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A question for the Krauts...
02-08-2009, 09:16 PM,
#1
A question for the Krauts...
I've been studying Pimsleur Deutch audio cassettes for a while and while it's taught me more in a short few days
than I thought my mind could soak up. I'm left with a few lingering questions about German grammar and syntax though.

In english I could say the following, mixing the order of the words around, and both would be grammatically correct, altho one instance might be "archaic".

1) I do not understand German. (common parlance... NOT before German)
2) I understand German not. (archaic but techinally correct.... German before NOT)

I was wondering if you could swap the order of words in German as easily?

Could:

1) Ich nicht verstehen deutch (I [do] not understand German)
2) Ich verstehen nicht deutch (I understand not German) (perhaps better said Ich verstehen keine deutche...just wondering if it is permissable)


mean the same thing without looking foolish saying it?
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02-08-2009, 09:23 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2009, 12:54 AM by ---.)
#2
A question for the Krauts...
I'll leave the actual answer for one of our native speakers..

but in terms of your question - I do mix them and people don't seem to mind.

Usually I'd use the construction:

Ich verstehe Deutsch nicht!

or

Ich verstehe nicht/kein Deutsch!

but sometimes trying to reform sentences they come out in a literal modern English construction..I get by with that no problem, usually

Them tapes are good,eh? Maybe I should get a set if they are that effective.
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02-08-2009, 09:31 PM,
#3
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:Them tapes are good,eh? Maybe I should get a set if they are that effective.

You seem to be like me... know some words (albeit many more) and aren't sure how to form a
proper sentence. (imho..but what do I know? you're the limey living there.)

I have to admit nik, they're pretty intuitive. I started on course one, tape one. Tape 2 (course 1) stated with a conversation
of a few 5 to 7 word sentences and I understood it entirely even though they included new words not learned before.

Every lesson stands with a short conver... I usually understand the jist of it w/out even knowing all the words.
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02-08-2009, 09:39 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2009, 09:42 PM by ---.)
#4
A question for the Krauts...
Yeah, you're right. The simple stuff is no problem but when it gets to a proper conversation I tend to stumble quite a bit and make a fair amount of mistakes putting the sentences together.
I'm going to have a look around for them tapes - they sound just the thing I'm looking for. Thanks for the heads up:)
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02-08-2009, 09:43 PM,
#5
A question for the Krauts...
I can send you the torrent (full course) or rapidshare links if u want (also full)

[edit] sent the torrent to your inbox
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02-08-2009, 10:46 PM,
#6
A question for the Krauts...
Thanks Ctrl.. oder vielen dank:D
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02-09-2009, 12:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2009, 12:37 AM by Hans Olo.)
#7
A question for the Krauts...
I am German and happy when someone learns my language. Feel free to ask me whatever you want, as much as you want. I don't mind.

1) Ich nicht verstehen deutch (I [do] not understand German)

Wrong. You can not use a negator (nicht / not) before the verb (verstehe / understand). That's a typical mistake English speakers make. But look, it's the same principle as in your language: In english there is a verb, it's "do". There is no sentence in the English language that starts with "I not...". Just as there is no German sentence that starts with "Ich nicht..."
The verb comes first, and as Germans don't use the "do" verb in present tense, you put the actual verb "understand" in its place.

2) Ich verstehen nicht deutch (I understand not German)
(perhaps better said Ich verstehen keine deutche...just wondering if it is permissable)

Only this form is correct and natural:

1. Ich verstehe kein Deutsch.

As if you said "I understand no German". Notice how German you sound when you do that:)Listen to how Arnold speak. He uses German word order SPO all the time.

This one should be technically correct, but in this context it would sound just a little awkward:

2. Ich verstehe Deutsch nicht.

Which is "I understand German NOT". LOOK, that sounds like archaic english. Isn't that cool?

Note that in both cases comes the SUBJECT "ich" first, then the PREDICATE "verstehe" and the OBJECT "Deutsch". The only thing that can move is the qualifier "nicht".
Remember S-P-O when in present tense!
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02-09-2009, 12:37 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2009, 12:39 AM by Phil999.)
#8
A question for the Krauts...
first, it is a very good idea to learn foreign languages, even if it's just some words. So I will gladly help you out with some questions about the German language. Personally I do not like German very much, must have something to do with history, old arch-enemies of the Helvetian Celts, but the lyric and literature German can be very beautiful. I love Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, laugh about the humour from a Joachim Ringelnatz, and admire the wisdom and poetry of Christian Morgenstern. Performed in a good German, these masterworks rise to the highest jewels of human spirit. And when we're at it, there is an enormous treasure in German compositors, and knowing some German will inrcrease the joy of Bach, Schubert, Mozart, and many more.


