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These words often have different connotations from their Germanic counterparts and are usually perceived as more scholarly. The size of the vocabulary of German is difficult to estimate. The modern German scientific vocabulary is estimated at nine million words and word groups based on the analysis of 35 million sentences of a corpus in Leipzig, which as of July included million words in total.
The Duden is the de facto official dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years. As of August [update] , it is in its 27th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords , etymology , pronunciation , synonyms , and so forth.
The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung German Orthography , has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German. The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and usage of German. It is the Austrian counterpart to the German Duden and contains a number of terms unique to Austrian German or more frequently used or differently pronounced there. The most recent edition is the 42nd from The dictionary is also officially used in the Italian province of South Tyrol.
This is a selection of cognates in both English and German. Instead of the usual infinitive ending -en German verbs are indicated by a hyphen "-" after their stems. Words that are written with capital letters in German are nouns. German is written in the Latin alphabet. Because legibility and convenience set certain boundaries, compounds consisting of more than three or four nouns are almost exclusively found in humorous contexts. In contrast, although English can also string nouns together, it usually separates the nouns with spaces. For example, "toilet bowl cleaner". Some operating systems use key sequences to extend the set of possible characters to include, amongst other things, umlauts; in Microsoft Windows this is done using Alt codes.
German readers understand these transcriptions although they appear unusual , but they are avoided if the regular umlauts are available because they are a makeshift, not proper spelling. In Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, city and family names exist where the extra e has a vowel lengthening effect, e. There is no general agreement on where letters with umlauts occur in the sorting sequence. Telephone directories treat them by replacing them with the base vowel followed by an e. Some dictionaries sort each umlauted vowel as a separate letter after the base vowel, but more commonly words with umlauts are ordered immediately after the same word without umlauts.
These variants of the Latin alphabet are very different from the serif or sans-serif Antiqua typefaces used today, and the handwritten forms in particular are difficult for the untrained to read.
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The printed forms, however, were claimed by some to be more readable when used for Germanic languages. The Nazis initially promoted Fraktur and Schwabacher because they were considered Aryan , but they abolished them in , claiming that these letters were Jewish.
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The Fraktur script however remains present in everyday life in pub signs, beer brands and other forms of advertisement, where it is used to convey a certain rusticality and antiquity. Many Antiqua typefaces include the long s also. A specific set of rules applies for the use of long s in German text, but nowadays it is rarely used in Antiqua typesetting. The long s only appears in lower case.
The orthography reform of led to public controversy and considerable dispute. After 10 years, without any intervention by the federal parliament, a major revision was installed in , just in time for the coming school year. In , some traditional spellings were finally invalidated, whereas in , on the other hand, many of the old comma rules were again put in force. Traditionally, this letter was used in three situations:. In German, vowels excluding diphthongs; see below are either short or long , as follows:.
In general, the short vowels are open and the long vowels are close. Whether any particular vowel letter represents the long or short phoneme is not completely predictable, although the following regularities exist:. Both of these rules have exceptions e. For an i that is neither in the combination ie making it long nor followed by a double consonant or cluster making it short , there is no general rule. In some cases, there are regional differences: In central Germany Hessen , the o in the proper name "Hoffmann" is pronounced long, whereas most other Germans would pronounce it short; the same applies to the e in the geographical name " Mecklenburg " for people in that region.
With approximately 25 phonemes, the German consonant system exhibits an average number of consonants in comparison with other languages. The consonant inventory of the standard language is shown below. German does not have any dental fricatives as English th. The th sounds, which the English language still has, disappeared on the continent in German with the consonant shifts between the 8th and the 10th centuries.
Likewise, the gh in Germanic English words, pronounced in several different ways in modern English as an f , or not at all , can often be linked to German ch: The German language is used in German literature and can be traced back to the Middle Ages , with the most notable authors of the period being Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach.
The Nibelungenlied , whose author remains unknown, is also an important work of the epoch. The fairy tales collections collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century became famous throughout the world. Reformer and theologian Martin Luther , who was the first to translate the Bible into German, is widely credited for having set the basis for the modern "High German" language. Thirteen German-speaking people have won the Nobel Prize in literature: English has taken many loanwords from German, often without any change of spelling aside from, often, the elimination of umlauts and not capitalizing nouns:.
The government-backed Goethe-Institut  named after the famous German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe aims to enhance the knowledge of German culture and language within Europe and the rest of the world. This is done by holding exhibitions and conferences with German-related themes, and providing training and guidance in the learning and use of the German language. The Dortmund-based Verein Deutsche Sprache VDS , which was founded in , supports the German language and is the largest language association of citizens in the world. The VDS has more than thirty-five thousand members in over seventy countries.
Its founder, statistics professor Dr. The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle is the equivalent of the British BBC World Service and provides radio and television broadcasts in German and 30 other languages across the globe. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Deutsch disambiguation and German disambiguation. Not to be confused with Germanic languages.
Co- Official and majority language. Co-official, but not majority language.
Early New High German. Geographical distribution of German speakers. Italy South Tyrol 0. German is official language de jure or de facto and first language of the majority of the population. Even recent textbook editions implicitly present a balance of negative and positive consequences of colonialism and they continue to distinguish between civilized and uncivilized, modern and traditional societies or between developed and underdeveloped countries.
