News – Examples and your experience

Written By: Emanuel Updated: February 23, 2023

Hello everyone,

and welcome to another round of

YourDailyGerman – News

The hottest new series in town. Disney+ is green with envy that they don’t have a series like this.

Seriously though, there will be quite a few episodes like this in the coming months, because I have quite a few new features and things in the pipeline.

Today, I have a new feature and then I had an idea for an article series which I think might be interesting, but I wanted to hear your opinions first.

Let’s start with the new feature…

Example-splosion

If you’re using the dictionary (aka my search) regularly, you’ll know that some entries have examples for the word in context but the majority of them do not and it’ll take years to add examples for all of them.
However, of course an example sentence for gehen for instance does not only contain the word gehen.

  • Ich gehe nach Hause.

I might have entered this as an example for gehen, but it’s also an example for ich and for nach Hause.
So I decided to do just that and “re-use” examples that I already have for words that don’t have any yet.
It was actually fairly easy to code and I put it up a couple of days ago, so now:

Many more entries will have examples to go along with them.

Most of them with audio, too.
I have also included the ge-form and the preterit for verbs and I can also include the plural of nouns if you think that’s helpful.

Do all entries have examples now? No. Some words that are in the dictionary simply were never part of any example, so you will find entries that don’t have any examples. But it’s going to be way less than before and I’ll slowly plug those holes.

Now, there are two small drawbacks.
First up, there are no proper highlights in the “automatic” examples.
So the sentence above, when used as an example for nach Hause will look like this:

  • Ich gehe nach Hause.

It’d be nice to give the search term a highlight, but I haven’t looked into adding that functionality yet.

Oh and one big caveat is that examples for  a verb may ALWAYS be actually examples for prefix verbs.

  • Ich mache den Kühlschrank auf.

This may show up as an example for machen, but the verb we’re actually seeing is aufmachen. Without manually tagging or using an advanced parsing AI there is no way a computer can understand what verb it is looking at. So yeah… when you see examples for base verbs, keep an eye out for possible prefixes :).
I definitely will manually add examples for ALL the prefix verbs, and also base verbs, so that they have dedicated examples to go with them.

Anyway, what I am also thinking about is a kind of “example finder”. It’s basically a page where you can enter a word and it’ll give you a few examples for it. Like DeepL or Linguee, but it’ll be examples from my site so they come with a proper translation and usually also with audio.

Let me know in the comments, if you think this could be helpful.

Cool, and now let’s get to the article idea that I had.

Your (German) Stories

So I don’t know if you know, but you all are actually a quite crazy mix of people. There’s readers from all over the world (like, almost literally every country), the ages range from 13 to 90+ (from what I know for a fact), there are students, refugees, retirees, people who want to come on vacation, people who want to come for work, people who come for love, people who learn German as a hobby or to keep the brain happy and active.
Some of you live on $50 a month with their family, others are really well off. It’s a really really diverse group of people and what unites all of you is that you’re learning German and you’re all really nice friendly people. I actually feel like the language learning community is one of the friendliest I have seen online.

But anyway, so every now and then I hear from some of you about your story and background in an email and what I was thinking was that we could make that into more of a community thing and combine it with language learning.

Here’s what I have in mind:

If you feel like it, you write a little story about yourself, with or without your real name.  It can be about language or about something else, your choice – about a page or two, not more.
And the task is that you write it in German (or at least a mix of German and English) and I’ll the add corrections, translations and some commentary about what phrasings work and which don’t and why and I post it as an article here on the site.

So those of you who write, get a chance to get their writing corrected and all the others get a chance to learn a bit about the community here and also to learn a bit about how to write idiomatic proper German.

Just to make sure… I’ll still write normal articles, but I felt like it was a nice idea to mix up the content, a bit and it’s actually a good way to talk a bit about writing and style.

So yeah… let me know what you think about this in the comments and if you’d be interested in writing something. And if the reactions are positive we’ll give it a try :).

 

But before we wrap up, let me quickly share something that I think at least partially triggered this idea.

Iran and more

I have quite a few readers from Iran. I know that because people from Iran cannot pay for membership even if they have enough money, simply because of the sanctions. There’s no Paypal and credit cards don’t work either.
Anyway, so recently I got an email from a woman in Iran and she gave me a bit of background about what’s going on at the moment. Internet access is heavily restricted now, much more so than a year ago. But the revolution is actually still ongoing, women are still risking their health and lives by going outside without hijab, and there recently was a giant protest in Teheran after about a month of relative silence.
I found that really interesting because at least the media outlets that I am checking (German and English speaking) do not talk about Iran at all and I thought the protests are already quenched. Well… they’re not. The people there are still fighting for more personal freedom and I hope they succeed. Or if you’re in Iran reading this: I hope you succeed.

And there’s another thing that I wanted to share about this. The woman also told me the slogan of the protests:

zan, zendegi, azadi

That is Persian and means:

Frau, leben, Freiheit
Woman, live/life, Freedom

And did you notice something?
The word for woman (zan) and the word for life (zendegi) look kind of similar. And since I am learning Bulgarian at the moment I also noticed that zan looks a fair bit like the Slavic stem for woman“zhena” . Which makes sense. Persian is part of the Indo-European family and these basic words share the same roots.
So I was wondering if there are any relatives in the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language tree. The origin is the Indo-European root *gwen- which meant women and which (via Greek) is the also the origin of words like gynecologist. But the most surprising member of the family is… drumroll…

queen

Anyway, so that’s it for today. Let me know in the comments if you think an  example-finder would be useful, and more importantly, let me know if we should give this “My Story” kind of article a try.
I look forward to reading your thoughts, as always :).

Have a great week and see you next time.

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