1. Aaron Parecki: hot take: Dutch is basically German with a funny accent

    I’ve gotten through entire (admittedly short) conversations in dutch just by speaking german in a dutchey way. It’s not just a weird version of german though, they have some (adorable) words of their own too!

  2. After four months I completed the Duolingo German tree!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed using Duolingo and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language it supports. Having said that, there are many things it will not teach, for which I recommend and am using these additional resources:

    • The Memrise Beginners German (A1) course — the vocab complements the Duolingo course, is more strict about umlauts, and has proper native speaker audio
    • The Your Daily German Online Course is a collection of articles which explain a lot of interesting grammar points you will have absorbed from the Duolingo course. They also do a “word/prefix of the day” blog series which is extremely helpful. Don’t be put off by the weird, long-winded writing style, it’s a lot of fun and contains a lot of excellent explanations.
    • Deutsch, Warum Nicht? from Deutsche Welle, is an old radio course which I’ve been using to improve hearing comprehension. As well as being a good course, it has nice classical music breaks and endlessly amusing details. Anyone who enjoys Look Around You will love Deutsch, Warum Nicht.

    Online Deutsche Welle CEFR placement tests put me at A2 right now. Good thing too, as I’m headed for Germany later this month…

  3. Google Translate’s statistical origins show themselves in interesting ways:

    it translates “marching with our spades” into German as “ziehen mit dem Spaten”

    but translates “marching with our shovels” as “marschieren mit unseren Schaufeln”

    I’m 95% certain that the use of “ziehen” and “dem” in the first example rather than “marschieren” and “unseren” is due to “und ziehen mit dem Spaten” being a lyric in Die Moorsoldaten (the peat bog soldiers).

  4. Tried watching Türkisch für Anfänger for German practice and learned two things: my hearing comprehension is much worse than I anticipated, and Lena is really, really annoying.

  5. speakers: is there a German word for German words for concepts for which there isn’t an equivalent in English/x other language? (bonus points if that word describes itself)