Vocabulary

Vocabulary Module 11: Kunst

In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about arts (die Kunst) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  One of the most prominent arts is music (die Musik). Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about music. Go to DWDS homepage and type Musik 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 “Musik” retrieved July 27, 2021.

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

Activity 1

A.

First, look at the word cloud and identify 10 adjectives that describe Musik. You can consult the online dictionary LEO for their meaning.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Es gab viel neue Musik, und alle Bands der Welt spielten hier.

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

B.

Now, let’s explore some verb collocates of Musik.

C.

Match the verbs from 1B with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

D.

Now read the two example sets with the verb spielen and the noun Musik below and decide if they are similar or different.

1.

  • Die Musik spielt im Internet:
    Die Zeit, 15.06.2011 (online)
  • Ich will laut Musik spielen. /Ich will mich zurückziehen./ Mama, ich will mein eigenes Zimmer. /Das ist mein Traum für immer.«
    Die Zeit, 03.05.2011, Nr. 01
  • Die Hand ist es, die diese Musik spielt, nicht der Pianist.
    Die Zeit, 01.10.2014, Nr. 41

2.

  • Musik spielte immer eine wichtige Rolle in unserer Familie.
    Die Zeit, 19.11.2017, Nr. 47
  • Musik spielt in Ihrem Leben eine große Rolle.
    Die Zeit, 13.11.2015 (online)
  • Auch Musik spielte zu dieser Zeit eine große Rolle im Unterricht.
    Die Zeit, 26.03.2009, Nr. 14

E.

Now, let’s find out what other arts are frequently mentioned in German texts in conjunction with Musik. Look at the nouns in the word cloud for Musik and select 5 nouns from the list below that refer to arts. If needed, you can consult LEO.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: So viele Ideen konkurrierten miteinander, in Musik, Literatur und Malerei.

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

Activity 2

Next, click on the adjective klassisch in the word cloud for Musik and scroll down to its own word cloud. You can see that most of the collocates of klassisch are nouns, and many refer to arts. Read the DWDS examples with klassisch below and decide what this word means.

  • Den Diskus haben schon die Griechen in der klassischen Antike geworfen, die Statue des Bildhauers Myron verleiht dem Athleten die Aura des Wahren, Schönen, Guten.
    Die Zeit, 29.08.2011, Nr. 35
  • Als klassisches Beispiel [für den Klimawandel] nennt er Naturkatastrophen, wie etwa die Elbeflut im vergangenen Jahr.
    Die Welt, 10.12.2003
  • Neben der klassischen und jüdischen Musik mag ich aber auch das Musical.
    Der Tagesspiegel, 05.11.2004
  • Das Restaurant geht über mehrere Etagen und verbindet klassische Literatur mit Hardrock, ist aber meistens ziemlich laut.
    Die Zeit, 02.07.2012, Nr. 26
  • Nach ihrer Ausbildung in klassischem und modernem Tanz arbeitete sie zunächst als Interpretin.
    Der Tagesspiegel, 29.07.2004
  • Beide sind gut verwurzelt im klassischen Repertoire, aber lieben auch Popmusik.
    Die Zeit, 18.11.2013, Nr. 46

Activity 3

Now search for the adjective zeitgenössisch (‘contemporary’) that is frequently used as an antonym (a word with an opposite meaning) of klassisch from the DWDS start page. Scroll down to the word cloud.

A.

You can see many nouns in the word cloud for zeitgenössisch. Some of them refer to art forms and others to people who do these arts. Match artists to arts listed below.

You probably noticed that all these terms describing artists are der-words and refer to male persons. This reflects the fact that male artists are mentioned more frequently in German texts than their female counterparts. However, please keep in mind that you can add the ending -in to any of these words and change the article to die to refer to female artists, e.g., Künstlerin, Schauspielerin.

B.

In the word cloud for zeitgenössisch, find 3 nouns that are compounds with the word Kunst as their first component. Find out their meaning and grammatical gender, and then fill the gaps in example sentences taken from DWDS.

1.

2.

3.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Theoretisch ist der zeitgenössische Jazz ein Reservoir von Sprachen, in denen jeder mit jedem spontan kommunizieren kann.

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

Activity 4

Now search for Artist from the main DWDS page and scroll down to the word cloud. Look at the collocates of Artist and decide what this word means.

Activity 5

Now search DWDS for Film and scroll down to the word cloud. Then, in a separate window, search for Theater and find its word cloud. Keep both windows open to compare the word clouds. What nouns collocate with Film and what nouns collocate with Theater?

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Er verband sein literarisches Talent mit seiner Begeisterung für Film, Theater und Kunst.

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

Activity 6

It is important to learn the German nouns together with their articles. Look at the 17 nouns that you learned in this module so far and identify 3 nouns that go with der, 8 nouns that go with die, and 6 nouns that go with das.

Activity 7

Now, let’s explore some other collocates of Film in its word cloud.

A.

Read the example sentences from the DWDS below and click on each adjective that appears in the word cloud for Film.  Then match the verbs with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

B.

Read the example sentences from the DWDS below and click on each verb that appears in the word cloud for Film.  Then match the verbs with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

C.

Now it is your turn! Complete the following sentences in German. Read the examples below and fill the gaps in the sentences with the correct verb.

Activity 8

On your own. Using the word clouds from this module, write 5 sentences describing what arts you like or do not like. Please use at least 2 adjectives used in this module.

For example:

  • Ich gehe gern ins Theater und in die Oper.
  • Meine Freunde und ich spielen oft zeitgenössische Musik.