmen

 

Unmittelbar vor der Abstimmung des Bundestages über längere Atom-Laufzeiten haben Aktivisten am Donnerstag Morgen das Dach der CDU-Zentrale in Berlin besetzt.

Just before the Bundestag's vote on longer running times of nuclear power plants on Thursday morning, activists occupied the roof of the CDU headquarters in Berlin.

Captions 2-4, Atomkraft: Streit um AKW-Laufzeiten

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However, at this time, we are talking about electing political parties. It's worth remembering that die Partei refers only to a political party, or for example, parties in a negotiation. It does not refer to a birthday party or retirement party. That would be die Feier or die Party.  There is actually a satirical but genuinely leftist-oriented political party whose official name is die Partei

 

Welche Parteien wurden in Deutschland zweitausendsieben zur Partei „Die Linke“?

Which parties became the party "Die Linke" in Germany in two thousand seven?

Caption 25, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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You can find other relevant vocabulary in a number of videos on Yabla German:

 

Im Jahr neunzehnhundertneunundneunzig nahmen die Regierung und das Parlament ihre Arbeit in Berlin wieder auf.

In nineteen ninety-nine, the government and parliament resumed their work in Berlin.

Captions 21-22, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Berlin

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In Deutschland gehören der Bundestag und der Bundesrat zur... Legislative.

In Germany, the Bundestag and the federal council belong to the... legislative.

Captions 15-16, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Wenn Abgeordnete im Deutschen Bundestag ihre Fraktion wechseln, kann die Regierung ihre Mehrheit verlieren.

If representatives in the German Bundestag change their parliamentary group, the government can lose its majority.

Captions 31-32, Bundesrepublik Deutschland Einbürgerungstest

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Further Learning
You can listen to Deutsche Welle's news report from the election or take a look at how the election played out in Berlin. If you are up for a challenge, try out the Wahl-o-mat, which determines the political party that your views are most aligned with. For thorough information on German politics and history, have a look at our series with questions and answers from the actual German citizenship test. 

Continuer la lecture

The Visual Arts in German

The arts are basically divided into three different categories: the Visual Arts (die bildende Kunst), Literature (die Literatur), and the Performing Arts (die darstellende Kunst). Of course, there are art forms that combine the different categories—as well as art that is very difficult to categorize at all—but let's stick to the basics!

 

Today we'll focus on the Visual Arts. The first type of art in this category is architecture (die Architektur). The professional title of a person who creates architecture is an architect (der Architekt / die Architektin).

 

Architektur ist eben die Reflexion eines Zeitgeistes.

Architecture is simply a reflection of a spirit of the times.

Caption 38, Architektur der Stadt: Karlsruhe

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Mit dem namentlichen Gedenken möchte Architektin Barbara Willecke einerseits den Ort der Synagoge wieder sichtbar machen

With memorialization by name, architect Barbara Willecke would like, on the one hand, to make the site of the synagogue visible again

Captions 65-66, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Gedenkstätte am Michelsberg

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The next type of art in the visual arts is ceramics (die Keramik), which is classified in German culture as an artisanal handicraft (das Kunsthandwerk). Works of art made of ceramic are also called pottery (die Töpferware). You call a person who makes ceramics a ceramicist (der Keramiker / die Keramikerin) or a potter (der Töpfer / die Töpferin).

 

Und das ist jetzt auch aus Keramik produziert? -Das ist aus Keramik.

And this is also produced now out of ceramic? -This is made of ceramic.

Caption 48, Karlsruher Stadtgeburtstag: die Majolika-Manufaktur

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Das hat 1936 die Keramikerin Else Bach kreiert.

That was made in 1936 by the ceramicist Else Bach.

Caption 7, Majolika Karlsruhe: Der Bambi-Filmpreis

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The next type of art in the visual arts category is drawing (das Zeichnen), and the drawing that results is called die Zeichnung. A person who creates drawings is called a drawer (der Zeichner / die Zeichnerin) or an illustrator (der Illustrator / die Illustratorin), but many people working in the visual arts also use drawings as preliminary sketches.

 

Warum haben Sie meine Zeichnung gefälscht?

