More on the Free OnlineTVRecorder March 27, 2010 No Comments
Two months ago I reviewed the OnlineTVRecorder (www.onlinetvrecorder.com) after about a week of use. After two months of using the OTR on a regular basis, I am still just as thrilled about stumbling across it as I was then. But the site is far from intuitive, and support is available from various sources but largely outdated and not easy to find. So I’d like to revisit the topic with some additional tips and tricks that might not be obvious to novice users:
• Downloads are free during “happy hour” (0-8 am CET) but cost a few cents otherwise. But you can download files outside of the “happy hour” window for free if you download them from one of the listed mirror sites.
• You will be able to download files that were not on your record list. However, you will not be able to decode them. This also means that you should not delete a recording once you have downloaded it until you also have decoded it — unless you have a Get-It-All-Wishlist.
• If you make a Get-It-All-Wishlist then every show that OTR records will be available to you. You will be able to download it and decode it, even if you didn’t single it out for recording, as long as the Get-It-All-Wishlist was activated before the date of broadcast. And it seems you CAN use the GIA-Wishlist with a Beginner account, even though the guidelines state that you cannot.
• If you didn’t record a program you wanted and you don’t/didn’t have a GIA-Wishlist, you can use the Buddy list to ask other users who recorded and the program to share it with you … in theory. I was unable to get the Buddy list to allow me to submit a request for a program, though I was able to share my programs with others.
• Occasionally, something you slated for recording cannot be downloaded, either because it was recorded and the file is corrupted or because it was on a Pooling channel and didn’t get enough votes from users to be slated as a program to record for that time slot. Overall, however, this doesn’t affect a large number of programs.
• Downloaded files typically contain not only the program you wanted but also several minutes of additional programming preceding the program and/or following the program. You will need to scan the files to find the beginning of the program you’re looking for. If you intend to save these programs onto DVDs or another storage device, you will probably want to use video-editing software (e.g. free, open-source Avidemux) to cut the extra programming and reduce file size.
• If you start a Premium account, you may revert back to a Beginner account when you use all of your decodes or when your month is up. This way you get another free 15 decodes before activating and paying for Premium status for the next month.
• Make sure you have reputable virus protection software installed on your computer before you start downloading. A few times I have encountered attempts from affiliated 3rd party websites to infect my computer (once successfully, and I had to spend a few hours purging it). Since installing Norton, I have seen a few attempts, but Norton has blocked them.
• Lovers of German language and culture beware: the OTR is addicting and it is easy to lose hours searching the broad volume of available programming. Incidentally, 20 US channels are also available on the OTR, which means if you forget to DVR your favorite American shows, you can download them for free and watch them on your computer.
If I get any additional insights that seem worth sharing, I’ll post them in the comments.
Principal parts of German verbs February 13, 2010 No Comments
In an earlier post, I outlined how German auxiliaries and the various verb principal parts work together in forming each of the verb tenses. There I listed some representative verbs to show the patterns that exist in the formation of the principal parts. Principal parts are the basic forms of a verb a speaker must know in order to form all possible tenses. Here I’d like to look more closely at those patterns.
There are three categories of verbs in German based on how they form their principal parts: weak verbs, strong verbs, and mixed verbs. It is impossible to identify what category a verb belongs to just by looking at its infinitive. The forms of the simple past stem and past participle, on the other hand, make evident which category a verb belongs to (with just a few exceptions).
Strong verbs and most mixed verbs have at least one principal part with a stem change. The simple past tense of all strong and most mixed verbs involves a stem change. Many of them also have stem changes in their past participle. And some even have anomalies in their present tense conjugations.
