Category Vocabulary

Telephoning in German — What you need to know

[Ring, ring, ring. Click.] Marathon Sprachen. Langenegger am Apparat, guten Tag. Ah, ah, ah, … English?… Oh, yes, English is ok. We’ve moved our site. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/telephoning-in-german-what-you-need-to-know/

Oktoberfest Terminology and Songs

When many people think of Germany there are a few things that come to mind, but one of them is usually Oktoberfest. The world’s largest folk festival (Volksfest) and it’s been taking place since 1810 attracting over 6 million visitors. The original Oktoberfest takes place in Munich (München) and the locals simply call it Wien, […]

German Grammar Basics — What you need to know to understand German

I’ve been teaching German for almost ten years, and the one thing that I understand is that many learners have such a tough time because of grammatical terminology. In English speaking school systems, grammar is generally avoided, whereas German seems to worship grammar. One could say that the formal teaching of English grammar has been […]

Germans can’t “make” friends — Freundschaften entstehen

One of my first posts was on the verbs machen and fahren. In that post I stated that German speakers are makers and drivers and that when in doubt, travel is done by driving and other things that are normally “done” in English are “made” in German. While Germans can make many things, one of […]

Death in German — So sicher wie das Amen in der Kirche

Anyone who has studied German literature in the past 50 years will know the novella Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) by Thomas Mann. For most of us, death is an uncomfortable topic because it causes reflection on our own mortality and often means loss. However, next to taxes, it’s one of the two inevitable […]

Visiting the doctor in German — zum Arzt gehen

Going to the doctor is never fun, but going to the doctor in a foreign language can add even more stress to a situation. With this in mind it’s important to remember a few important things: bring proper medical paper, make sure you understand everything clearly, and keep a sense of humor about you. In […]

German Nouns with N-Declination — Nomen der N-Dekination

Sound. So much of language comes down to sound. What is the easiest sound to make? In German this is one of the reasons for adjective endings being what they are — mostly ending in -en, right?! It’s that same basic principle that is to blame for you getting Name and Namen mixed up or […]

spürbar oder merkbar and the German suffix -bar

Last week we started looking at a list of words I was asked about by one of my Stammtisch regulars, Edvin. Last week we looked at the words dauernd and dauerhaft, which brought up the interesting topic of the German suffix -haft for adjectives. Edvin also has another similar question on the long list of […]

dauernd vs. dauerhaft and the German suffix -haft

At our Stammtisch last week, one of our attendees, Edvin from Slovenia, asked me if I could quickly clarify the difference between some words. Thinking it would only be a few words, I said sure. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a page long list of words he wanted to know how […]

Skiwortschatz — German Ski Vocabulary

It’s January and in German-speaking Europe that means it’s skiing season (die Skisaison). The word Ski in German presents this very phonetic language with a bit of a challenge because Germans typically say “she” for Ski and often even spell it as such: Schi. This has to do with its origin. The word actually comes […]