Two textbooks published in and in provide a striking example for this continuity. The textbook published in clearly avoids racial expressions but it also juxtaposes indigenous backwardness with European progress. Textbooks often expand on these dichotomies not only discoursively but with ample imagery. Until decolonisation the majority of them justify the use of military force by blaming the indigenous population for resistance, uprising and insurgency.
They stress the European framework of colonialism and emphasize the competition between European powers. And they inscribe Germany into a shared European project of colonial competition, progress and modernisation albeit in a more critical and reflective manner when we look a recent textbooks informed by postcolonial approaches. Its first and foremost quality is its alleged efficiency. Textbooks frame German colonial rule as realizing the economic value of the new territories and as seeking acceptance of German territories under international law by concluding contracts with local authorities or chiefs.
While the military myths have gradually been deconstructed, colonial rule has been exposed as a relentless policy of exploitation and the colonial war in South-West Africa has been discussed in terms of genocide 36 other myths still persist. They propagated this view not only in descriptions but also in photographs such as the schooling of black pupils in Togo. This idea persistently reoccurs in older textbooks and it is not yet eliminated from contemporary history textbooks.
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It is thus not surprising that both republican and dictatorial textbooks of the s and s referred to it when they treated colonial history. The idea of Germanness abroad justified the revisionist claims for regaining the old overseas territories and also the National Socialist claims for occupying new territories in the east. National identity was no longer understood as a spatial but as a cultural category. Instead they should emigrate to German colonies and cultivate their Germanness so that they were not lost to the nation. They figured as an overseas utopia where Germans could cultivate their Germanness even better than at home.
And although decolonisation in the s changed the mode of presentation some elements survived almost inadvertently and continued stereotypes of national colonial rule. While they address expansion as part of the shared European colonial project they relate colonial rule in characteristically national terms. This may not be surprising when we look at textbooks published up to decolonisation since the empire has always been an integral part of national self esteem. But the twofold narrative survived the end of empires and it still influences contemporary textbooks.
These dichotomies postulate differences between Europeans and Non-Europeans or between colonial administrators and colonial subjects. They essentially relate to Europe and its other and difference is the key category on which colonialism rests. Once difference is established epistemologically it in turn justifies hierarchy and asymmetrical power relations. In this context the German nation could be seen as the incarnation of Europeanness and Germany could favourably be distinguished from other European nations.
However, the colonial epistemology has become so ingrained in the Western European order of knowledge that even after the empires crumbled it is still operating. So much that even contemporary history textbooks informed by postcolonial approaches are inadvertently caught in underlying long-term oppositions. Textbooks following a distinctly postcolonial agenda disclose inconsistencies when they try to overcome the modernization bias inherent in the narrative of colonialism.
They also tend to not fully acknowledge the transnational framework of European colonialism that existed at the time and that made colonial powers collaborate especially overseas and despite national competition. Early attempts to project characteristically national colonial regimes or methods drew on the writings of colonial administrators and militaries 48 and they fuelled patriotic master narratives but they disregarded the extent of international cooperation in matters of scientific exchange, security, administration and missionary work.
For that matter textbook education on colonialism is not only rooted in a binary epistemology but also in a national framework and this limits the possibilities of introducing postcolonial approaches. Altrichter and H. Glaser, Geschichtliches Werden. Vom Zeitalter des Imperialismus bis zur Gegenwart , Bamberg, Austermann, J.
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Lendzian, A. Augst, Zeiten und Menschen. Geschichte Oberstufe , Paderborn, Bahr, A. Banzhaf, L. Rumpf ed. Vom Absolutismus bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg , Braunschweig, Bancel ed. Barth, Imperialismus. Expansion im Industriezeitalter , Bamberg Bender et al. Berger and C. Lorenz ed. Historians as nation builders in modern Europe , Basingstoke, Boelitz, Das Grenz- und Auslanddeutschtum. Borschke et al. Carrier ed. Citron, Le mythe national. Picard ed. Conrad, Globalisierungeffekte. Thorp ed. Disch, L.
Gruenberg, M. Volkwerden der Deutschen. Klasse 8 , Leipzig, Grindel, The end of empire.
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Colonial heritage and the politics of memory in Britain , in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, 1, , 5, p. Hirschfelder and H. Nutzinger, Das Kaiserreich , Bamberg, Honold, K. Scherpe ed. Eine Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. Stuttgart, Jacobmeyer, Das deutsche Schulgeschichtsbuch Berlin, Kumsteller, U.
Haake, B. Klasse 8. Unter Mitarbeit von Gerhard Ottmer , Leipzig, Lantheaume, The empire in French history teaching. From a promise to a burden, in P. Lanzinner, Buchners Kompendium Geschichte. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart , Bamberg, Legris, Les programmes d'histoire en France. Lehn, Deutschlandbilder.
Lindner, Koloniale Begegnungen. Mackenzie, G. Finaldi ed. Mangelsdorf, Werden und Wirken. Maurer, Weltgeschichte von bis Meier, H. Ziegler, Neuzeit. Klasse , Berlin, Michels, Schwarze deutsche Kolonialsoldaten. Mickel ed.
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