Principle parts pattern for strong verbs:
[verb stem](e)n, [changed verb stem], ge[changed? verb stem](e)n
rufen, rief, gerufen
bleiben, blieb, geblieben
ziehen, zog, gezogen
tun, tat, getan
A small group of strong verbs also has a stem change in present tense du- and er-forms.
fahren (du fährst/er fährt), fuhr, gefahren
essen (du isst/er isst), aß, gegessen
Principle parts pattern for mixed verbs:
[verb stem](e)n, [changed? verb stem]te, ge[changed? verb stem]t
nennen, nannte, genannt
bringen, brachte, gebracht
denken, dachte, gedacht
Some mixed verbs also have anomalies in their present tense singular conjugations.
wissen (ich weiß/du weißt/er weiß), wusste, gewusst
dürfen (ich darf/du darfst/er darf), durfte, gedurft
haben (du hast/er hat), hatte, gehabt
Weak verbs have principal parts that can be predictably derived from the infinitive and they follow a predictable pattern of conjugation in every verb tense. So the only form of a weak verb you need to memorize is the infinitive. Here are the principal parts of some weak verbs for the sake of comparison with the strong/mixed verb patterns above.
Principle parts pattern for weak verbs:
[verb stem](e)n, [verb stem]te, ge[verb stem](e)t
fehlen, fehlte, gefehlt
sagen, sagte, gesagt
spielen, spielte, gespielt
reden, redete, geredet
handeln, handelte, gehandelt
In the end, what is important to know is that the forms of strong and mixed verbs must be committed to memory so that you can recognize and use them when the need arises. So as you learn new verbs, take note of any stem changes and learn the principal parts of any verb that is strong or mixed. While it may seem a daunting task at first, the list of these verbs is finite and the most common stems are used repeatedly in derived words (e.g. bieten, bot, geboten / anbieten, bot an, angeboten > noun: Angebot / verbieten, verbot, verboten > noun: Verbot). For this reason, knowing the basic stem changes also has the added benefit in aiding vocabulary expansion.
Noun genders February 8, 2010 3 Comments
Since long before Mark Twain complained about the German language, students have been grappling with German genders. The concept of grammatical gender is an especially difficult one for English-speakers to wrap their minds around at first.
What is gender?
Grammatical gender is a system of noun classification. Nouns, not objects, have genders. Germans therefore can interchangeably refer to a car as das Auto (neuter) or der Wagen (masculine) or an idea as die Idee (feminine) or der Einfall (masculine). Nouns that designate beings with a natural biological gender usually – though not always – have the same grammatical as biological gender – Frau (woman) is feminine, Bruder (brother) is masculine, for instance. But the grammatical gender of most words is a seemingly random occurrence with no relationship to the objects they designate.
Why learn noun genders?
In German, cases convey the functions of nouns in sentences, how they relate to one another and to other elements of the sentence. The markers that signify case in German are dependent on noun genders: the gender of the word determines the form of any article and/or adjective that accompany the noun and any pronoun that substitutes for it. Beginning learners often don’t see the point of learning genders. But as they advance in their language skills and must deal with increasingly complex language structures it becomes apparent that not knowing the genders makes it more difficult to communicate effectively and understand accurately. To become a proficient user of German, you must learn the noun genders.
Are there any shortcuts to learning genders?
Beyond straight memorization, there are some statistics and tendencies I will outline below that can aide your learning process. Please note that these are not hard-and-fast rules, as nearly every “rule” that one can conjure up has certain exceptions. They are meant as general guidelines to give you a leg up in remembering word genders. I suggest that you use them as follows: When you encounter a word that appears to belong to one of the described categories, assume it fits into the category until you have proof that it does not. Then make a special note of the gender and put it on your list of words to learn. Learning a language is all about trial and error, so why not employ that strategy when learning genders?
So without further ado, here are the tendencies:
● Approximately 45% of German nouns are masculine, 35% are feminine and 20% are neuter. So, statistically speaking, if you have to guess, don’t guess neuter.
● The majority of feminine nouns can be identified as feminine because they designate female beings or because they end in a particular suffix. Words with the following suffixes are almost always feminine: -a, -anz, -ei, -enz, -heit, -ie, -ik, -in, -keit, -schaft, -sion, -sis, -tion, tät, -unft, -ung, -ur.
