[Course Forum] German 1-7 by Memrise


(Disturbedtjgirl) #177

When I was reviewing what I had learned in the German 1 course I had to identify the formal: “you’re” out of three audio clips. Two of the audio clips was “sie sind” and when I chose one it was counted as incorrect.

(aa0nn) #178

First post on this forum. In German 2, level 1, Nichts zu danken is translated as “You’re welcome.” My in-laws in Bavaria would beg to differ with this translation. I have understood this to mean, more or less, that “your thanks are not necessary”, or “no need to thank me”. “You’re welcome” would be more along the lines of “Bitteschön” or “Gern Geschehen”. My challenge is to learn the language “Hochdeutsch” but also be able to engage my family, who speak more “Bayerische sprache”. Thank you in advance for your comments.

(Philip Newton) #179

That’s the literal translation, yes.

A more idiomatic English translation might be “Don’t mention it”, which is what some people use in reply to thanks, which also literally means, “Please do not thank me” – but people don’t mean that literally! I think they do appreciate it when someone says “thank you”, just as someone who says, “Nichts zu danken” oder “Nicht der Rede wert” still appreciates the thought.

These are conventional phrases, and I don’t think any one of them can be translated 1:1 to an English conventional response-to-thanks conventional phrase.

In my experience, “Nichts zu danken”, “Bitte schön” (two words!), “Gern geschehen” are all possible. But not every speaker may use all of those.

(Sir Cemloud) #180

It is good to remember that Memrise choice of teaching is to give the most recurrent expression in the spoken language for an expression.

So it very often can be away from an existing translation that would be more accurate. The aim is not accuracy of translation but recurrence of usage in the expression.
By the way, Memrise gives you a literal translation (as a note under the expression) in their courses now.

I don’t agree with this approach, but you need to keep it in mind when reviewing the courses. I would suggest you create your mem when in such cases. Not ideal but it is an option.


Agreed! Thanks for the reply.

John Wolfe
Wasilla, Alaska

(A73 Xandre) #182

German 3 - Level 4
"ich hätte gern etwas zu frühstücken" → "I would like some breakfast please"
There is an extra “please” in the english version.
Best regards,

(Sir Cemloud) #184

do you mean “I would like some breakfast please please”?

(Bruno Emori) #185

German 2 - Level 6
"Gibt es dort einen Geldautomaten?"

Shouldn’t be “Gibt es dort einen Geldautomat?” ?

(Philip Newton) #186

No, it should not.

gibt es has es as the subject of the sentence and einen Geldautomaten as the object, so Geldautomat needs to take its non-nominative form Geldautomaten.

It’s a masculine weak noun, or follows the N-declension, or however you want to call words such as Automat, Junge, Kunde, Bauer etc.

(Mario2189) #187

As @mizinamo was pointing out, this is non-nominative declension, accusative in this case. You ask for this with “Wen oder Was?” Answer is “den Geldautomaten”. Here’s a nice overview including the mentioned N-Declension: http://www.germanveryeasy.com/noun-declension
Best wishes,

(Mario2189) #188

Hi there,
haven’t seen anything unusual when I checked just now. Could you send over a screenshot when you encounter
it again? Didn’t see that second ‘please’…

(Alexandre Santiago) #189

The issue is that the german has no “bitte” and the english has “please”.

Best regards,


(Mario2189) #190

Ah, right, I see what you mean! The thing is that English uses “would like” PLUS “please”, which feels like a bit of an overkill for German, since “ich hätte gern” already expresses a sense of “bitte”. I am aware that sometimes we still use both for German, but again, this is not really necessary. It is very much optional to put “bitte” in the mentioned cases.

(Alexandre Santiago) #191

Thank you very much for the clarification. I really find the german course
very helpful and well done.
By the way, in the same german 3 - level 4 there is "wir hätten gern etwas
zu essen bitte"
Is this “bitte” an “overkill” or is it optional as well?
Best regards,

(Mario2189) #192

This is actually what I was referring to. So you can either use “ich hätte gern” or “bitte” when ordering or you can use both. So I thought let’s provide both variations, but we try to be consistent with these things.
Thanks for your feedback!
Best wishes,

(Alexandre Santiago) #193

Thank you! Keep up the good work. :slight_smile:
Best regards,

(Paul Matthews) #194

Is there a place where we can send potential improvements/clarifications to content for a particular course? I’m working on Memrise’s own German courses and every once in a while I come across words that don’t supply enough context so I have to guess at which one it meant and naturally I more often than not pick the wrong one which drives me nuts.

Here is a few recent examples from German 3:
(EN) Close = (DE) ?
In this case they meant ‘Close’ (proximity) = ‘nah’ as opposed to ‘Close’ (shut) = Schließ

(EN) Ginger = (DE) ?
In this case they meant ‘ginger’ (hair color) = ‘rothaarig’ as opposed to ‘ginger’ (food) = ingwer

Then there are annoying ones like (German 3 - lesson 39) which has both:
die Reise = the journey; the trip
der Ausflug = the trip; the excursion

where when given ‘the trip’ I don’t know which to enter. Or

glauben = to think; to believe

where the first definition should probably be ‘to believe’ otherwise ‘denken’ seems a better fit.

from German 2 - lesson 12
die Unterhose = the pants (one pair)
“underpants” would be a better translation otherwise when presented with “the pants” my first instinct is to type “die Hose”

I’d rather the material got more clarity rather than having to remember that if it is really “die Hose” the english Memrise uses is “the trousers (one pair)”, not “the pants (one pair)”

I’ve found many more, I just want to know where to send them, plus I like getting 100% when I know the content!

Thanks, Paul.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #195

(I have no idea what course you mean, but if you mean the “official” course, Mario cannot have made such mistakes)

[quote=“Paul_Matthews, post:1, topic:11138”]
In this case they meant ‘Close’ (proximity) = ‘nah’ as opposed to ‘Close’ (shut) = Schließ

“nah” is close to/nearby

closeD = shut = geschlossen; “Schließ = closed” (???) does not exist (the verb is schließen, schloss, geschlossen; “schließ” exists only in some compound words, for ex Schließklappe, schließbar, Schließanlage etc)

(der Ingwer of course with capital I)

(Philip Newton) #196

schließ exists; it is the imperative of the verb.

Schließ die Tür, bitte! = “Close the door, please!”

You will see that the English sentence has “close” and the German has schließ and I think this is what is behind the question.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #197

(off topic: well, Philip, I aprreciate your observation, but this was not what the OP of that thread was asking, or? (and thanks, but as it happens German is one of the native languages I grew with))