Showing category "German language" (Show all posts)

RammTalk 20: Let's change the subject

Posted by Jackie White on Sunday, September 23, 2012, In : German language 
English is a flexible language; lazy even.  We throw sentences together in a pick n' mix fashion, so 'I see the man', or 'the man is seen by me,' or even 'I  went for a walk with the man.'  In essence, the man seems to know his place and obediently follows us as we dot him around a sentence, and we don't give a second thought to that little word 'the', as it stays the same wherever we put it.

And yet, we don't say 'I see he' or 'he sees I', or even 'the man is seen by I', as we instinctively k...
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RammTalk 19: A question of class, innit?

Posted by Jackie White on Sunday, September 2, 2012, In : German language 
The words you use (terminology) and how you say them (pronunciation) give away either the class you are, or, in the case of those taking elocution lessons, the class you want to be.  You may think this stuff was all firmly consigned to the past, but an interesting book, Watching the English (by Kate Fox) reveals it to be alive and kicking in our linguistic present.

Upper classes like to think their way of speaking is correct, as lower classes swallow their t's and drop their h's (with to wiv; ...
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RammTalk 18: German Boot Camp (Delta)

Posted by Jackie White on Saturday, August 18, 2012, In : German language 
If you're interested in learning German and don't know where to start, then try cognates.  A cognate is a word that either sounds the same and/or looks the same in two different languages.  So Mutter/mother, Vater/father, Bruder/brother, mein/mine (my), dein/thine (your) - if you learn the pairing (and the sound shift that altered the German from English,) you will quickly pick up new vocabulary.  It's all about rules:  learn the rule, accept that there are always exceptions to rules, and you...
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RammTalk 14: German Boot Camp (Charlie)

Posted by Jackie White on Saturday, May 12, 2012, In : German language 
Mutter, Haifisch, Messer = mother, shark, knife, are nouns, which are words you can put 'the' or 'a' in front of, and describe a person, place, thing, animal or idea.  In English nouns, place names and people's names start with a capital letter - in German, ALL nouns start with a capital letter, no exception.  So words like Dog, Thought, Paris, Man, Woman, & Child would all have initial capitals.  Or in Rammspeak song titles, so would Shark, Mother, Longing, Angel, my Heart burns.

Another diff...
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RammTalk 10: German Boot Camp (Beta)

Posted by Jackie White on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : German language 
Quite how I found myself singing Olde Englishe songs with the Yeoman Warders in the RAF Club this week is anybody's guess, but I've been invited back to the Tower of London itself for a vocal rematch.  These fair-of-voice regal soldiers are very special people, as so few get to ever become a Beefeater, yet they continue a tradition that's lasted over 700 years:  the locking of the Tower of London every night, called the Ceremony of the Keys.

This reminded me of the history of language and how ...
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RammTalk 9: German Boot Camp (Alpha)

Posted by Jackie White on Sunday, March 18, 2012, In : German language 
Barbarian hordes - listen up!  I am your Boot Camp Meister, here to teach you some German whether you are a beginner, someone who fell off the 'learn-a-language' bandwagon at school, or if you just want to get by with a little S & M (Sense & Meaning) to better appreciate Rammstein's lyrics.  Just because Mark Twain, sporting an intense dislike of German, said: 

 "My philosophical studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty ...
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RammTalk 3: It's all just train station to me

Posted by Jackie White on Sunday, February 5, 2012, In : German language 
When we  speak our native language, we don't realise how we pick up more than just words alone.  There are many different phrases and sayings that would not translate well into a foreign language.  Look at this conversation by an Englishman, and how it would need to translate for a German in order for him to understand it:

"He can't make head nor tail of it.  He's not as thick as two short planks, but he did cut off his nose to spite his face.  He really is burning the candle at both ends but ...
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About Me


Jackie White Fluent German speaker and fan of Rammstein's music who wants to help other RammFans who don't speak German understand what it's all about.