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Culture Don't mention the war

Discussion in 'Europe' started by XTREMO, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    English was my second language. Speech was easy for both but in regards to writing and spelling German sucks.
     
  2. Bato

    Bato One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Spelling German isnt too bad, a lot of it is spelt how its pronounced.
     
  3. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've heard the grammar and all the different tenses are the hard part.

    But I guess that's the same with every language - when I was learning French the main takeaway was how logical it was and how ****ed English was.
     
  4. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah but when its 20 letters plus :confused:
     
  5. Bato

    Bato One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, the longer words can be a pain haha.
     
  6. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That wins the internet for today.

    And will probably lead to some arguments tonight after I've facebook'd it.
     
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  7. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's a lot of truth to this but for the most part German is not a beautiful language like Italian or French. The Eastern European languages sound a lot harsher though.

    I have to say that I consider my wife to be the one great exception to the rule. She has no German accent at all. You'd never know she's German if you heard her speaking English. Most people assume she's from the UK. And when she speaks German its ridiculously fast but doesn't have anywhere near the harshness of other Germans. It probably sounds like I'm just biased but its true.
     
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  8. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Um, it hasn't gone down well with wife and a few German friends in a whatsapp group. They think its quite racist, not least because the final sketches resemble an infamous Austrian
     
  9. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Did you expect a different result?
     
  10. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    lots of languages have extra cases and tenses
    small children manage to grasp their own language and grow into fuent-speaking adults
    they're also well-equipped to learn English, especially since it's taught in primary school
    bilingualism makes you smarter
     
  11. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I believe this more and more.

    The other thing that helps is understanding sentence structure, which English speakers aren't really taught much of at school. We don't really think about the order of words, whether the verb comes before the noun etc. Sentence structure tends to be of utmost importance in other languages so they're used to giving it a lot of attention and it helps them to learn our relatively simple structure with ease.

    To take a simple example. "Can I have the bill please?".
    In German, it's "kann ich bitte die rechnung haben?" (Can I please the bill have)

    Its hard for an English speaker to understand why they do it the way they do. I haven't yet gotten to the point of learning grammar rules. I'm just fumbling along by subbing in words for similar sentences that I already know. Ie. I can say "kann ich bitte ein doner kebap haben"
     
  12. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    You're right about the sentence structure.

    With your example above, you could also say 'ich möchte bitte bezahlen' which is can I please pay, which I find is commonly shortened to 'bezahlen bitte'.
     
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  13. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A few days ago I had a strange experience. Went into a video store. Not just a 20sqm back room dive kinda store, but a genuine fully fledged store. Complete with smelly, stoned tracksuited studentin staff and a munchie aisle that would make Woolies blush. It was like stepping back in time 20 years. Honestly like being in the twilight zone.
     

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  14. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    it's also more polite
    it's about degrees of subjunctive, not something that features prominently in the learning of English
    of course, most people are either just saying 'die Rechnung bitte' or doing pretend writing in the air with their finger
     
  15. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Berlin is a bit of a time capsule
    they had 40+ years as an island in the middle of hostile territory, a disproportionately young population, and I think residents didn't have to do military service?
    [not certain about the last bit]
    as well as which it was always a cultural centre
    Hitler hated that cosmopolitanism and wanted to replace the whole city with his dream-capital-of-the-world Germania
     
  16. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes well that's also a good point. As an Aussie who takes pride in treating staff wtih courtesy and respect I don't feel comfortable saying the perfectly acceptable "die rechnung bitte". Hence I learned the version that seems more polite (to me). For an Anglo, there's really no difference in politeness between that and Whiteman's "I would like to pay please". For a German - they probably see both as wasted words. "Die rechnung bitte" is fine with them.
     
  17. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    also a shop that sells nothing but gummi bears.
     

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  18. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    So German is your first language?
     
  19. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Germans cannot make coffee (in my limited experience, which is Hamburg only).

    They need an exchange program with the Italians. Send some Germans to make their trains run on time and with working toilets. Send some Italians in return to show them how to make a coffee.
     
  20. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My English marks improved rapidly when I was learning French at school. My English had always been middle of the road, but I decided to do French through VCE. I didn't realise it until a few years later but I had effectively learned 'language' and subconsciously applied it to English and my marks turned to As.
     
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  21. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    how do we say no personal dance thank u but we are open for shots???:emoji_astonished:

    do those Germans like Jaeger Bombs....sorry they may be a bit sensitive too this wording...
     
  22. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am also bilingual and English is my second language. I speak the other language only when chatting to my family on Skype, though. I can never apply the concept of English grammar to anything else. I learned to think and express ideas in completely different way than I would in my native language. It's hard to explain. My voice sounds different in both languages. My mum says it sounds (to her) like I'm 'singing' when speaking in English. I write thesis in English but after al those years, I have difficulties to write a formal letter in my native language o_O
    However, not all eastern European languages sound harsh. For example, compare Polish and Hungarian language, completely different sound and rhythm. But, music and poetry sound the best in English, IMO :nerd:
     
  23. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  24. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    They do when they go skiing .
     
  25. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thats for Brits.
     
  26. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This fascinating article delves more deeply into what you describe.

    How the language you speak changes your view of the world

     
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  27. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Interesting article and I think they are right about the cognitive advantages in some cases. You really know you are fluent in another language when you start thinking in that language.

