https://www.duolingo.com/CliffJonesJr

95 Core Concepts in German

  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

What are the most basic, elementary, core concepts that virtually all languages express? Many linguists have put a great deal of effort into answering this question, and several short word lists have come out of it. The most famous are probably the Swadesh lists, based mostly on intuition and refined over time. Later lists like the Leipzig-Jakarta have used more stringent methods to determine which vocabulary items are most resistant to borrowing and change over time.

What I've done here is taken five such word lists (Swadesh 100, Ranked Swadesh 40, Swadesh-Yakhontov, Leipzig-Jakarta, and Woodward) and kept only the items that occur in at least two of the lists. I then translated these 95 concepts into German for your convenience. Enjoy!

Abbreviations:
m = masculine gender ("der")
f = feminine gender ("die")
n = neuter gender ("das")

Nouns:
1) name = Name (m)
2) water = Wasser (n)
3) blood = Blut (n)
4) fire = Feuer (n)
5) stone/rock = Stein (m)
6) dog = Hund (m)
7) fish = Fisch (m)
8) louse/flea = Laus (f), Floh (m)
9) hand/arm = Hand (f), Arm (m)
10) eye = Auge (n)
11) ear = Ohr (n)
12) nose = Nase (f)
13) tongue = Zunge (f)
14) tooth = Zahn (m)
15) bone = Knochen (m)
16) horn = Horn (n)
17) tail = Schwanz (m)
18) egg = Ei (n)
19) leaf = Blatt (n)
20) night/evening = Nacht (f), Abend (m)
21) star = Stern (m)
22) sun = Sonne (f)
23) moon = Mond (m)
24) earth/soil = Erde (f), Boden (m)
25) salt = Salz (n)
26) mountain = Berg (m)
27) tree = Baum (m)
28) rain = Regen (m)
29) wind = Wind (m)
30) bird = Vogel (m)
31) flesh/meat = Fleisch (n)
32) liver = Leber (f)
33) skin/hide = Haut (f)
34) knee = Knie (n)
35) breast/chest = Brust (f)
36) person/human = Mensch (m)
37) man = Mann (m)
38) woman = Frau (f)
39) child = Kind (n)
40) hair/fur = Haar (n), Fell (n)
41) mouth = Mund (m)
42) neck = Hals (m)
43) foot/leg = Fuß (m), Bein (n)
44) feather = Feder (f)
45) grease/fat = Fett (n)
46) smoke = Rauch (m)
47) ash/soot = Asche (f), Ruß (m)
48) sand = Sand (m)
49) wood = Holz (n)
50) root = Wurzel (f)
51) rope/cord = Seil (n), Schnur (f)
52) path/road = Weg (m), Pfad (m), Straße (f)
53) year = Jahr (n)

Verbs:
54) die = sterben
55) see/look/watch = sehen, schauen
56) hear/listen = hören
57) know = wissen, kennen
58) drink = trinken
59) give = geben
60) come = kommen
61) stand = stehen
62) sit/set = sitzen, setzen
63) lie/lay = liegen, legen
64) fly = fliegen
65) eat = essen
66) bite = beißen
67) burn = brennen
68) kill = töten, zerstören
69) say/tell/speak/talk = sagen, sprechen
70) laugh = lachen

Adjectives:
71) new = neu
72) full = voll
73) good = gut
74) long = lang
75) red = rot
76) black = schwarz
77) white = weiß
78) green = grün
79) yellow = gelb
80) small/little = klein, schmal
81) big/large = groß
82) wide/broad = weit, breit
83) heavy = schwer, heftig
84) old = alt
85) dry = trocken, herb

Other:
86) I/me = ich/mich/mir
87) you = du/dich/dir, ihr/euch, Sie/Ihnen
88) what/which = was, welcher/welche/welches
89) who/whom = wer/wen/wem
90) one/a/an = eins, ein/eine/einen/einem/einer
91) two = zwei
92) not/no = nicht/nein
93) this/these = dieser/diese/dies/dieses/diesen/diesem, das
94) we/us = wir/uns
95) all/everything/everyone = alle/allem/allen, alles, jedermann

Please let me know if you spot any mistakes here. And if you take this list and translate it into another language, that would be awesome! I'd be sure to give you some lingots! More versions can be found here. (Be sure to check what's been translated already before posting your own.) And if you like this kind of thing, check out my website for more!

4 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CorryEngelbrecht

Great list! I do wish the nouns included articles, though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CliffJonesJr
  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I just added the genders.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CorryEngelbrecht

Danke!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebas
  • 22
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2

very interesting list. The words become even more similar, when one takes the German consonant shift into account (" th" becomes "d", "t" becomes "ts" or "ss", "d" becomes "t" and more )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_German_consonant_shift

Here some words in English which share the root with the German words:

barrow (Berg), beam (Baum), fowl (Vogel), reek (Rauch), hound (Hund), blade (Blatt)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CliffJonesJr
  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Right, I love phonological connections like these. I studied Spanish in high school, but I didn't discover my passion for linguistics until I was in college studying German (which I really just started because I wanted to go on a study abroad trip). The pronunciation fascinated me. I also love how German grammar is basically just extremely old-fashioned English grammar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lazar.ljubenovic
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 13
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 1208

Serbian (in latin alphabet so you guys can read it)

Nouns:

1) name = ime

2) water = voda

3) blood = krv

4) fire = vatra 5) stone/rock = stena

6) dog = pas

7) fish = riba

8) louse/flea = vaška, buva

9) hand/arm = ruka, šaka

10) eye = oko

11) ear = uvo, uho

12) nose = nos

13) tongue = jezik

14) tooth = zub

15) bone = kost, koska

16) horn = rog

17) tail = rep

18) egg = jaje

19) leaf = list

20) night = noć

21) star = zvezda

22) sun = sunce

23) moon = mesec

24) earth/soil = zemlja, zemljište

25) salt = so

26) mountain = planina

27) tree = drvo

28) rain = kiša

29) wind = vetar

30) bird = ptica

31) flesh/meat = meso

32) liver = jetra

33) skin/hide = koža

34) knee = koleno

35) breast = grudi

36) person = osoba

37) man = muškarac

38) woman = žena

39) child = dete

40) hair = kosa

41) mouth = usta

42) neck = vrat

43) foot/leg = stopalo/noga

44) feather = pero

45) grease/fat = debeo

46) smoke = dim

47) ash/soot = pepeo

48) sand = pesak

49) wood = drvo

50) root = koren

51) rope = konopac, kanap

52) path/road = put

53) year = godina

Verbs:

54) die = umreti

55) see = videti, gledati

56) hear = čuti

57) know = znati

58) drink = piti

59) give = dati

60) come = doći

61) stand = stajati

62) sit = sesti

63) lie/recline = ležati

64) fly = leteti

65) eat = jesti

66) bite = ugristi

67) burn = goreti, paliti

68) kill = ubiti

69) say = reći

70) laugh = smejati se

Adjectives:

71) new = nov

72) full = pun

73) good = dobar

74) long = dugačak

75) red = crven

76) black = crn

77) white = beo

78) green = zelen

79) yellow = žut

80) small = mali

81) big = veliki

82) wide = širok

83) heavy = teak

84) old = star

85) dry = suv, suh

Other:

86) I/me = ja, mene

87) you = ti, Vi, tebe

88) what = šta

89) who/whom = ko/koga/kome

90) one = jedan

91) two = dva

92) not = ne

93) this = ovaj, ova, ovo

94) we/us = mi, nas

95) all = sve, sva, svi

Looks like Serbian fails most of the time. :O

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uroshu
  • 22
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 23

Just to add (for those who want to learn how to say these Serbian words) that the word stress always comes on the first syllable/that you should always stress (emphasize) the first syllable and never the second or the last one (like in some other languages). That rule applies to the words on this list and for most Serbian words as well, but not for every single word in Serbian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lazar.ljubenovic
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 13
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 1208

Unless you're from south. Then you stress the last syllable and make the northerns twitch. :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uroshu
  • 22
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 23

Hahahaha! Exactly, my new friend. (Great streak, man! 45 days - commendable, what else can I say - thumbs up!) =D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ransantiago
  • 11
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 3
  • 2

Wow, this is really helpful! Thank you. :) Wish there were some articles with the nouns though. :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CliffJonesJr
  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I just added the genders.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yukkiisan
  • 21
  • 15
  • 11
  • 9
  • 4

That is interesting! I don’t speak Indo-European languages. When everyone here starts to learn a new language, how do you feel these phonetic connections? Like siblings or cousins? I remember a trivia. In Japan man calls some water “aka”. Aka is special water for God. The word comes from Sanskrit “argha”. It went to west and became “aqua”. But I checked that short tale, the former (aka) is right but latter (aqua) is not sure. I’m sorry and feel lonely. Japanese does not have similar language like these. That is only chat. I wanted to join your conversation. ;-)

(I’ll be happy if someone checks and mentions above these English sentences when you have time.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MustangXY

Hi, native Italian speaker here!