1) I do not understand German. (common parlance... NOT before German)
2) I understand German not. (archaic but techinally correct.... German before NOT)

the swapping works, mostly you are correct like this.

It is not raining today - Es regnet nicht heute
Today it is raining not - Heute regnet es nicht (correct)

But in the first case it is not really working. Everybody will understand, but everybody would also smile. The word-by-word translation is in many cases not working, the correct translation would be something like:

I understand the German language not - Ich verstehe die Deutsche Sprache nicht, or
I can no German understand - Ich kann kein Deutsch verstehen
I speak no German - Ich spreche kein Deutsch

The first variant makes a necessary precision, because "Deutsch" has not a clear meaning without context. The second is technically correct, but still bad German. The third is a bit derivated from the original meaning, but is common German language.

Well the best method is to read as much as possible, and watch German movies, to get a feeling of the language, and then the correct swapping of words and parts of sentences comes automatically. I do that since about 30 years with English, and you can see that I still didn't got the correct English right.


EDIT: ups, didn't realize Hans had the same impulse at the same time. Sorry about the "double post". It was really at the same second. Synchronicity. Und hallo Hans!
I am my savior
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02-09-2009, 12:59 AM,
#9
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:I am German.

Hans eh? I never would have guessed. Now if you called yourself Atilla,...LOL :D
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02-09-2009, 01:21 AM,
#10
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:I am German and happy when someone learns my language. Feel free to ask me whatever you want, as much as you want. I don't mind.

1) Ich nicht verstehen deutch (I [do] not understand German)

Wrong. You can not use a negator (nicht / not) before the verb (verstehe / understand). That's a typical mistake English speakers make. But look, it's the same principle as in your language: In english there is a verb, it's "do". There is no sentence in the English language that starts with "I not...". Just as there is no German sentence that starts with "Ich nicht..."
The verb comes first, and as Germans don't use the "do" verb in present tense, you put the actual verb "understand" in its place.

Thanks, excellent pointer. It raises another question, much in part thanks to nik's (and yours) alternate spelling.

When I listen to the German speakers on this tape I did pick up what sounded to be an N on verstehe.

example: Ich verstehe (i understand) but when asked if YOU understand, verstehen Sie? Why the N and when the N?

Quote:There is no sentence in the English language that starts with "I not...". Just as there is no German sentence that starts with "Ich nicht..."

So, if there seems to be no literal "do" in german, and Ich nicht doesn't float, how the hell do you say "I do not"??


Quote:2) Ich verstehen nicht deutch (I understand not German)
(perhaps better said Ich verstehen keine deutche...just wondering if it is permissable)

Only this form is correct and natural:

1. Ich verstehe kein Deutsch.

As if you said "I understand no German". Notice how German you sound when you do that:)Listen to how Arnold speak. He uses German word order SPO all the time.

You're an asshole...lol... j/k.. as soon as I read "arnold" that fucking voice entered my head and possessed it for about the next 30 seconds. I hope I
don't end up sounding like an austrian steriod boy after this course.

Quote:This one should be technically correct, but in this context it would sound just a little awkward:

2. Ich verstehe Deutsch nicht.

Which is "I understand German NOT". LOOK, that sounds like archaic english. Isn't that cool?

Maybe it's uncool, but look how much archaic english lives on today. To hear about people "waxing" this or that, etc
is becoming more commonplace. Google the term "thou doth protest too much"..... I believe it's shakespear, but you'd
find it used today all over thousands of forums and websites. Maybe German has no "elloquency', I do not know, but
I enjoy my language.

Peradventure I shall die today.... I might die today by chance.... which was eloquent? Does German have that?

Thanks Atilla
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02-09-2009, 01:42 AM,
#11
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:Today it is raining not - Heute regnet es nicht (correct)
"Today raining it's (deliberate contraction) not" would be more literal yes?.... not that I want awkwardly literal translations.... I'm trying to figure out the contractions... I am, I'm... I will, I'll i have, I've and assume that's one. in essence only.

