Exploring a new word

When I switched on the computer this morning, I saw this intriguing image and hovered over it to see what was being celebrated.  Apparently it is the 115th anniversary of the discovery of Röntgenstrahlung, a word I can guess at but certainly wouldn´t have known how to produce myself, either in speech or in writing.

First step, look it up with an on-line dictionary such as bab.la  I learn that

Röntgenstrahlung = X rays  and röntgen = to x-ray and Strahlung = radiation  

There is a lot in the news about nuclear radiation at the moment.  This also reminds me of school physics: heat travelling by conduction, convection or radiation.

Second step, check that you have the meaning right.  It pays to be suspicious

Use both ends of the dictionary to check the translation is correct  (English-German and German-English in this case)

x-ray image =Röntgenbild.  Bild = picture, so far so good … x-ray department =Röntgen-Abteilung.    Abteilung = department.  OK, I think I can have confidence that Röntgenstrahlung means x-ray ray, the ray itself as opposed to  the ex-ray picture.

Find some images to make sure you are right  I use Google images

By this time you might or might not be able to remember, very short-term, how to spell this new word.  Either way, it doesn´t matter, it is just interesting to notice.  My guess was wrong, as you will see above, should have been Röntgenstrahlung. 

Google images gives a range of pictures you can check with.  My favourite this time was the one given below, but I was sorely tempted by the x-ray of the green and blue penguin.  Humour helps memory.

 I am still happy that we are on the right track.  I would now just like find out what Röhre means, probably the x-ray machine?  Wrong.  It means a tube, a duct or a pipe.  Not to worry, the main thing now is to see if I can remember, very short-term, what an e-ray ray is in German. 

Röh.. not the h yet.  Röntgstrahlung?  Wrong.  Röntgenstrahlung.  With a name like Jenny I should be able to remember the gen in the middle.  I will try again another day, but in the meanwhile I can definitely discuss the google  and its picture of the day if I am stuck for conversation. If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.   

Happy hunting!

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About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
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