Why did you forge my drawing?

Caption 39, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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Die Zeichner legen viel rein und du siehst es auch einfach.

The illustrators put a lot into it, and you notice that too.

Caption 54, Manga-und-Anime: Treffen in Mainz-Kastell

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Now we come to painting (die Malerei), a field practiced by painters (der Maler / die Malerin; also der Kunstmaler, die Kunstmalerin), which is probably the traditional art form that most people think of when they think about art. The work resulting from an artist in this field is a painting (das Gemälde).

 

Die Malerei macht glücklich und beruhigt die Seele.

Painting makes me happy and soothes my soul.

Caption 41, Malerei: Ernst Mente

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So kamen auch zwei Kunstwerke des italienischen Malers Gennaro Greco ins Haus.

By this means, two artworks by the Italian painter Gennaro Greco also came into the house.

Caption 12, Restituierung von Raubkunst: aus der Nazi-Zeit

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Next comes photography (die Fotografie), practiced by photographers (der Fotograf / die Fotografin), which has many aspects that are not generally considered fine art, such as photojournalism for the news and commercial photography for advertising. The picture taken by a photographer is called a photograph (das Foto, or less commonly, das Lichtbild). The German word for "photographer," der Fotograf, sounds very similar to the English word "photograph," so beware of this false friend! Note too that with most of the German words above, it is acceptable German spelling to substitute most instances of "f" with "ph": die Photographie, der Photograph, and die Photographin. The tricky word Foto, however, may not be written with "ph"!

 

Wann hast du angefangen, dich für die Fotografie zu interessieren?

When did you start to get interested in photography?

Caption 5, Der Fotograf: Sven Siegrist

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Was ist denn da genau als Fotograf zu beachten?

What exactly is there to consider as a photographer?

Caption 41, Der Fotograf: Sven Siegrist

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The last form of visual arts is conceptual art (die Konzeptkunst), which may be defined as any contemporary art that does not use only the traditional visual art skills of painting or sculpture and so forth. A person who practices this art form is a conceptual artist (der Konzeptkünstler / die Konzeptkünstlerin). Since conceptual art may take the form of an installation, or a form that is not easily sold (in the way an object like a painting or sculpture can be sold), most conceptual artists live from art grants and other forms of financial support.

 

... hier bei der Eröffnung der aktuellen Ausstellung zur Konzeptkunst

... here at the opening of the current exhibition about conceptual art

Caption 8, Museum für Moderne Kunst

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above relating to art forms and professions. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in German using these art words, then compare what you both came up with.

Continuer la lecture

A look at pronunciation, Part 2

Every once in a while, it's good to check in regarding pronunciation, or die Aussprache. In a previous newsletter, we looked at how vowel sounds may change when they are followed by a double consonant, and also at "ich" and "ach" sounds. Today, let's look at one particularly tough topic: the pronunciation of "s" and "z" in German. Luckily, you can refer to two recently released Yabla videos (linked above and below in the examples) to hear a direct comparison.

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Essentially, the German "s" is pronounced either like an English "z" (described in German as a buzzing sound), or an English "s" (described as a hissing sound much like how it is also related to the "ssss" sound a snake makes). Here is the rule:

 

Am Wortanfang wird das „S“ immer summend ausgesprochen.

At the beginning of a word, the "S" is always pronounced with a buzzing sound.

Caption 2, Aussprache mit Eylin: S und Z - Part 2

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This also applies to any "s" in the middle of a word that is the beginning of a syllable, but not to any "s" at the end of a word: 

 

Das „S“ am Wortende jedoch wird zischend ausgesprochen.

The "S" at the end of the word, however, is pronounced with a hissing sound.

Captions 17-18, Aussprache mit Eylin: S und Z - Part 2

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The German "z," however, has NEITHER of these sounds, which is often difficult to remember. When a German word begins with "z," your first impulse should be to actually make a "t" sound, not a buzzing sound:

 

Das deutsche „Z“ wird immer so ausgesprochen: „zzzzzz“.

The German "Z" is always pronounced like this: "tsssss."