Nouns:

  1. name = nome
  2. water = acqua
  3. blood = sangue
  4. fire = fuoco
  5. stone/rock = pietra/roccia
  6. dog = cane
  7. fish = pesce
  8. louse/flea = pidocchio/pulce
  9. hand/arm = mano/braccio
  10. eye = occhio
  11. ear = orecchio
  12. nose = naso
  13. tongue = lingua
  14. tooth = dente
  15. bone = osso
  16. horn = corno
  17. tail = coda
  18. egg = uovo
  19. leaf = foglia
  20. night = notte
  21. star = stella
  22. sun = Sole
  23. moon = Luna
  24. earth/soil = terra/suolo
  25. salt = sale
  26. mountain = montagna
  27. tree = albero
  28. rain = pioggia
  29. wind = vento
  30. bird = uccello
  31. flesh/meat = carne
  32. liver = fegato
  33. skin/hide = pelle
  34. knee = ginocchio
  35. breast = petto
  36. person = persona
  37. man = uomo
  38. woman = donna
  39. child = bambino/bambina
  40. hair = pelo/capelli
  41. mouth = bocca
  42. neck = collo
  43. foot/leg = piede/gamba
  44. feather = piuma
  45. grease/fat = grasso
  46. smoke = fumo
  47. ash/soot = cenere/fuliggine
  48. sand = sabbia
  49. wood = legno
  50. root = radice
  51. rope = corda
  52. path/road = sentiero/strada
  53. year = anno

Verbs:

  1. die = morire
  2. see = vedere
  3. hear = sentire
  4. know = sapere
  5. drink = bere
  6. give = dare
  7. come = venire
  8. stand = alzarsi/stare in piedi
  9. sit = sedersi
  10. lie/recline = sdraiarsi
  11. fly = volare
  12. eat = mangiare
  13. bite = mordere
  14. burn = bruciare
  15. kill = uccidere
  16. say = dire
  17. laugh = ridere

Adjectives: * four-types kind = male singular, female singular, male plural, female plural.
* two-types kind = male/female singular, male/female plural.

  1. new = nuovo/nuova/nuovi/nuove
  2. full = pieno/piena/pieni/piene
  3. good = buono/buona/buoni/buone
  4. long = lungo/lunga/lunghi/lunghe
  5. red = rosso/rossa/rossi/rosse
  6. black = nero/nera/neri/nere
  7. white = bianco/bianca/bianchi/bianche
  8. green = verde/verdi
  9. yellow = giallo/gialla/gialli/gialle
  10. small = piccolo/piccola/piccoli/piccole
  11. big = grande/grandi
  12. wide = ampio/ampia/ampi/ampie
  13. heavy = pesante/pesanti
  14. old = vecchio/vecchia/vecchi/vecchie
  15. dry = asciutto/secco - asciutta/secca - asciutti/secchi - asciutte/secche

Other:

  1. I/me = io/me
  2. you = tu/Voi (formal)
  3. what = cosa
  4. who/whom = chi/il quale/la quale/i quali/le quali
  5. one = uno/una ["one" can translate both the male singular and the female singular]
  6. two = due
  7. not = no/non
  8. this = questo/questa ["this" can translate both the male singular and the female singular]
  9. we/us = noi
  10. all = tutto/tutti/tutte/tutta
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/An_dz
  • 25
  • 20

Portuguese

Nouns:

