In 2013, German linguists calculated that the vocabulary of the German language, along with official words, slang, scientific terms, outdated and modern vocabulary, has about 5.3 million units. Four years later, the Duden dictionary fixed a new figure - 23 million units. At the same time, only 12–16 thousand words are enough for full communication. The main difficulty is not to memorize them, but to use them correctly.
Often you hear such a complaint: there is only one word in Russian for such a phenomenon, object or action, and in German a few. For example, the word “sound” is both Ton (this word also has a homonym with the meaning “clay”), and Laut (in phonetics), and Klang (in music), and even Schall (in acoustics): Tonfilm - sound film , Lautschrift - phonetic writing, Orgelklang - sound organ, Schallwelle - sound wave. In such cases, memorization in context or in phrases helps just fine.
Slightly more difficult to deal with long German words consisting of several roots, they are usually translated into Russian with phrases. For example, Haftpflichtversicherung - insurance of material, physical and moral damage caused by negligence, the necessary acquisition, if you live in Germany. Speaking about the longest German words, it is worth remembering the noun Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft - The Society of Junior Supervisors of the Construction Supervision Authority under the General Directorate for Electric Services of the Danube Shipping Company, which got into the Ginh Records, which got into the Ginnes Records. Long in German and numerals - because they are written together, which allows you to fill a whole page of printed text, describing only one value.
Studying new vocabulary, we are so happy at the sight of international words that we often fall into the arms of the false friends of the translator - foreign words similar in spelling and / or pronunciation to words in their native language, but differing in meaning. For example, the German Dekret coincides with Russian decree only within the meaning of a decree of an authority or official; maternity leave is Elternzeit. The weight of a centner (Zentner) in German is equivalent to 50 kg, and not the usual 100 kg; Dom is the cathedral, the house is Haus, and haos is Chaos.
In order not to repeat the mistake of the British spy, the hero Michael Fassbender, in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Inglorious Bastards”, when ordering drinks at the bar, you should remember that the Germans count on their fingers, starting with their thumb, and not with their index finger or little finger. Thus, ordering three cups of beer at Oktoberfest, you show the waiter a big, index and middle fingers. To attract the attention of the waiter, another gesture is enough - to lift up a hand or index finger. By the way, the gesture from the Russian drinking tradition is a click on the throat, it is “to lay a tie”, familiar only to connoisseurs of Russian culture, therefore, the desire to begin libation will have to be explained in another way.
It is also not surprising if you come to an open lesson at school, you will see a somewhat unusual style of students to attract the attention of the teacher. They snap their fingers! The university is usually not practiced. However, there you will find something less resonant. After a successful report at the conference, instead of the usual and well-deserved applause, the roar from knocking knuckles on the desks or stomping falls on you.