AMD5

This week, I decided to try the Duolingo again.  I haven’t use it for a while.  This time, instead of doing each of the activities, I jumped into the test.  The section I left last time was about accusative, which was easy for me now.  Not surprisingly, I passed the test.  The next test was food.  I was also trying to pass the test, but I failed.  Duolingo has more new vocabularies for this section, such as Erdbeere for Strawberry, Zucker for Suger, and Süß for Sweet.  I went back to do two activities in this section.  I feel we didn’t really memorize the gender of the nouns in the class.  But here in Duolingo, I have to really know the gender to have the correct answer.  It is really challenging.

 

Then I also used the Bots, which is the conversation with Duolingo.  My first conversation was to help an artist chose the color for her painting – a great activity to review the color words.  Also, in the conversation, she asked “Kannst du mir helfen, ein Bild zu malen“.  I was excited to recognize that it was about “zu+infinitive”.  Some of the new words in the conversation I needed to look it up, such as Himmel, which is sky in German.  But there were also some other new words that I could guess and understand the sentence.  “Versuche es noch mal“, is “try one more time”.  I didn’t learn the first word “versuche”.  But before this sentence, it said that my previous answer was not correct.  And I knew the word “noch mal” means “another time”.  This way, it easy to understand that she was asking me to answer again.  I really like the conversation function of Duolingo.  I can have my somewhat creative answer, but also able to have some help and guide meanwhile.

 

AMD 5

For this AMD assignment, I decided to read up on German news on BBC. The first article I read was a profile of Germany as a country. This includes population, major language (take a guess), major timeline events, and information about Germany’s current administration. I found it interesting mainly to read about Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor. She’s very fascinating, not only because she seems to be popular with German citizens, but the fact that she also has a doctorate in Physics. A few other interesting things included key dates such as 1871, the year in which Otto von Bismarck achieved unification of Germany.

The second article I read was about the German cabinet’s recent decision to back a law that pardoned tens of thousands of Gay men who were convicted during the Nazi regime under anti-LGBT legislation. That is, if passed, any man who was convicted and is still alive will receive monetary compensation as a lump sum, along with a yearly compensation for every year spent in jail. I think that this is interesting in the context of LGBT activism in Germany, which is something that I want to learn more about, as I understand that Berlin has been an epicenter of progress for the LGBT community in history.

The last article I read talked about the increase in electric vehicles in Germany. In the past year, the number of electric cars rose by 29%, while the number of public charging points for electric cars rose by 27%. I know that with electric car technology becoming more and more accessible, this becomes an enticing option for Germans, not only because they tend to be more environmentally conscious, but because the cost-saving benefits of electricity versus petrol can convince many. With German automakers such as Volkswagen and BMW committing to EV technology, I can imagine that this will play a role in how Germany pushes the development of alternative-fuel transportation.

Other articles I read related to issues such as international relations and immigration, which further emphasize that like the US, Germany has much on its plate as well. I definitely would say that reading about these current events, both positive and negative, help to paint an understanding of German culture as more multidimensional, and much more humanizing.

