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Old 10-25-2008, 03:44 AM   #1
jassian
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Default GERMAN questions, answers, grammar and anything related

Hey hi,

Learning and practicing languages ended up becoming a bit of a topic.
It's actually very QL, as Sam speaks plently of them.
So this is a separate German thread... because this is the language I
grew up with, so it's the one I know the most about.
(Be warned I'm not a teacher and haven't been to germany in a few
years so I may be a touch rusty)

Everyone just feel free to ask questions or answer them. I'll try to compile some simple grammar guide in this post if anything comes up.
I won't promise amazing maintance, but I'd sure like to help out.

Prost!

Examples on how to use nicht (not)
Ich weiss (es) nicht (I don't know (it))
Ich sehe es nicht (I don't see it)
Ich bin nicht [irgendwas] (I am not [something])
Ich kann nicht ... (I can not ...)
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:45 AM   #2
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Hallo, bin ich Caitlin… und ich bin ein Alkoholiker.
Is this right?

It should be; I used a translator.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam's Crow
Hallo, bin ich Caitlin… und ich bin ein Alkoholiker.
Is this right?

It should be; I used a translator.
Slightly off topic, even for off topic! but your comment reminded me of something I read a very long time ago that still amuses me.

When computers were a very new development, one of the few uses that people thought they would have was as translators.

In order to test one of the first models, a number of well known phrases were fed in, translated to another language, and then translated back again to test accuracy.

The classic result? "Out of sight, out of mind," when translated into Russian and then back into English came out as...

"Invisible lunatic!"

My point being - don't always trust non-human translators.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam's Crow
Hallo, bin ich Caitlin… und ich bin ein Alkoholiker.
Is this right?

It should be; I used a translator.
Hallo, ich bin Caitlin... und ich bin ein Alkoholiker.

The verb is supposed to be the second element in a sentence unless it is a question, so I think the ich and bin need to be switched.

By the way, I couldn't find this word in the glossary. What did you input to get Alkoholiker?
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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I put the word "alcoholic".

Hello, I am Caitlin... and I am an alcoholic

Mind you the translator I used can't even do basic French properly.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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Caitlin's version was right.
(that sentence made me think were founding German's anonymous)

ohboy, you're right about switching, but it's the other way round.
Bin ich ein Alkoholiker ? Would be the question

I recommend you get yourself a big german-english dictionary (there may be some online) and eventually a pure german dictionary , so you're not limited to the words in your Glossary. german wikipedia would do too, but i find it nicer to have a book with lists of words and you can just read some if you feel like it.

Leaper1, it's still happening, mainly because you can't translate anything exactly, so going back and forth in a guarantee for hilllarious results . You should see some screenshots on the net of movies that have been translated into one language and then back.
Here's an example:
http://www.wongkeenhing.com/2006/10/...-gone-haywire/
(admins, please let me know if the language in the link is acceptable, it's accidental so figured it's fine)

it's really funny.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:28 AM   #7
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Voseslos

Is that right ?

its meant to mean - whats you're problem?

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Old 10-28-2008, 05:48 AM   #8
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Oh

Was ist los? or more slang like was is los?
(literally 'what is loose?')
took me a second
Yes, if you say it quickly it sounds like voseslos *LOL*!

Can mean a whole range of things, pretty much like "what's going on".

It can be what's happening? or How's it going?
what's up?
what's the problem?
what's wrong with you?

it's a very versatile little phrase, it would depend a lot on the context & intention
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
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Was ist los? LOL It does indeed mean "What is loose?"

My high school German teacher used to reply "Whatever is not tied down."

My german is horrible, mainly because I have no one to practice with regularly. One thing to remember with German names is that when two vowels go a'walking, the SECOND one does the talking.

So, instead of "~STEIN" being pronounced "steen", it should be "stine"

Diese ist eine interesant thread. Viele danken fur dieses.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:34 AM   #10
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Alright, I have a question for the German expert.

How do I say (or more specifically, write) the following sentence:

"I don't know".

We haven't learned it, but we have to do a script as a group and recite it in front of class, and that would be a good sentence.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCSciFiFan
when two vowels go a'walking, the SECOND one does the talking.
wow. never thought of it that way. Although I got an exception for ya (you probably know it but it may be interesting for everyone else) good old eu as in neu (new). pronounced n-oh-ee

Did you want your sentence polished? here ya go, if not let me know and I shall desist
you'd probably say

Das ist ein interessanter Thread. Vielen Dank dafuer.

