[Course Forum] German 1-7 by Memrise


(Hans Wt) #279

To make it easier, I will just add entries where needed, by level, entry German, entry English and a suggestion for correction. Here are all with “dass”…

3L13 - Contamination!

  • dass
    that (followed by sentence)
    …, that (direct object or pronoun) … verb (linked to D.O./pronoun).
  • der Arzt denkt, dass er Medizin braucht
    the doctor thinks he needs medicine
    The doctor thinks, that he needs medicine.

3L23 - Mayday!

  • der Arzt denkt, dass dein Bein gebrochen ist
    the doctor thinks your leg is broken
    The doctor thinks, that your leg is broken.

3L40 - Next Summer on Earth

  • ich glaube nicht, dass er um sieben Uhr wieder hier ist
    I don’t think he’ll be back at seven o’clock
    I don’t believe, that he’ll be back at 7 O’clock.

3L40 - Next Summer on Earth

  • ich glaube nicht, dass sie um elf Uhr in Berlin sind
    I don’t think they’ll be in Berlin at eleven o’clock
    I don’t believe, that they’ll be in Berlin by 11 O’clock.

5L17 - Exploration .

  • … dass ich mein Eis fallen ließ
    … that I dropped my ice cream
    … that I let my ice cream fall.

5L18 - Choosing a Leader

  • findest du, dass der Präsident seine Arbeit gut macht?
    do you think, [that] the president is doing a good job?
    Do you think, that, the president is doing his job good?

5L23 - Confrontrations

  • ich bin sicher, dass alles gut wird
    I’m sure all will be good
    I’m certain, that all will be good.

  • ich glaube, dass ich seine Gefühle verletzt habe
    I think I hurt his feelings
    I believe, that I hurt his feelings.

6L08 - You Wouldn’t Believe It!

  • ich denke, dass es der Typ auf der linken Seite war
    I think it was the guy to the left
    I think, that it was the guy on the left.

6L10 - Facts

  • mir wurde klar, dass …
    it occurred to me …
    It became clear [to me], that …

6L11 - Sports, On Screen

  • ich glaube, dass mein Team vielleicht morgen gewinnt
    I think my team may win tomorrow
    I believe, that my team may win tomorrow.

(Hans Wt) #280

dass continued…

6L14 - Turbulent Weather

  • es schneite so sehr, dass wir nicht rausgehen konnten
    it snowed so much we couldn’t go outside
    It snowed so much, that we couldn’t go out.

6L29 - Inspire Them

  • sie behaupten, dass sie nur ihre Kinder beschützen wollten
    they claim they were only protecting the children
    They claimed, that they only wanted to protect their children.

  • der König und die Königin erklärten, dass sie bald Eltern sein würden
    the king and queen stated that they were going to be parents
    The king and queen clarified, that they would soon be parents.

  • er stellte fest, dass das Geschäft mittags geschlossen hatte
    he noted that the store was closed at noon
    He determined, that the store had closed at noon.

  • die Beweise deuten darauf hin, dass du schuldig bist
    the evidence indicates that you’re guilty
    The evidence [points to it], that you are guilty.

(Benton 1) #281

Hans, English does not use comas as often as German does. The extra comas that you added to the English sentences are not correct. Also, the word “that” in the English sentences you pointed out is optional. All of the Memrise English sentences are correct.

(Hans Wt) #282


“Dass” is a german grammatical feature, that has implications on the word order construction of the sentence.

“Dass”, which equals “that” in english, is used for emphasis and a pause in both German and English.

“Dass” which is introduced German 3 Level 13 as meaning “that (followed by sentence)” is not even used for 13 examples correctly, and is then used first incorrectly in German 6 Level 29, followed by 3 appropriate uses.

You were concerned about word swapping above for “keine Sorge”, because apparently you were getting it wrong. So how is it that you can get any of the dass questions right with “optional” omissions of that?

You write all the sentences above are correct, yet 4 of them substitute “to think” for glauben, when it should be “to believe”. There are other errors as well.

