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Linguistics

False friends: words that look the same but mean completely different things
July 19, 2018

Learning a new language can definitely be enjoyable, but is by no means child’s play. Ambitious language-learners are never happier than when they stumble across familiar-looking words here...

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‘King Football’ and ball hogs: the language of football
June 18, 2018

‘The ball is round and the game lasts 90 minutes’: this piece of footballing wisdom espoused by Sepp Herberger, a former German national team coach, is a popular quotation. Although n...

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Untranslatable words: lost in translation... or as the Germans would say, “Drachenfutter ist sicher keine Schnapsidee”
May 25, 2018

Language has the ability to fire the imagination. Can you imagine how much more boring the world would be if there were only one uniform language? Languages are fascinating – through them w...

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Homonyms: “Good luck mastering this language!”
April 26, 2018

The German language certainly has its quirks – that’s common knowledge. However, words that fill philologists with enthusiasm often leave German learners rather baffled. A recent vira...

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Where does the word ‘Easter’ really come from? No one knows for sure...
March 27, 2018

From a theological perspective, Easter is the most significant of the Christian festivals and it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In popular belief, Easter is also the classical Sprin...

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The mother of all languages - fact or fiction?
February 07, 2018

There are around 7,000 languages in the world

An almost unfathomable inventory of different words for one and the same thing. Some languages are closely related, others just have common roots, and yet more seemingly have nothing in common at...

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Is the ‘language death of German’ nothing more than humbug?
November 03, 2017

Is good German, the German of poets and thinkers, slowly but surely going extinct?

The younger generations in particular are reproached time and again for contributing to its decline. It is claimed that English words and phrases are taking root in excessive numbers and that th...

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