Author Archives: German-is-easy

Word of the Day – “ansehen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of the word:

ansehen

 

Sehen means to see and an means at or on or to or in and we’ll go with… uhm… at this time. But ansehen is actually not so much the sum of its parts. The glamour is in the grammar. And that is not just a stupid rhyme by the way… those glamour and grammar were the same word once (don’t believe me? Check it here) . But then the Scots extracted the glamour, and ever since “grammar” has the appeal of eating sand. I don’t like grammar…it’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.
But just like Tatooine is nothing without sand, ansehen is nothing without grammar.
So let’s take a look at the different meanings and how to build them.  Sounds good? Cool.

Talking about Location – A rough Chart

Hi everyone,

wie geht’s euch :)? Isn’t the summer amazing this year. At least the German one is.  Those of you who are in Germany will agree – it’s THE BEST autumn impersonation by a summer I have ever seen. Like… if this summer doesn’t win the Oscar for best actor, I’ll… uhm… yeah okay… I’ll do nothing.
Just like this week. Because I got nothing. No article.
“Booooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!”
I know, I know. But seriously,  I was actually super busy the last four weeks – there was a health thing, a relationship thing, my boss is on vacation, I prepared and held two German workshops and I took a few contemporary dance workshops … yes, I actually did. I did write, but I wasn’t able to finish anything to a point where I was content with my … uh content. Wait, content with the content?! Sounds like something German would do :)

Anyways, I didn’t want to let you down completely so I decided to share a little chart or cheat sheet I created for talking about location. Like… which preposition to use with which location. The chart is actually quite old and even though I did some work on it now (like… replacing “Myspace” by “Instagramm” for instance) there are lots of little bits that I’d like to amilliore… erm… make better.

Still, you might find helpful. So here you go…

Talking about Location –  a overview chart (.jpg image)

(for some reason I can’t get the link to be on the preview)

I tried to have it as reduced as possible and I guess a little explanation is needed…

A little explanation

In the center you have a rule of thumb for which preposition set to use with which kind of location. First line is “with door/enterable“, second line “no door, not enterable” and third line is cities and countries. A bit below you have the set for “home”, which is unique and then another two sort of exception sets… for supermarkets (and brand names in general, like Burger King) and directions.  On the left and right side, there are some common nouns and thing and the preposition that you’d use if you think of them as location (like… on Facebook, in the article and so on)
And in the bottom part, there are the most important German prepositions and the case that they go with. D is Dative, A is  accusative and the ones in the center can go with either one depending on what you’re trying to express (fixed location vs. destination).

I really hope you find this helpful as a little guide. And of course if you have questions about this or stuff that’s missing, let’s clear that up in the comment.
I’ll see you next week with a fresh article. Schöne Tage bis dahin :)

Hello everyone…

This blog is going to be a useful and versatile source of knowledge for anyone who is studying German.
It will contain an online German Course as well as loads of useful material that can help you with your studies of this language.

I will start working on this in 2012.

German Word of the Day – “die Ausrede”

example for an ausredeHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the exact meaning of the  word:

die Ausrede

 

Die Ausrede apparently comes from the verb ausreden. This consists of the basic word reden which is to talk or speak and the prefix aus which translates to out, off or from. In case of ausreden it is out so translating literally we wind up with “speak out”. But this is a bit confusing. Ausreden is what you want to do if you ask the listener to hear you out…  

Learn German Online – Time 3 – “Words”

Hi everyone,

and welcome to the third part of what is going to be a 5 or 6 part epic mini series on “How to talk about time in German”. In part 1, we have taken a more general look at what ways there are to talk about time and in part 2 we learned how to say the time of day in German… wow … that one was really boring.
So, todays lecture is going to be called:

Time 3 – Kittens are cute

What’s that ? The title is stupid and random? Well maybe, but it is definitely true and it is  something people can relate to. “You Bloggers need to get people invested by pulling their emotional strings”, is what the guy at the successful-blogging-seminar said, continuing with “Facts are for nerds. Now do you wanne write for nerds???? DO YOU???”. Of course the whole audience was shouting “NOOOOOO” and someone shouted “Screw nerds!”, upon which our blogging coach said “No, that is JUST what they want.”
Man… that guy really is a genius… oh and I see we have a call here, if you guys want to be live on the show, call 0800-151-vocab-4-u, and we have Shane from Durban, hi Shane: 

Advent Calendar 24 – “Merry Crossword Puzzle”

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Advent Calendar 13 – “But Belief”

But Belief

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Word of the Day – “anhalten”

anhalten-picture

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to a brand new episode of the biggest, most epic series ever – no, not Game of Thrones and not The Mandalorian.
I am talking about Prefix Verbs Explained.
And today, we will have a look at the meanings of

anhalten

 

And anhalten is really special because it means to stop AND to continue.
OMG, what a #contradiction.
Gee, I actually just thought that I maybe should start making little explanatory TicTocs for these.
Like… the first part could be a guy in a car, coming to a halt with a caption “Thomas hält an.“.
And the second one could be the same guy in the same car, coming to the same halt, but then spraying us with water, and then an hour later, he’s still spraying. And the caption would be “Der Regen hält an.”
That would be cool.
Anyway, for now we’ll stick to boring ass reading, so if you want to find out how anhalten means those two things and also what the difference is between anhalten, halten and aufhören, then let’s jump right in.

Word of the Day – “spüren”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

spüren

 

You might never have heard of it (because I made it up and it is nonsense) but experts usually classify German as a TOO-FAT language. That’s short for “there are other options for a thing” and unless you’re completely new to German, you most probably know the pain.
Spüren is a perfect example, because it is one of those “other options” for the idea of feeling/sensing. And of course it’s totally NOT synonymous with the main translation fühlen.
So today, we’ll look what kind of sensing spüren exactly is and what the difference is to fühlen.
And it’s actually a noun, that’ll get us on the right … ahem… Spur ;).

Word of the Day – “handeln”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll take a look at the meaning and family of

handeln

 

But we’ll need some mind bending today, so let’s stretch our brains together a little to warm up. 
Handeln
is of course related to English to handle and they both come from the old Germanic noun*handeigh which was the word for  “portable phone”. Back then, it was much harder to see each other in person because there were no cars and no planes and the people were practically dependent on their cellphones to keep in touch. Just as Cesar noted in his diary…

Germanum sine portabile in mano rarum est.

That’s Latin. In my dreams anyway.
Anyway, the tribesmen were always with their phone, and so it’s no wonder they eventually came up with the word hand which literally meant “thing that holds the portable phone”.
Everybody thinking “What the hell?” yet?!?! Yes?
Well, perfect. Your brain is all warmed up now, ready for real info. So let’s jump right in…

Word of the Day- “halt”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning of:

halt

 

Many of you may have heard this before in movies that involve Nazis. The Billy the super-spy of the allied forces is trying to infiltrate some Nazi army base to steal important documents. Disguised as a Nazi-General he walks through the camp, trying to not draw attention to himself. All goes well and he finally reaches the building and starts opening the door but then someone behind him suddenly yells „Halt!“. Slowly Billy turns around, trying to look German. Maybe he can talk his way out of that. Four German soldiers are pointing their guns at him. Within tens of milliseconds Billy ponders all his options and then the decision was made.

“verschieden, anders, unterschiedlich” – the difference

anders-verschieden-differenHello everyone,

and welcome to something we haven’t had in a loooong time… a  “What is the difference”-special. And today’s special is especially special , because we’ll look at the differences between the different German words for different.

anders, verschieden and unterschiedlich

 

How does that sound to you, studio cat?
“Mrrreeeeow!”
Studio cat approves. Perfect.
And before I confuse you more, let’s dive right in into the world of differences

Listen to German – “Der Lateinische Junge”

lateinischerjungeHello everyone,

it’s been entirely too long since we’ve worked on our listening comprehension so today we’ll work on… our listening comprehension. Yeay.
I’ll read a story to you and you can read along, either in German or with the line by line translation.

Collocations – and how to learn them

Hello everyone,

this week I’m having a guest on here :).
Her name is Slavica, and a while back, she reached out to me about something relating to her final paper in linguistics.
She has since graduated, but she obviously didn’t stop studying and being fascinated by languages. And not so long ago she reached out again and asked if I was interested in a guest post.
Usually, when people ask if one is interested in guest posts it’s because they want to place text links to their own websites in there. And the posts are usually super generic and boring, because the author doesn’t really care about the material. That’s why I don’t usually take guest posts.
But with Slavica it’s different. She REALLY loves languages and she just wanted to share her passion with you, not a link.
That’s why I have decided to give it a try.
Also… I have done quite a bit of work behind the scenes these past weeks. Specifically, I am giving old articles a much needed do over… I just got done editing the one about “sondern” and I have to say… that was a mess. Like… what was I even thinking :D. It’s MUCH better now.
Anyway, so … the topic Slavica is going to talk about is

collocations

And if you’re now like “Cool… uh… collo-what?” then you’re just like me.
I didn’t know what it was either. But we all use them literally everyday.
So… Slavica, I pass the mic on to you…

