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Kenny同志

separability tag in German-English dictionary

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Kenny同志

Do we have any German speakers here? Well, I need your help with a tag in a German-English dictionary.

 

Unfortunately, I don't have the dictionary at hand or I might have figured out what it meant. Anyway, given the available information, am I right in saying that it refers to syllabification? Or rather it refers to separability of compound German verbs?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

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renzhe

Most likely the latter. Many German verbs are formed by adding a prefix to an already existing verb. Sometimes you have to split such a verb up when conjugating it (e.g. to form the past tense), but not always.

Example:

setzen -- to put, to set

gesetzt -- past participle (put, set)

ich setze -- first person indicative present (I put, I set)

umsetzen -- to implement (um + setzen)

umgesetzt

ich setze um

but!

übersetzen -- to translate (über + setzen)

übersetzt

ich übersetze

Dictionaries point these things out.

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Kenny同志

I see. Many thanks Renzhe.

 

It seems German is a frighteningly difficult language!

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renzhe

It's one of the easiest languages I've learned, actually.

Conjugations and declensions are a bit scary at first, but you quickly get the hang of them. The real difficulty for me are the grammatical genders, which are highly irregular.

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wibr

@renzhe übersetzen also means to cross a river with a ferry or something (less common usage), and in that case it would be: Ich setze über :D

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renzhe

In that case, I'd use "rübersetzen" to make it clear, so it didn't cross my mind :)

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Kenny同志
Conjugations and declensions are a bit scary at first, but you quickly get the hang of them.

 

That's good. Danke. :mrgreen:

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