Grammar Jargon

The Grammar Jargon section aims at explaining the grammar terminology and to clarify the concept behind the linguistic terms. These concepts are most of the time surprisingly simple, their names however make them seem as if they are some ancient Greek or Latin voodoo. Try to read the article on Finnish grammar on Wikipedia if you want to know what I mean.
Don’t get me wrong, linguistic terminology is an indispensable tool to describe and compare languages. For the average language learner though they might be counterproductive. Grammar Jargon sure is a language of its own and  you are already busy learning another.

In that section we will talk about the terminology and concepts you will encounter while learning  and we will look at them in a lingo that everyone can understand. Some of terms we will discuss, like ‘inflection’, you might have never seen before in a linguistic context, some, as for example conjugation, might seem vaguely familiar and  not a few will be the rather basic ones. You might even think “Well, duh… a verb… how lame, I sure know what that is”. I am pretty positive that most of the people reading this have fully comprehended the concept behind the term ‘verb’. But can you explain what a pronoun is. What does it do, when do we use it and how do they work? Do all languages have them?  How do they use them ? You use pronouns every day without thinking about them and you want to do it that way in German too eventually, but it can be very beneficial to consciously answer those questions and get a clear cut idea behind the word pronoun, because it will lead to better a understanding of the language you are trying to learn. The differences and commonalities will be easier to spot and the patterns and rules are less likely to slip your mind as they are connected well understood information.

The field of grammar jargon is pretty broad and we will not discuss every single possible verb mode or each of the 15 Finnish cases. We will focus on the stuff you need while learning German. The majority however will be universal concepts so even if you have mastered German already and you now set out to learn French or Chinese you may find it this section useful… even if it only helps you to realize that the language you are trying to learn simply does not have all that stuff that yours has and is structured entirely differently and you can’t even translate ‘to have’ in a straight forward fashion… damn.

So check out the Grammar Jargon section in 2012. I hope you enjoy it.