|danthemango at gmail.com|
A little about me; I lived in Germany for 11 years, and spoke fluent German, but now I live in Canada, and my English surpasses my German. I hope to contribute to German, and I'll see how much of it I remember.
Notes on German
I really like the way http://www.mangolanguages.com/ introduces you to the languages, showing you common phrases, telling you what they mean, then telling you the words they're constructed from, then translating them individually. (what I don't like about mangolanguages are the prices $160 FOR 3 MONTHS are you serious??)
For example, there's a debate, should we use Mein Name ist or Ich heiße. I would gladly display both and say:
- Mein Name ist - My name is
- Ich heiße - I'm called
(note, the colours are actually what ML used, or maybe it was highlighting? w/e) The downside is making this look alright is difficult, and another is the formatting: <span style="color:red">My</span> <span style="color:blue">name</span> <span style="color:black">is</span>
a whole line for 3 words of printed dialog. Not efficient.
- Hmm, may I comment here? My thoughts on "Mein Name ist ...": it's correct German, you will be understood, but hardly any German ever talks this way. Thus, if you learn "Mein Name ist ..." and you speak to Germans in German you will sound funny and you won't understand what the Germans are saying (because they are going to use "Ich heiße ..."). Thus, for actually learning to talk and understand German you should learn "heißen". Teaching "Mein Name ist ..." makes things more complicated than they are by pretending that there is a choice where there in reality isn't. (When language students are given this type of choice they always ask, when to use which? And do I have to learn both? The answer here is very clear: you always use "heißen"; you don't have to learn "Mein Name ist ...".) But there are arguments in favor of "Mein Name ist ...": it is easier to understand and remember for English speakers and you learn quite a few very important words ("mein", "Name", "ist"). But these advantages are lost when you try to teach both alternatives. Thus, I would stick to "Ich heiße ...."
- I think a blue font color indicates a hyperlink and a red font color indicates a broken hyperlink. That's the standard and it might be a good idea to stick to it. Thus, I would rather prefer to use italics, bold type, underlining, or a different background color to mark different parts of language. For beginners it's often good to have a word-by-word translation. The best format for that might be to put the translation below each word in a table (see for example: ) .--Martin Kraus (discuss • contribs) 12:13, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't exactly plan on changing anything drastic because this book is already stuck in development hell (7 years of activity, and we're halfway done? srsly guys?), so might as well help the place finish, as is. Maybe my notes can help BLL German, or some shmuck who wishes to change the book from the ground up, then leave it hanging halfway through. It's not like I blame you guys, you aren't being paid, but maybe sometimes people overestimate the power of the crowd.