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  5. "Die Menschen lesen Bücher."

"Die Menschen lesen Bücher."

Translation:The people are reading books.

June 12, 2013



To be exact, "man" and "men" in English can traditionally refer to the human race in general. To while probably inexact to say "men read books", it is not technically incorrect, IMHO.


Man/Men = Mann/Männer; People = Mensch/en, don't you think?


"Person" and "man" can mean the same thing in English.


But this is German.


People or humans. HuMANs


Also nobody would say "the humans are..." unless they're not a human


"The people are" is also acceptable.


Barely acceptable in English. Not commonly used. It is much better to say people are


The president is dumb. The people are rioting. See? It works


This aged pretty well oof


Not true. This sentence refers to a specific group of people--"the people"-- not to people in general. So "The people are reading books" is perfectly acceptable in English.


Agreed. I typed ´men´ and it told me it was wrong, but technically the literal translation is ´men´


Technically, the literal translation is "people" or "humans".

Men = Männer


"People" and "humans" can be synonyms for "men".


In my experience - I am 74 - using "men" when one means "humans" or "people" is becoming less and less common as time goes by. It seems rather sloppy to me; if you say "man" or "men" when you mean "people" you may be misunderstood. When someone hears you say "man" or "men" there is a risk that they might think you meant "man" or "men".


That's true, with the exception of using it at the start of a sentence with no article. "Man is doomed" or "Man doesn't live by bread alone" should still be understood. It's probably still best to avoid it because it doesn't feel gender neutral even though it is.


But it is Menschen instead of Männer in the record


Bucher totally sounds like "Boo Yah!" Just saying.


I laughed at this

[deactivated user]

    And sweet (süß) sounds like Zues! : )


    I thought that was odd and funny, too! But seriously, is that the correct pronunciation?


    You can hear the pronunciation on forvo.com.


    I was goin' to say the same


    Is it really? I read it as quite like "boo yah", with the understanding that "h" in German is soft. Can someone break it down into simpler sound units for me?


    It's close to “boo yah”, except that “ch” is somewhat “stronger” than “y”, close to a “hy” sound, like the first sound in “human” in many accents (unfortunately it can't be broken down any further, it is an elemental sound, specifically a palatal unvoiced fricative). The sound is softer (but still unvoiced, that is like “k” not like “g”) after a consonant, so for example “Mädchen” does sound a lot like “mettyen”. As for the “er” part, it's actually not quite the same as the English “ah” (or German “a” or “ah”), but it is similar. In comparison the German “er” is central (that is between the A in “father” and the one in “fat”, but not quite any of the two exactly) and higher (sort of between “ah” and “uh”).

    Of course this is all true assuming you are a native English speaker, otherwise I could try to put the sounds in perspective based on your mother language.


    I've noticed that in the attempt to explain the ever-confusing-for-English-speakers ‘ich’ sound, I completely forgot to touch on the ‘ü’ pronunciation, which of course isn't really the same as ‘oo’, but rather something between ‘oo’ and ‘ee’. The best way to produce the sound is to say ‘ee’ and then round the lips as if to say ‘oo’ but without moving the tongue. In fact this is what the sound is: a rounded high front vowel, i.e. ‘ee’ with rounded lips.

    If the ‘ü’ in a word is short, then you pronounce ‘i’ (as in ‘pit’) with rounded lips.


    I think you have to begin doing that as a baby


    That's incredibly helpful... I think it's helping me approximate the way it's meant to be said haaha though I'm still not quite there yet. By chance, you also corrected my pronunciation for Mädchen. Heh.

    Danke schön!!


    Gern geschehen!


    Human -> Der Mensch ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, People -> Die Menschen (plural)


    It's difficult to me to differenciate "Mädchen" and "Menschen", when is spoken.


    I thought I was the only one.


    I was floundering between the two words for 10 minutes because I was almost out of hearts.


    Out of hearts? What do you mean?


    Lost hearts was the penalty in the old system. Once you made three mistakes (lost three hearts), you had to repeat the lesson.


    Thanks for clearing that up.


    Wouldn't "Leute" be much more appropriate than "Menschen"?


    I would tend to agree... but that.s just what I went with in German 102..


    Is the 'ch' in Bucher pronounced gutturally like 'challah roll' or dentally like 'Chef'?


    That usually depends on the vowel before the -ch if it is of the group -a, -o, -u, -au it is like your challah roll (I have no idea how to pronounce challah, but guttural sounds about right).