AMD 5

For my AMD, I habe die beiden Artikel highlighted by Hartmut for AMD 5 gelesen. Der erste Artikel war a New York Times Op-Ed on the trend of englische Wörter becoming part of the Deutsch vernacular. The author highlighted the two sides of the argument. On one side are young, more liberal Deutschen who don’t mind the incorporation of Englisch words into die deutsche Sprache. Among some of these Leute, extensive use of Englisch words is even used as a status symbol, to show that they are highly educated and cosmopolitan. The closest parallel I can think of between this phenomenon and Englisch, is the use of some Französiche Wörter by amerikanisch yuppies as a way to demonstrate their cultured-ness.
The article then explains the views of those opposed to the englische infiltration of Deutsch. Many of those who hold these views are older, more conservative Deutschen who are opposed to “internationalization as a phenomenon.” They see englische Wörter being added to German as a side-effect of globalization, a force they very much oppose. They are angry at the Duden dictionary (the German equivalent of the Oxford English dictionary), which has recently added 5,000 English-derived words to its 26th edition. In response, the German Language Society voted the editors of the dictionary the “language adulterers of the year,” in a move that I find very overdramatic. I see this struggle comparable to the modern struggle between more conservative English-speakers and the dictionaries that add in modern slang to their new editions, using words like “emoji” and “google.”
The author sides with the liberal side by the end of the article, extolling the benefits that come with certain englische Wörter like laptop instead of “Klapprechner,” and blog instead of “digitale Netztagebücher.” I agree with him- the Englisch equivalents of these words do seem much easier and convenient to use versus their deutsche counterparts. In addition, he mentions several untranslatable deutsche Wörter that are used by englische speakers, such as Schadenfreude. I have certainly used Schadenfreude in particular, and appreciate its honorary place in die englische Sprache.
The second link is to the Wikipedia page on “Denglisch,” a word that describes the pseudo-English words and vocabulary that have entered the German language. Der Artikel begins by giving several examples of “loanwords” which are English words that have been absorbed into das deutsche Vokabular, complete with deutschen Konjugationen. These include words like kaugummi and fernsehen, both of which we have learned in class. Interestingly enough, the article mentions that many words from amerikanisch Popkultur like Jeep, Western, and Rock, which are commonly used in Deutschland, were introduced into the language through American GIs stationed in das Westdeutschland following WWII.
The article then discusses Pseudo-Anglicisms, which are deutsche Wörter that sound like Englisch, but actually have no meaning in English. These include Beamer and Handy, two words which we have also learned in class. The article then goes on to examine the use of English in German advertising. Interestingly enough, the use of englische Wörter is especially widespread in advertisements for hygiene products, exemplified by German prodcuts like Double Action Waschgel. Overall, I found beiden Artikel to be very interessant, and am interested in seeing what other examples of English in German I encounter as I continue to study Deutsch.

AMD 5 – Allie

For this AMD, I decided to learn more about German history and culture as opposed to more German language, so I fully embraced my inner German and watched a documentary. It was about the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, and its effects on Germany and its citizens. A lot of the documentary focused on the hardships that the people living in Germany at that time faced. The most highlighted difficulty was the separation of families and loved ones, as the wall literally went up overnight, giving no time for families to make sure they were all together. The documentary told stories of people hiding in cars, secretly catching trains, dodging bullets, digging tunnels, and crafting hot air balloons to escape from the East to the West. It was absolutely crazy to learn about the lengths that people would go to in order to escape communism. I also found it fascinating how the wall continued to be augmented as the long years of separation dragged on. The wall started as a small, makeshift barrier to prevent East Germans from leaving, because the economy of East Germany would collapse without a sizeable work force. However, as people continued to escape from East Germany, the wall got taller and stronger, and included electrified wires, nail beds, dogs, watch towers, guards, brushed sand, mine fields, and several other barriers to deter escapees. Guards had orders to prevent people from escaping at any cost, which often included killing people who tried to leave.

The German parts of this documentary were dubbed over in English, but I could still grab a few of the words that were spoken. I noticed a lot of the conversational past that we have been talking about, because I could pick up on the ge- beginning of the past participle. I heard one example of a separable verb in the conversational past also, when someone used the word angekommen!

AMD 5 – Pheebe

For AMD 5, I decide to continue using DuoLingo because I think there is a lot of interesting challenges on this website and I would like to keep trying them. So I spent time doing some lessons and wrote down what I did not know before. For the two words “Männer” and “Frauen”, I was actually able to guess them correctly since we have learned “Mann” and “Frau”! I just felt like the “er” and “en” would make them plural and I was right. I actually also did a quick practice of the different verbs for different subjects: “ich bin”, “du bist”, “er/sie/es ist”, “wir sind”, “ihr seid”, and “S(s)ie sind”. A few days ago, Professor Marquardt mentioned that it would be a good idea to review these since we will be learning something that will require us to use them. After that, I also learned a few daily phrases. For example, “bis später” means “see you later” and “bis bald” means “goodbye”. Other phrases like “es tut mir leid!” meaning “I am so sorry!” and “In Ordnung” meaning “alright” are also used quite often. There were other ones and I think all of them are very useful in daily life. 

After that, I just kept on clicking the challenges and went by them fairly quickly because the website made them easier to understand and learn for sure. An advantage of DuoLingo is that when you get a question wrong, it will appear again before you completely finish the level. Therefore, it is a great way to make sure that you actually get what you did wrong. Another advantage is that when the question asks you to translate and you do not know what the words mean, you can hover your mouse over the words and see what each word means then translate! I think this is very nice because there is no way we would know every single word before we translate the sentence. The last thing would be that the website is super colorful and cute and makes learning a language more fun! I encourage people to give it a try and I believe I will continue using this in the future.

I am currently already 13% fluent in Deutsch according to DuoLingo!