200 - Building Your German Vocabulary

The nouns, adjectives, verbs, and combining words chapters are completed. Eventually each of those chapters will have subpages giving more detail. Some are already completed.

English is a Germanic language. Section 200 opens with a short introduction to the Germanic languages and and shows a bit of how English developed from Lowland German, Latin, French, Celtic, Norse, etc. Understanding these relationships may help you understand the meaning of German/English cognates which are words that had the same roots and usually still have the same meaning. Some are still pronounced the same: maus = mouse; haus = house, etc. It is a big help if you can pronounce the German word as sometimes the sound is more like its English cognate than the spelling.

210 - Origin of Modern Engliish and Cognates in the German and English Languages. Some words are spelled the same and have the same meaning. Some have vowel or consonant changes. Some are false friends which have similar spellings, but have different meanings.

220 - A list of 1000 common German words which you should learn. Some teachers say the quickest way to learn German is to learn these 1000 words very early in your study, but first you should have some experience reading simple German so you can appreciate the importance of these 1000 words. Only 10% completed

230 - Nouns - Prefixes, suffixes, and rules for creating nouns from verbs, adjectives, etc.

240 - Adjectives and Adverbs - use of prefixes and suffixes to create adjectives and adverbs.

250 - Verbs - formation of verbs from simple words, nouns, use of prefixes and suffixes, etc.

260 - Combining Words - noun + noun, adjective + noun, Verb + noun, [adverb, preposition, or particle] + noun, noun + adjectives, adjective + adjective

270 - Mastery of important short words from the 1000 word list. Prepositions, etc.

280 - 299 is available for additonal vocabulary exercises. What do you suggest? Cooking, farming, and special lists??? or should these be in those sections of this site.

Once you complete Section 200 and are familiar with the rules, you will be able to modify and combine the 1000 words to guess the meaning of thousands of words which you see in books, periodicals, and websites. It may be late 1999 before Section 200 is completed. We welcome your additions to these pages. Don't forget you need to study grammar (declensions and conjugations) to understand additional modifications of the basic words you learn in vocabulary lists).

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211 - English developed from Platt Deutsch of northern Germany
212 - Full cognates: same origin, same spelling, same meaning in German and English

Euro-English - This short essay may help you think about some of the differences between German and English, but that was not its original purpose. Not ready

German vocabulary and pronuciation -

Infoseek: Platt Deutsch pages -

The Germanic Phrasebook - This phrasebook (free download) is a compilation of several hundred important phrases and words in 17 different Germanic languages. The languages are: Afrikaans, Bavarian/Austrian, Dutch, English, German, Low Saxon (Low German) of Eastern Friesland, Luxembourgish, Mennonite Plautdietsch, Northern Low Saxon (Low German), Scots, Swiss German (from both Zurich and Bern), Westerlauwer Frisian, and Westphalian Low Saxon (Low German). This is not a phrasebook for tourists. It is for those interested in dialects.

TAD TREE - a tree of origin of many languages

Tree of Germanic Languages -

Old English, middle English -

The Lowlands Languages - includes a mailing list Lowlands-L -

The Lord's Prayer in several Germanic Languages -


Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164

Suggestions, corrections, and comments are appreciated: Contact Harold Eddleman indbio@disknet.com