1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sie schreiben mit Worten."

"Sie schreiben mit Worten."

Translation:They are writing with words.

November 24, 2017

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

To be precise, there are two different plurals of Wort: Worte and Wörter. Wörter is the plural of word in the sense of the smallest unit of a sentence, whereas Worte is referring to sentences, quotes, short speeches or similar (Das waren große Worte/These were big words), or quotes (Die Worte des berühmten Dichters.../The words of the famous poet....).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    Since this distinction doesn't exist in English, it was used as a pun by Professor Dumbledore in the first "Harry Potter" novel:

    "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"

    I wonder how this was interpreted in the German translation? :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

    I don't remember. The pun just doesn't work so well, but anyway, most Germans are not aware of this distinction....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4of92000

    That really helped with understanding the difference. Thanks for the example.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nora1410xd

    Willkommen!<<, rief er.> Willkommen zu einem neuen Jahr in Hogwarts! Bevor wir mit unserem Bankett beginnen, möchte ich ein paar Worte sagen. Und hier sind sie: Schwachkopf! Schwabbelspeck! Krimskrams! Quiek! Danke sehr!<<

    I started reading harry potter in German this week to help with reading comprehension. I had just finished this chapter


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

    Professor Dumbledore should have said "Wörter," because his words are mere words, disconnected and unrelated. Either the professor misspoke or the German translation is wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GraemeJeal

    I couldn't even finish it in English!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3FtYy1cu

    Great explanation, but it makes me even more confused why we have Worten here instead of Wörtern...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

    Yes, it seems you write with words (mit Wörtern), and the end result is words = Worte. If you're always writing mit Worten, then you're always quoting or plagiarizing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

    Good question... It doesn't make so much sense, unless it means quotations here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

    Note that dictionary = Wörterbuch, not Wortebuch, because the words defined in the dictionary are not connected words, but simply listed alphabetically.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immashootyouu

    so would Woerter be more like a morpheme? and Worte be our regular every day sense of the word? I used to use Woerter all the time before learning this tidbit here, and realize my usage comes from "Woerterbuch", which is a tool that breaks down many words. Your explanation has been helpful, thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

    @immashootyouu Not exactly. "Walked" and "bananas" are Wörter. The word "walked" consists of 2 morphemes: "walk" and "ed." The word "bananas" also consists of 2 morphemes: "banana" and "s." "We walked to the store to buy bananas" are collectively Worte.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Augustine2017

    Wouldn't "Sie schreiben" also be formal "you write / you are writing"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      Yes, if you are using the formal form of addressing someone.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Augustine2017

      Thanks. So then, "You are writing with words" should be an acceptable translation for "Sie schreiben mit Worten.". Yes?
      That was my answer, and it was rejected.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

      Yes, sure. Please report it ;-).


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Torniojaws

      Ich schreibe mit ein Stift


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Puett

      Personally, I write with a pen or a pencil - und damit schreibe ich Wörter!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dclundsgaard

      "You are writing with words" should be acceptable.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarahbarto18

      Yes Puett. I too thought it was rather a nonsense.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHJMa

      'They are writing the words' should be accepted, surely?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

      It's missing "mit" this way. And there is no definite article in the German sentence.

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.