Captions 21-22, Aussprache mit Eylin: S und Z - Part 1

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Pronouncing the "z" correctly can be extremely important in order to be understood. Consider how it might affect your communication with a German dentist if you talk about die Sehne ("the tendon") instead of die Zähne ("the teeth")! 

Further Learning
Watch these two videos in their entirety on Yabla German, and practice your "z" and "s" with Eylin. After you do that, here is a short list to test yourself with: die Sahne, die Sehneder Zahn, die Zähne, die Säule, der Zeuge, die Sonne, der Zoo, sinken, das Zink, suchen, and der Zucker. How quickly can you say this list out loud? You can also view Eylin's video on the difference between "s," "ß," and "ss", which discusses the particularities of these three variations of the hissing "s" sound.

Continuer la lecture

Memorialization in Germany

Germany's past role as the prime perpetrator of the Holocaust and the Second World War, and as a nation formerly divided into capitalist and communist states, have made for a very strong national culture of memorialization: die Erinnerungskultur. There are many memorial museums, sculptures, and plaques dedicated to the memory of victims of the Nazis and the former communist state of East Germany. There is also a project called Stolpersteine ("stumbling stones"), initiated in the late 1990s by a German artist, which has installed tens of thousands of small brass plaques throughout Europe into the sidewalks outside the houses where people persecuted by the Nazis once lived. Let's take a look today at some Yabla German videos that feature the theme of memorialization.

 

The German word for a memorial—sometimes a museum and sometimes just a place of memorialization—is die Gedenkstätte:

 

Und im Rahmen dieses besonderen Tages wurde auch die Gedenkstätte für die ermordeten Wiesbadener Juden ihrer Bestimmung übergeben.

And in the framework of this special day, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Wiesbaden was consigned to its set purpose.

Captions 8-10, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Gedenkstätte am Michelsberg

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Auf dem Gelände der neu errichteten europäischen Zentralbank ist nun eine Gedenkstätte entstanden.

On the grounds of the newly constructed European Central Bank, a memorial has now arisen.

Captions 19-20, Rheinmain im Blick: Neue Gedenkstätte an der EZB

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And here, along with the term das Gedenken ("memory," "remembrance," or "commemoration"), are some other words that use das Gedenken as a root word:

 

Anlässlich des Gedenkens an die Befreiung von Auschwitz vor sechsundsechzig Jahren...

On the occasion of the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz sixty-six years ago...

Captions 2-3, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Ausstellung "Frankfurt-Auschwitz"

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Neben dem Kunstprojekt sind im Jubiläumsjahr viele weitere Gedenkaktionen geplant.

In addition to the art project, many further acts of remembrance have been planned for the year of the anniversary.

Captions 38-39, 25 Jahre Wiedervereinigung: Ampelmännchen wird Einheitsmännchen

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Der 27. Januar ist in Deutschland ein offizieller Gedenktag.

The 27th of January is an official day of remembrance in Germany.

Caption 15, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Eine gigantische nationale Gedenkfeier...

A gigantic national commemorative celebration...

Caption 8, Rhein-Main-TV: Feier zur deutschen Einheit in Frankfurt wird gigantisch

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above in their entirety. One active research aspect of memorialization is the return of stolen and looted cultural assets, such as artworks, to the families of victims of Third Reich. You can watch the Restitution von Raubgut series on Yabla here.

Continuer la lecture

The German Education System

At this time of year, schools and universities in many countries around the world are in their first weeks of the school year. German schools actually started again several weeks ago, whereas the fall semester for colleges and universities doesn't begin until mid-October. There are many videos on Yabla German that reference the school system in Germany, which can seem a bit complex at first. The system may also differ slightly depending on which Bundesland you are in.

 

In Germany, der Kindergarten is attended by children generally between ages three and six, much like a pre-school in the United States. Prior to that, babies and toddlers may spend time at a nursery, which is called die Kinderkrippe. Day care centers are generally referred to as die Kita, which is short for die Kindertagesstätte.

 

Die sechsjährige Tochter ist im Kindergarten aktuell noch.

The six-year-old daughter is currently still in kindergarten.

Caption 33, Cettina erklärt: Auswirkungen des Coronavirus

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Ihre Kinder können nicht zur Schule oder in die Kita.

