[Course Forum] Advanced German Vocabulary by Carlykal

(Amanda Norrsken) #21

Are you referring to this article by David Crystal in his blog?


Anyway, I stand corrected once again!!! :slight_smile:

(Amanda Norrsken) #22

It seems that “to hold a speech” is a possible collocation after all! Check out the David Crystal blog post above :slight_smile:

You live and learn, eh? Nonetheless, I would say that “to give a speech” is most definitely more common than “to hold a speech” (it seems it is “headline English”, mostly) and that is what would be best for the definitions here in this course.

If “your” course is anything like the Swedish courses I look after, there are probably lots of people doing the course whose first language is not necessarily English. So it is always an idea to make sure that the English is “astrein” (as we say in German :wink: ) so that the non-native speakers get good input on both the English and German fronts.

Oh, and this is how I have been informing the course participants on “my” Swedish courses of changes I have made, just in case the idea helps:

I hope you are having fun with your new job!

(Simonthomaswarner) #23

Thanks @amanda-norrsken for the tips… and nice find with that blog link there! Your format looks neat; I’ll go with something along those lines I think.

@Geil I take your point about “holding” a speech but my understanding (confirmed by the blog link) is that that particular turn of phrase - to hold an event - is used to tie the event to a given location. The german sense of the phrase is simply to indicate that a speech was given. So for that reason - as well as the fact that to “give” a speech is most common in English - I’m leaving it as it is. But thanks for the input!

(Geil) #24

I saw that article after being skeptical of holding a speech being questionable. Reason why is because I actually hear it quite often. But personally speaking, I am not a big fan of ‘‘super grammar’’. People jumping on people for saying ‘‘I’m doing good’’ instead of ‘‘I’m doing well’’ is annoying. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Amanda Norrsken) #25

I totally understand you on the not being a fan of “super grammar”! I have been a teacher of English (in the private sector, mostly, but have also helped out at secondary schools) in Germany on and off for over 25 years and the over-emphasis on grammar in most teaching materials really drives me nuts.

That said, the case we have here (“to hold a speech” vs. “to give a speech”) is not a grammatical problem; it’s a lexical one, specifically, it is a question of collocation, i.e. which words go together with each other and which don’t. “To give a speech” is a more common collocation than “to hold a speech”, so it makes sense to use this combination in this vocabulary course.

And, although I really do agree that it is annoying if people are super-pedantic about minor grammar points, nonetheless, when teaching a language you can’t just say, “anything goes”, because that is simply not the case. With lexis, it is important that a learner finds out that it is fine to say “Hausaufgaben machen” in German, but it is NOT standard usage to say “to make my homework” in English - it is understandable, of course, but it is not standard usage. A teacher who doesn’t point these things out would not be doing their job properly.

(Simonthomaswarner) #26

German speakers: I need your help please.
On level 35, we have “nachführen,” which is translated as "to track."
Duden doesn’t agree and defines it as “to modernise”:

The only reference to tracking that I can find is this rather brief forum discussion. Dict.cc also lists Nachführung (Substantiv) as “tracking.”

Can anyone (@amanda-norrsken) confirm/deny please?

Thank you!

(Amanda Norrsken) #27

Wow! That is a really unusual word, I think.

I just found a wikipedia definition of “Nachführung” and it sounds very technical:

Then there’s this dictionary which I find quite helpful:

(Amanda Norrsken) #28

I also sometimes use this resource, although you have to be VERY careful with it as the translations are not always provided by native speakers (look at which countries the source material is from!) and they can be quite dodgy.

All the references seem to be very technical here, too.

(Simonthomaswarner) #29

Thanks @amanda-norrsken. Yes, it’s a very technical word and not useful day-to-day, but then this is the Advanced German Vocabulary course :slight_smile:

Via the links you provided and a few other websites I found, it seems that “to track” is a valid translation for a specific technical term. So I will leave it as it is.

I’m collecting together a list of any other problematic words I find and I’ll publish them here when I have enough to make for a worthwhile update.

(Simonthomaswarner) #30

Hello German learners!

Seven entries modified in this update. Feedback welcome!



Level 37

sieben: to strain becomes to strain (e.g. through a sieve)
erfassen: to gather, record becomes to gather (e.g. data), conceive mentally

Level 38

der Sprengkopf: war head becomes warhead
verschleißen: to wear out becomes to wear out, abrade
verstellen: to adjust becomes to adjust, disguise (e.g. one’s voice)


Level 39

etlich becomes etliche


Level 38


(Amanda Norrsken) #31

Looks good!