    If it is in the group of the lighter vowels like -e, -i, -ä, -ö, -ü, -ei, -eu, -äu it is the chef-version. That makes Buch an interesting case. In singular it has an guttural -ch, but because of the vowel shift in plural Bücher has a chef-ch. You can hear the difference here: http://www.dict.cc/?s=Buch vs. http://www.dict.cc/?s=b%C3%BCcher

    That is why I would recommend to you to use the ue-workaround if you want to express an umlaut, but don't have the key on your keyboard. This also works for the other 2 umlauts: ö=oe and ä=ae.


    Thanks for the dictionary reference


    The "ch" sound you hear in the word "chef" (which is of course a French word) is the same as our "sh" in ship. It is written "sch" in German and is pronounced "dentally" to use your word. Schiff, schnell, zwischen, etc.

    With all due respect, I must disagree with the following statement from Karlche123: "If it is in the group of the lighter vowels like -e, -i, -ä, -ö, -ü, -ei, -eu, -äu it is the chef-version."

    While it is true that the vowels listed above signalize the softer guttural, the "ch" in German is never pronounced like chef unless it is in a borrowed French word.

    The "ch" in Bücher is a soft guttural and is formed at the back of the tongue (tip lowered, back of tongue raised thereby blocking the air flow.) You cannot easily make this sound if your upper and lower molars are touching. You can, though, say "sh" or the German "sch" with molars touching, even though you probably don't normally do it that way.

    There are people, though, in cities like Cologne and Aachen and the surrounding areas who pronounce the ch in some words (but not all) like an "sch" or our "sh". They say typically Büscher instead of Bücher. Also "isch, misch und disch." The best and cutest example of a typical mispronunciation and an exercise for kids (and foreigners) is "grieschische Geschischte" instead of the correct " griechische Geschichte" (A fun one to practice)

    So much concerning the soft guttural. I hope it helps!


    I learned it was a very soft back of the tongue "ch." But my teachers were from Nurnburg and Swabia.


    It can be palatal, which sounds like alveolar 'sh,' or more guttural, which sounds more like 'k,' depending on dialect.


    whats the difference between "Menschen" and "leute"?


    They could practically be used the same, but "der Mensch" refers the species to which we belong (man). "Leute" is more literally like the English word "people."

    The distinction would probably only matter if you dealing with philosophy or some like discipline.


    Can't Leute also mean "people"?


    Yes, Leute means people in a different way though. Menschen means men or mankind, so it refers our species (rational animal). Many people substitute people for men and person for man used in this sense, because over the centuries man has come be associate more and more exclusively with male men.

    Leute is a people as in the collective noun referring to large group of human beings in one spot. It has no singular form.

    Volk means people in the sense of "a people" an identifiable population e.g. the German people, the American people.

    Most of the distinctions in the way the English word "people" is used only matter in a philosophical context, however.


    Why does this awesome answer have only one upvote? And why can't we give out lingots from the mobile app?


    So...Leute (a large group of people in one spot) should have been used. Unless the sentence meant to convey that mankind is reading...?


    The singular form for 'Die Menschen' would be 'Das Mensch' ?


    About Bucher, I heared the pronunciation "Bu ya" here, and also heared "Bu cha" in another place, wich one is correct?


    Bu-cha with the soft ch. This is known as the "Ich-Laut." Hard ch is called the "Acht-Laut."


    Does anyone know how to tell the difference between "Madchen" and "Menschen"


    das Mädchen -the girl die Mädchen-the girls die Menschen-people


    I mean in the pronunciation


    There is a difference: Mädchen is pronounced "maihd-chen" - the ch is like in the word "sich" . Menschen is the plural of Mensch, the sch sound is like the sh sound in English. Pronounce it "menshen". So the words are different in the vowel pronunciation ,"ä" being sort of between "maid" and "med", and "e" like in men. They also differ in the pronunciation of "ch" and "sch". Go to: http://dict.leo.org/#/search=Mädchen&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on Click on the small arrow next to any word to hear excellent pronunciation.


    hello. can someone please tell me what is the exact difference between "Leute" and "Menschen" seem like both can be translated to "people"


    One difference is that Leute is always plural, a collective term. "Die Menschen" is plural for "der Mensch". Menschen is also the preferred term when speaking of "mankind". In instances where we would say "Man" or "men" in philosophical terms, you would also say "der Mensch" or "Menschen". Also, to differentiate from animals, for example: Say you are out in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly see people, as opposed to rabbits and mountain goats, you might say, "Schau, da laufen Menschen!" (BTW, I think the given sentence is a bit odd - like so many in DL) Maybe it means, humans, as opposed to animals, read books.


