Sunday, 23 May 2010


Learning German for me still is presenting a few barriers--there is a lot of sophistication and nuance and double meanings all spun out of a language that employees, for the majority of words at least, only a combination of about twelve prefixes and suffixes: um, an, so, zu, aus, auf, ein, ung, ei, ug.  Though quite the opposite is true, I always thought that German sounded impercise when it came to technical and scientific words or as if one had forgotten the right word: instead of hydrogen, one says, um, you know--das Wasserstoff.  Stoff, I particularly like--as in Kunststoff, art stuff, which is something artifical, a plastic table as opposed to a table made of Massivholz.  A colleague gave me a wonderful little book that is filled with these examples.  I'm a bit proud of myself when I know what an amalgam, a junior jumble really means, aside from the literal dissection--English has a lot of examples too, and it never occurred to me before that Beispiellos could be a near-game-ticket as well as something incomparable.