Prefix Verbs Explained – “untergehen”

** this article was written during the election campaign for the presidential election and it is a parody of Donald Trump at the TV duels ** 

Hello everyone,

it’s great to be here, with all you German learners. You’re such a great crowd. And huuuge. Such a huge crown.
Look, we have a really really big problem. A really big problem. Many people say … friends of mine, smart people, the best people, they come to me and say German is difficult. They say it’s too difficult and they can’t learn it. I’ll tell you something, German is not difficult. It’s not difficult, believe me. It’s just…Emanuel, he is a total choke artist. And your textbooks, all text, no action, they totally don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing.
Look, I know a lot about German. I get along great with grammar; I know words, I have the best words.
And I’m gonna share them with you. Today, we’ll look at the meaning of one of those prefix verbs. Believe, we’ll clear up the meaning of

untergehen

 

Frohes Neues Jahr

Ich wünsch’ euch allen ein tolles neues Jahr  2018.
Bis nächste Woche :). 

 

Advent Calender 2019 – “Tell me more”

 

Tell me more

 

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Word of the Day – “aufwachen”

aufwachenHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

aufwachen

 

Aufwachen… a burden at times and a relief at others. We usually do it once per day… or twice… or not at all if we are party animal. The word consists of the basic verb wachen and the prefix aufAuf can mean a number of things like open, up, on top of or on and wachen means something like… uh screw it …just watch this video here.
See you in 2 minutes … … … … … … … … … … … … 

Spoken German Bits 1 – “Alles gut”

alles-gut-imageHello everyone,

and welcome to a brand new mini series called Spoken German Bits. In this series, we’ll look at the colloquial side of German. It can be a word, a common expression,  a weird grammar structure or even a feature of pronunciation. All these things that you get to hear every day in Germany but that are absolutely not part of standard learning material – maybe because the material hasn’t caught on yet or maybe because the stuff is considered “wrong”. But wrong, shmong. Language is super democratic and if everybody does something, then that’s the language.
Anyways’… so this is what the new series is all about and today we’ll start with a look at a very useful phrase :

Alles gut

Now you’re like “What? That’s like All Good. Doesn’t seem particularly special to me.” But my observation is that the phrase has gotten pretty damn trendy recently. It has two usages and while one has been pretty standard for a while, I noticed that the second usage really caught on recently. Like… I hear it from all different kinds of people – teens, retired people, managers, models, TV hosts. And then, last night, when the neightbors’s cat that hangs out in our courtyard a lot, used it I realized: it is time to cut back on the dru… uh… I mean, it’s time to tell you about the phrase.  So you can impress your friends with how much you sound like a native speaker. And you can use it every day.
So are you ready to take a look? Perfect.

Advent Calendar 6 – “Little spaces make you big”

advent-7

Hello everyone,

and welcome to day 6 of our Advent Calendar, and after yesterday’s theory stuff it’s time for a little leisure.
I want to tell you a bit about something that belongs to the German Christmas season like the common cold belongs to winter – you’re lucky to make it through without it. Get ready for… oh no… please noooo

Stop it. Go away, song!
I want to talk about

Plätzchen

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German Plug of the Day

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our show. Our topic today is:

written in bold (pron.: written in bold)

We will talk about meaning of things and how stuff works in language.
Seriously though… what’s going on, why no post today. Thing is, I am working on the article on the German prefix be-, which will be quite long, and I have had a pretty long and intense work weekend. And also, just as everybody else around me, I am a little sick. If you came to Berlin right now, you would be welcomed at the airport by hordes of snot-zombies… anyway… I think I’ll finish that post on be tomorrow or Wednesday, the latest. But just in case it takes till Thursday (which it will not)…. to bridge the gap till Friday, I would like to tell you about 2  really great books… one is called:  Continue reading

German Work Out – Sentence Structure

Hallo ihr alle,

wie geht’s euch? Alles gut? Ich habe eine kleine Frage … oder eine Idee…. sie heißt:

Hausaufgaben

Hah… you’re face tells me that you probably understood that :). Hausaufgaben…. boooooooh.
But it’s really just the word that has this negative spin. Homework is a good thing because if we want to learn a language, we need to practice. So… we’re already doing some listening every once in a while but I was thinking maybe it would be cool to have more exercises, you know, to get our German in shape and sexy. Wait, can German be sexy? Meh, anyways, so today I have a little exercise for the core…

the sentence structure 

I really like this exercise and I used to do that kind of exercise a lot myself which is why I have these killer abs today. But seriously… I think it’s a good way to get less intimidated and confused when it comes to making these loooooog sentences German is so famous for.
Here’s the idea:

