Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Der kleine Delphin schlägt Purzelbäume?

Let me know if/when you (come to) understand this title! Let's take a good look at it together, now. -- Hmmm. You can see the verb is "schlagen," which means "to hit; to strike". What about "der kleine Delphin"? (think: marine life), and "Purzelbäume"? (You know: der Baum, and its plural: die Bäume. So what kind of trees will appear in this story!) --> Answers below.

• FOUND: An online source for German Books!

• With free downloaded ICDL Book Reader software (University of Maryland),


maybe I won't need to buy an iPAD or a KINDLE after all. Thanks to this site, there is a growing number of 'Deutsche Bücher' available right on my own computer. German is one of the languages (Home Page, upper right) one can select. Then, it's a matter of spinning the globe to select where you'd like your story to come from, and then, if there are more than one language versions, making sure you choose the German one.

Below is a book (selected from the European continent) that I really enjoy. It's a series of clever animal stories, with the title story coming first:

= Why the little Dolphin Cartwheels Strikes,

(-- We'd say 'turns' instead of "strikes', wouldn't we? I suppose we'd also find ourselves "straightening out" that unique German word order!)

UND ANDERE GESCHICHTEN = and other stories.

By Ulises Wensell • Illustrated by Ana Maria Machado

--> So, when you see the BLOG title as listed above, will you immediately envision a little dolphin?
And will you remember what 'Purzelbäume' are, AND, also which verb is used here? I'm pretty confident that you will.

Let's look at a little more vocabulary. This is from the first page of the title story:

• besonders -- hoch - springen - können
=particularly -high -- jump --- (is) able to

• gern träumen = to gladly (like to) dream

• sich oft vorstellen = often imagine (one)self

• mit - den - Möwen - neben - den - Schiffen - herfliegen
=with - the - seagulls - next to (the) ships - (to) fly after

• sich plötzlich verlieben = to suddenly fall in love

• eine Sternschnuppe --> Any guesses where to start to define this long word?

HINT: This is one of those compound nouns in German, which takes its gender from the noun at the end of the word. Here, there are only two nouns combined:
- - - - der Stern, and - - - - die Schnuppe.

You may remember der Stern = the star.

Well, die Schnuppe is an interesting word in German. It means "Snuff" (ja Tabak!). But put these two words together, and you get (not star-snuff, but) "shooting star!"

• eine Delphindame (Any guesses here? Yup! Its also a compound noun featuring two different nouns. If you can find them, you can figure out this word on your own. Happy sleuthing!)

--> You now have enough vocabulary to write your own story here! That's a great idea, by the way. You know I'd love to read what you come up with, too.

--> Read the rest of the story, and keep track of all the interesting underwater vocabulary!

These other great stories follow that (very cute) dolphin story:



---------4. PACO, DER PAPAGEI (Papagei = Parrot! Isn't this a great word in German? Pronunciation: 'PA-pa-GUY'!)

•••> Wusstest Du, das Papageien auch Purzelbäume schlagen können? Man lernt das hier, in dieser Geschichte. (Hint: "die Geschichte" = 'the story' -- OR 'history'; and when you think about it, both of those words are related in English, too.)

•••> Welche Geschichte hast Du am liebsten? ....... Warum? ...........

OK. Another story that I've not only read, but I also downloaded from ICDL, is called:

GLÜCK IM UNGLÜCK, by Hans Wilhelm.

This title includes an interesting word that we in English got from the German language, luck. And in German, there are several words for luck, both GOOD and BAD. Into which column do you think "das Glück" falls? You'd be right, if you guessed "Good Luck" (although to wish someone "Good Luck", you'd say: "Glück auf!", or "Up with the Good Luck!").

One of the words for BAD luck appears in the title above. Find it there now, and I bet you'll remember it FOREVER!

(By the way, the other word that is often used for BAD luck is: "das Pech", which is ALSO another word for tar! If you were to grumble about your BAD luck, you might say: "So ein Pech!", or "Such bad luck.")

• As part of the package from the download, I can select if I'd like to view this book in "comic book format" with all its pages on display, or as a single page, as 2 pages, open book style, and even what background colors I'd like to see while reading. Since the text on this book seemed less clear than on the previous book, I bumped up the image, and WOW! Up popped the larger text with the clarity I needed to read effortlessly.

I'm already a big fan of this service! Let me know if you like this way of finding German literature, too.

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