● In addition, 9 of every 10 nouns ending in -e are feminine. Most of the exceptions are masculine nouns that designate male beings.
● Words that designate male beings, seasons, months, days of the week, weather phenomena, rocks and minerals and units of currency are generally masculine.
● Nouns are generally masculine when they end in -f, -tz, -g (but not -ung), -en (but not -chen or when derived from verb infinitives, both of which are neuter), -ling, -ich, -ist, -ismus.
● Words that designate young humans or animals, metals and chemicals and the names continents, countries, and cities are generally neuter.
● Nouns are generally neuter when they end in: -chen, -icht, -il, -it, -lein, -ma, -ment, -tel, -tum, -um.
● Nouns with the following endings tend to be neuter when they refer to things: -al, -an, -ar, -är, -at, -ent, -ett, -ier, -iv, -o, -on.
Are there any tips that you have found useful for learning German noun genders?
Resources consulted: Hammer’s German Grammar and Usage; Ralph W. Ewton, Jr. and Richard V. Teschner, “Gender Analysis of a German Teaching Vocabulary”, Die Unterrichtspraxis 19.1 (1986): 27-33.
Free German TV with OnlineTVRecorder January 31, 2010 5 Comments
I know what you’re thinking — it sounds too good to be true. Well, that’s exactly what I thought when I heard about the OnlineTVRecorder (OTR). But the thought of having access to German TV was just too enticing and I had to check it out. So I made a free account and have been downloading and watching German TV for the past week. There are shows as different as Tatort, Harald Schmidt, Hessenschau, Die Küchenschlacht, Wer wird Millionär, Planet Wissen, logo, Unser Sandmännchen, dubbed episodes of numerous US TV shows like Die Simpsons, Law and Order, and Desperate Housewives, and this week alone German versions of several films like Apollo 13, Die Bourne Identität, and Findet Nemo. And it is indeed all free!
This is how the OTR website works: You search through a German TV program that includes over 60 (!) channels. You can browse by channels, by genre, or search for a specific show. You choose which programs you want to record. Once recorded, you download the shows to your computer. Then you decode the shows with a special program that you download once from the OTR site. And that’s it — then you can view the programs.
All of this available with a free “Beginner” account that has a few limitations: You can only have up to 260 GB of recorded programming in your account at a time (which amounts to more than 500 hours worth of programs!). You can download these programs between midnight and 8 am Central European Standard Time at no cost. And with a Beginner account, you may decode only 15 programs per month.
“Premium” accounts are also available for 50 GWP (Good Will Points) per month, which amounts to a mere 50 cents. And you may actually earn the 50 GWP in your account by clicking on banners within the OTR website and still not pay a cent out of your own pocket. However, Premium status that is earned through banner clicking will allow you 50 decodes per month, whereas Premium status that is paid for with real money will get you 125 decodes per month. If you need more than that, you can pony up another 50 cents and renew your Premium status before the month is up. Premium status also comes with some other perks like unlimited recording space, the ability to download programs in HDTV or MP4 format, the option to block advertising on the site, and several other features.
How is all of this possible for nothing, or next to nothing, you ask? The website is financed through the advertising that appears on the site. Downloads are meant for private, non-commercial viewing. Beginner accounts may be limited to a trial period of 3 months — I found brief mention of this on one page of the site, but many pages contain descriptions that refer to previous membership terms, so it is unclear whether the Beginner status may actually be continued beyond this period. Even if the free account is limited to a 3-month period, 50 cents a month seems like a small price to pay for such broad, flexible access to authentic German TV programming. Compare this to Dish Network’s German satellite TV program that has only 5 channels and costs almost $30/month.
If you’re looking for authentic German language resources, the OnlineTVRecorder is well worth looking at. If you try it, let me know what you think.
Pons German Picture Dictionary January 16, 2010 2 Comments
If you are a visual learner, or if you’d just like to expand your vocabulary, you will undoubtedly be interested in Pons’ huge online German picture dictionary (http://www.bildwoerterbuch.com).