Word of the Day – “der Drang”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day, this time with a look at the meaning of

der Drang

 

And we won’t only look at Drang of course but also at other cool words like dringend or drängeln.
Okay, drängeln isn’t that cool actually. But sometimes you have to do it. Like… when you have to get out of a packed train. Or when the article you’re reading to learn German randomly starts talking about a horse that just stands on a meadow. And it describes how the horse just stands there. And then it eats a bit of grass. And takes a few steps. And then stands there. And you’re like
“Dude, could we get started already?!”
That’s drängeln. So let’s jump right in.

Word of the Day – “satt”

Hello everyone,This guy is satt

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of

satt

 

We’ve all been there. Dinner at grandma’s. Bravely, you fork up the rest of the mashed potatoes from the plate, totally determined to never eat anything ever again, when you suddenly realize that you made a grave mistake. But it is too late. SHE has seen it. AND she will not have it.
A white, empty porcelain plate is nothing  grandmothers can accept.
“Nimm noch was… du bist eh so dünn.”
And that’s when you remember that it’s the grandma speaks German and you have to speak German, too, if you want to have even a slight chance to fend of more food.
Come on brain! What’s the word for full. Wasn’t it something remotely related to saturated… and then you remember what you’ve read in this artilce and the words come out of your mouth..

What is the Difference – “wissen and kennen”

click picture for creditsHello everyone,

and welcome to another German Word of the Day – What is the Difference Special. And today, we’ll look at the difference between

kennen and wissen

A real problem. Unless your mother tongue is Spanish. Or Italian. Or French. Or Portuguese.
Or Swedish. Or Norwegian. Or Finnish. Or Hungarian.
Because all these languages have two words as well.
That’s right, English language. You can’t give German the “Really?? Two words for one thing?“-look this time ;).
Old English actually had two verbs, too. There was to know, which is related to the Latin and Greek family that diagnosis and recognize come from. And there was witan which, just like German wissen,  belong to the of vision. But then English speakers were like “What a waste… let’s just pick one.” and started using to know for everything while witan only got to live on in wisdom and wit. And generations of English speakers have since struggled to wrap their mind around the difference between wissen and kennen.
Well… today, this will change because I have found a really simple, really effective way to tell them apart.
And if you’re mother tongue is one of the languages above, that also have two words… well, you could read on anyway and share in the comments whether that would work for your language as well. Sounds good? Cool.

Word of the Day – “der Spaß”

spass-german-fun-imageHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. And this time we’ll have a lot of fun because we’ll take a thorough look at

der Spaß

 

Now you’re probably like “Wait. Spaß means fun. That sounds like kind of a boring topic.”
Of course you’re right. Spaß means fun. What’s interesting is the use. The word fun is the core of a bunch of super common expressions. The word Spaß is also used in a bunch of super common expressions. The problem is… the expressions do not look the same. You cannot just take an English expression and use the direct translation. That would  sound really really clunky and sometimes it might even mean something different than the English version. For example, when you say

  • Das war Spaß.

it actually means

  • Caraway does wonders if you have an upset belly.

Okay… I’m being silly. Of course it’s not THAT different. But still, there are some notable differences so today we’ll take a look at how to use Spaß properly.
Sounds fun? Awesome.

How to Learn Vocabulary Fast

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a special episode, because today we’ll not deal with a bunch of words. Today, we’ll deal with a Shitton of words. That’s Japanese for “an amount as numerous as the petals of cherry trees in spring” and it’s the perfect word because today we’ll talk about learning vocabulary.
I
n my opinion, learning vocabulary is really THE key, especially in the beginning. Like… you can go to  intensive courses all you want. If you don’t have a way to effectively learn words, it’ll be a drag and the language will always feel frustrating. But if you DO have a way to quickly learn vocab, that really is like a turbo boost.
So today, I want to share with you a method for learning words. And no, it’s not some app.
It’s my very own way of going about it and I call it Learn LOV-LAB™

Learn Lots of Vocabulary – Like a Boss ™

With this method,  you can learn a lot of words in little time, without pressure, failure and the most important thing is… with very little effort.
Sounds amazing, right?
Just a warning… the article is long. Not because the method is complicated but because it sounds weird and I want to explain why it is working.
So read this, if you have enough time.
That said, let’s jump right in and find out…

German Prefix Verbs Explained – “ansprechen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to episode number 152.167.123 of Prefix Verbs Explained. #feelingisthenewcounting
This time with talk about the meaning of

ansprechen

 

Which is not only useful if you want to bring up an issue in a meeting (#businessGerman$$), it’s also what you should do when you’re single find someone interesting and attractive (#datingadvice♥ #absolutealpha).
“Erm… Emanuel, we wanted to bring up the issue of those hashtags you started using recently? “
Oh, that. I learned that it’s what you gotta do in 2018 if you want to appeal to a young, cool audience. Pretty cutting edge, right?
“No bro, it’s pretty stupid.”
Oh… #sad #realitycheck.
“… and also, Emanuel,  even though not all of us are exactly young, we’re already the coolest audience on the planet, Emanuel.”
Oh… you’re actually right!
#truth
Ha… if you’re new here, you’re probably REALLY confused now :)
But the content is usually pretty good. So let’s jump right in…

Advent Calendar 11 – Having a guest

 

 

Ey yo guys,

wie geht’s euch :).  Welcome back to our Advent Calendar. And today I’ll actually do something really really really out of character: walking around naked while cooking.
No… wait, that’s out of clothes, not out of character.

What I’ll really do today is … brace yourselves… !!! publish a guest post!!! 

GEEEEEEZZZZ!!!

A while back, I got an email from him asking me if I was interested in a guest post.
And as always, my first initial thought was “No, I’m not.”
Usually, when people offer guest posts it’s because they want to place some links to their product or site in there. Not that there’s something wrong with that. I mean, we all gotta eat, right? But I never felt this would be a good fit for this site.
David, however, somehow didn’t seem like the usual freelance guest blog post author and he was really eager to do it.
So I was like “Hmm, okay, what do you have in mind?”. He suggested a few topics and one in particular sounded like it could be interesting for you guys… “How to learn German by Yourself”.

And so I decided to include it in this advent calendar.
This is a one time event though!
If you’re a small language app or site, and you want to get links or exposure, leave your guest posts and affiliate programs at home and put out some serious giveaways for my audience!!! That’s how we do it in this neck of the web.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s jump right in.


“How to Learn German by Yourself”

by David Taylor

If you are wondering on how to learn German by yourself, then you are not alone. The good news about this is, there are some easy, fun ways that you can use to learn German all by yourself and become a fluent speaker with time. There is a reason for learning foreign languages like German. Nowadays, students prefer to
learn foreign languages as an add-on for their career.
The languages like German & French are trending more than anything else.
This article will show you some of the easy ways and tools that you can use, and you will be able
to achieve your goal without much of a struggle.
Step by Step on Learning German by yourself:

1. ALPHABET

This is the crucial stage for it as it is the basic key to studying any language. You need to understand how every letter is written in German and how every letter is pronounced. You will find that some letters are written and pronounced differently in German compared to your native language, English for example.
This will be of great help in the spelling and pronunciation of words.

2. LEARN THE EASY WORDS FIRST

After studying and understanding the alphabet, it’s recommended you to start with the easy and commonly used words first like, greetings and etiquette. If you start with the big and complex words, you will end up having a hard time learning German.
You don’t want that right?
Right, the main idea is to learn German and have fun while doing it.

3. LEARN THE BASIC WORDS OF FORMING A SENTENCE

The next step after learning how to write and pronounce the “fun words”, it’s time to gear up to
learning the fundamental words of forming a sentence in German. These include nouns, verbs
and adjectives.
The key here is to learn how to write the words and pronounce them only. Construction of
sentences comes in the next stage after mastering the nouns, verbs and adjectives.

4.CONSTRUCT SIMPLE SENTENCES

You first need to understand the format the sentences in German take. Study the rules and then start constructing simple sentences first.
After you are comfortable and can construct simple sentences without grammatical errors, you
can proceed to construct complex sentences and so on.

5. SOCIALIZE WITH GERMAN LEARNERS OR GERMAN SPEAKERS

This will be a great impact on your German learning. Having friends who speak fluently in German will be a motivation for you to do the same for you will strive to be fluent as they are. You can create a rule where you start talking or hanging out, you will only be speaking in German. This will boost your confidence in speaking in German even if your German language is broken.
If you don’t have any friends who speak fluent German and you are wondering how you would acquire them, here is an easy way to do so.
Internet
Thanks to technology, the internet was born and socializing has never been so easy. Devices like smartphones and computers are easily available almost to the whole world at an affordable price too.
Since all smartphones have internet installed in them, you can be able to get an application like Facebook and Twitter. These applications can help you in socializing with people from the whole world. How cool is that? You don’t have to go to Germany in order to have a friend from there for the power is in your hand or pocket.
Through these social media applications, you can join communities that speak in German, introduce yourself and let them know your German is not fluent and you would like them to help you perfect in it.
In such communities or groups, you’ll find that you are not alone for there are other people who are in your position and as a result, you will have fun socializing and learning more about German together.