Omission of “optional” English words, regular swapping of the modal verbs for “alternative” English translations, etc., does not do a learner any good, and has very little negative implications for full inclusion (optional or not) of the English translation.

(Hans Wt) #283

Here is the one and only use of “als” in the Memrise German course, in 5L16

meine Großeltern sind, als sie jung waren, nach Afrika gegangen


“my grandparents went to Africa when they were young” <-- ok, but lazy and directly from Google Translate

my grandparents, when they were young, went to Africa <-- correct

This is a perfectly acceptable English translation that not only follows the German sentence construction, but also applies the same emphasis to the sentence parts.

(Benton 1) #284

I agree with you completely that words should be translated using the most similar/correct word. So, “believe” is the correct/better translation of “glauben”. I also agree that if “that” is used in the German sentence, the best translation for people learning the language is to use “that” in the English sentence as well. I was just trying to say that the English sentences are all written correctly. ; )

(Hans Wt) #285

Agree with your points,

Wrote the following earlier… and will like just create a course with all the sentences as it will be easier through excel & import than formatting all the corrections in the forums (there are a lot)…

Sorry, I will just write this… the purpose of a German language course is not to learn colloquial English from German, that is what an English language course for German speakers should [could] be doing. It is to teach German from the most direct, literal translation of the English forms.

English is a Germanic language, the forms when expressed in non-colloquial translations are [ridiculously] similar.

Word/definition swapping [especially in the modals], colloquial translations, contractions, etc., more often than not mask or hide these similarities. They also, unfortunately, mask or outright hide, the grammatical significance within the sentence selected, even though that is the reason the sentence examples are used in the first place.

(Rob Paterson) #286

Hi there, Hans

Thanks for raising your doubts. The examples that you have given with “dass” are good examples of how English and German work differently.

For example:
sie behaupten, dass sie nur ihre Kinder beschützen wollten
they claim they were only protecting the children

As a rule, it is incorrect in English to put a comma before “that” when used as a conjunction or relative pronoun, especially with verbs of saying, thinking, etc. in indirect speech. For this reason, your suggested definitions would not work. E.g.: *They claimed, that they only wanted to protect their children.

Another point that you mentioned is the use of “to think” as a translation of “glauben”. With regards to this, English, unlike German, very rarely uses the verb “to believe” to express an opinion; it is far more natural to use the verb “to think” for this purpose when speaking English. Our official Memrise courses use Literal Translations to show similarities and differences between languages, whereas the source language definitions are there to give the most natural, accessible and useful translation possible, in order for learners to better see the difference between their native language and the language they are learning. For example:

meine Großeltern sind, als sie jung waren, nach Afrika gegangen
my grandparents went to Africa when they were young

This is the most natural structure of the English translation and I can assure you that it most definitely is not directly from Google Translate. The phrasing “my grandparents, when they were young, went to Africa” is actually less natural in English as temporal adverbs and temporal clauses are usually put at the beginning or the end of an English sentence rather than in the middle like in the German example.

I hope this helps to clear up some of your doubts.

Happy learning :wink:


(Hans Wt) #287


The point of learning German from English is not to “select” the most natural form of English for which the German sentence is constructed.

If you want to exclude both “that” and a comma, then what is there to signify that both in English & German there is a temporary pause &/or an actual word to emphasis the point?

Dass is a grammatical feature in German that also exists in English.

Without it’s inclusion, there is almost certainly another way to form the sentence in German without dass (or any other grammatical form that is intended to be taught with) with the keyword(s)’ inclusion.

In the middle example given, you are now the second person to miss the obvious error in it. “ihre Kinder” is not “the children”, it is “their children”.

To be honest, these types of errors, and obvious exclusions, word swaps, etc., particularly in sentences in German levels 3 and higher make Memrise unusable.

So the question then becomes, why does Memrise even include specific grammarical features if it is not to teach them obviously and without any confusion?

PS… I’m sensitive to the fact that proper capitilization and punctuation is problematic for the target language testing in Memrise, but it is not when it comes to the “test from” sentences.

PSS … Sorry, I can’t add all the examples here easily, as there are too many.