Quote:Well the best method is to read as much as possible, and watch German movies, to get a feeling of the language

I tried that with a german pr0n but the only phrase I learned was Ja! Ja! Ja!
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02-09-2009, 02:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2009, 02:51 AM by ---.)
#12
A question for the Krauts...
'tun' - to do



Present tense: ich tue, du tust, er/sie tut, wir tun, ihr tut, sie/Sie tun

Imperfect / preterite: ich tat, du tat(e)st, er/sie tat, wir taten, ihr tatet, sie/Sie taten

Perfect tense: ich habe getan, du hast getan, er/sie hat getan, wir haben getan, ihr habt getan, sie/Sie haben getan

Pluperfect tense: ich hatte getan, du hattest getan, er/sie hatte getan, wir hatten getan, ihr hattet getan, sie/Sie hatten getan

Imperative: tu(e)! tut! tun Sie!

Present Participle: tuend

Past Participle: getan

Imperfect subjunctive: ich täte, du tätest, er/sie täte, wir täten, ihr tätet, sie/Sie täten



I - ich
you(informal) - du
he -er
she -sie
it -es
we -wir
their/you(plural) -ihr
you(formal) -Sie

respectively..

The infinitive usually changes in the same way as shown here


http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~joyce1/abinitio/verbs/verbt.html

likewise 'verstehen' conjugates in present tense to: ich verstehe, du verstehst, er/sie versteht, wir verstehen, ihr versteht, sie/Sie verstehen
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02-09-2009, 02:48 AM,
#13
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:"Today raining it's (deliberate contraction) not" would be more literal yes?.... not that I want awkwardly literal translations.... I'm trying to figure out the contractions... I am, I'm... I will, I'll i have, I've and assume that's one. in essence only.

err, you're right about that. By the way, Hans' version "Ich verstehe kein Deutsch" is also perfect German, maybe tending more to the street language level. "Ich spreche kein Deutsch" is more cultivated, if you want to impress someone.

Quote:I tried that with a german pr0n but the only phrase I learned was Ja! Ja! Ja!

good joke, but I wondered what literature/movies are to recommend. What do you say, Hans? Well I could imagine that Ctrl would like those Edgar Wallace films from the 60's with Klaus Kinski. And of course Fassbinder, one of the greatest German directors.
I am my savior
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02-09-2009, 11:57 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2009, 12:04 PM by Hans Olo.)
#14
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:Thanks, excellent pointer. It raises another question, much in part thanks to nik's (and yours) alternate spelling.
When I listen to the German speakers on this tape I did pick up what sounded to be an N on verstehe.
example: Ich verstehe (i understand) but when asked if YOU understand, verstehen Sie? Why the N and when the N?

Here's the short answer: "verstehe" is first person singular. "verstehen" is plural. When you speak to people formally (Sie), it's also 3rd person plural, THEY.

Can You understand me? = Können Sie mich verstehen?
Can they understand me= Können sie mich verstehen?

Same thing, always.

Quote:So, if there seems to be no literal "do" in german, and Ich nicht doesn't float, how the hell do you say "I do not"??

Well, most of the time you don't. You put the verb in place of the "do".

I don't drink = Ich trinke nicht
We don't drink = Wir trinken nicht (notice the 'n')
Do you drink? No, I don't = Trinken Sie? Nein, ich trinke nicht.

You could also say, but sound funny:
Do you drink? No, I don't = Trinken Sie? Nein, das tue ich nicht.

Quote:as I read "arnold" that fucking voice entered my head

Gät reddie for samm Äktschn!

Quote:Maybe German has no "elloquency', I do not know, but I enjoy my language.

What I wanted to say is that both languages were much more alike in the past. Here in northern Germany you could say "de door is open" and would be perfectly understood.

Quote:Peradventure I shall die today.... I might die today by chance.... which was eloquent? Does German have that?

Hell yes it does. It's called the language of the poets and thinkers for a reason! :-D

Edit: damn I edited and it fucked up my Umlaute ÄÖÜß
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02-09-2009, 12:02 PM,
#15
A question for the Krauts...
Quote:good joke, but I wondered what literature/movies are to recommend. What do you say, Hans? Well I could imagine that Ctrl would like those Edgar Wallace films from the 60's with Klaus Kinski. And of course Fassbinder, one of the greatest German directors.

Kinski is a great choice! What's not to love about Klaus?
Recommended: any movie on DVD with subtitles. They are great tools for learning a foreign language. If you watch a movie you have already seen, then watch it in German with English subtitles. But if you watch a movie for the first time, watch it in English with German subtitles first so you'll know what it is about. Second time around you switch. So, any type of movie will do, really.
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