  • name = Nome
  • water = Água
  • blood = Sangue
  • fire = Fogo
  • stone/rock = Pedra/Rocha
  • dog = Cão/Cachorro
  • fish = Peixe
  • louse/flea = Piolho / Pulga
  • hand/arm = Mão, Braço
  • eye = Olho
  • ear = Orelha (external) / Ouvido (internal)
  • nose = Nariz
  • tongue = Língua
  • tooth = Dente
  • bone = Osso
  • horn = Chifre (animal horn) / Buzina (sound)
  • tail = Rabo
  • egg = Ovo
  • leaf = Folha
  • night = Noite
  • star = Estrela
  • sun = Sol
  • moon = Lua
  • earth/soil = Terra, solo
  • salt = Sal
  • mountain = Montanha
  • tree = Árvore
  • rain = Chuva
  • wind = Vento
  • bird = Pássaro
  • flesh/meat = Carne
  • liver = Fígado
  • skin/hide = Pele
  • knee = Joelho
  • breast = Busto/Peito
  • person = Pessoa
  • man = Homem
  • woman = Mulher
  • child = Criança
  • hair = Cabelo
  • mouth = Boca
  • neck = Pescoço
  • foot/leg = Pé, Perna
  • feather = Pena/Pluma
  • grease/fat = Graxa/Gordura
  • smoke = Fumaça
  • ash/soot = Cinza, Fuligem
  • sand = Areia
  • wood = Madeira
  • root = Raiz
  • rope = Corda
  • path/road = Caminho/Estrada
  • year = Ano

Verbs:

  • die = Morrer
  • see = Ver/Enxergar
  • hear = Escutar
  • know = Saber, Conhecer
  • drink = Beber
  • give = Dar
  • come = Vir
  • stand = No verb for this, we use many other verbs, best approximations: Ficar, Permanecer, Manter
  • sit = Sentar
  • lie/recline = Reclinar (No verb for lie, we use many other verbs, best appoximation: Ficar)
  • fly = Voar
  • eat = Comer
  • bite = Morder
  • burn = Queimar
  • kill = Matar
  • say = Dizer, Falar
  • laugh = Rir, Gargalhar

Adjectives:

  • new = Novo
  • full = Cheio
  • good = Bom
  • long = Longo, Comprido
  • red = Vermelho
  • black = Preto
  • white = Branco
  • green = Verde
  • yellow = Amarelo
  • small = Pequeno
  • big = Grande
  • wide = Largo, Comprido
  • heavy = Pesado
  • old = Velho
  • dry = Seco

Other:

  • I/me = Eu, Minha, Meu
  • you = Você, Tu, Vocês
  • what = O que
  • who/whom = Quem
  • one = Um/Uma
  • two = Dois/Duas
  • not = Não
  • this = Isso, Essa
  • we/us = Nós
  • all = Todo, Toda, Todos, Todas, Tudo
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ttilip

Nice list....it would be great if the gender for the words is also include....Like Das Wasser...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samy1979
  • 25
  • 17
  • 1887

1) name = Der Name 2) water = Das Wasser 3) blood = Das Blut 4) fire = Das Feuer 5) stone/rock = Der Stein 6) dog = Der Hund 7) fish = Der Fisch 8) louse/flea = Die Laus, Der Floh 9) hand/arm = Die Hand, Der Arm 10) eye = Das Auge 11) ear = Das Ohr 12) nose = Die Nase 13) tongue = Die Zunge 14) tooth = Der Zahn 15) bone = Der Knochen, Das Bein (actually this is leg, not bone) 16) horn = Das Horn 17) tail = Der Schwanz 18) egg = Das Ei 19) leaf = Das Blatt 20) night = Die Nacht 21) star = Der Stern 22) sun = Die Sonne 23) moon = Der Mond 24) earth/soil = Die Erde,Der Boden 25) salt = Das Salz 26) mountain =Der Berg 27) tree = Der Baum 28) rain = Der Regen 29) wind = Der Wind 30) bird = Der Vogel 31) flesh/meat = Das Fleisch 32) liver =Die Leber 33) skin/hide = Die Haut 34) knee = Das Knie 35) breast = Die Brust 36) person = Der Mensch 37) man = Der Mann 38) woman = Die Frau 39) child = Das Kind 40) hair = Das Haar 41) mouth = Der Mund 42) neck = Der Hals 43) foot/leg = Der Fuß, Das Bein 44) feather = Die Feder 45) grease/fat = Das Fett 46) smoke = Der Rauch 47) ash/soot = Die Asche, Der Ruß 48) sand = Der Sand 49) wood = Das Holz 50) root = Die Wurzel 51) rope = Das Seil 52) path/road = Der Weg, Der Pfad, Die Straße 53) year = Das Jahr

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CliffJonesJr
  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I just added the genders.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pinerezuhia
  • 20
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

Me gustó mucho tu lista, gracias. I liked much your list, thak you.

4 years ago
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.