GERMAN Words I cannot understand

Hello, I am learning German, and I do not understand what these words mean:

Could someone explain?
Thank you!

Have you tried searching one of the online dictionaries?

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Yes, you can find all these words in the online dictionaries that appear if you press with the mouse on the unknown words.
But for the first time I can translate them for you:
unbestimmt - indefinite
bestehen- consist of
zusammengesetzt - comlex, compound
folgend- following
gesteigert- increased, intensified

Viel Erfolg!


@ColinJohnstone – Yes, I tried DICT.CC which is really good. sometimes it wouldn’t give the word.:frowning:

@evgueny40 – Thank you!

Evgueny´s translations seem accurate, with one exception:

“zusammengesetzt - comlex, compound”

I think neither “complex” nor “compound” really work as translations. Let´s take a closer look at the word…

zusammen= together
setzen = to put

So, “zusammensetzen” means “to put together” and “zusammengesetzt” is simply a past tense of that. I´d suggest "zusammengesetzt = put together. There are 12 translations of that word on , but all of them have something to do with things being put together.^^

Words are always accompanied by other words who might change their meaning though, so please don´t rely too much on their isolated meanings :slight_smile:

@Paule: It seems to me that all the words are grammar related. Than compound is fine because “compound words” is the correct grammatical expression for “zusammengesetzte Wörter”.

Yeah, “compound” is one of the 12 translations I found on
All I´m saying is that “put together” works better as a general translation.

“It seems to me that all the words are grammar related.”

Sure, but they´re used for other things as well.

I have a lot of fun reading Germans arguing about German in English. Almost as fun as walking from the railway station to the hotel I stayed in last time I was in Bern, realising that it was not the hotel I was meant to stay in, walking all the way back to the railway station to get a taxi to the correct hotel, and then having the taxi take me to the correct hotel, which happened to be next door to the hotel I originally walked to! This only happened because I didn’t bother looking up the location of the hotel when Jolanda told me I should.

p.s. the money in Switzerland is HUGE! The 5FR coin is like a frisbee!

@ Horsecrazy is my favorite and usually the only one I use. One problem you might have had with finding the words is putting them in the correct form for the dictionary. The conjugated forms of verbs, or the declined forms of adjectives very often don’t get results. For verbs, you often need to look for the infinitive form. For adjectives, you usually need to look for the non-declined form to get results. For example, for ‘zusammengesetzte’, you get the best results if you look for ‘zusammengesetzt’. This can be quite difficult for a beginner, but after a while, you will know instinctively how to alter a word to get it in the correct form.


Welcome in Switzerland!


leo is quite good in finding declined forms!

I often use more then one dictionary.


Colin the money may be huge but 5FR won’t buy you much

Yep. I am back in Switzerland. The tiny country with huge money, huge prices, huge amounts of cheese in the food, and huge amounts of confusion since everything needs to be written at least three times.

“ is my favorite and usually the only one I use.”

I´m using as well :slight_smile:

“huge amounts of confusion since everything needs to be written at least three times.”


In Switzerland everything is written in German, French, and Italian… well not everything but the gov stuff


Don’t the Swiss have a fourth official language too - an obscure Romance language spoken natively by folks in a few dozen mountain villages?

Yes Romansh. but I’ve never seen in anywhere. English is practically an official language too


Seeing that you already speak English natively, I guess you are arguably only learning a Swiss language in order to show respect, or whatever? But that also gives you a luxury of choice. (If I were in your shoes I’d probably go for Romansh - just to be different!)

(Having said that I’d already get by in German, and I guess I could make a heroic effort in Italian too - se fosse necessario…:-D)

Well German is quite handy… Not EVERYONE speaks English but nearly everyone (in Zurich at least). I had to send a package in German yesterday morning. You also get tired of telling people “do you speak english?”

Unfortunately I don’t hear much German here, only Swiss German and I can’t understand a word of it.

I’ve never met a Swiss person who speaks Romansh.

Romansh. Some people say it sounds like a mixture of Portuguese and German. I wonder if anyone on LingQ speaks or studies the language.

I find it interesting to become aware of all the obscure languages and dialects of European countries, such as the many dialects of German which may as well be different languages as they are mutually unintelligible. I’m used to there being dozens of dialects spoken in China, but I had previously thought of German as only being “German”.

Yeah, Swiss German is a notoriously strong dialect - it’s really a completely different language from German, I think.

There is a whole range of German dialects, spoken variously in regions throughout Germany and Austria, in Luxembourg, in Lichtenstein, in most of Switzerland, and in small corners of France and Italy. However they vary quite a lot in their “distance” from Hochdeutsch. For example, the Südtirol dialect (spoken in Italy!) is 99% clear to me - it sounds pretty darned close to what I used to hear all the time in Southern Germany.

See, for example, the guy interviewed in this clip: Markus Lanz spricht Südtirolerisch (Pustertaler Dialekt) - YouTube

Sprachen in der Schweiz:


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