Your children can't go to school or to daycare.

Caption 7, Coronavirus: Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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Children usually enter primary or elementary school (die Grundschule) at age 6 in Germany. 

 

Das Singen in der Grundschule ist besonders wichtig.

Singing in elementary school is particularly important.

Caption 27, Freude am Singen: mit Primacanta

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At age ten (and at age twelve in Berlin and Brandenburg), there are then three types of secondary schools students can choose from depending on aptitude and their educational goals. Students who will likely later do an apprenticeship or technical training would most likely attend die Hauptschule. Die Realschule prepares students for a variety of possible careers, whereas das Gymnasium is an academic high school that prepares them for university. The resulting degree after Gymnasium, a high school diploma called das Abitur, more or less guarantees entrance to a German university. In some cities, you may also find a comprehensive high school, more like in the United States, which is called die Gesamtschule.

 

Zum ersten Mal findet der Projekttag in einer Haupt- und Realschule statt.

For the first time, the project day is taking place at a trade-oriented high school and a career-oriented high school.

Caption 21, Gewaltprävention: Gewalt an Schulen

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Wart ihr in Deutschland auf einem Gymnasium oder einer Realschule?

In Germany, did you go to an academically-oriented high school or a career-oriented high school?

Captions 8-9, Nicos Weg: Bewerbung

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Ohne Abitur kann ich doch aber gar nicht studieren.

But without a high school diploma I can't go to university at all.

Caption 33, Die Klasse: Berlin '61

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There are different types of institutions for higher education in Germany. One can attend die Berufsschule, which is a vocational school where students may simultaneously do an apprenticeship, or die Fachhochschule, which is a university of applied sciences. Generally, die Hochschule is a university or college, though larger institutions will be called die Universität. You'll note below that both die Hochschule and die Universität are used to refer to the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.

 

Die Idee dazu hatte Professor Meyer von der Evangelischen Fachhochschule Darmstadt.

Professor Meyer had the idea for it; he's from the Evangelical Technical College of Darmstadt.

Captions 10-11, Bespielbare Stadt: Griesheim

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Ich war jetzt grad zuletzt an der Hochschule in Karlsruhe.

I was just recently at the university in Karlsruhe.

Caption 39, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Was studierst du hier an der universität in Karlsruhe?

What do you study here at the university in Karlsruhe?

Caption 8, Geoökologie: Cettina interviewt Sarah

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch this video in its entirety to see if you can follow the use of these terms in the conversation. This website also provides a good overview of the education system in Germany. 

Continuer la lecture

German Verbs of Questioning

I've spoken German with native German speakers on a daily basis for many years, but I still think that some verbs related to the root verb fragen are confusing. The fact that they all deal with different types of "asking" just makes matters worse! Let's see if this lesson can help us all get a better overview of the verbs abfragen, anfragen, befragen, and erfragen.

 

Also gut. Dann werde ich dich abfragen, Sabine.

All right. Then I'll quiz you, Sabine.

Caption 10, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Rheinland-Pfalz

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Dann werde ich euch jetzt abfragen.

Then I'll ask you now.

Caption 4, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Baden-Württemberg

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The verb abfragen is used when you want to formally test or quiz somebody to find out how much they know about something. It is usually translated as "to ask," or "to quiz."

 

Bei Interesse einfach bei einem Outdoorfitness-Anbieter anfragen.

If you're interested, simply inquire at an outdoor fitness provider.

Caption 40, Neuer Fitness-Trend: Kinderwagen-Workout

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Die haben dann auch immer angefragt und wir haben oft denen Sachen hinterhergebracht.

They then always asked as well, and we often brought them things afterwards.

Captions 18-19, Die Klasse: Berlin '61

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The verb anfragen is the best choice of words if you are approaching somebody with a question or inquiry. It's usually translated as "to ask" or "to inquire." 

 

Ich mein, wir sollten sie mal intensiver befragen.

I mean, we should question her more intensively.

Caption 70, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Der Kollege Johannes Lemke hat ihn noch einmal befragt nach der spielentscheidenden Szene.

Colleague Johannes Lemke interviewed him again after the match-winning scene.

