A German Language Course on Historical and Linguistic Principles
Hermann Bluhme & Dmitri Milinski
This course in basic German is designed for native speakers of English and others with a good grasp of the English language. It draws particular attention to the vocabulary shared by both English and German. English and German word pairs of similar meaning and form are presented in groups according to the sound laws which determine their relationship, for instance English t corresponds to German z (pronounce /ts/) in tame – zahm, tongue – Zunge, tin – Zinn, twelve – zwölf and other words. Learners can take advantage of this similarity, which occurs with vowels as well as consonants, to help them learn vocabulary more quickly as well as to guess the rough meaning of an unknown word.
In this course one chapter is devoted to the common European heritage of Greek, Latin, French, Italian and Spanish vocabulary which is shared by English and German. The words which have been selected for this course may not always be of so-called “practical use” that are most frequently taught in conventional language courses. However, the arrangement shows how two closely related languages have many points of general agreement and fine disagreement. The authors have incorporated the results of linguistic research into the material, covering phonetics and many points of grammar. One aim of language teaching is to provide insight into another culture, another to afford a glimpse of another way to look at ideas and the world and this course offers learners a new perspective from which to approach this goal.
When necessary for pedagogical reasons, the authors have neglected purely historical principles of linguistics, such as in the presentation of the strong verb, word order, tenses and particles; instead, these points of grammar have been enriched by modern discoveries in linguistics. The course is not structured for gradual progress, from easy to difficult; therefore you can cover the units in almost any order you prefer. It is recommended to learn the smallest chapters as whole units including the numerous examples in order to reinforce the pattern of sound shifts between both languages, and it is left to the learner where he wants to start after the chapter Basics. For the English translation of vocabulary frequent reference to the word lists at the end is recommended, but the use of a dictionary will prove to be helpful. To acquire an excellent command of the language one has to read German literature carefully and memorise much from familiar and formal use of the language in its spoken and written form; there are longer pieces covering a variety of text types at the end of the course as examples of suitable study material for the learner.
The text is divided into
Basic German Grammar
English Words and their German Relatives
Word Formation and Advanced Grammar with particular attention to gender, strong verbs and particles
A list of high frequency words
Exercises, including German texts
Further Pronunciation Exercises
Further Notes on Gender
A List of All Words used in the Course, beyond those explained in Footnotes
A Short English-German Wordlist
ISBN 9783895864216. LINCOM Coursebooks in Linguistics 17. 400pp. 2010. Students' discounts avaiable. Please ask!