"Die reiche Frau würde ein großes Boot erwerben."

Translation:The rich woman would purchase a big boat.

November 6, 2015



'Boot' is a borrowing from English, especially because German rarely uses double vowel diphthongs. The sound in English /oa/ is from Anglo-Saxon /â/, a long A. English had what is called 'the Great Vowel Shift' when vowel sounds changed massively, thus long I, which previously sounded like /ee/ now sounds like /ai/ (eg. 'bite' was like 'beet'), also long A, which previously sounded like /ah/ now sounds like /oa/. Therefore Old English bât > boat, ân > one, stân stone, râd > road, bân > bone, hâl > whole (w added to prevent confusion with hole, also became 'hale' without shift in some dialects). These correspond to /ei/ in German (both sounds from a Proto-Germanic /ai/), so ein, Stein, Reit, Bein, heil etc. A boat in Anglo-Saxon and Friesland referred to a specific kind of boat which the tribes on Germany did not use (one would expect '*Beiß', thus they used different words, but later borrowed the English word as 'Boot' to match its /oa/ sound.

March 19, 2019


Erwerben vs einkaufen?

August 20, 2018


Acquire, obtain vs. purchase. The former needn't include buying, but simply refer to the passing of ownership.

March 19, 2019


Purchase and buy are identical in English. I was marked wrong because I used 'buy'

September 28, 2019
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