Caption 35, Fußball: U21-Nationalmannschaft

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The verb befragen, on the other hand, usually means to get specific information from somebody in a more formal sense, for example in a survey, or even a police interview. It is often translated as "to question" or "to interrogate," or even—as in the above example—"to interview." 

 

Sie können dort sehr gerne die Ankünfte beziehungsweise Ausgänge zu den ankommenden Flügen erfragen.

There you can easily inquire about arrivals or exits for arriving flights.

Captions 24-25, Flugreisen: Was mache ich, wenn...

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... so dass wir alle nötigen Infos vorab schon einmal erfragen und die Drehtermine ausmachen können.

... so that we can request all the necessary information in advance and set up the dates for the shoot.

Captions 11-12, Rund um den Airport: Hinter den Kulissen

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Lastly, the verb erfragen means to get information by asking questions, for instance for an address, directions, the time of day, or an opinion. 

 

As you can see, there seems to be a lot of overlap in the meaning of these words, but if you can remember the following, you'll usually find the right word for the context: 

 

USE                 IF YOU
abfragen          want to find out how much someone knows about something (quizzing)

anfragen           are approaching somebody with a question (inquiring)

befragen           want specific information from somebody (questioning, interrogating)

 erfragen           want to get information by asking questions (requesting).

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and find more examples of the above verbs. See if you can guess the meaning of some other verbs that use the root word fragen, such as ausfragen, durchfragen, gegenfragen, nachfragen, and weiterfragen. You can also look up the German definitions of the words at Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache or on the Duden website.

Continuer la lecture

Accepting, confirming, declining, and rejecting

In German, there are many ways to accept or reject an offer or a situation, or talk about doing so. First, there is die Zusage and die Absage, and the verb forms zusagen and absagen. The noun die Zusage is essentially a positive answer, a confirmation (another noun is die Bestätigung), or can even refer to an acceptance letter. You may remember that absagen often means "to cancel" rather than "to reject" or "to decline." Have a look at the Yabla examples below:

 

Ich muss den Leuten, mit denen ich gesprochen habe, noch heute eine Zusage geben, sonst ist das Angebot weg.

I have to give the people I've spoken with a positive answer today or the offer is gone.

Captions 27-28, Nicos Weg: Ein Praktikum beim Film

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Aber ich kann Ihnen heute noch nicht zusagen.

But I can't give you a confirmation today.

Caption 34, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

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Es ist bestimmt eine Zusage.

It's probably an acceptance letter.

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Das hört sich gut an!

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... die radikale Absage an Putin, an die Gasimporte.

... the radical rejection of Putin, of the gas imports.

Caption 3, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen: Zu Besuch in einem Wiener Passivhaus

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Am liebsten würd ich ihn absagen.

I'd actually prefer to cancel it.

Caption 10, Nicos Weg: Freizeitstress

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Ich will wissen, warum du unser Treffen abgesagt hast.

I want to know why you canceled our meeting.

Caption 15, Nicos Weg: Der Umzug

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Among the other verbs that can be used in the context of accepting something are annehmen and hinnehmen. The verb akzeptieren can be used in the sense of "to come to terms with something" in German, and hinnehmen may have a negative connotation as well.

 

Die Partner sollten dieses Angebot annehmen und die Chance nutzen...

The partners should accept this offer and use the opportunity...

Caption 63, Angela Merkel: Gemeinsame Pressekonferenz mit Barack Obama

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Wir würden einen kleinen Verlust hinnehmen.

We would accept a small loss.

Caption 43, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Und das ist schwierig zu akzeptieren, dass andre auch vom Grundgesetz profitieren.

And it's difficult to accept that others also benefit from the constitution.

Caption 4, Böhmermann: Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

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There are then the verbs ablehnen, zurückweisen, and verweigern for expressing rejection or refusal, or declining an offer.

 

Früher bedeutete dies, dass man einen Heiratsantrag abgelehnt hat.

It used to mean that you rejected a marriage proposal.

Caption 18, Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter

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Darf die Müllabfuhr wegen falscher Mülltrennung den Abtransport verweigern?