The dictionary contains 6000 words in 17 different categories and with images for all of them. You can browse by category (e.g. Earth, Clothing, Plants, Animals, Sports, Science, House) or you can search for a word, or part of a word, in either English or German. If you are browsing, you typically will click through a few layers of images, the topmost layers containing the most general words and the final layer containing the most detailed images. For instance, clicking through the pages Transport und Fahrzeuge > Strassenverkehr > Auto will bring you to this image (which is one of several on the page under the category Auto):
If you click on one of the images, then you get an image that contains more specific vocabulary. For instance, clicking on Karosserie on the page pictured above yields the following:
Below each image is a list of the included vocabulary with German and the corresponding English words and with links to audio pronunciation for both languages. Be aware, however, that the intonation is not always correct for the German words. For the words I tested, the speaker uses rising intonation at the end of every word, as one might do when reading a list of words in anticipation of the next word.
Given the level of detail this dictionary offers, it is best suited to advanced learners and/or learners who need to know very specific words in a particular field. It also contains only nouns, no other parts of speech. Still, with 6000 words there is sure to be something here for everyone.
Hin or her? January 4, 2010 4 Comments
The adverbs hin and her cause much confusion for German learners. There are no direct equivalents of either of these in English and to English speakers they often seem superfluous in a sentence. German in fact signifies directional movement (vs. position) in several ways that English does not. The adverbs hin and her are examples of this specification of movement in a particular direction or from a point of origin.
hin generally indicates movement in a direction away from the speaker object toward a particular destination.
|Wir gehen zum Hafen hin.||We are going to the harbor.|
|Schau mal hin!||Look (over there)!|
her generally indicates movement from a point of origin in a direction toward the speaker.
|Komm mal her!||Come over here (from there)!|
|Wo bekommen wir das Geld her?||Where will we get the money (from)?|
Hin and her are used in their most literal sense with verbs of movement (e.g., gehen to go, kommen to come) or activity that involves direction (e.g., sehen to look, geben to give, reichen to hand over). Often they appear as separable prefixes (e.g., herkommen , herholen, hinlegen, hinschreiben). More specific directional adverbs are created through a number of compounds that combine hin and her with prepositions that denote direction (e.g., herauf, herab, heraus, herein, hinauf, hinüber, hindurch, hinzu) or with other adverbs (e.g., hierher, woher, dahin, überallhin).
|Er geht die Treppe hinauf.||He is going up the stairs.|
|Er kommt die Treppe herunter.||He is coming down the stairs.|
|Der Apfel fiel vom Baum herab.||The apple fell (down) from the tree.|
|Der Apfel fiel ins Gras hinunter.||The apple fell (down) into the grass.|
Note in particular the contrasting examples with the apple. Here, the perspective of the speaker is unclear. Is the speaker in the tree? Under the tree? Beside the tree? But the additional prepositional phrases specify respectively movement from a point of origin (vom Baum), in which case her is used, and movement toward a particular destination (ins Gras), in which case hin is used.
The adverbs hin and her also appear in expressions with extended meanings. They occur for instance in time expressions (e.g., eine Weile hin a while longer still, schon viele Jahre hermany years ago). They also appear in a number of fixed idiomatic expressions (e.g., hin und her back and forth, hin und wieder occasionally, hinter dir her behind you [and moving in the same direction as you], auf seinen Rat hin at his advice, von der Erziehung her on account of one’s upbringing). And they occur as verb prefixes with sometimes abstract or figurative meanings (e.g., herstellen to produce, hinrichten to execute).
Finally, in actual everyday usage the lines between hin and her are blurred. While southern German speakers tend to maintain the distinction between the two adverbs, in German spoken north of the Main River her is favored in most situations regardless of direction or perspective, and this is commonly reduced to ‘r (herüber > ‘rüber, hinaus > heraus > ‘raus).
No wonder hin and her cause confusion for learners! Apart from being aware that these variations exist, the basic guidelines of movement toward a destination (hin) and movement from a point of origin (her) can at least provide a useful point of reference.
