German Wort für Wort

Die Sprechführer der Kauderwelsch-Reihe orientieren sich am typischen Reisealltag und vermitteln auf anregende Weise das nötige Rüstzeug, um ohne lästige Büffelei möglichst schnell mit dem Sprechen beginnen zu können, wenn auch vielleicht nicht immer druckreif. Besonders hilfreich ist hierbei die Wort-für-Wort-übersetzung, die es ermöglicht, mit einem Blick die Struktur und “Denkweise” der jeweiligen Sprache zu durchschauen.

“There’s no point learning German, they all speak English.” Well, yes and no. Or Jein as the Germans would say. On the one hand, it is true that a lot of English is spoken particularly by young people. There’s no question that you can survive with English. But that’s precisely it. Who wants just to survive? Even in Germany, a great many people don’t speak enough English to hold a proper conversation and even if your own German is limited, you’ll get people on your side by at least making the effort. You’d be amazed how much goodwill even a basic knowlede of German is worth. The language itself can seem pretty daunting at times, though, and the Germans themselves say: Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache” (German language, difficult language). Whereas, say, French or Spanish are relatively accessible to English-speakers because vocabulary and word order are so similar. Germany isn’t all fairy-tale castles, beer halls and boat trips along the Rhine. Without at least some knowledge of the language, and therefore the ability to raise yourself above the immediate tourist circuit, the essence of the country will pass you by.

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