Is the garbage collection service allowed to refuse transport due to incorrect trash separation?

Caption 75, Richter Alexander Hold Wer hat recht bei falscher Mülltrennung?

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Further Learning
You will find many examples of these words in use on Yabla German, so do a quick search to get a better understanding of how they are implemented in sentences. Most of the verbs mentioned above have a related noun (like die Hinnahme and die Ablehnung), so you can also look these up and memorize their articles. 

Continuer la lecture

Verbs with laufen

There are many German verbs that consist of a rather common or basic verb combined with a prefix. Their meaning may then be somewhat or completely different from the verb they contain. You may have read our lessons about verbs related to gehen and verbs with holen. We also have overviews for sprechen and kaufenToday, let's have a look at some verbs that stem from the verb laufen

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By itself, the verb laufen is sometimes synonymous with the translation of gehen as "to walk." However, it also means "to run," and can be used to describe a human or animal running, but also a machine that is "running." It is often used to describe something that is in progress, happening, in operation, or proceeding. Take a look at how the following sentences are translated:

 

Wir laufen durch die Straßen.

We walk through the streets.

Caption 39, Christina Stürmer: Wir leben den Moment

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Ja, und wie läuft's bei dir so in der Wache? Nein, sag bloß!

Yes, and how is it going with you at the station? No way!

Caption 46, Großstadtrevier: Von Monstern und Mördern

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Und das sind die drei Kriterien, wenn die gut laufen, dann läuft auch der Blindenfußball gut.

And these are the three criteria, if they go well, then blind football also goes well.

Caption 22, Blindenfußball Treffen nach Ton

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Die meisten kennen mich wahrscheinlich aus der Sendung „Der Bachelor“, die sehr erfolgreich auf RTL läuft.

Most of you probably know me from the series "Der Bachelor," which is having a very successful run on RTL.

Captions 11-12, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Sorry, das läuft auf meinem alten Laptop nicht. Da müssen wir zu dir.

Sorry, this won't run on my old laptop. We'll have to go to your place.

Caption 35, Die Pfefferkörner: Gerüchteküche

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And now for some related verbs. Let's begin with ablaufen, which can mean "to go," "to proceed," "to lapse," or "to expire." 

 

Bei manchen Leuten läuft's sogar komplett ohne Symptome ab.

For some people, it even runs its course completely without symptoms.

Caption 23, Coronavirus: Schutzmasken zum Selbermachen

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Jetzt werde ich euch erzählen, wie ein Tag in meinem Leben abläuft.

Now I will tell you how a day in my life goes.

Caption 16, Jenny erklärt: Zeitintervalle

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Deine Zeit ist gleich abgelaufen.

Your time will be up soon.

Caption 21, Küss mich, Frosch: Für immer Frosch?

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Among its many meanings, verb auslaufen can mean "to spill" or "to leak," but also "to run out" or "to peter out."

 

Die Ostalgie-Welle ist auch langsam ausgelaufen.

The wave of "Ostalgie" has also slowly petered out.

Caption 2, Der Trabi: Das Kultauto aus dem Osten

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Then there are the verbs verlaufen and sich verlaufen. As you can see, these have very different meanings!

 

Bis jetzt ist alles wirklich gut verlaufen.

Up until now, everything has really gone well.

Caption 7, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Du sagst, wir haben uns nie verlaufen.

You say we've never gotten lost.

Caption 21, Philipp Dittberner: Das ist dein Leben

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Further Learning
You can find many other verbs in this list, some of which are more common than others. You will find many of these on Yabla German as well. Try to make your own examples with the following verbs: davonlaufen, fortlaufen, entlaufen, and herumlaufen.

Continuer la lecture

Fractions and Decimals

You know how to count in German, and perhaps you've read our lesson on large numbers. But what about fractions and numbers with decimals? Let's first have a look at some fractions, called die Brüche or die Bruchzahlen in German. If you know how to tell time in German, some of these will be familiar.

 

Ein Pfund, das sind fünfhundert Gramm, also ein halbes Kilo.

A pound, that's five hundred grams, so half a kilo.

