Tag Archives: language

Something unknown – irgend

There are some words in German that leave the learner simply puzzled. They appear all over the place one hears them but seemingly always in a different context or with other words. One of those words is “irgend”. We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/something-unknown-irgend/ Advertisements

False Friends (wollen vs. werden vs. bekommen) — Or why Germans become hot dogs

If there is one caveat that most people hear when learning a second language, it is to be aware of false friends. English and German are full of these false friends. I’m not going to get into all of them of even very many but there are three that you need to be careful of […]

Tricky, tricky — nach vs. zu

One feature of language that will cause most anyone grief is prepositions. Why are prepositions so difficult? Well it is perhaps because they are used in so many ways with different meanings and also used differently in different dialects, pretty much irregardless of language. Two somewhat troubling prepositions in German for suggesting direction towards something […]

word cloud

Noch einmal — Danke schön!

When I studied in Germany I had a friend who would always say “Danke schon” when the waiter or waitress brought him his cappuccino. I’d always wait till the server left and tell him, “Danke schön”, emphasizing the o with the umlaut.  His retort was always the same, “That’s what I said.” We’ve moved. You’ll […]

German Linguistic Precision Part I — The German word for “put”

How does one say, “Just put that down over there.” in German? Though the sentence is quite simple it is the source of much frustration to English speakers learning German. What is the German verb for “to put”? Type “to put” into LEO and the following translations come up: anbringen, anwenden, legen, setzen. There are […]