You could start Dieses or Dies, but it would sound slightly archaic.
in order to point out it's this rather than that you you could say

Das hier ist ein ...
(This here is a...)

And gern geschehen
(happened with pleasure)
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohboy
Alright, I have a question for the German expert.

How do I say (or more specifically, write) the following sentence:

"I don't know".
Weiss ich nicht.

Weiss nicht.

Ich weiss es nicht.

You may have to look at the context. Is it more I don't know in the sense of : 'I don't have that information' or 'I don't know what to do'
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:59 AM   #13
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It was actually asked more in the sense of wanting to know how to use the word not with verbs. We learned the verb "nicht", but not how to use it with verbs. So, to answer your question, I didn't have a context in mind.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:43 PM   #14
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Ah gotcha. Here's some examples

Ich weiss (es) nicht (I don't know (it))
Ich sehe es nicht (I don't see it)
Ich bin nicht [irgendwas] (I am not [something])
Ich kann nicht ... (I can not ...)
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:51 PM   #15
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I hope you can answer this next question.

When is it appropriate to use nicht vs. kein(en)? Both are used to negate sentences, but the book doesn't really do a good job explaining when each is used. Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:10 AM   #16
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Hmm. The first thing coming to my mind is the difference between
no/none and not
As in "I have no time", Ich habe keine Zeit
or "I can't understand it", Ich kann es nicht verstehen

keinen/keine/kein as a negatory (As opposed to Keinen/Keine/Keines the noun) masc./fem./neutr.
is referring to another noun. In this case time. You have none of it.

nicht is connected to a verb. You can not understand it.

Not sure if this is an absolute rule, though.
Any clearer?
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:12 AM   #17
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Ahhhh ok cool banana's

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Old 11-19-2008, 03:23 AM   #18
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Okay, I have another one that came up in casual conversation. How would I say something like

Come here.

I know the literal translation is Du kommst hür (Sie kommen hür), but do I have to add the du, or I could I say kommst hür? Or Kommen Hür?

Thank you.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:46 AM   #19
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If you say come here
it's komm her. (her sounds a bit like 'hair')
formal: Kommen Sie her.

Du kommst her means You (do) come here
you'll have to adjust the verb.

Also note the difference beween her and hier
It's like on and onto in english.
You are on the roof but have to get unto the roof.
So you can be HIER (Here stationary) , but you'll have to get HER (Here in motion)
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:25 PM   #20
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Thank you for the explanation.
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:15 AM   #21
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No probs, I'm gald it makes sense
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:26 AM   #22
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Lord, right now in German 2 (a continuation from last semester's German 1), we have just finished up and are utilizing the dative case. I think that one of the hardest parts about learning a foreign language is not memorizing a new set of words, but memorizing a new set of grammatical rules. I have very shaky knowledge about the direct objects and indirective objects, which dictate which case one uses. I guess that when one learns a foreign language, he also has to go back and examine his own language, ja?

I remember that Jassian said there were four cases, and so far we have learned three: accusative (das, den, die), nominative (das, der, die), and dative (dem, den, der). I don't know what the fourth one is yet, but I hope that it doesn't involve direct objects or indirect objects.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:03 AM   #23
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I think the remaining one is called genitive 'wessen'. Who's
It's about property.

but maybe it's not used so much any more in modern German.
You may be lucky

And I got not clue what direct and indirect objects are
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jassian View Post

And I got not clue what direct and indirect objects are
To the best of my knowledge (going back to 7th grade English class), a direct object is the item/person that causes an action, and the indirect object is inflicted upon an action or preposition. An example would be:

Der Professor hat zwei Kapital von einem Buch gelesen.
(The professor read two chapters of a book).

I believe that the book would be the indirect object, and hence would require the dative form, because it received the action (it was being read). The professor would be the direct object because he committed the action (he was the one that read the book).

Of course, you would really want to ask a linguist about all of this, considering that I'm sort of relearning all this through trail-and-error (and could easily have made a mistake anywhere in here) but does that explanation make sense at all?
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:09 PM   #25
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Ah OK.
I know them as "Subjekt" and "Objekt". the first one is like you say the main 'thing' or person in the sentence doing stuff. (Except if the senence is passive I THINK...)
The objects are all the other 'things' in the sentence. Does that sound familiar?

Kapitel btw
Kapital are financial funds

I also notice you not using genitive in this sentence or else it would have been:
Der Professor hat zwei Kapitel eines Buches gelesen.

But maybe that' becoming archaic these days. And I'm getting old
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