Caption 24, Nicos Weg: Mengen und Preise

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Etwa auf der Hälfte des deutschen Autobahnnetzes gilt kein allgemeines Tempolimit.

There is no general speed limit on about half of the German autobahn network.

Caption 3, AutoMotoTV: Schnell fahren auf der Autobahn

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In the two examples above, we can see that halb means "half" in German, and die Hälfte is correct in certain contexts as well. 

 

Außerdem können sich laut einer Umfrage über zwei Drittel der Deutschen, also die Mehrheit, vorstellen, durch ehrenamtliche Hilfe Flüchtlinge zu unterstützen.

In addition, according to a survey, over two-thirds of all Germans, that is, the majority, could imagine supporting refugees through voluntary aid.

Captions 28-29, Flüchtlingskrise: 10 Vorurteile, die nicht stimmen

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Drei Viertel aller großen Metropolen der Erde mit Einwohnerzahlen über zehn Millionen befinden sich in Küstengebieten.

Three-quarters of all major metropolises on Earth with populations of over ten million are located in coastal areas.

Captions 63-64, Evolution: Die Küsten

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After ein Drittel ("one-third") and ein Viertel ("one-fourth"), there is ein Fünftel, ein Sechstel, ein Siebtel, ein Achtel, ein Neuntel, ein Zehntel... continuing up to ein Hunderstel and ein Tausendstel.

 

In anderthalb Jahren macht er seine Prüfung und ist dann Elektroniker.

In one and a half years, he'll take his test and then he'll be an electronics technician.

Caption 61, Deutsche Welle: Lieber Ausbildung als Studium

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Hier gilt ein Drohnenflugverbot im Umkreis von eineinhalb Kilometern zum Flughafen.

A drone flight ban within a radius of one and a half kilometers from the airport applies here.

Caption 18, Rhein-Main-TV Strengere Regeln: Lohnt sich eine Drohne überhaupt noch?

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As you can see, there are two ways to express "one and a half" in German. Numbers containing "one half" are always written as a single word: dreieinhalb is "three and a half." Now consider the following numbers and note what is capitalized: ein drei Viertel (one and three-quarters), zwei vier Fünftel (two and four-fifths), fünf sieben Achtel (five and seven-eighths). 

When it comes to numbers with decimals (die Dezimalbrüche), you may have noticed that Germans use a comma instead of a decimal point. So in English, we say "one point five" (written 1.5), while in German you would say eins Komma zwei (written 1,5). However, there are instances in both languages where the comma or decimal point won't be expressed verbally. Take a look:

 

In der Stadt leben rund drei Komma sieben Millionen Menschen.

Around three point seven million people live in the city.

Caption 11, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Berlin

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Achtunddreißig Komma sechs, das ist leichtes Fieber.

Thirty-eight point six, that's a slight fever.

Caption 25, Mein Weg nach Deutschland: Beim Arzt

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Er ist circa eins fünfzig groß, blonde, halblange Haare.

He's about one fifty tall [one hundred and fifty centimeters], blonde, medium-length hair.

Caption 53, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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Further Learning
You can watch this video on Yabla German for a good overview. When you see a statistic that includes a decimal point in the news or elsewhere, see if you can quickly translate the number mentioned into German!

Continuer la lecture

Separable verbs starting with ein-

As defined in Wikipedia, a separable verb is a verb that is composed of a core verb and a separable particle. In some sentence positions, the core verb and the particle appear in one word, while in others the core verb and the particle are separated.

 

The word ein in German can be the particle of a separable verb, or the indefinite article "a" or "an." It is sometimes difficult to see in a sentence which one it is. It will help you to distinguish ein- as a prefix particle of a separable verb if you learn some of the separable verbs starting with ein-.

 

Many German verbs start with the particle ein. This is because in English, you may "drill into a wall," and "into" is a preposition. But in German, the "into" is  part of the verb: "to drill" is bohren, but "to drill into" is einbohren. Thus there are hundreds of verbs starting with ein-, but let's concentrate today on the more common ones. The present tense is shown additionally for examples that aren't in their "separated" form.

 

Er atmete tief ein und spielte eine einzige Note.

He took a deep breath and played a single note.

