This is sooo 2020

Hello everyone,

not a real post but I have some site news.

My newsletter

This year, there have been many instances of some of you not getting any newsletters for weeks even though you’re subscribed.
And last week, after procrastinating this for literally a couple of years and running into tech issues, I have switched to a new upgraded version of the software I’m using.
I think everything worked fine with the upgrade but this post is pretty much the test-run.

So if the newsletter looked weird or a link wasn’t working or something…. please leave a comment here!
Don’t send me an email please, my inbox is a MESS.

EDIT: I’ve actually already run into some unexpected issues, since starting to send, but overall it’s okay, I think.

Now you’re probably like “Wait, a new software is a good thing. So what’s up with the sad puppies?”

Well, that’s because of the other news… a confession actually…

The Advent Calendar is Cancelled

If you’ve been following this site for more than a year, then you probably know what I mean. For the last five years, I have always done a German learning Advent Calendar. So in December I would post a little post each day, with quizzes, cool little words, some culture stuff, puzzles and recommendations.
It was really cool and it was always really great to see how you enjoy it and to interact with you in the comments.

But it was also always an UNBELIEVABLE stress fest. I always tried to prepare it and I never managed it and always ended up being behind and really stressed.
So when the thought came up this year, and I started collecting ideas, I also felt stress and anxiety rise up. I tried but I always felt stressed even thinking about it and when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to properly prepare it again, I decided that I’m gonna skip this year. It’s sad  – as I said, I liked the interaction portion of it.
But yeah… I just can’t do it this year. Tut mir leid :/.
So instead of a fun, exciting, hilarious, informative little article each day, we’ll have business as usual in December… one post per week, about a word and its family or whatever… oh man… it’s really a pity.

Anyway, let me know if there were any issues with the newsletter and otherwise I’ll see you in a few days with something normal.



The German Prefix “er-” explained

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German word of the Day. And today, we’ll do something really special, because today, we’ll have a look at the meaning of the non-separable prefix



And out of all prefixes, er- is definitely the most distinguished one.
Like… imagine the non-separable prefixes meet for Christmas dinner, in this old family mansion. Be- is the nerdy hacker type, with a light form of Asperger’s. Ent- is kind of the emo teen who doesn’t eat anything but the salad and only opens their mouth to challenge or better yet shatter one of the others’ views on something.
Ver- is the young urban professional, involved in a lot of projects and with the millennial penchant for sarcasm and nihilism. And zer-… well zer- is the black sheep of the family who shows up drunk, provokes fights and interrupts interesting conversations about wine or philosophy. The kind of conversations er- would be leading.
Er-, who holds several Master’s degrees in philosophy, literature and anthropology, is friendly, intelligent, hard-working and a true wine connoisseur. And so no one suspected er- when they found the dead body of ge- at midnight in the hallway. Little did they know that there wa….
“Uhm… Emanuel, is that what your explanation is gonna look like? Because if so, then I’ll go check out some othe…”
Nah, don’t worry. I just liked the image and wanted to give you a “feel” for the prefixes.
But of course we’ll do a real explanation.
So are you ready to jump in?
Then let’s go.

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Prefix Verbs Explained – “abziehen”

Hello everyone,

2020 is slowly dragging toward an end, but other messes are here to stay. Like for instance the series Prefix Verbs Explained, the series that’ll never ever end.
Today, it’s time for a new episode, in which we’ll take a look at the meaning of



Those of you who have thoroughly studied the archives here might know that I have an article on ziehen itself and in it, we do talk about all the prefix versions of ziehen. But there are so many that we didn’t really do them justice and also, the article is quite long. And by the way… do you know what else is quite long, at least in the eyes of my girlfriend.
My hair. I need to cut it.
Yup…  German teaching in 2020, guys. Fresh, like we never left the school yard.
Anyway, let’s jump right in.

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Word of the Day – “gemein”

Hello everyone,

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



When you come across the word gemein in a text, for instance in the context of behavior, and you look it up in a dictionary, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. You’ll get the translation mean (adjective) and if you ignore the ge-, which German is such a big fan of, the two actually look fairly similar. Nothing to see here.
For a second, you might wonder what mean behavior has to do with meanwhile and meantime. And by all means. And meaning.
But nah, it’s probably nothing.
English is full of weird similar spellings, you tell yourself. And you read on, ever so merrily. Until a few sentences later,  you come across gemeinsam. And as you remember that it means together, it dawns on you…  there’s more to gemein than it seems.
Much more in fact.  Like… mindblowingly more.
So let’s jump right in :)

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