Vocabulary

Vocabulary Module 10: Hobby

In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about hobbies (das Hobby – die Hobbys) and leisure (die Freizeit) 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 talk about their hobbies. Go to DWDS homepage and type Hobby in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section.

DWDS word profile for “Hobby” retrieved July 21, 2021.

The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word Hobby. They are called collocates of Hobby. The larger the word is in the cloud, the more frequently it co-occurs with Hobby. You can also see a numerical representation of the frequency of co-occurrence by looking at the Überblick table for Hobby accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

Activity 1

A.

Look at the list of some favorite hobbies listed in this word cloud and match them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

B.

You probably noticed that most of the nouns describing hobbies look like verbs. This is correct: many nouns that describe activities are verb infinitives (with an -n or -en ending) turned into nouns. As nouns, they are capitalized and are neuter (i.e., they go with the article das). They correspond to the English -ing forms. In the list of hobbies below, find ONE noun that is NOT a nominalized infinitive (although it also goes with the article das).

C.

Now let’s see if you can identify which words in the following sentences taken from DWDS are nouns and which are verbs.

For example: Mein Lieblingshobby ist Fotografieren. Anja und Martin fotografieren gern.

D.

The 5 mostly used adjectives in this word cloud are ausgefallen, kostspielig, teuer, ungewöhnlich, and zeitaufwendig. Can you match them with their English equivalents? First read the example sentences for each adjective used with Hobby. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO. Note the spelling of the plural form Hobbys (vs. the English ‘hobbies’).

  • Aber daneben zählt auch der Lebenslauf: längere Auslandsaufenthalte, exotische Sprachkenntnisse, ausgefallene Hobbys.
    Die Zeit, 31.01.2011, Nr. 05
  • Aber genau wie bei den schulfreien Samstagen kommt die Freizeit vor allem den Familien zugute, die sich kostspielige Hobbys leisten können.
    Die Zeit, 20.02.2008, Nr. 09
  • Sie haben keine teuren Hobbys, gehen nicht ins Kino oder Theater, auf Konzerte oder zum Fußball ins Stadion.
    Die Zeit, 30.04.2013, Nr. 14
  • Wenn jemand ein ungewöhnliches Hobby hat oder einen besonderen Lebensweg, dann ist das doch hoch spannend und inspirierend, das sollte man nicht für sich behalten.
    Die Zeit, 24.08.2013, Nr. 0
  • 3D-Drucken ist ein zeitaufwendiges Hobby und erfordert technisches Verständnis.
    Die Zeit, 24.09.2012, Nr. 39

Activity 2

A.

One of the collocates of Hobby is Freizeit (‘free time, leisure’). Let`s find out more about popular leisure activities in German-speaking countries. Click on Freizeit in the word cloud for Hobby, scroll down to the word cloud, and select six activities that you see there in the list below.

B.

Now, can you figure out the meaning of these words and other nouns from the word cloud for Freizeit? Match the words with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

C.

It is important to learn the German nouns together with their articles. Look at the 13 nouns that you learned in this module in the list below and identify 4 nouns that go with der, 5 nouns that go with die, 3 nouns that go with das and 1 noun that goes with the plural die.

Drag the words below into the correct columns.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Professionelle Berufsberatung für das Arbeitsfeld Sport, Fitness und Freizeit bietet die Sport-Job GmbH aus Köln.

You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

Activity 3

A.

Sport is a frequent collocate of Freizeit. Go back to the DWDS homepage and search for the word Sportart. Scroll down to the word cloud and look for all different sport types. Match them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

B.

Next, click on Handball. Read the examples taken from DWDS below and identify 5 Sportarten which were not mentioned above (A).  Then match those nouns with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

C.

It is important to learn the German nouns together with their articles. Look at the 22 nouns that you learned in this module in the list below and identify 7 nouns that go with der, 2 nouns that go with die, and 13 nouns that go with das.

Drag the words below into the correct columns.

Activity 4

Just like in English, each sport activity is used with a specific verb in German. If the sport is a game, the verb spielen (’to play’) is used. The verb machen (’to do’) is used with other sports, for example:

  • Nein, sie macht Judo.
    Die Zeit, 30.03.2000, Nr. 14
  • Er spielt Handball in der Jugend-Nationalmannschaft, studiert Wirtschaft in Kopenhagen und Harvard
    Die Zeit, 18.10.2012, Nr. 43

Read the examples taken from DWDS corpus die ZEIT below and fill the gaps in the sentences with the correct verb that goes with each sport.

Pay attention to the number (spielen or spielt, machen or macht).

Activity 5

Just like in English, one can ‘play’ (spielen) not only sports and games in German. Read the examples taken from DWDS below and identify 6 nouns associated with the verb spielen. Click on the 6 mostly used nouns. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO or you can look at the word cloud for spielen.

Activity 6

On your own. Using the word clouds from this module, write 4-5 sentences about your Hobbys. While writing the sentences, please pay attention to the specific verbs used with each activity.

For example:

  • Schwimmen und Kegeln sind meine Hobbys.
  • Montags und mittwochs spiele ich mit Lisa Tennis.
  • Wir machen in der Freizeit auch Yoga.