6.FIND MORE FUN WAYS TO LEARN GERMAN

This is an easy task to do if you just look in the right place, your hobbies. Do you love watching movies? Start watching movies that speak in German, listening songs in German and also if you love reading novels, start reading novels in German.
You won’t only have fun doing this, but you will have more exposure to the German language and with time you will be in the same position as a German native speaker especially if you read novels or books in German.
If you might be wondering how to get movies, novels or songs in German, make the Internet you closest friend for you will have all of these by a click. 
Here is the basic tool that will be in handy in learning German by yourself, your smartphone. With this phone, you’re able to download applications that can help you to know a certain pronunciation of a German word; you can also download a German dictionary, German movies and songs.
Do you believe that the power is in your hand or pocket?

***

Author Bio:
David Taylor is a passionate blogger who loves to write an article related to
Education, Technology, and Parenting. He has contributed many high-quality articles to different
websites. He loves to read the novel in his free time.

***

And that’s it for today. Let me know in the comments how you liked it and if you got inspiration from it.
Have a great day, and bis morgen.

German Prepositions Explained – “Auf 2”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of our look at the various uses of

auf

 

Wow, that was weird.
In the first part, we learned that the core meaning is the idea of on top, upward and that for the prefix it also means open. And we learned that auf, offen, up, open and über are all related because the old Indo-Europeans were quite into plant medicines. Well, okay that’s not the real reason, but it sure seems that way something.
Anyways, if you haven’t read the article yet you can find it here. You don’t really need it to understand what we’ll do today, but it’s fun. Kind of.

Meaning of “auf” – Part 1

The article ended with a list of some of the most common fixed PVCs. Which is short for Fixed Prefix Verb Combos and man… those fPVCs can really pull the fPVC out from under us.
Ugh… chemistry jokes. They just never get a reaction.
Anyway, today we’ll take a look at all these verbs that just come with auf  for no apparent reason and see if there’s a common theme to them. We’ll also check which case to use and learn something about fixed PVCs and cases in general and to wrap it all up, we’ll also look at some really cool everyday phrasings with auf’s brother drauf.
So are you ready to jump in? Perfect…

Advent Calendar 17 – “How to gain weight fast”

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Word of the Day – “passen”

passen-passt-mir-german

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

passen

 

And not only that, of course. We’ll also look at the really cool prefix versions like verpassen or aufpassen and we’ll talk about passen’s fancy sister passieren. And if we then have some time left, we’ll reveal the secret to eternal youth and beauty.

So, let’s not waste any and dive right in to passen.

Word of the Day – “Bescheid”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day, this time with a look at the meaning of

Bescheid

 

Now, I spelled that with a capital B which means that it’s a noun. And of course that raises the question whether it is der, die or das Bescheid.
Well, technically it’s der Bescheid.  But in practice we won’t need the article, because Bescheid is super chill about these things.
Like… Germans were like “Hey, Bescheid, do you want us to use an article with you like with all the other nouns?” and Bescheid was just like “Nah bros, it’s cool. Who am I to make you guys use an article. I’m just a normal word.”
Super humble.
“Hey Emanuel, you asked us to tell you when your intro is starting to waste our time… well, it just started.”
Oh… okay, cool. Let’s jump right in, then. Thanks for the heads-up :)

False Friends Explained – “art vs Art”

art-false-friends-german-enHello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of False Friends Explained. As usual, we’ll take a pair of false friends, see  what went wrong with their friendship and then, in an epic, tear-ridden finale we’ll reconcile them.
Meh… okay, I guess we can’t make them friends again. But it’s definitely gonna be super epic because today, we’ll look art, old and contemporary, English and German. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for

art vs (die) Art

A famous man once said

A poem, a fart, 
everything is art.

In  English, this statement is controversial.  In German not so much. 

Advent Calendar 2 – “Work that order”

advent-2Hi everyone,

day 2 of our German advent calendar, and this time you need to get active with a nice session of WoW.
No, nerds… the other WoW. This one:

word order workout

Now you’re like “Waiiit, I thought we get surprises. Not work.” but hey … in every advent calendar there are some things you don’t like. Like brittle. Ewwww. I hate that stuff.
So put on your yoga pants and get ready for a quick

How does it work?