    That said, "German speakers are more likely to focus on possible outcomes of people’s actions, but English speakers pay more attention to the action itself.".....I can think of a couple of 20th century examples where German speakers really didn't focus on possible outcomes!:D:whistle:
     
  28. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, I can really relate to that article. Especially, expressing emotions. I tend to explain and reflect on things/events differently in each language. That said, I think (and dream) in English. However, I still count in my native language! Go figure. And it takes me a while to readjust when visiting my homeland.
     
  29. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting. Possible explanation is word order. Object before verb. Assuming you process information in the order it is presented, in German the person and the objective are present before the relevant action.
     
  30. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    My wife is a Linguist. 5 Languages: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian. All fluent.
    She's a full time teacher of English, French and Spanish in senior high school here in Oz, none of those her native tongue.
    Freaky!!!!
    I'm just Bilingual , as is our eldest, whilst No.2 (now in senior high years) is into Language No. 3.
    Sadly, many here in Oz don't understand the importance of another language (on so many levels).
    Language opens up the world as it greatly helps the understanding of other peoples and cultures, so much more than reading about it.
     
    #80 Zimboo, Oct 20, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  31. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    ;)
     
  32. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Impressive. Yep -that's why I'd really like to get the hang of German.

    Interestingly, I've heard that many of the good German language teachers here in Berlin are not native speakers. Apparently the ones who have had to learn German as a second language make much better teachers because they have paid even closer attention to the grammar rules and can help learners prioritise and optimise their learning process.
     
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  33. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    I can believe that, as she is so passionate about language and so into it, more than natives.
    However, put here in a foreign place geographicallly and ask her how did we get here and how do we return and she has no idea. It's very funny.
     
  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was born in Australia and spoke German initially but Mum got me concentrating on English in preparation for school, so I largely lost the German and don't really use it at home. Studied it though later in school and so have been comfortable using it when going back to Austria to visit my relatives. In school you learn Hochdeutsch but I'm very much used to hearing a Steirische dialect, so I have a bit of a mixture of very simplified Hochdeutsch with the occasional bit of Steirische. Native German speakers will certainly pick me as a foreigner but always surprised when I say I'm from Australia.

    As I am more used to hearing different Austrian dialects it sounds to me more natural. Voralrberger dialect is certainly harder (closer to Swiss) and I can struggle with some Tirolers spoken quickly (listening to interviews with some skiers). From Germans (apart from the Bayrische) it is understandable but often sounds more complicated. Schwizerdütsch is another thing entirely.

    Once I am back in Austria it usually takes a couple of days to get back into the swing of speaking German, but a bit after that I start thinking in German again and it feels normal again. Then on the (very) odd occasion when one of my younger rels tries some English with me it feels weird and I'll usually stick to German.

    It has been quite handy travelling to neighbouring Eastern European countries especially those part that were German occupied at some time. I'll usually use German in the first instance before English. Most of the time you can get by with one of those.

    I can't really comment on Kletterers point other than to say it stands to reason, people are simply travelling more. Days of people not leaving their valley are mostly well gone.
     
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  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most of this sounds quite normal - well not entirely - it is a bit of a reminder that Graz is more Hochdeutsch (relatively) than more rural areas. But after a period in Steiermark (or Austria in general) hearing Germans speak does sound a little odd.
     
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  36. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I do find some German expressions irritating. In Austria if we go and look at something out you'd say schau ma. Gerrmans would say Guck mal which just sounds weird to me. That is one of my tell tale signs - Someone can say one sentence with Gucken and I'll know they are German. Many others but that one stands out.
     
  38. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    German, as a language, is a modern invention. So are Spanish and Italian. And Mandarin. And Hindi. The world is dialects.
     
  39. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    He looks disturbingly comfortable with that cow.:eek:
     
  40. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    Throw yourself into it and dont worry about making mistakes.............abnormality, laughter, and fun actually brings you closer sooner rather than later. IMO
     
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  41. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah I am doing that. Not really fussed about the grammar at this stage. The main aim right now is to understand what's going on around me, and to be able to make myself understood in the local tongue. One of the main challenges is when phoning support lines (for internet, utilities etc). Very little tolerance for someone who can't speak German. Often its a matter of hanging up and trying again until you get someone who speaks English.
     
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  42. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    Stuff like that (technical) is difficult, you will get there in time. Just keep asking in German how to ask.
     
    #92 Zimboo, Oct 21, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  43. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  44. Bato

    Bato One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well "Dick"= Think or Fat, Bad = Bathroom, so that takes care of a few haha.
     
  45. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    spell checker? - I think you meant thick.
    The term Dickschädl though actually translates pretty well.

    also Fuchs is pronounced more like Fooks (like Books)
     
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  46. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The long words look a bit odd at first but it is really just a concatenation of several short words. In English it would be written as a phrase, maybe hyphenated or replaced with something completely different..

    The example in that link is: Fussboden=floor schleif=polish maschine=machine verlieh=rental
    simple
     
  47. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I lived and studied in the UK before coming to Australia, but when I arrived here, I could not understand anyone due to the weird accent LOL
    It took me a bit to readjust. What helped me most with the proper understanding, the subtle nuances and the synopses of English language was reading, reading and reading again.
    .
     
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  48. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also the fact that "dich" = "you", means plenty of laughs for anglos in Berlin.

    Many marketing slogans incorporate variations of "wir liebe dich" (we love you) and depending on the font, often looks like "we love dick" at a glance.
     
  49. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Try this one for size. Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung (car insurance)
     
  50. Bato

    Bato One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Genau