How is my German?
If you are reading this, then thank you for taking time out of your day to help me. However, I would prefer that only native German speakers or people that consider themselves fluent in German to correct this. Anyways, I saw a couple of people writing up poems, songs, etc. in German and posting them on here to get them reviewed, so I decided to put my German to the test. Basically I wrote about my normal School day in German, it's not a very good writing and it's kind of repetitive, but that's not the point. Please correct any errors and tell me why they are that way. So, here it is:
Gutentag, Menschen! Ich heisse Andrew, und Ich werde Ihnene uber meinen Schultag sagen. Meine erste Klasse ist Englisch. In Englisch Klasse lese Ich Bucher, und Ich schreibe. Meine zweite Klasse ist Biologie. Ich mag Biologie, weil wir Tieren und Pflanzen studieren, und sie sind mir interressant. Meine dritte Klasse ist Deutsch. Deutsch ist meine Favorite Klasse, denn Ich studiere gern Deutsch, und es gibt in die Klasse sehr Freunde. Meine vierte Klasse ist Mathematik. Ich mag Mathematik nicht, weil Mathematik mir schwer ist. Nach den Mathematik gibt es Mittagessen. Ich esse mit meinen Freunden. Meine funfte Klasse ist amerikanische Geschichte. Sie ist mir eine interressante Klasse, obwohl sie eine schwere Klasse ist. Ich habe keine sechste Klasse, weil ich eine Studienhalle haben. Meine siebte Klasse ist Spanisch. Ich mag Spanisch, und er ist mir eine fertige Klasse, aber Deutsch gefallt mir besser. Ich habe keine letzte Klasse, denn Ich habe eine andere Studienhalle. Nach Schule habe Ich Querfeldeinlaufen.
Before you comment about this, I know that I am missing some umlauts and eszetts, and I know where they all go but it's difficult and time consuming to type them with my English keyboard. Anyways, the main thing I'm confused about is when exactly to use commas with "und", and I'm also a little confused about where to put adverbs in sentences (although I think I only used one adverb). However, I'm sure that I will learn that I am confused about many other things. Don't be shy when correcting my mistakes, be as ruthless as you want, you're only doing me a favor. Also tell me if the writing is just gibberish to you or if you still get the main point of every sentence, despite the mistakes. Danke!
Guten Tag, liebe Leute ("Menschen" is humans the specimen)! Ich heiße Andrew, und ich werde Ihnen über meinen Schultag berichten ("sagen" is just to say, it needs a direct object, "berichten" would be "to report" and fits the preposition and context). Mein erstes Fach ("Klasse" is the group of students, the room or grade, "Fach" is subject) des Tages ist Englisch. Im Englischunterricht ("Unterricht" is the activity happening in class) lese ich Bücher, und ich schreibe. In der zweiten Stunde (short for "Schulstunde" or "Unterrichtsstunde" refers to the time of a class, this is the normal way to say this) habe ich Biologie. Ich mag Biologie, weil wir dort Tiere und Pflanzen studieren, und die finde ich interressant/die interessieren mich. In meiner dritten Stunde habe ich Deutsch. Deutsch ist mein Lieblingsfach, denn ich lerne ("studieren" is for universities or professionals) gern Deutsch, und ich habe viele Freunde in der Klasse (no idea if that is what you meant). In meiner vierten Stunde habe ich Mathematik. Ich mag Mathematik nicht, weil mir Mathematik schwer fällt/Mathematik schwer für mich ist. Nach Mathe (subjects of school are rarely used with an article) gibt es Mittagessen. Dann esse ich mit meinen Freunden. In meiner fünften Stunde habe ich amerikanische Geschichte. Das interessiert mich wirklich, obwohl es ein schweres Fach ist. Dann habe ich eine Freistunde für Selbststudien (there is no German equivalent for study hall as something like that is not common in Germany). In meiner siebten Stunde habe ich Spanisch. Ich mag Spanisch, und es fällt mir leicht/es ist ein entspanntes Fach für mich, aber Deutsch gefällt mir besser. Ich habe keinen Unterricht in der letzten Stunde, denn dann habe ich eine weitere Freistunde (für Selbststudien). Nach der Schule gehe ich Querfeldeinlaufen.
I am not sure if you really mean "Querfeldeinlaufen" that is running off course over hills and grass and such. Running with obstacles and such would be "der Hürdenlauf" and if you meant that you are in a track team you would call that just "Leichtathletik (f)" which means everything that is done in the stadium at olympics.
I hope I could be of help.
PS: To show that you know where to put umlauts but without the actual keys you can also write "ae", "ue" and "oe" instead of "ä", "ü", "ö" just "a", "o", "u" can be confusing.
Thanks for the response and the correction. However, I have some questions about them.
When I said "und Ich werde Ihnene uber meinen Schultag sagen." I thought I said "and I am going to TELL you about my school day" In Germany would you "report to somebody" rather than "tell somebody"?