Resources consulted: Hammer’s German Grammar and Usage; Das digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache des 20. Jahrhunderts; Grimms’ Deutsches Wörterbuch; Bastian Sick, “Nach oben hinauf und von oben herunter“, Zwiebelfisch in Der Spiegel (2005); “rein, rauf“, Atlas zur Deutschen Alltagssprache (2008).
German verb tenses December 28, 2009 No Comments
I mentioned in a previous post that the 3 most common verbs in German are the ones also used as auxiliaries: sein, haben and werden. Let’s take a look at how they function in the context of German verb tenses.
German has 6 tenses: 2 finite tenses, i.e. tenses that are formed using just the main verb, and 4 compound tenses, i.e. tenses that are formed using the main verb plus one or more auxiliary verbs.
The finite tenses:
- Present tense = Based on the infinitive form, perhaps with a present tense stem change.
- Simple past tense = Created from the simple past stem.
The compound tenses:
- Future tense = werden + infinitive of main verb
- Present perfect tense = present tense of haben or sein + past participle of main verb
- Past perfect tense = simple past tense of haben or sein + past participle of main verb
- Future perfect tense = werden + past participle of main verb + the infinitive haben or sein
In addition to their active voice usage, these same 6 tenses can also occur in the passive voice, though only the present, simple past and present perfect tense occur very frequently in German. The passive voice requires the combination of the auxiliary werden + a past participle in addition to whatever else a given tense requires.
- Present tense = present tense of werden + past participle of the main verb
- Simple past tense = simple past tense of werden + past participle of the main verb
- Present perfect tense = present tense of sein + past participle of the main verb + passive past participle variant worden
So in addition to understanding how auxiliary verbs figure in each of the tenses, it is also necessary to know the various parts of the main verb that are used in the formation of the tenses. Let’s examine the principal parts of German verbs that are used in building all of the verb tenses:
- the infinitive – The basic form of any verb, as it appears in a dictionary entry. The infinitive stem = the infinitive minus -(e)n.
- (present tense stem change) - Some strong and mixed verbs change some letters in their stem in some or all present tense singular forms. Most verbs do not have this change — none of the weak verbs have it — but many of the verbs that do have the change are very common words.
- simple past stem – The simple past stems of all weak verbs are predictable and can be formed from the infinitive stem. But the simple past stems of strong and mixed verbs are unpredictable and need to be learned.
- past participle – The past participles of weak verbs all follow the same pattern. The strong and mixed verbs have unpredictable past participles that must be learned.
Thus, the principal parts of any weak verb look similar to this:
machen, machte, gemacht
sagen, sagte, gesagt
arbeiten, arbeitete, gearbeitet
handeln, handelte, gehandelt
Strong and mixed verb patterns have some commonalities but also many differences. Stem changes are marked in red:
kommen, kam, gekommen
gehen, ging, gegangen
laufen (läuft), lief, gelaufen
sprechen (spricht), sprach, gesprochen
können (kann), konnte, gekonnt
wissen (weiß), wusste, gewusst
kennen, kannte, gekannt
Clearly, the weak verbs can be recognized in any tense if you know just the infinitive form. On the other hand, because the strong and mixed verbs have unpredictable stem changes, knowing the principal parts of the most common strong and mixed verbs can be a useful tool in understanding German sentences.
Let’s pull it all together now with some examples. In the following sentences, you can see how the principle parts and the auxiliaries work together to produce German verb tenses.
|weak verb||strong verb|
|Present:||Er macht …||Er spricht …|
|Simple past:||Er machte …||Er sprach …|
|Future:||Er wird … machen.||Er wird … sprechen.|
|Present Perfect:||Er hat … gemacht.||Er hat … gesprochen.|
|Past Perfect:||Er hatte … gemacht.||Er hatte … gesprochen.|
|Future Perfect:||Er wird … gemacht haben.||Er wird … gesprochen haben.|
|Present:||Es wird … gemacht.||Es wird … gesprochen.|
|Simple past:||Es wurde … gemacht.||Es wurde … gesprochen.|
|Present perfect:||Es ist … gemacht worden.||Es ist … gesprochen worden.|
Lessons from the Top German verbs list December 27, 2009 5 Comments
Since every sentence has a predicate — i.e., verb parts — and since the predicate largely determines the structure of each sentence and what other elements the sentence contains, any insights into the function and usage of verbs can contribute much to the understanding of the language. Let’s take a closer look at the verb list and see how it can serve as a useful guide in learning German.