PSSS … German 7 level 9 has some real gems… viele Weg führe nach Rom … there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Um, no… all roads lead to Rome is quite well recognized.

(Amanda Norrsken) #288

Totally agree! @HansWT has got his commas completely wrong!

Adding commas after “that” makes me wince. I have been marking essays written by German students of English for decades and this is one thing that Germans totally overdo (understandably).

In English, commas equal pauses for taking a breath, or to separate two separate clauses (not that many people bother these days, but hey). Commas DO NOT EQUAL pauses in German!

(Amanda Norrsken) #289

As a life-long language learner (started at 11, still going strong at 54), as well as a long-time language teacher (started at 24, still going strong at 54, albeit now part-time), I have to say that this is one of the BEST things that memrise offers its learners. I think it is absolutely brilliant that we see the literal word-for-word translation and get a decent idiomatic translation, too. Using this technique has helped me learn languages well for many years :smiley:

(Rob Paterson) #290

Hi Hans

As @amanda-norrsken (thanks for your comment) mentions, we do include BOTH idiomatic translations/definitions and literal translations. This is to draw attention to the differences between the language being learnt and your native language. If we were to simply use one translation as a definition that is closer to the target language, then this would actually be much less clear, not more so as you suggest.

To give a random example off the top of my head:

Das habe ich gestern gemacht. - I did that yesterday.
Literal translation: That have I yesterday made.

These two translations help to show the differences between the two languages, e.g., the sentence structure, verb tense, use of ‘machen’ to mean ‘to do’, etc.

If we were to remove the literal translations, and simply use a more literal definition instead of the natural/idiomatic definitions that we currently have, this would lead to more confusion, and make learners more likely to make mistakes influenced by their own language - not to mention that it would lead to ungrammatical, and therefore, confusing and hard-to-understand definitions.

Have a great day!


(Vitverde24) #291

Translation error report
The Memrise German course for Italians consistently translates the verb “entrare” (i.e. “enter”) as reingehen, instead of eingehen. Similarly, “rausgehen” instead of “ausgehen” for “uscire” (i.e. "to go out).

(Linh Vu) #292

Hi @vitverde24,

Thanks for the message! I hope we understand your feedback correctly. Translating “reingehen” with “entrare” is correct. We know that for some more fixed expressions such as “in die Geschichte eingehen” (“entrare nella storia”), you would use “entrare” as well, however, we want to teach the verb “reingehen” using “entrare”, as the main meaning of it is the best translation for “reingehen”. We can’t always provide all the synonyms and meanings of a word, therefore we try to show you the most frequently used one, or one that would fit the context of the level.

Regarding your second remark: please apologise this confusion, but we have used “uscire” as a translation for “rausgehen” and “ausgehen”, because there is no other suitable translation for these two terms other than “uscire”. We will add some more information in brackets to the Italian translations, so that you will be able to distinguish these two terms better in the future.

Thanks and happy learning!

(Vitverde24) #293

Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. It is now clear to me.
Best regards,

(Inesgallo510) #294

Does anyone know how to improve your grammar with memrise?
Im trying to use grammabot but it doesnt appear in my laptop. What can i do?

(⊂◉‿◉つ) #295

Yup Null Is Zero In German

(Mario2189) #296

Hey all! We’re looking for Memrise users who have learned German on our official Memrise courses. If you are a native English speaker and have completed the Memrise official German courses 1-3, please read on!

The research can be done either in our London office or remotely over Skype (or Google Hangouts Meet) If you’re interested, click on the link below to find out if you’re eligible to participate.


(Amanda Norrsken) #297

Personally, I see memrise as an excellent way to acquire new vocabulary quickly and efficiently. When I know a lot of words, I can start reading in the target language and through reading I learn about the grammar.

I don’t think memrise is an ideal tool for learning grammar, other than for things like conjugations of verbs or the genders of nouns. But I can’t see how you could use the memrise format for more complex things like word-order rules, for example.

The grammarbot is a feature of the app, I believe, so it is only available via your smartphone, could that be why?

(Alter8) #298

German 3 English

die Sendung
the emission; the show

Is this translation correct and sufficient? Thanks.