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 -“lassen”- 2

lassen-verlassen-meaning-geHello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of our German Word of the Day “lassen”. In part 1 we learned about lassen in general. Today, we’ll look at all the swarm of prefix-versions and not only that. We’ll also take a look at the past tense of lassen. Originally my plan was to pretend as if there wasn’t anything to say but… well… there is and I figured you deserve the truth. The very very annoying truth. But before we get to all new stuff that let’s do a little recap of the old stuff:
Lassen is related to to let but also to lazy and lax and at its heart it means to do nothing. We’ve found out that doing nothing is actually quite productive.  It can mean not changing something (to leave as it is), to not take away something (to leave it here)  and to not prevent something/to let something happen. From giving permission it is not very far to making a demand (to have someone do something) and last but not least just like to let, lassen is used for inviting statements like “Let’s leave it.” which would be this in German:

  • Lasst es uns lassen.

Yeah, I know we already had that example. It’s called a recap, so no new examples.
Now let’s dive right into part 2…. with a look at the past. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “lassen”

lassen-meaning-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll, finally… at long last :),  have a look at the meaning of


Lassen is very important verb and it is just as confusing for many learners. Sometimes it’s to let, sometimes it’s to leave sometimes andsometimes is used for some kind of passive or something. Oh and then there are the prefix versions of lassen, for example the infamous verlassen which means to leave - except when YOU are trying to  use it in a sentence. Then it’s usually wrong.
So… we have lots to talk about. We’ll start with lassen and we’ll see that all the meanings actually boil down to one very simple idea. Then we’ll look at two peculiar uses of lassen and talk about the most important prefix versions  and at the end of all that we’ll have a masters degree in Lassenology…. and maybe a slight headache :).
So… are you ready to dive in and find out just what is up with lassen? Then let’s goooo. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “lesen”

lesen-germanHello everyone,

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


Now you’re like “Hey … I think there’s a typo. You want to talk about lassen, right?”
No, I don’t… well… yes I do, but not today.
“But come on…we know what lesen  means. Lesen is boring.”
I know. It does sound like a boring word. Heck, reading itself is quite boring to begin with. So reading about reading must be super mega boring. But let’s not think of it as boring, let’s think of it as … uhm… relaxing. Soothing. And hey… even on a slow walk in the park one might find a most beautiful flower…. that’s from my new aphorism book by the way.
But seriously, last week we talked about a book and about etymology and lesen kinda sorta fits right in. So are you ready to dive right in at full bore?
I mean full speed?

The English word  to read is related to  riddle and reason as well as to the German  verb raten (I’ll add a link to the WotD – “raten” below). The core of this very old family is some sort of reasoning. The word to read fits right in there because in essence it describes the process of interpreting or making sense of weird signs… be it coffee ground, musical notes or the scribbles that your loved one referred to as a “shopping list”… gee, I got buller and mulk but I have no idea what “flonr” is. Continue reading

German Review of the Day – “Intuitive vocabulary”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a review special. In these specials I review something that has to do with language learning, be it an app or a website or a book. Today it’s a book and it deals with… learning vocabulary. Ugh.
Learning vocabulary. That brings back memories…

“And on Thursday we’ll do a little vocabulary quizz, so make sure you to
learn the words on page 121.”

“WHAAAAT? 20 French words in 3 days is too much… oh and why are we speaking English in French class.”

I really hated it in school. And I think few people really enjoy it.  Learning vocabulary – the mega chore of language learning.
But just like the Super Micro Pore space tested Sponge can clean out burnt milk just without detergent and water the book we’ll look at today can make learning new words as easy as eating… almost. Continue reading