(Simonthomaswarner) #32

A tweak here, a tweak there…



Level 7

verkalkt: really old, not making sense anymore becomes senile (literally “calcified”)

Level 41

prinzipiell: always, in principle becomes fundamentally, in principle
eine Leistung erbringen: to achieve something becomes to deliver a performance, render a service
sich halten an: to adhere to becomes to adhere to, comply with
die Spalte: column becomes column, crevice

Level 42

der Kreisel: roundabout becomes roundabout, gyroscope
die Allee: alley becomes avenue, boulevard
die Schranke: bar level crossing (at railroad) becomes barrier, gate (e.g. at level crossing)

(Amanda Norrsken) #33

Good job! All looks good to me.

It is so fantastic that they have started introducing roundabouts here in Germany! When I first came here almost 30 years ago, they didn’t have ANY :frowning:

(Amanda Norrsken) #34

And a bit of an “ouch” that “eine Allee” was translated as “an alley” :frowning: Well spotted.

Here in south-western Germany, they call an alley “eine Gasse”, but I am not sure if that is just a dialect word. There might be other words used in other parts of Germany, I guess. At least, that is how it is in the UK, there are loads of words for “alley”.

(Simonthomaswarner) #35

Thanks for your feedback @amanda-norrsken :slight_smile:

(Simonthomaswarner) #36


Another week, another update. :smile:


Level 43

Effektivitätssteigerung: ‘increase in productivity’ becomes 'gain in efficiency’
der Speicher: ‘computer memory’ becomes 'storage (e.g. computer memory)'
die Klangkulisse: ‘sound effects’ becomes ‘audio backdrop’

Level 44

der Keim: ‘germ’ becomes 'germ, seed’
das Pflegeheim: ‘hospice’ becomes 'nursing home’
narkotisieren: ‘anaesthetise’ becomes 'to drug (medical), dope’
die Scheide: ‘vagina’ becomes 'vagina, scabbard’
paffen: ‘to puff’ becomes 'to puff on (e.g. a cigarette)'
das Abwehrsystem: ‘immune system’ becomes 'immune / defence system’
überweisen: ‘to refer (to a specialist, e.g.)’ becomes ‘to refer (e.g. to a specialist), transfer money’

Level 45

die Ausgeglichenheit: ‘balance’ becomes 'equilibrium, balance’
die Hand schütteln: ‘to shake hands’ becomes ‘to shake someone’s hand’

Level 46

die Blutgefäße: ‘vasculature’ becomes ‘blood vessels’


Level 43

das Weiterleben becomes weiterleben

Level 45

unterziehen (unterzog, hat unterzogen) becomes (sich) unterziehen (unterzog, hat unterzogen)


Level 46

die Arhythmie: ‘arhythmia’ becomes die Arrhythmie: ‘arrhythmia’

(Amanda Norrsken) #37

I would perhaps make one little change: instead of having “scabbard” as your second translation for “die Scheide”, I would use “sheath”, partly because you can see the relationship between the two words and, secondly, because I think “sheath” is a more common word than “scabbard”.

Ouch for “das Pflegeheim” having been translated as “a hospice” :frowning: They use the word “das Hospiz” for hospice these days, too. “care home” might also be an idea for “Pflegeheim”, I think? The word exists, doesn’t it? I sometimes get very insecure about my English, having lived out of the country for so long…

Everything else looks fantastic! You are doing a great job :smiley: And I like the fact that you are also spotting typos, too. (Although one has to admit that “arrhythmia” is a bloody awful word to spell!).

(Amanda Norrsken) #38

Gern geschehen! Jederzeit!

(Simonthomaswarner) #39

Thanks @amanda-norrsken.

As suggested, I’ve added ‘sheath’ as a translation of ‘die Scheide’ but left ‘scabbard’ as an additional translation, if only because I found it useful! :slight_smile:

And I’ve also added ‘care home’ as a translation for ‘das Pflegeheim.’ In the UK, ‘care home’ is commonly used, yes; but I wasn’t sure if it translated well to other English-speaking countries. But now we have both translations, so everyone should be happy.

I’m glad to help with improving the course, btw. I just hope it’s useful to someone other than just you and me! :laughing:

Have a great weekend.

(Amanda Norrsken) #40

You needn’t worry on that score, Simon! I just checked this week’s leaderboard for “your” course and the number of people actively working on the course this week is almost FIVE HUNDRED!

As you can hopefully see from my screenshot, the exact number of people is 493 :slight_smile:

I am sure they appreciate the new and better definitions.

Another wee suggestion would be to add the link to this forum in the course description so that if people discover other problems, then they know that they can pop over here and voice their concerns.

This is how I did it on one of the Swedish courses I work on: