Strange Language

I don’t know what your German is like, but if you have some idea of how the language works, you will probably appreciate how the sense of a sentence can radically change when certain words are capitalized:

  • Der gefangene Floh …
    Der Gefangene floh …
  • Er verweigerte Speise und Trank …
    Er verweigerte Speise und trank …
  • Der Junge sieht dir ungeheuer ähnlich.
    Der Junge sieht dir Ungeheuer ähnlich.
  • Wäre er doch nur Dichter!
    Wäre er doch nur dichter!
  • Vor dem Fenster sah sie den geliebten Rasen.
    Vor dem Fenster sah sie den Geliebten rasen.
  • Er hat in Berlin liebe Genossen.
    Er hat in Berlin Liebe genossen.
  • Warme Speisen im Keller …
    Warme speisen im Keller …
  • Beschädigte Liegen in meiner Filiale …
    Beschädigte liegen in meiner Filiale …
  • Die nackte Sucht zu quälen …
    Die Nackte sucht zu quälen …

English has similar problem areas (he stopped to smoke/he stopped smoking), but I can imagine learners of German as a foreign language are perhaps more baffled by the above because we have so many of these.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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