German Lessons

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Celebrating in German

New Year's Eve is just around the corner! We at Yabla wish you einen guten Rutsch and hope to contribute to your festivities with some relevant vocabulary.

 

Eine kurze Frage: Wie feiern Sie Weihnachten? -Mit der Familie.

A quick question: How do you celebrate Christmas? -With the family.

Caption 10, Weihnachtsinterviews - Diane in Karlsruhe

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Wir werden wahrscheinlich mit ein paar Freunden feiern.

We will probably celebrate with a few friends.

Caption 5, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

The noun die Feier is used for a party or celebration, although it's normal to hear die Party as well. You may remember from our recent newsletter that the preposition auf is used: Wir gehen auf eine Party for "We're going to a party," and Wir sind auf einer Party for "We're at a party."

 

Hauptsache sie haben Spaß. -Hauptsache: Party und schöne Stimmung!

The main thing is that they have fun. -The main thing: party and good vibes!

Caption 63, Fastnacht - Karneval - Karnevalisten

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Und natürlich drückt das auf die Partystimmung.

And, of course, that puts a damper on the party atmosphere.

Caption 60, Heute-Show - 30 Jahre Mauerfall: So feiern die Deutschen ihre Einheit

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Fun fact: die Stimmung can refer to instruments being in tune, but also means "mood" or "atmosphere." 

And finally, a slang usage related to celebration is Lass es krachen!, which literally means "Make noise!" 

 

Also, dann wünsch ich dir viel Spaß.

So, then I hope you have a lot of fun.

-Danke schön. -Und lass es krachen!

-Thank you. -And make some noise!

Caption 17, Fasching - mit Cettina

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
For more about New Year's Eve in Germany, you can do a quick search for our related videos on Yabla German. You can also review our previous newsletters on the topic: Learn about the origins of the word Silvester and make a few New Year's resolutions in German!

An Extra False Friend

The German adjectival prefix Extra- can often be translated as the English adjective "extra." If you wish to use "extra" as an adjective in German, it is not usually a freestanding word (excepting certain anglicisms such as extra dry) but is instead added to whatever noun is being modified. Let's first take a look at examples of the German adjectival prefix Extra-:

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Niemand hat einen Extrapullover für Catherine? Leute!

Nobody has an extra pullover for Catherine? People!

Caption 49, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Die Konjunktion „dass“

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Ein Extrapaar Schuhe ist auch immer praktisch.

An extra pair of shoes is also always practical.

Caption 21, Christiane - fährt in den Urlaub

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Note that it would not be correct to write extra Pullover or extra Paar, instead the adjectival prefix Extra- is placed together with the noun: Extrapullover and Extrapaar. In some cases where extra is required to modify another adjective, it is still written in lower case, such as in extragroß ("extra large") and extrastark ("extra strong").

 

The German adverb extra, however, is usually a false friend, meaning it is written the same way in both languages but has a different meaning:

 

Die hab ich dir jetzt extra geholt, jetzt komm schon.

I got it especially for you, now come on.

Caption 58, Die Pfefferkörner - Eigentor - Part 1

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Ach so, stimmt! Extra hergeflogen aus Saudi-Arabien.

Oh, that's right! Especially flown here from Saudi Arabia.

Caption 30, Fasching - mit Cettina - Part 2

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As you see in the above examples, the German adverb extra is usually translated into English as "especially." However, sometimes the word "especially" is a bit too simplistic for the context, and it is better to use a more tailored translation such as "for the occasion" or "for that reason": 

 

Manfred Schoof hat extra 'ne einfache Melodie komponiert.

Manfred Schoof composed a simple melody for the occasion.

Caption 5, Bibliothek der Sachgeschichten - Müllmännerlied

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Und die Hölzer kommen dort meist nicht von extra angelegten Plantagen.

And the wood there does not usually come from plantations cultivated for that reason.

Caption 27, Umweltschutz - WWF zur Rettung des Regenwaldes

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Further Learning
Come up with a good phrase that you can use as a mnemonic device for remembering the difference between the adjectival prefix Extra- and the adverb extra. Here's such an example that works for me — as do most things chocolate:

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Ich habe einen Extrariegel Schokolade extra für dich mitgenommen.
I've taken an extra bar of chocolate along especially for you.

 

Look for other examples of the German adjectival prefix Extra- and adverb extra in use in a real-world context on Yabla German and learn some other ways in which the word can be used.

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