The top 3 German verbs are not only words with common meanings in their own right but they also serve as auxiliary verbs in German. (1) sein (to be) and (2) haben (to have) are both used as auxiliary verbs in forming the perfect tenses, and (3) werden (to become) is used as an auxiliary in forming the future tenses and the passive voice.
The next two verbs are modal verbs: (4) können (can, to be able to) and (5) müssen (must, to have to). In fact, all 6 German modal verbs are in the top 30. The others are: (10) sollen (should, ought to), (11) wollen (to want), (24) dürfen (may, to be allowed) and (28) mögen (to like). Like the auxiliary verbs, modal verbs are almost always used in combination with other verbs in forming the predicate in a sentence.
The popularity of these 9 verbs — the auxiliaries and the modal verbs — tells us that not only knowing these verbs but also knowing how to make sense of compound tenses and structures will be useful in making sense of German.
Next, let’s look at verb patterns. Only 3 weak verbs — verbs that follow regular and predictable conjugation patterns in every verb tense — are in the top 25 verbs. Of the top 100, 37 of the verbs are weak. For these verbs, only the infinitive needs to be learned. All tenses and moods are based on the infinitive stem. The weak verbs can thus be easily recognized in any tense or mood.
This means that the majority of the verbs — 63 of them to be exact — are strong or irregular (mixed) verbs — verbs with unpredictable stem changes across verb tenses and moods. In fact, many of the most anomalous German verbs occur in the top 100. Because these verbs occur so frequently, it is advisable to learn their various forms. Being able to recognize the principle parts of irregular verbs is essential to understanding them in a sentence.
Here are those 63 irregular verbs with their principle parts. They are in the order of frequency except where verbs share common stems, in which case they are grouped together.
|Infinitive||Present tense stem change, if any (er-form)||Simple past tense
(Marked with ist when sein is used as auxiliary)
|1. sein||ist||war||ist gewesen||to be|
|2. haben||hatte||gehabt||to have|
|3. werden||wird||wurde||ist geworden||to become|
|4. können||kann||konnte||gekonnt||can to be able to|
|5. müssen||muss||musste||gemusst||must to have to|
|8. geben||gibt||gab||gegeben||to give|
|93. ergeben||ergibt||ergab||ergeben||to result in|
|9. kommen||kam||ist gekommen||to come|
|48. bekommen||to get, receive|
|10. sollen||soll||sollte||gesollt||should, ought to|
|11. wollen||will||wollte||gewollt||to want|
|12. gehen||ging||ist gegangen||to go|
|85. vergehen||to elapse; to decay|
|13. wissen||weiß||wusste||gewusst||to know|
|14. sehen||sieht||sah||gesehen||to see|
|97. an·sehen||sieht an||sah an||angesehen||to look at, watch|
|77. aus·sehen||sieht aus||sah aus||ausgesehen||to appear, look (a certain way)|
|15. lassen||lässt||ließ||gelassen||to let, allow, have (something) done|
|16. stehen||stand||gestanden||to stand|
|45. bestehen||bestand||bestanden||to exist, insist, pass (an exam)|
|46. verstehen||verstand||verstanden||to understand|
|61. entstehen||entstand||entstanden||to originate, develop|
|17. finden||fand||gefunden||to find|
|18. bleiben||blieb||ist geblieben||to stay, remain|
|19. liegen||lag||gelegen||lie, to be lying|
|20. heißen||hieß||geheißen||to be called|
|21. denken||dachte||gedacht||to think|
|22. nehmen||nimmt||nahm||genommen||to take|
|23. tun||tat||getan||to do|
|24. dürfen||darf||durfte||gedurft||may, to be allowed|
|26. halten||halt||hielt||gehalten||to stop, hold|
