• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Learning German

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
(I hope this is the right place to post this.)

Does anybody currently on the boards speak German? I'm learning, and I could use a buddy to help out when I get stuck. I'll be your best friend ever and give lots of thank-you karma!
 

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
Can't be any worse than mine; I'm just starting. Pretty much what I'm doing is getting ready for a reading proficiency test, in which I'll have 2 hours to translate 200-300 words of text, which will come from one of two stories: "Der Zwerg Nase" or "Kleider Machen Leute." So I know I'm not actually LEARNING German (I'm by God not learning to speak it, that's for sure), but it'll have to do for now.

But, hey, I got the gist of what you said without looking anything up, so I must be doing okay!
 

Rowan Hawthorn

Potential
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
465
Location
Kentucky, USA
They give two hours for 200-300 words? My high school class, the textbook had no English in it, and the teacher had us reading (as in: translating on the fly) from it in class. That would be 200-300 words in five or ten minutes. I always knew my spoken/listening comprehension wasn't very good, but at the time I thought my reading was fair - maybe it was better than I thought (right now, I couldn't get through a passage to save me. It's been <mumble-mumble> years since I took the class...)
 

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
The major problems I'm having with vocabulary are all those dratted compound words that aren't necessarily in the dictionary. The inflected endings aren't easy, either, but I'm picking those up from context.
 

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
That would be awesome! Here's a question for you right off the bat: I'm working on translating "Der Zwerg Nase," as I mentioned above, and there's one line that makes no sense no matter what I do with it:
"Wollen sehen! Wollen sehen! Krautlein schauen, Krautlein schauen, ob du hast, was ich brauche."

I have the second half as "if you have what I need," but the first half is coming out with something about wanting to see herb flax? Which doesn't make any sense to me.

Any ideas?

Oh, and the "a" in "Krautlein" is supposed to have an umlaut, but I don't know how to do that here.
 

kitty-cat

Townie
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
95
Location
Germany
Okay, the "Wollen sehen! Wollen sehen!" simply means "Want to see! Want to see!" That is some kind of child language...I don't know what "Der Zwerg Nase" is about but I assume that there is some kind of a person that never really learned how to talk right and how to conjugate and that's why he is using the infinite verb forms here. It is hard to translate it into English because the infinitive works here.
"kräutlein" is a diminutive to "Kraut". Maybe there is a childish or naiv touch to it. That's why he's using the diminutive here.

You're absolutly right with the translation of the second part. The person is looking for some kind of herb and he wants to the what if the person he talks to has it.

I hope it helps a little bit. It's just a little difficult for me since I don't no that text...But feel free to ask again if it wasn't a good help so far;-)
 

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
Thanks! I have gotten a little further, and yes, the old lady speaking kind of babbles. It's a fairy tale, but I'm not far enough into it (it's about 25 pages long) to tell what its about besides a cobbler's wife sitting at the market waiting on this really old weird lady.

May I PM you if I get stuck on anything else? No sense bothering everyone on the boards with my idiocy.
 

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
Hey, all you smart people. More questions, because I ist der loser (don't you love my pidgin German?).

Two words I'm hung up on and can't find in any dictionary (which is making me think they may be place names, but that doesn't quite fit in the logic of the sentence): "Fallimentes" und "Seldwyler."

For context, here's the sentence and my translation of it:
Denn er hatte wegen des Fallimentes irgendeines Seldwyler Schneidermeisters seinen Arbeitslohn mit der Arbeit zugleich verlieren und auswandern müssen.
For he had because of the wagon [Fallimentes] any [Seldwyler] master tailors lost his wages and work at the same time, and must emigrate.

Thanks in advance!
 

Tueuse de Vampires

Love will tear us apart..
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
5,709
Age
30
Location
Berlin
Okay, I don't know the exact meaning, but I think 'Falliment' (that's the nominative) means something like bankruptcy
And I think Seldwyla is some kind of town. No idea of it really exsists or only in fiction.
 
B
Blondie Bear
I'll look at it like that next time I'm practicing. Thanks!

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,790
Age
39
Location
Tennessee
I broke down and e-mailed the German teacher at my college, and here's what he had to say:
Falliment is an old term for Konkurs or Zahlungsfähigkeit or Bankrott - or bankruptcy in English. Seldwyler is the fictional name of a village in Switzerland and also in the title of Keller’s whole cycle of novellas: “Die Leute von Seldwyla.” Enjoy!
Just in case anyone's interested.
 
Tueuse de Vampires
Tueuse de Vampires
lol, close enough. Bankruptcy was right and Seldwyla...at least it's a fictional town
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Messages
341
Age
34
Location
Bulgaria
Uuuhm Ich habe fuer fuenf Yahren Deutch im Gymnasium gelernt aber alles ist vergessen :D! Wenn ich in einem Hotel gearbeitet habe, ich habe es auch ein bisschen gesprochen. Oh darn it's so clismatic but I'll keep trying! And when I think I used to know it better...scheide :(
 
Top Bottom