Tag Archives: sprachen

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 […]

Saying “there” in German (da vs. dort vs. hier)

When learning any new languages, one of the hardest things for most people to do is to stop translating word for word from their first language to the new language. Even if you have a large vocabulary doing this will still render more incorrect sentences than correct ones. The same is true from between German […]

liegen, sitzen, stehen

German Linguistic Precision Part II — Saying where things are in German

Last week we learned that the German language has three words that are generally used for “to put”. In English once something is put somewhere it is usually there. We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/german-linguistic-precision-part-2/

Punctuality Word Cloud

German: The language of punctuality

If there is one stereotype that doesn’t seem to be negative about Germans and the Swiss is that they are punctual. As writer Paul Bilton notes, “The Swiss are so punctual that they have a concept incomprehensible to lesser nations, that of being Überpünklich —literally, over punctual — and this is not viewed as a […]