I completely lost you when you said "und die finde ich interressant/die interessieren mich" Why exactly "die" there and why did "mir" turn into "mich"? Also, when I said "und sie sind mir interressant" I was saying "and they (referring to the plants and animals) are interesting to me" Would that not be correct?
When you said "weil Mathematik mir schwer fällt/schwer für mich ist" would "schwer fällt" sound better than "schwer" in this case? Also, why do we need " für mich" there when we already have "mir"?
Also, when you said "denn dann habe eine weitere Freistunde", why don't we need "Ich"?
By the way, when I said "und es gibt in die Klasse sehr Freunde." I was saying "and there is a lot of friends in the class." so I think you translated it right. And when I said "Querfeldeinlaufen" I meant "cross country running" where you run in the woods and jump over rocks and stuff.
Once again thanks for the response. Would you say that the original can be understood though? Danke!
"to tell" is normally translated with "erzählen" but there is a problem with that here because "über etw. erzählen" is always connected with "to tell a story about". Which is not really what you did here. You depicted how your normal school day is. So it should be something like: "Ich erzähle euch jetzt, wie mein Schultag normalerweise aussieht." = "I'll tell you now, how my school day normally looks." But that seemed very long and the alternative with "berichten" did not seem that different.
German sometimes uses a definite article of the right gender/number/case where you use the personal pronoun in English. That happens especially when you emphasize on the pronoun in English. Like here: "and they are..." But I would not put so much thought into it, "sie" is not that wrong here, it just sounds awful. And "interessieren" just works that way in German. The intersting thing interests the interested one. "They are interesting to me." cannot be translated word by word.
I should probably emphasize here that "mir" is not just short for "for/to me". You need the right verbs which then take an indirect object. Often you will still translate "for me" as "für mich". Like here: "Mathematik ist schwer für mich." ("weil"-clauses are subordinate clause which take a different order) "Mathematik fällt mir schwer." uses the verb "jemandem schwer fallen" also written "jemandem schwerfallen" meaning "to make hardships for somebody/to be hard on somebody".
I forgot the "ich", error on my part.
Yeah, "sehr" is very, "viel" is many (ending changes depending on the noun). "Cross country running", yes that seems legit. You could also say "Crosslauf".
I hope I could be of help.
Langstreckenlauf for cross-country running. Langlauf for skiing...did some in den Voralpen near königsdorf...almost died...we went 25 Kilometers! Ich mache 100-Meter-Lauf...100 ...dash. Ich werfe Diskus..
Hi Andrew, I understood you perfectly even though you made several mistakes. You might want to change the translation for "class". "Klasse" in German schools is used a) to describe which grade you are in or b) the group of students who are you class mates. If you want to talk about a subject, you use the word "Fach". If you talk about the order of classes during a day, you would use "Stunde". "Studienhalle" put a smile on my face. A "Halle" is always a room. You might want to use the word "Freistunde" instead. In German we capitalize many words, but not the word "ich" if it's not the first word in the sentence. It looks a little pretentious if you do it - a medieval king might talk about himself as "Ich". Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the response! So instead of saying "Meine erste Klasse ist Englisch" I would say "Meine erste Stunde ist Englisch", right? I had a feeling that "Studienhalle" wouldn't be the right word for what I was thinking of. In English, or at least in America, we refer to a free period of the school day where we get to study as a "study hall" or "guided study". But besides that all of my grammar and stuff was good? I have to be honest, I didn't expect to do nearly as well as I did. Danke!
Learn to use adverbs: Zuerst habe ich Englisch . Danach habe ich Mathe. Dann habe ich Bio. Stunde vier habe ich Geschichte. Danach habe ich Pause.
Hey Andrew, overall it seems like you have a pretty good grasp of the language! If you were to go out on the streets of Germany and say what you did above no one would misunderstand you. German is deceivingly hard to learn, so kudos to you for going for it. I'm personally not a native speaker, but after several years of studying it/visiting Germany and Austria, I feel that I'm qualified enough to point out a few things that I would have said differently - hopefully you find them helpful:
First, though there's nothing wrong with "Klasse", I would use (der) Kurs for a class being taken - "Klasse" is either for really low-level classes (Kindergarten, etc.) or it describes the classroom itself. People will still understand what you're saying if you use "Klasse" though.
"Guten Tag, Leute!" (Leute is used for a group of unspecified people - Menschen is for something more specific like "die deutschen Menschen" (the German people).
You don't capitalize "ich" unless it's at the beginning of the sentence.
"und ich werde euch/Ihnen (you all vs a formal person, depending on who you're intended audience is) über meinen Schultag erzählen" (erzählen, to explain/tell, is a better fit than sagen, but I don't think it would necessarily be wrong to use sagen either - it just didn't ring right with me for some reason).
"Deutsch ist meine lieblings Klasse" (lieblings = favorite. I know there's a direct translation for "Favorite", but "lieblings" is what's used in daily conversation)
You can absolutely say "Das ist mir interessant," or you can also say "Ich finde --- interessant" - I'd say they're interchangeable, but I point it out here because it can avoid awkwardness in sentence structure sometimes.
