284 words in a month #4 – Whisky

Photo credit: screenprint from Google Images

When I was still at school we had a dog called Whisky, a Border Terrier. Each morning I used to take him for a walk in the fields by the river Medway in Kent. Normally I had a vocabulary book in my pocket, trying to learn my homework for French, Latin, German or Spanish. Other subjects like history and geography didn´t get taken to the river because the exercise books were too big for my pocket.
The challenge for today is to write five words on each side of a piece of card or paper, then take it for a walk, regardless of the weather How about learning five words walking in one direction then the other five coming back? The rhythm of the walking can help you remember the words.
English/ German
cerebral – of the brain  (das) Gehirn… ; zerebral                                                        foundation – the base of a building, an organisation, the setting-up process                       das Fundament, die Stiftung; die Gründung
photograph – bet you know this one already!  It can also be a verb, to photograph            die Fotografie (but I will learn das Foto; fotografieren)                                                                immense – huge, enormous  immens (an immense number – die Unzahl)                provide – to give, to make available. A town might be well provided with schools – plenty of schools.  bieten
provided that – unless, “only if not” – provided that it doesn´t snow.                             sofern; vorausgesetzt dass
immobilized – made still, stopped the movement of something or someone. If you break your arm, a sling will immobilize it until the hospital can put your arm in plaster.  bewegungsunfähig (movement-unable) festgelegt adj (tight/fast laid)
prospective – potential; things that are being looked at in advance – there are several prospective candidates for the job.  zukünftlich; voraussichtlich
chief; leader (noun) or , main (adjective)  Chef, Leiter; haupt, erste(r)
formulate – to make a careful list e.g. government policies, suggestions, courses of action  formulieren
plausible – (plau rhymes with “four”) believable, seeming likely (like an excuse for being late)  plausibel; glaubwürdig

A note about words like PROVIDED
Sometimes dictionaries offer too much help. They show an immense variety of possible ways of using a word. There are three main courses of action when this happens:
1. Give up and complain to a friend how confusing it all is. This is the natural reaction. It is what most people do. But not you, you are a persistent linguist.
2. Choose the option that seems best for now, and use it. If you are wrong, sooner or later someone will let you know.
3. Take time to really study the word and its possible phrases. IT IS WORTH IT. The reason that this word is tricky is that it is immensely useful and people have used it over and over again in different ways and situations. Maybe the dictionary offers 20 examples. In that case you could take the three or four uses that you think are best suited to your needs. Write them out long-hand. This seems to cement them in your cerebral equipment better than typing them.
 The real challenge for today is to get out, regardless of the weather. As I write this, the temperature is minus 11 degrees centigrade. Tell me – did you survive today´s challenge?


About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
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2 Responses to 284 words in a month #4 – Whisky

  1. jennifer says:

    I may survive the challenge provided that it hadn’t snowed so heavily today….haha;-)the excuse seems not plausible…I just walked atound in my house and recited the words….I may try go out next time when flowers are blooming in the spring. it is really an awesome idea to help remember the words

    • Hi Jennifer
      Well done, you were more successful that I was yesterday. My excuse is not very plausible either! I printed out my German words to learn, and put them in my bag when I went down town to meet a friend for coffee. The trouble was that I got distracted by the cold weather and forgot to take the list out of my bag. Not very clever!! I will try again today.

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