The meaning of “ja”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
And today, we’ll do something many of you have been waiting for a long time – we’ll finally tackle ja.
And not because it means yes, but because it is one of those pesky particles.
You know, these little words like doch or eben or schon that Germans so virtuously sprinkle over their sentences like pixie dust. But when learners also try to sprinkle some, the pixie dust turns into… just dust. It’s NOT FAIR really! It’s native speaker privilege, is what it is.
Imagine a world without native speakers – we’d all stumble our way through our ramshackle sentences as equals. Without anxiety. Without shame. And without snob native speaker overlords telling us what does and doesn’t sound right!!
Speech would truly be free!
But native speakers do exist, and today we’ll take a look at what exactly Germans express with

ja

So, let’s jump right in.

Continue reading

New Feature – Practice Pronunciation

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to a new episode of my new favorite series called

A new Feature

You’re like “What? Another new feature?! I don’t belive it.”
But it’s true. I am hustling hard behind the scenes and after the (unfinished) dark-mode, the (unfinished) new layout and the (unfinished) new dictionary, I’m really happy that this week I have (un)finished a new nice little add-on that you can use to practice pronunciation….

The Audio Recorder

 

Continue reading

“einkaufen gehen” – why is there no “zu”

 

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to your weekly fix of German – the good, strong stuff. And today, I actually got a nice little dose of grammar for you, because we’ll take a look at:

Wit-no-Zouz

Now you’re like “Wit-no-zouz? What is that? I have never heard that before.”
Well, that’s no wonder, because Wit-no-zouz is a really advanced linguistic concept that you usually only come across when you’re at absolute the cutting edge of linguistic research. Which is where I am and I’m gonna share some of that
“Yeah yeah, come on Emanuel, you made it up, right?”
Uh… yup. I made it up. It’s short for

Why is there no zu or um zu?”

and I didn’t really know how else to call it. I think the official name is free final infinitive or something, but I like my name better.
Because it is what pretty much all learners ask themselves at some point, usually after learning about zu and um zu.
We’ve briefly touched on it in the article about the use of zu and um zu, and there are many comments about it scattered throughout the site, but I figured it’s definitely worth a proper look, so let’s dive right in :)

Continue reading

Review of the Day – “OUINO”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of our series Review of the Day.
“Review of the Day?”, I hear you say. “More like Review of the Year.”,
And it’s true. I don’t do reviews very often.
Now, there are loads and loads of courses and websites and apps out there that I could review, and possibly make some of them sweet sweet affiliate dollars.
But I find it really hard to talk about something if I’m not all that into it and I wouldn’t use it myself. Like Duolingo for instance. Or soap.
So I’ve decided to not do any reviews unless I’m genuinely excited about something.
And a few weeks ago, through a Youtube ad of all places, I found something that got me so excited, I actually reached out to the developers and I am really happy to tell all of you about it today.
It is called:

Ouino

Yes, that’s … that’s really their name.

Continue reading