    The english translation given makes no sense in english.


    I'm french and I have problems to pronounce correctly words Bücher or Mädchen for exemple, cause in french we doesn't have this "CH" sounds when it's in the middle of the word, do you have some tips cause it sounds wrong.


    Why "the persons read books" is not accepted? Please,anybody ,explane me.Thanks.


    Persons is only used as a plural in philosophical, legal, or technical ways. In normal speech, people is used as the plural of person.


    Would Menschen reffer to "people" as a simple group of humans or to historic groups (like "The Indigenous People", something more anthropolagical)?


    The sense of people as in nation or ethnic group is Volk. Menschen is the species that we belong to.


    I had finished my German course at Memrise, why don't use 'die Leute'? But as usual German has different word to describe something. Like die Oma und die Großmutter.


    It would mean something different with "Leute". There are various good explanations in the comments about the difference between "Leute" and "Menschen" which mostly boil down to: "Leute" is a group of people gathered in one place while "Menschen" focuses more on people as humans rather than animals or, say, martians.

    By the way, English actually has more than one word for "grandmother" like German, actually it has at least three: grandmother, grandma and granny. It's just natural to have different levels of formality in addressing or referring to members of the family and English actually tends to have more variants than German.


    The people Are? Or The people Is?


    In this case, based on the meaning of the original German, "people are". You would use "people is" when referring to a group of people belonging to the same country or culture (a Volk), for example: "the German people is honest" or "the indigenous peoples of Australia have many different languages" (yes, in this sense "people" has itself a plural).


    I'm getting tired of translating this sentence all the time, Duolingo


    Tshould not be marked wrong by omitting THE


    I don't think the definite "the" article is necessary (it doesn't accept the solution without it).


    What's the difference between Menschen and Leute?


    So why is it wrong to say, "the people read books"?

    I thought this sentence could be interpreted as either "the people are reading books" or "the people read books."



    In the summary notes it was mentioned that the plurals of masculine and neutral nouns end with -er, Mensch is masculine, so why is the plural ending with -en (as in case of feminine noun). Is it an exceptional case?

    • 810

    Read the notes carefully, that are just general, typical examples, but exceptions are possible. It says "most masculine or neuter nouns will need the -er ending"


    Sorry, did you say there is summary notes? This is news to me. How do i get the summary notes please, that would help things immensely.

    • 810


    in each chapter (though not always) there's an introduction that should be read before starting with the lessons.


    ... and where I can find it when using the application?


    *and where can I find ... ? If there are any notes, you can see them beneath the lesson options, where you get to select which lesson you'd want to do. Otherwise, you can read the notes by clicking on "Tips & notes" right between the "Quit" button and the hearts when you take the lesson.


    How can one distinguish between 'Menschen' and 'Leute' ?


    I'm of the understanding that Leute sind people, und Menschen sind humanity/Man (the race, as opposed to Orcs).

    EDIT: this may just be an english way of looking at things. User "fredy" might have a better idea than me.


    +1 for "as opposed to Orcs" =D


    You use "die Menschen" for the human race (species) and for men when the meaning is thus "human beings". "Die Leute" is the general term for people. Thereby, you would never say "Hallo, Menschen!", but "Hallo, Leute!".


    If you hover over the word "Menschen" it says "Gender: Masculine". So why the use of "Die" instead of "Der" ?


    Isn't it because plural nouns take Die? Der Mensch but Die Menschen :)


    Why the hell I got downvoted for this, it's a legit question. This community is for learning, let's take it easy guys.


    i dont get it at all :( .. why we used En in Menschen and Er in Bucher ?

    • 810

    There are different ways of making plural in German, you just have to learn the correct plural form of each noun.


    why mankind is incorrect?? I answered: Mankind read books and it turned out to be wrong!!!! WHY??


    "mankind" would translate to Menschheit. Menschen is just the plural of human which would translate to "people" for most cases.


    „Menschheit“ is little more abstract than the English word mankind. (http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Menschheit) It is something closer to humanity. Although the distinctions aren't exactly the same.

    I would say in this vague case that “mankind” is a possible translation for „Menschen.“ However, “mankind” is an abstract singular so it would be ”Mankind reads books.” It could not be “Mankind read books.,” since “mankind” is singular, nor could be “Mankind is reading books,“ since mankind is abstract.

    However, in context this would be an unusual situation. Perhaps someone wanting to distinguish men from both beasts and separated substances would point out that men read books. Brutes lack the intellectual faculties and separated substance, being purely intellectual, lack materiality. The distinguishing feature, therefore, is that mankind reads books.

    But more likely the context for this sentence is a group of human beings, perhaps in a library, reading books. In which case, “Mankind reads books,” would be an absurd rendering.


    Am I correct in thinking that there are -e,-en, and -er plurals?


    They can be. But for writing you really just have to memorize the ways that different nouns are plural. One good rule of thumb is the Feminine nouns always change, and usually end in "n" in plural.

    In reading, the easiest way to know what is plural is the verb and the article.


    Can't I write "people read bücher"? Or I must always write "the people"?


    I got it wrong when I wrote prople instead of the people


    I am so glad there is a comment section for Duolingo. You all make it very easy to understand the concepts of the language ! Thank you! :D


    Why does the voice pronounce the first e in "lesen" like English "tease"? I always thought a single "e" in German was pronounced like the sound in "maze".


    She is pronouncing it like the "a" in "maze"; it is, however, a relatively short e, so you might not notice it.


    well when do we add "er" like Bücher and when do we add "en"??


    The plurals, unfortunately, must simply be memorized.


    again duolingo tells me that the translation for menschen is people (IE of either gender). Last I checked, men was a grammatically correct way of referring to humanity as a whole. PC POLICE


    What is the difference between "Menschen" and "Volk" ?


    I dont have umlauts on my phone....how can i get them.


    A question: at school we learned that "the people" means "tho whole nation"- specific country. And now I am not sure, if that is the same as "die Menschen" - shouldn't it be better without "the" in english version? As you see, English is not my mother languange and I always struggle with "the, a, an" in sentence....


    The people is "das Volk" in German. Mensch is the species that we belong to and Menschen is its plural.


    people can be men or women so can we write "Women read books ?"as some one mentioned "men read books "


    No, because if we write "Women read books" then people think that it's ONLY women reading books and NO men. Same with "Men read books". Whoever said that is wrong.


    shouldn't the English translation be "people" rather than "the people"?


    I don't think so. The definite article in German suggests that we are in fact talking about a specific group of people (I think). Although German and English can have differences in the way they use the definite article, I don't think this is the case here.


    I am neither native english nor german speaker, and just a recent beginner with German. So, I am geting a bit confused with so many different explanations. I would be very grateful if someone could simply tell me:

    • der Mensch / die Menschen / Menschen. Some exemple sentences.

    • Same with "People/ the people".

    • What is the difference in meaning between "Die Menschen lesen Bücher" and "People read books"?

    Thank you very much!


    "Der Mensch liest." (The human reads)

    "Die Menschen lesen." (The humans read)

    The people = Specific group of people (most of the time)

    People = People as a whole group.

    The difference between 'die menschen lesen Bücher' and 'people read books' is the word 'the'. It's not 'people read books' it's 'the people read books'.


    I love learning German

    [deactivated user]

      Why the hell is "People are reading books" wrong???? You don't need to add "The" in English!!!


      Yes you do. "People are reading books" would mean people as a whole are reading books, meaning it's a popular thing to do at this time. "The people are reading books" specifies that it's a group of people that are reading books and it's not a thing that a lot of people are doing generally. Same in German.


      Why not "den" menschen, like it is in another example?


      It is "die Menschen" because it is the subject of the sentence. Der Mensch = the human being, die Menschen = the people.


      What is the difference between Leute and Menschen in the meaning and usage?


      These all seem the same to me. Mensche=human Menschen=people Menscher=person? Please correct me.


      Mensch = Human

      Menschen = Humans

      Menscher = Not a word.


      To be honest, In my opinion, the term 'Mankind' or any phrase where men refers to all humans is dying. Regardless of what the dictionary says it likely has sexist roots and I approve of society distancing itself from the association.

      P.S I am male so call me a raving feminist do it you won't


      how can you say the people


      Has anyone heard ,Bücher, pronounced like that!

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