Word of the Day – “spitz”

Hello everyone,

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

spitz

 

Spitz is a pretty good representative for how German sounds, at least to foreign ears. Sure, it’s not as iconic as kratzen or Strumpf, but spitz does have this certain scratchy “roughness”. But not only that.
Spitz is also a great example for a word that really sounds like what it stands for. But okay… of course I know what it means, and that might well influence my associations. So let’s do a quick poll and see. What does the word spitz remind you of.

What does the word spitz make you think of

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I’m really curious what you guys say.
I picked needle and spitz is basically what makes a needle a needle.

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German Gender and Big Data

Hello everyone,

and first of all let me say a big fat

Thank you for 30.000 comments

Yup, we passed it some day last week and usually I do some kind of giveaway but I actually missed it this time.
So we’ll do the next one at 40.000, I guess :). But yeah, vielen lieben Dank. Your comments are part of the reason why this blog even made it through the first few years and without them it would feel really lonely around here. And also, you ask lots of great questions that add value to the article itself.
I read every single comment and I’ll continue to do that, so keep ’em coming :).

And now on to our next point which is… my failure.
Honestly, this week was a complete failure for me, article-wise. My plan was to do an exercise on noun gender, and I thought I had an idea.
I didn’t want to test single nouns but rather the rules that Slavica told us about last time. But for this to actually work, we’d need to do it flashcard-style… so you get asked the same thing repeatedly until it’s automatic. And then I realized I actually don’t have a flashcard setup in my quiz software.
So then I thought “Okay, I’m gonna do nouns” and I looked for lists of the most common nouns and so on, but actually it’s the same thing… I need a flashcard setup, not just “one up multiple choice”. So yeah… there went my idea of doing a gender practice :/.

I do have something interesting about gender though, because a while back someone sent me a really interesting email. His day name is Emmanuel Haton, but I’ll refer to him with his secret identity…. Excel-Man. He had done some serious number crunching on the issue of German gender and I found this so interesting that I absolutely had to share that with you. Continue reading

German Noun Gender – A learner’s story

Hello everony,

and welcome to your favorite German learning site ever. And no, everony is not a mistake. It’s Italian based slang term meaning friends or guys. And it’s also a type of pasta. Everoni with butter and parmeson… soooo tasty.
Yeah, I bet you can tell I am in nonsense mode today. But no reason to worry that the article is rife with nonsense. Because it’s actually not mine :).
A few years ago, back before the Corona stuff and all, we had a guest here. Slavica, an actual studied linguist told us a bit about collocations in German. You everony (guys) seemed to have enjoyed it, and so we decided to do it again.
Today, she will talk a bit about the elephant in the room of this blog… German gender. I barely ever talk about it. But it’s there, and it’s important.
She’ll share a bit about what it is, a few rules,  and a couple of her learning tricks that she used when learning German.
So without any further ago… have fun :)

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Thinking about German Gender
(by Slavica)

Once upon a time, there was the mighty Mr. Sun who lived up in the sky with his lovely, gentle, quiet wife Mrs. Moon and their many daughters, the stars.

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Word of the Day – “man”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German word of the Day. This time, with a thorough look at the meaning and the use of

man

 

It looks like the English man, and they do have the same origin and the same core. But they’re NOT translations for each other. Because the German man is actually THE word to refer to a generic person, in impersonal statements.
What that means and how to use man, that’s what we’ll find out today.
So let’s jump right in.

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