Archive for: "Quick Reads"

These short, fun posts are perfect if you don’t have much time or you don’t feel like reading a lot but you still want to learn some German.


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 ;).

Continue reading

Word of the Day – “dienen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
This time, with a quick a look at the German word for to serve,

dienen

 

 

The two are obviously not related but they  actually have a really similar history. To serve comes from Latin and it ultimately comes from a word that meant slave.
And it’s exactly the same for dienen. The origin of dienen is the Germanic noun *þewa- which also meant slave, or servant. Now, this word pretty widespread throughout the Germanic world but surprisingly it has no relatives in Modern English. Or at least my servants couldn’t find any doing my resea… oh wait, I meant my unpaid interns, who are all really like it here, right John?
“Yes, it’s absolutely awesome. Would you like a coffee, Sire?”
Of course! Double shot hazelnut chai, please, thanks.

Continue reading

Prefix Verbs Explained – “anfallen”

After  a long and exhausting day

in the fields of language, the learner sits on a hill under a tree, gazing at the sun as it slowly turns the horizon into a painting of red and yellow and gold. It’s been a long day, working on German is hard labor. But now it is time for the much deserved rest.
Somewhere, in the distance, a shepherd is playing the flute.
Something rustles in the tree. The learner looks up, but sees nothing. Probably just the wind, calm down, the learner says to himself. He bites his grass stalk a little faster than before.
There it was again, the rustling. Probably just the wind. But the air is still. The learner looks around. Silence. The flute has stopped. The sun has stopped, too. And then, suddenly, the learner knows. Part of him had known from the first rustling. His grandmother had been right. There was no escaping.
Slowly, he turns upward to face what he knew was lurking – a German Prefix Verb, mouth gaping, like a gateway to hell as it screeches at the learner.
He recognizes it. It is

anfallen

 

The learner feels a bit of relief. Anfallen is an especially aggressive specimen, but not too cunning. And the learner had read about it just a few days ago. Quickly, he tries to recollect what he’d read …

Continue reading

Word of the Day – “verpeilen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German word of the Day. And after last our intense look at auf last fart-night this time we’ll take it easy and…  Wait, I meant fortnight. Fart-night is what I had yesterday. Beans for dinner
you know.
So yeah, obviously we’ll definitely take it very easy and and have a look at a cool little word that’s 100% colloquial. So you won’t find it in newspapers and definitely not in your textbook.  Get ready for a look at

verpeilen

 

And to understand verpeilen, we’ll first look at peilen. And to understand peilen we’ll first need to look at ei. And to understand ei, we’ll first need to look at hen. And to understand hen… okay okay I’ll stop the stupid right now.
Pure, raw facts delivered at light speed from now on. Ready. Goooo Continue reading