words that continue to confuse me, only because of their english impostors:
the verb for watching is gucken. it sounds to me like cookin’ and lookin’.
the verb for cooking is kochen. it sounds to me like cockin‘, not cookin‘.
so despite gucken rhyming with cookin‘ it does not at all mean the same thing. despite it rhyming with lookin‘, i often mix these up, though i do self correct so there is that. writing this hurt my head.
wer means who. that means you can’t fake german accent where (which, let’s face it, we have all done a fake german accent at some point) and think you’ll mean where, you’ll be saying who. it still feels weird to ask “wer ist das?”, which happens a lot during TV watching/browsing through magazines of german famous people. i’ll get over it but in the meantime it still always feels wrong.
wenn and wann. both mean when but when (ha!) you use them depends on the context. intellectually i know when to use them but in conversation i’m still struggling. i would say i get it right 80% of the time but, natürlich, you remember the times you don’t get it right.
mann and man. english is chalk-full of homophones and it seems german is no different. i mean, they are both germanic languages so it makes sense. ANYWAY. man is an indefinite pronoun – meaning you/one. and mann. sorry Mann, as it is the german language way to capitalize
everything all proper nouns. and let’s through in the article for practice: der Mann. that mann means, in english man, as in not a woman. this sorted itself in my head fairly quickly so i don’t really make this mistake but (because there’s always one of those) i do find myself picturing Mann in my head when i hear man, or wanting to translate it as man instead of one.
the solution? constant reviewing and using all of the above whenever i can. for better or for worst they’re all quite common. i’m sure the more i learn the more of these will arise.
this really makes me feel for people learning english and the whole to/too/two thing. or red/read. or holy smokes i hadn’t realised there were so many in english! jeez, english. get ahold of yourself already.