Vocabulary

Vocabulary Module 1: Das Wetter

In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about the topic ‘the weather’ (das Wetter) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to describe the weather. Go to the DWDS main page and type Wetter in the search box. You will be taken to a site that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’.  Scroll down the page to see this image:

wetter word cloud

This word cloud shows the words that commonly occur with the word Wetter. The larger the word in the image is, the more often it co-occurs with Wetter.

Activity 1

Now, let’s review the meaning of more German adjectives from this word cloud by matching them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

Let’s further explore some of these adjectives with the help of the DWDS corpus.

Activity 2

After looking at the words in this word cloud you most likely recognized that most of them are adjectives. Can you identify four adjectives from the word cloud the are associated with clement weather and three adjectives that are associated with inclement weather? If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

Drag the adjectives into the correct columns.

Activity 3

Click on the word sonnig in the word cloud for Wetter (you can get to it at this link) to be taken to its own DWDS page. When you get there, scroll down to the word cloud. Keep the word cloud open in a separate tab in your browser and refer to it to complete the following activities.

A.

Look at the word cloud for sonnig and find the five adjectives that you see there because they are associated with sonnig.

You can click on the arrow next to each of these words in the word cloud for sonnig to read example sentences. E.g.: Der September in Deutschland war so sonnig und warm wie selten.

B.

You can see that the four most used words with sonnig are the nouns Wintertag, Frühlingstag, Sommertag and Herbsttag. Can you figure out what they mean?

You can click on the arrow next to each of these words in the word cloud for sonnig to read example sentences. E.g.: Es ist ein sonniger Sommertag.

C.

Which noun does NOT refer to sunny weather?

D.

Read the sentences with the expression sonniges Gemüt from the DWDS corpus below. You can click on the arrow next to the word Gemüt in the word cloud for sonnig to read more examples.

Die Zeit, 18.02.2013 (online)
«Er ist ein fröhlicher Junge mit einem sonnigen Gemüt

Die Zeit, 07.07.2011, Nr. 28
Nie hat ihn sein sonniges Gemüt verlassen.

Die Zeit, 07.08.2003, Nr. 33
Ein kräftiger Kerl mit sonnigem Gemüt.

What is the closest English meaning for sonniges Gemüt?

Activity 4

Click on the word kalt in the word cloud for Wetter (you can get to it at this link) to be taken to its own DWDS page. When you get there, scroll down to the word cloud. Keep the word cloud open in a separate tab in your browser and refer to it to complete the following activities.

A.

Look at the word cloud for kalt and find the four adjectives that you see there because they are associated with kalt.

You can click on the arrow next to each of these words in the word cloud for kalt to read example sentences. E.g.: Die Sommer sind lang und heiß, die Winter kalt und feucht.

B.

Among the words from this word cloud, which one is NOT used with kalt in its direct meaning?

You can click on the arrow next to each of these words in the word cloud for kalt to read example sentences.

C.

Read the sentences with the expression kalte Schulter from the DWDS corpus below. You can click on the arrow next to the word Schulter in the word cloud for kalt to read more examples.

Die Zeit, 03.03.2015 (online)
Auch Google zeigte Zuckerberg die kalte Schulter.

Die Zeit, 30.05.2012, Nr. 22
Bislang haben die Deutschen den Populisten die kalte Schulter gezeigt.

Die Zeit, 18.04.2016 (online)
Die Glücksgöttin zeigt Hamilton weiter die kalte Schulter.

What is the closest English meaning for die kalte Schulter zeigen?

Activity 5

Click on the word stürmisch in the word cloud for Wetter (you can get to it at this link) to be taken to its own DWDS page. When you get there, scroll down to the word cloud. Keep the word cloud open in a separate tab in your browser and refer to it to complete the following activities.

A.

Which adjective is frequently used together with stürmisch?

You can click on the arrow next to this word to read example sentences. E.g.: Auch am Wochenende soll es den Angaben zufolge bei dem stürmischen und regnerischen Wetter bleiben.

B.

The following nouns are in this word cloud because they are associated with stürmisch.  Can you identify 2 nouns that are associated with nature and 3 nouns that are associated with social events?

C.

Read the sentences with the expressions stürmischer Applaus / stürmischer Beifall / stürmische Ovation from the DWDS corpus below. You can click on the arrow next to each of these words in the word cloud for stürmisch to read more examples.

Die Zeit, 05.07.2013 (online)
Stürmischen Applaus hat der tschechische Schlagerstar Karel Gott bei seinem ersten Auftritt auf einem Rockfestival geerntet.

Die Zeit, 03.09.2010 (online)
Die Menge feierte den früheren Präsidenten nach der Rede mit stürmischem Beifall.

Die Zeit, 09.03.1962, Nr. 10
NEW YORK – Die UN gab einen Empfang für den Weltraumflieger Glenn, der sich zu den stürmischsten Ovationen auswuchs.

What is the closest English meaning for stürmischer Applaus / stürmischer Beifall / stürmische Ovation?

Activity 6

On your own. Explore the usage of a few other adjectives by clicking on them in the word cloud for Wetter and scrolling down to their own word clouds!

Activity 7

On your own. Using 3-5 adjectives and 3-5 nouns from this module, write two sentences describing the weather of the month you were born and two sentences describing the weather today. Please pay attention to which nouns and adjectives frequently go together! If you want, you may add an idiomatic expression that you learned.

For example:

Im November ist das Wetter oft kalt und nass.
Heute ist ein milder und trockener Frühlingstag, und ich habe auch ein sonniges Gemüt!