What is the difference – “mindestens, wenigsten, zumindest”

Hello everyone,

mindestens-zumindest-wenigsand welcome to another Word of the Day – What is the Difference – special.
In short, that would be WotD – WitD. And in a good mood that would be Wot:D – Wit:D.
These specials are about words that seem to be synonyms but aren’t. Today we’ll talk about one of the most mysterious differences of all of them. And I’m actually not alone. Mitt is one of our sound engineers, and he’s a little microphone shy but apparently he’s lost a bet and now he has to spend one full show on air and say at least uhm… how much was it?
“I have to say at least 10 sentences. “
Haha… okay… well, at least I got some company for a change… it get’s a bit lonely sometimes, especially when we’re recording till late. So … I am glad you’re here. Do you maybe want to read out the topic?
“Sure… so.. uhm… hi guys, my names is Mitt and I’ll be your co-host for today’s show in which we’ll look at the difference between 

mindestens, wenigstens and zumindest…. 

and I actually also have trouble with those. They all mean at least, right?”
Exactly. But at least for the most part they are not really interchangeable. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “die Spannung”

spannung-image 

Right when his mind started wandering into the mist of dreams ,
a silent crackle brought him 
back to reality.
The fire, he thought. But  that he had put out, he remembered.
Eyes closed he 
listened. There was no wind, and the world lay silent.
An owl hooted not too far 
away. Then again.
That’s when he heard the noise. A rustling, like leather on stone,

about  6 yards away behind the rocks. It ceased whenever the bird
was quite but 
as the next hoot came, so did the noise. There, behind those rocks,
someone was creeping closer.
And, so he reckoned, not with good intent. 

Hey guys. That was a little attempt to create at least some suspense here because , maaaan, today we’ll do what needs to be done and talk a little about the most boringest part of language :
grammortographie.
Nah, of course not. Today will actually be full of suspense because we’ll have a look at the meaning of:

die Spannung

And it wouldn’t be a real Word of the Day if we were just looking at one word. Pshhh… I mean… come on. Lady Spannung is just the head of a whole family. We will look at all of house Spannung. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “raten”

raten-meaning-imageHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
Have you ever asked someone else for advice? Like…  your colleague about your project, your loved one about your hair, or Mr. Alcohol about your problems? (Don’t ask him… he’s just gonna be like “Uhm… you should drink more of me”)
We all need someone to counsel us sometimes and there is one thing we don’t want that person to do… especially if we’re paying the consultant a crazillion dollars… we don’t want the person to guess.
Well… that is gonna be REALLY hard in German because we kind of use the same word for it. And that’s our topic this time.
Today we’ll have a look at the meaning of

raten

And of course not just raten but also at Rat, and Verrat and beraten and erraten and the differences to raten and so on - basically the whole raten-family,the Ratens.  Soar ey our eady… ops, hold on, I really can’t segment today … are you ready for a whole lot of useful words and quite a few really, really cool surprises?
“Fluency?!”
No, not THAT cool… Continue reading

German Word of the Day – “vorbei”

vorbei-pictureHello everyone,

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

vorbei

Come on, German, really? Like… really?? We’re combining two of these ..uhm.. things into one word now?
“Ja, natürlich.”
Oh… uhm… okay. I mean… It’s just… I … er… I’ll just explain
“Viel Spaß.”
Danke.
So.. the word vorbei is a combination of two prepositions or prefixes, which is a completely natural thing to do. Vor has at its core the meaning in front of.

  • Ich bin vor dem Baum.
  • I am in front of the tree.

Continue reading

Grammar Jargon – What the heck are adverbs

adverbsHello everyone,

and welcome to another episode of Grammar Jargon, where we explain one of these cryptic nerdy terms that teachers and textbooks use, because for some strange reason they think it’s … helpful.
Well… IT’S NOT! Stop it!! Stop feeding us stupid, yawn-inducing Latin vocabulary that half the class has no idea what it means, and that no one can remember because it so complicated, and that sucks out all the fun. You hear me? IT SUCKS IT OUT! THE FUN. ALL OF I.. oh… I uh… I think I’m getting a little worked up …. must … breathe.. phaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…
all right. I’m sorry. I hate jargon.  I really do.
But it’s there, we have to cope. And there are some terms like verb or noun or subject that are so basic, well established and hard to replace that everyone should know them. Today we’ll look at one of those terms. Today, we’ll try to find out, once and for all, just what are

adverbs  

To do that let’s… take a detour and first look at adjectives.
The term adjective comes from old Latin. At the core is the Latin verb iacere which meant to throw or to cast. This is where the word jet comes from by the way. The ad means… well… pretty much the same as at… or add.  So,  adjective literally means something like “thing that is thrown or slapped at stuff” and that is pretty much what they’re used for. Adjectives are like little tags that are added to nouns to give us more information about them.

  • Princess Lyra gazed at the flower.

Sounds interesting…but a bit bland. We need to be a little more descriptive. How is the flower? Beautiful …  and fair. That sounds nice. Continue reading