Category Archives: What is the Difference

On this section we look at words that seem to be the same and yet there is a clear difference…

Word of the Day – “die Decke”

decke-decken-entdecken-germHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of

die Decke

And that means of course that we’ll cover (hint, hint) the whole  decken-family – “the Deckens”. Decke is just a nice icon for it, so that’s why I picked it.
The Deckens are probably some of the oldest words ever. Forget all those super ancient Indo European roots we see all the time. Those are like… recent. The root of  Decke dates back freaggin’ 160 million years to when it was the name of a Dinosaur… the Stegosaurus, also known as Stegstar or just Stegs. Those were just for friends though. The Stegosaurus was a cool dude who took it easy and he was widely known for his massive tile like spikes along his back that provided him with protection and extra awesome. The dinosaurs then “perished” because of “a comet”(yeah, right) but the other animals remembered them and passed on their story to mankind. Continue reading

Word of the Day – WitD – “verwirren vs. verwechseln”

verwirren-verwechseln-diffeHello everyone,

and welcome to another Word of the Day, or to be more precise a What is the difference special. And today we’ll look two words that both mean to confuse. Today, we’ll look at the difference between

verwirren and verwechseln

And since that difference isn’t a big deal at all we’ll also take a look at how to say confusing and confused because there’s a lot of …  confusion.
So… are you ready to untangle some hair, to descramble some eggs, to unravel some Debussy?…. (man… that was so clever)….
Are you ready for all this?
Cool. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “suchen” – prefixed

suchen-aussuchen-pictureHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will take a look at the meaning of

suchen

But not just that. We will also look at ALL the prefix-versions of suchen that are out there. Ylläsuchen or öxersuchen are not… I mean… they don’t exist. But versuchen does. And besuchen and a few other really really common ones. And the meanings are … well… some are pretty straight forward. Other are more like a free jazz interpretation of a famous song. You really need to have your music theory down to see a connection.
So… are you ready to dig into suchen and see what we can find?
Great.

Suchen  means to search. And suchen is also related to search. At least, that’s what I thought until one of our interns gave me the results of his research for the show. Hold on, let me read it to you. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “reichen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

reichen

And by meaning I mean meanings. Two to be precise. Observe:

  • Reicht ihr das Salz?
  • Is the salt enough for her?

Yes, it is. But we could add some more pronoun. Maybe a little er.

  • Reicht er ihr das Salz?

I mean… how much damage could such a small little word possibl… OH MY GOD!

  • Does he hand her the salt?

Continue reading

Word of the Day – “aufheben”

aufheben-meaning-pictureHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at one of these neat little prefix verbs. Not one that has a bunch of more or less unrelated meanings. Today, we’ll look at one where all the meanings neatly tie up…. or sort of. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to check out the meanings of

aufheben

Aufheben consists of the parts auf and heben. Auf is a preposition with the core idea of on top but it is also one of those annoying mosquitoes that are buzzing around your head while you try to enjoy the view over the calm, deep lake German. Bzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz bzzzzz. Separable prefixes. Auf as a prefix has mainly two ideas… up, which kind of ties in to the on top idea, and open which ties in to nothing.

  • “Hey what’s up?
    “As a German would say… das Fenster.”
    “That doesn’t even make sense.”

It really doesn’t. In combination with heben it’s the other auf we’re dealing with… the up one.
Now, heben alone means to lift and it is the brother of English to heave. I guess that makes sense… at least if you want to lift something heavy there is some heaving in… wait a second, I just realized something, Continue reading