|62. erhalten||erhält||erhielt||erhalten||to receive|
|27. nennen||nannte||genannt||to name, to call (a name)|
|28. mögen||mag||mochte||gemocht||to like|
|31. sprechen||spricht||sprach||gesprochen||to speak|
|55. entsprechen||entspricht||entsprach||entsprochen||to correspond|
|32. bringen||brachte||gebracht||to bring, take|
|34. fahren||fährt||fuhr||ist gefahren||to drive, ride, go|
|37. kennen||kannte||gekannt||to know|
|74. erkennen||erkannte||erkannt||to recognize, admit|
|38. gelten||gilt||galt||gegolten||to be valid|
|49. beginnen||began||begonnen||to begin|
|52. schreiben||schrieb||geschrieben||to write|
|53. laufen||läuft||lief||ist gelaufen||to run|
|56. sitzen||saß||gesessen||to sit|
|57. ziehen||zog||ist gezogen||to pull, move|
|58. scheinen||schien||ist geschienen||to shine, seem, appear|
|78. erschienen||erschien||ist erschienen||to appear|
|59. fallen||fällt||fiel||ist gefallen||to fall|
|63. treffen||trifft||traf||getroffen||to meet|
|83. betreffen||betrifft||betraf||betroffen||to affect, concern|
|69. tragen||trägt||trug||getragen||to carry, wear|
|70. schaffen*||schuf||geschaffen||to create|
|71. lesen||liest||las||gelesen||to read|
|72. verlieren||verlor||verloren||to lose|
|80. an·fangen||fängt an||fing an||angefangen||to begin|
|86. helfen||hilft||half||geholfen||to help|
|87. gewinnen||gewann||gewonnen||to win|
|88. schließen||schloss||geschlossen||to close|
|90. bieten||bot||geboten||to offer|
|94. an·bieten||bot an||angeboten||to offer|
|96. verbinden||verband||verbunden||to connect, link|
|100. vergleichen||verglich||verglichen||to compare|
* schaffen is a weak verb when it means to manage (to do something).
Does the Top 100 German verbs list reveal anything else about the language? What do you see?
studieren vs lernen December 24, 2009 No Comments
In English, “to study” means to learn, read, memorize, practice, and reflect on a subject. In German, the verb lernen is used to talk about these learning activities.
|Wir lernen Deutsch.||We are learning German. (i.e. as a general activity: taking a course or learning it on our own)
We are studying German. (i.e. as a specific activity: doing homework, studying for a test)
|Ich lerne für die Prüfung.||I am studying for the test.|
The German verb studieren has a more limited meaning than its English cognate. It means “to be a university student” or “to major in” a particular subject.
|Karsten studiert an der Universität Frankfurt.||Karsten is studying (is a student) at the University of Frankfurt.|
|Er studiert Chemie.||He is studying (majoring in) chemistry.|
|Seine Schwester studiert in Dresden.||His sister is studying (is a student) in Dresden.|
The distinction between the two words also reflects a cultural difference. In the German educational system students are not required to take general education courses, a full range of courses outside of their field and major, to earn a degree. But a German university student may optionally take a course outside of the requirements out of interest.
|Karsten studiert Chemie.||Karsten is studying (majoring in) chemistry.|
|Er lernt auch Spanisch.||He is learning (is taking a course in) Spanish.|
Studieren can also mean “to examine something in detail”.
|Stuttgart studiert die Kosten des Projekts.||Stuttgart is studying (is examining, looking into in detail) the cost of the project.|
More on ö and ü December 17, 2009 No Comments
After describing in detail how to pronounce ö and ü and providing some words to practice the sounds, here are some minimal pairs to help you more closely hear and practice the differences:
|Long ö and ü||Short ö and ü|