We’ve done this kind of exercise before but that’s already a while ago, so let me explain real quick. I’ll give you a few short sentences that are clearly connected by context and you have to join them together.
Let’s do an example in English: Continue reading

Listen to German – Horoscopes

Hi everyone,

and welcome to 2017.  So I actually wanted to kick off the year with a review of an online language school and a BIIIIG giveaway. But the people from the school have been MIA until now. They’re based in Berlin, so they’re probably still on vacation. Berliners are lazy like that – incredible.
I hope, I hear from them this week, but I definitely wanted to give you something to do

some listening comprehension
But not some random text.
I put together a team of experts to look into the stars for you. Get ready for

Your learner’s horoscope for 2017.
(100% accurate, certified by TÜV)

And if you don’t believe in horoscopes, at least you can learn the Sternzeichen (zodiac signs) and some common phrasings. Oh and a guest voice :)
Viel Spaß….

 

Word of the Day – “kehren”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time, we’ll have a look at the meaning of

kehren

 

Ready?
Here it comes, brace yourselves… kehren is to sweep with a broom.
Whoop whooooooooooop.
Now you’re like “I got a vacuum cleaner, so I don’t need this.” But before you head over to Facebook, let me tell you… there another side to kehren.
And there, we have it all…  sex, cars, Gods. And wearing your shirt inside out.
Are you ready to jump in? Then let’s goooo..

Advent Calendar 5 – The Switch Witch

The Switch Witch

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Word of the Day – “der Ton”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. Do you know what music and your coffee cup have in common?
No? Well, you’ll find out today, because we’ll take a quick look at the meaning of

der Ton

 

I think the musical side isn’t a surprise to most of you, because English, too, has the word tone.
They both come from the Latin word tonus, which itself comes from Ancient Greek tonos and already back then it was used to express the meaning of pitch, voice or musical key. The very origin however was the even more ancient Indo-European root *ten- and that was about… drumroll… stretching.

Time 4.2 – Words for the past

Hallo everyone,

and welcome back to our mini course on Talking about Time in German.
Today, we’ll continue what we started last time – talking all about those vague words that indicate a point in time without being too specific. Or in grammar jargon

German Adverbs of time

Last time, we talk about German time adverbs that refer to the future (bald, gleich, demnächst, später…). If you don’t know the correct order then you should (re)read the part 4.1.
Today, we’ll go the other direction and look at time words that refer to the past. So let’s jump right into it…

Verbs with Prepositions – An Exercise

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to our epic GRMN S2MR BTCMP. That’s “hipster” for German Summer Bootcamp, the summer course you never expected. Today is round number three and after we did some serious muscle flexing for cases last time, we’ll deal with an entirely different thing today…

Verbs and their prepositions

If you don’t know what I mean by that, just take the English to wait for … you absolutely need this for there. You can’t say “I wait the bus.” or “I wait to the bus.”. Nope, it needs to be for.
German and English are full of these combinations, but sadly the prepositions used don’t line up.
It’s to wait for, but warten auf.
And learning this stuff takes a lot of time and exposure to the language.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no point in practicing.
So today,  we’ll practice some of the most common verb-preposition combos in everyday contexts… and not only that!

Word of the Day – “die Erfahrung”

erfahrung-pictureHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

die Erfahrung

 

Erfahrung means experience. Okay. Cool.

What’s actually interesting about the word is WHY it means experience. But let’s look at experience first. It consists of 3 parts that all come from Latin: ex, peri and ence. Ex is THAT person… that person you are desperately trying to forget, that person you were willing to go to the edge of the world for, the person you thought was the “one”,

Prefix Verbs Explained – “aufhalten”

aufhalten-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to another episode of our series on German Prefix Verbs. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

aufhalten

 

Halten is of course related to holding and halting and the core idea of the family is something like keeping from moving/changing.
The prefix auf can add two ideas to a verb and in the case of aufhalten, we’re dealing with both of them. 

Word of the Day – “die Nase”- Special

nase-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German word of the Day or actually…today it’s more of a style special … well… not really a style special… it’s a … uhm… it’s just a special and specials are awesome. Now, we all have noses. And noses are awesome, too, because we can smell with them…okay, except if we need to pee right after that colleague had had his morning constitutional; then it’s not that awesome but anyway, specials are awesome, noses are – mostly  – awesome, together they’re super awesome and that’s why  today we’ll do a

nose-special

or in German

“Nasen-sbäschl”

 

We’ll look at the different parts and shapes, we’ll gather all activities that are related to our nose and we’ll take a look at the wealth of nose-idioms that German has to offer. Smells good?
Cool.