I'm not convinced that "study hall" translates so well - I'd say either "eine Pause" (which you hear basically all the time from native speakers) or "eine Freistunde"
"Fertig" can't be conjugated - if you meant "last," then it would be "letzte" (meine letzte Klasse).
"Nach der Schule" (you need the article in this case)
Last thing (this is already a mega-long post, so I apologize for that) - when you're saying something like "I didn't do this, but I did this instead," use the insanely helpful "sondern". For example: "Ich habe keine letzte Klasse, sondern ich habe eine andere Pause/Freistunde." You could also use "denn" (with two Ns), that's perfectly fine as well.
It is wrong to use "Das ist mir interessant", there are similar-sounding phrases which are grammatically correct, but not semantically relevant: "Das ist mir neu" or "Das scheint mir interessant". "Das scheint mir interessant" in turn is solely the short form of this sentence: "Das scheint für mich interessant, zu sein".
The word "scheint" (=seems) is used archaic or poetically, and/or indicate furthermore the ellipse for "Es scheint [so], zu sein" (it seems to be [that way]).
Since there is an adjective (interessant) in "Das ist mir interessant" that depends on the subject and copula (to be), it cannot depend on "mir", because the accusative case (mich) is needed, but not the dative case (mir). However, a reflexive pronoun used in the accusative case usually requires a prepositional complement ([interessant] für mich). Your sentence must be re-arranged; for example from: "Das ist mir interessant" to: "Das ist für mich interessant". You are right, person243.
Thanks for the response! I have a question though, doesn't "Ihnen" (or "Sie" depending on the case) work for both plural formal and singular formal? Also, when I said "Fertig" I meant "easy" (which, as I now know, is not even close to being the correct translation), for some reason I got it confused with the Spanish word for "easy", "facil" which sounds somewhat similar to "Fertig" to me. Also about "Fertig", why doesn't it get inflected? It's an adjective isn't it? Danke!
I am also not sure what DBboy is getting at. "Der fertige Kuchen steht im Kühlschrank." = "The finished cake is in the refrigator." is totally fine. And I disagree with his words about "Das ist mir interessant.", that does not work. "sein" does not take an indirect object in this way. "Mir ist ..." would mean: "I feel ..." and how can you feel interesting (can't mean funny/strange in German here)? Closest would be: "Mir ist danach, interessant zu sein." = "I feel like being interesting."
I agree with everything DB states, including fertig makes no sense in this context. Das ist mir interessant..is just fine. It is a very common structure. Es ist mir kalt. Es ist mir gleich. Etc. If you want better German, you could use finden for English think. I think basketball is interesting. Ich finde Basketball interessant. Or.. ich interessiere mich für Basketball. Which leads to...Basketball interessiert mich...or das ist mir interessant. All acceptable German.
"Es ist mir kalt." is just another way to order "Mir ist kalt." (The "es" does not point to anything here.) and "gleich sein" does not use "gleich" as an adjective but an adverb (It's one of those quasi verbs with "sein"). "Das ist mir zu kalt." works. Similarly you could say: "Das ist mir zu interessant." (However that should be possible.) but without "zu", no. That is at least no standard German like I learnt it. And it is not spoken where I life. "Das ist interessant (für mich)." or as you said with "finden", that is how I know it. Where did you hear this construction "Das ist mir [adjective]" without "zu" (or something of similar grammatical effect), is it maybe dialectical?
I studied in Salzburg for a year. Later I lived near Munich. What about das ist mir Wurst..which is a noun and slang for gleich.
In Salzburg, I would have said mia is koit..for I am cold..or Es ist mir kalt at the university - standard. Of course, many Austrians were clueless at times, too!
Yes, there are many ways to say that something does not matter to you. "Das ist mir (egal/gleich/unwichtig/wurs(ch)t/gleichgültig)." But "Das ist mir interessant." makes me shiver in repulsion.
Hallo Andrew, hier ein Tip für die Umlaute. Folgendes könnte dir helfen, mache dir ein Post-it Sticker und schreibe dir diese ASCII Kodes auf: ü = 129, ä = 132, ö = 148, ß = 225, Ä = 142, Ö = 153 und Ü = 154. Zum generieren des Zeichens einfach die Alt Taste gedrückt halten und die Zahl eintippen, sobald du die Alt taste losläßt erscheint das Zeichen. Sehr schnell merkst du dir die Kodes für ä ü und ö ohnehin und du kannst den Sticker wieder entfernen.
Hi Andrew - similar skills here, so no comments on that. But I highly recommend using the "US-International" keyboard setting. Once added, it is easy to turn on and off. It allows you to add umlauts by simply preceding your vowel with a quotation mark. ß is Alt + S. So easy to use. http://symbolcodes.tlt.psu.edu/accents/codeint.html#activate
I think that your fluency in German is great. Have you finished the whole German tree?