Corrections in Lesson 14.3



I would recommend the corrections below for lesson 14.3:

German: "von der mir am Telefon nichts erzählen konntest?"
Current English translation: "that you couldn't tell me about on the phone?" 
Recommended English translation: "that you couldn't tell me anything about on the phone?"
Comment: The current translation would be correct for the word "nicht", simply expressing negation. However, the word "nichts" translates as "not anything", and that translation is not currently expressed in the lesson.

Current German: "..., das Stephanie nächste Woche fünfunddreizig wird." 
Recommended German: "..., das Stephanie nächste Woche fünfunddreißig wird."
Comment: Spelling error.

Current German: "Was hast du dir denn vorgestellt?"
Current English translation: "What did you imagine?"
Recommended English translation: "What did you have in mind?"
Comment: The current translation sounds awkward and not the way a native English speaker would speak.

German: "Lass das mal meine Sorge sein."
Current English translation: "I'll take care of that."
Recommended English translation: "Let that be my worry." or "Let me worry about that."
Comment: The current translation is a free translation that is unnecessary and without any direct connection to the German. 

German: "Das kriegen wir schon hin."
Current English translation: "I'm sure we can manage."
Recommended English translation: "We can manage."
Comment: The current English translation begins with "I'm sure", which is confusing and unnecessary. 

German: "Ich habe gedacht, wir grillen" 
Current English translation: "I thought we have a barbecue"
Recommended English translation: "I thought we'll have a barbecue" 
Comment: The current translation is not good English. Additionally, in the second part of the sentence, the translation is "I'll bake a cake", creating an inconsistency in tenses between the first and second parts of the sentence.

German: "Nein, Matthias hat zwar am Telefon was von einer Überraschung gesagt, aber mehr hat er dann auch noch nicht verraten."
Current English translation: "No, Matthias did mention a surprise on the telephone, however he didn't reveal more."  
Recommended English translation: "No, Matthias did say something about a surprise on the telephone, however he didn't reveal more."
Comment: The recommended translation is more literal, and it makes more sense to the learner when trying to understand the German sentence structure as well as reverse-translating from the English to the German. 

Thanking you in advance for your consideration of the above.


Hallo PaulS108!

Thank you very much for your feedback, and for the time and effort you've put into your suggestions! I will pass your points on to the German team. 




I'm somewhat mystified by this preoccupation with "correct" English translation.  Admittedly, I use this site much differently; I lived in Germany many years ago and spoke the language fluently. Therefore, I use the site to help maintain that fluency despite not having anybody with whom to speak other than the one or two weeks a year spent abroad.  Just the same, I never, ever look at the English translation and would highly recommend it as an approach.  The end game is always thinking in the language; spending inordinate time determining whether a phrase was translated correctly into English seems to defeat that purpose.


Hi Robert -

I think you clarified in your own letter an answer to your being "mystified by this preoccupation", namely, that you use the site much differently than I do, presumably because your purpose is not to introduce yourself to German, but rather to assist you in maintaining fluency in the language. It's great that this course is encompassing enough to provide diverse goals for German learners/speakers.

I have never lived in Germany nor have I ever spoken German in the past, and I am still in the elementary stages of learning the language. Learning the rules of grammar and building a useful vocabulary base is essential for me at this stage in order to understand the language structure and how to "manipulate" it for expressing ideas. From this standpoint, one of those learning tools is comparing translations of German language structure to the structure of the other languages I speak or have studied.

It's not enough for me to understand only the general meaning of a sentence. For that, free translations would be fine. To understand what is actually happening in a sentence resulting from its grammatical structure and its use of vocabulary requires building a base of knowledge in the language. For that reason, I ask the questions, and for the ease of learning, I believe that the structure of the translations into English should be as true and similar as possible to the structure of the original German sentence, so long as that translation is grammatically correct and reflects how a native English speaker would speak.

Furthermore, it's worthwhile to note that each lesson requires the learner to do reverse translation, that is, to reconstruct the original German sentence from the English translation. The ability to do that best, in my mind, is through presenting the most accurate English translation of the original German. 

Thinking  in German is, in fact, the ultimate goal. I agree with you on this. But that takes time, knowledge, and practice, and does not happen in the beginning stages of learning a new language. 

I wish you continued success in the course. Each of us must choose to utilise the course  in a way that best tailors to our needs.

All the best, 

P.S. I received a support link for Rocket German so that I can write directly to the support team regarding recommended corrections in the lessons and not flood the forum with suggestions that, in any case, are geared toward the Support Team. So you won't have to be bothered with my "preoccupation":))


To "speed up" the process of learning to think in the language, I would suggest the following exercise.  In the "Write it" quizzes in each module, if you press REVEAL, there is always the German sentence right above the button without an English translation.  Find the level where you can understand the German easily and concentrate on that module for as many times as it takes to make the process second nature.  Then move on to the next module.  I think if you do this industriously every day, you will be amazed how soon you are actually "thinking" in German

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