Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21.10.2011, 23:20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 66
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 68 Times in 36 Posts
atwzurich has earned some respectatwzurich has earned some respect
Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

For all you Anglophiles out there struggling like me to come to grips with German, rest assured you're not the first. Even literary giants have been tripped up:

http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank atwzurich for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 22.10.2011, 16:12
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

Quote:
View Post
For all you Anglophiles out there struggling like me to come to grips with German, rest assured you're not the first. Even literary giants have been tripped up:

http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

Imagine that he came over even BEFORE the first Duden Kommission had started out, and whiles before the last reform . As the book "Der Dativ is des Genitivs sein Tod" proves, the Genitiv now is on its best on the 4st place and at worst on the "extinction list"

Last edited by jrspet; 22.10.2011 at 16:45. Reason: Dativ is presumed what you intended to write
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 22.10.2011, 16:27
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: DK - previously Zug
Posts: 3,321
Groaned at 168 Times in 122 Posts
Thanked 6,707 Times in 2,237 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

Quote:
View Post
Imagine that he came over even BEFORE the first Duden Kommission had started out, and whiles before the last reform . As the book "Der Danitiv is des Genitivs sein Tod" proves, the Genitiv now is on its best on the 4st place and at worst on the "extinction list"
I'm no native speaker, but isn't it "der Dativ?"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 22.10.2011, 18:12
Captain Greybeard's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sarganserland / NW Lower Penin
Posts: 3,516
Groaned at 43 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 7,410 Times in 2,314 Posts
Captain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

Quote:
View Post
Imagine that he came over even BEFORE the first Duden Kommission had started out, and whiles before the last reform . As the book "Der Dativ is des Genitivs sein Tod" proves, the Genitiv now is on its best on the 4st place and at worst on the "extinction list"
It's not a book but, so far, a series of four books by Bastian Sick (sic!), and the correct title is, "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod." Anything else wouldn't make much sense.

It's a play on words that denounces a mistake while making the very same mistake, something like, "The dative is to the genitive its death." It's a bit like, "Es gibt Schweizer Journalisten, die beherrschen nicht einmal der Akkusativ" (sorry, no usable English translation possible without ruining the point).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 22.10.2011, 19:24
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 11,384
Groaned at 37 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 27,100 Times in 8,367 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

Twain's brilliance is timeless; this essay was my guiding light as I struggled with my first German course.

My favorite line, used many times in the ensuing 13 years:

"(I) would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective."


Thanks for posting this, ATWZurich.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 22.10.2011, 19:24
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Getting Started in German with Mark Twain

Quote:
View Post
It's not a book but, so far, a series of four books by Bastian Sick (sic!), and the correct title is, "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod." Anything else wouldn't make much sense.

It's a play on words that denounces a mistake while making the very same mistake, something like, "The dative is to the genitive its death." It's a bit like, "Es gibt Schweizer Journalisten, die beherrschen nicht einmal der Akkusativ" (sorry, no usable English translation possible without ruining the point).
That many people, even journalists, and not only Swiss ones do not have a command of the accusative, is not nice, but the problem about the genitive in German rather is that the Genitive in all South German, Swiss German, Austrian German dialects is gradually replaced by a kind of "Dativ-Konstruktion". And it is similar in case of TV, where also those in crime-stories where the Dative gets gradually eliminated. I think that the Genitive in German language in a not too distant moment will be something for the linguism-scientists.

The books of Bastian Sick btw. are good and have read two of them.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
german, humour




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Clarification about getting started with Sky... atak_kat TV/internet/telephone 37 28.09.2010 11:19
Getting started... LPA1975 Finance/banking/taxation 3 04.08.2010 08:28
Getting Started: dSLR Photography for Beginners bpmccartney Commercial events 2 15.02.2010 11:01
Getting started with Studio Lighing Workshop bpmccartney Commercial events 0 03.02.2009 23:31
Getting Started with External/Hot-shoe Flash Photography bpmccartney Commercial events 0 02.01.2009 15:22


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:36.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0