Caption 38, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Der Rattenfänger von Hameln

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Ne, wenn man hier Magnete einbauen würde...

Right, if you were to install magnets here...

Caption 69, Das 1. Newtonsche Gesetz erklärt am Beispiel des Dodomobils - Part 1

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Present tense: Man baut die Magnete ein.

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Sollen wir nächste Woche ein Meeting einberufen?

Should we call a meeting for next week?

Caption 10, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Present tense: Wir berufen ein Meeting ein.

 

Du bildest dir doch wohl nicht ein, dass du da hingehst?

Surely you don't actually imagine that you're going there!

Caption 21, Märchenstunde: Das Aschenputtel

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Der zeigt, dass das Eis elastisch ist und nicht plötzlich einbrechen kann.

It shows that the ice is elastic and can't suddenly collapse.

Captions 43-44, Unterwegs mit Cettina: Schlittschuhlaufen

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Present tense: Das Eis bricht nicht plötzlich ein.

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and read these three lessons about separable verbs in German. Then see if you can find some Yabla videos that use the following verbs with the ein- particle: einarbeiten, einbilden, einchecken, einkaufen, einkommen, einladen, einloggen, einpacken, einreisen, einschlafen, einstellen, einstufen, eintippen, einwandern, einzahlen.

Continuer la lecture

Words with Mut and mutig

You may know one or both of the words in the title above: der Mut means "the courage" and mutig means "courageous" or "brave." However, there are many nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that contain these words as roots, some of which have nothing to do with courage. Let's have a look.

As you can see, nouns ending in -mut may refer to a mood, emotional state, or feeling:

 

Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall.

Pride comes before the fall. 

Caption 24, Eva erklärt: Sprichwörter

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Was bei vielen Autofahrern für Freude sorgt, stiftet Unmut bei den Grünen.

What causes happiness among many drivers, causes discontent among the Greens [Green Party].

Caption 19, Deutsche Autobahnen: Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen

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Die Queen residierte hier bereits und Michael Jackson hielt im Übermut sein Baby aus einem Hotelfenster.

The Queen resided here already and Michael Jackson held his baby boisterously out of a hotel window.

Captions 24-25, Berlin: Hotel Adlon feiert 15 Jahre Neueröffnung

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...in spektakulärer Anmut auf die Wasseroberfläche zu klatschen.

...to smack against the surface of the water with spectacular grace.

Caption 8, Evolution: Meeresbewohner

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Notice above that der Hochmut, der Übermut, and der Unmut are masculine, while die Anmut is feminine. You can also look up der Wagemut, der Missmutdie Sanftmut, and die Schwermut. For der Demut, you may more often see the related adjective (note the umlaut!):

 

Es war jedenfalls demütigend genug.

In any case, it was humiliating enough.

Caption 20, Lerchenberg: Das Wunder

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It's additionally good to know the adjectives ermutigend and entmutigend. These respectively mean "encouraging" and "discouraging."

When it comes to verbs, you may have seen zumuten, vermuten, and anmuten. These verbs each have a number of possible meanings.

 

Man vermutet, hier ist irgendwas in der Lüftung vom Willy-Brandt-Haus.

One suspects there is something in the ventilation here in the Willy-Brandt-Haus.

Caption 75, heute-show: Die männliche Merkel hat Erinnerungslücken

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Traditionen sind was Schönes und können für Nichteingeweihte mitunter ganz schön skurril anmuten.

Traditions are something nice and can occasionally appear quite bizarre to the outsider.

Captions 1-2, Barfuß unter Schafen: Schäferwettrennen

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Petrus muss Dortmund-Fan sein, anders ist kaum zu erklären, was der Himmel dem FC Bayern und seinen Fans zugemutet hat.

Saint Peter must be a Dortmund fan, there's almost no other explanation for what the heavens had in store for FC Bayern and its fans.

Captions 1-2, FC Bayern München: Triple-Feier im Dauerregen

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Further Learning
Look up these words using your favorite online dictionary or on Yabla German to understand the full extent of their meanings. Keep in mind that there are other nouns ending in -mut that are unrelated to emotional states, such as das Mammut or der Wermut.

Continuer la lecture
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