Word of the Day – “Teil”

teil-meaning-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

Teil

 

Teil is the German word for part and it is related to the English word deal. Wait, the business deal?  Yeah, that one. A few centuries ago deal was much closer to the original “not as ancient as Indo-European but still freaking ancient”-Proto Germanic root that was all about share, part, amount. And in fact, this notion is still visible today. Just take these phrases:

  • That helps a great deal.
  • A good deal of  movie’s success is due to the excellent cast.

These are not  not about trade. These are about large parts. The helps solved a substantial part of the problem and a substantial part of the success is thanks to the cast. The business-deal was … uhm… coined some 200 years ago, probably based on the meaning amount, which is not that far from part.
We’ll see even more connections between Teil and deal once  we get to the verbs. But the noun Teil is really really cool and useful and there’s a lot to say about it. Let’s start with the gender. Yeay. That annoying gender that all the nouns have . Well guess what.  Teil is an exception!
Now you’re like “Wow, really. A word without gender? AWESOME!!! That is the start of the revolution!!!” but then you see my face all serious and emphatic and you begin to realize… “It has two genders, doesn’t it?”

Word of the Day – “gelten”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

gelten

 

Gelten is related to one the most important things of our time: climate change. Nah, kidding. That doesn’t even exist. Gelten is related to Geld.
Money. And that doesn’t exist either because… but let’s start at the beginning.

Word of the Day – “gönnen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. Roughly 100 years ago, Wilhelm Busch (a hyper famous German poet) wrote this.

Wir mögen keinem gerne gönnen,
dass er was kann, was wir nicht können.

 

It’s a nice rhyme, but also a bit of truth about human nature.
Today we’ll find out why, because we’ll have a look at the meaning of

gönnen

 

And as similar as it looks and sounds to können – being able to gönnen can be REAL challenge because it means overcoming one of the strongest adversaries out there … and no nerds, I don’t mean Thanos.
I’m talking about our ego.

Word of the Day – “die Wahl”

Wahl-pictureHello everyone,

and welcome, I hope you’re all well. So today, Steve my producer here at German is Easy gave me the results of our annual audience survey … that is like… our network checks once a year who is listening to this show. That helps them chose and sell only those advertisements that are interesting for our audience… by the way… have you guys checked out the new Caterpillar Off Shore Generator yet? No? Well, you should. It is awesome!
Anyway… so Steve gave me the results of our survey and guess what… turns out pretty much all of you agree on one thing: you all want shorter posts. Many also want them to involve less or no reading. Because reading is lame and exhausting and takes concen ooh look a link they’re playing chess… so cute… where was I… oh yeah..   so you want shorter posts with less reading and we have just the right topic for that:

German internal politics…. hoooooray. That just can’t turn out long.

In a couple of weeks there will be Bundestagswahl… or just short die Wahl. So today we’ll find out what that is and how that works. First, the word itself

die Wahl

 

Wahl. Waaaaaaaahl. With aaaaaaa… hey… Let’s be crazy for a second and switch vowels…

Word of the Day – “holen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day, this time, we’ll take a look at the meaning of

holen

 

Imagine you and a few people are at a friend’s place. You’re chatting and it’s great fun, but then you notice that your beer is empty.  What’s the natural thing to do?
Exactly, you go home, do some Kundalini Yoga and then you go to bed in order to rise early and study. Or in one word: holen.
So wholesome.
Just kidding. Of course you’d go to the fridge and get another beer.
And THAT’S what holen is … to go get, to fetch

Word of the Day – “wirken”

wirken-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German word of the Day. This time, we will have a look at the meaning of

wirken

 

Looks like a lot of work. No… wait. I meant it looks a lot like work. Seriously, it is the usual thing we can find for a lot of Germanic verbs… the consonants give the frame, the foundation, the core. The vowels kind of just fill in the blank
or add some meaning facet or something.

  • w_rk

In English, o works. In German it was once u and now it’s i… but who cares… it’s the same frame :).
The frame comes from an ancient Indo-European root that looks like a vomiting sound… *u̯erg̑. This is also the root for the word worm and the original meaning was something related to winding. People would wind bast fibers or something to make a fence. That was the start. But the word broadened a lot and soon meant pretty much the same as work means today. And what does work mean today? Exactly. Work. … okay, that sentence was kind of pointless.