How to use online dictionaries to look up German words - Part II
    

    
    
    


  
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How to use online dictionaries to look up German words - Part II

Find out the correct meaning.

Dictionary browsing by mouse-click

Introduction

After you have worked through Part I of  "How to use online dictionaries to look up German words", you should now have overcome the technical difficulties and be ready to look up the correct meaning of words in a given context.

Objectives

On the basis of a concrete text, you will be led step by step (not word by word!) into finding out the correct meaning and avoiding typical traps.



Activity 1: What do you understand without the help of a dictionary?

This activity aims to make you aware of how much (or little!) you understand without consulting a dictionary.

Instruction

Read the following text and without looking any words up, take a look at the nouns and write down which nouns you already recognise and which nouns you might (partly) guess (There might be wrong guesses at this stage, but that does not matter). You can put alternatives with question marks, too.
 

In Deutschland gibt es nach dem Studium nicht genug Arbeitsplätze für Hochschulabsolventen. Dazu zählen leider auch immer mehr Hamburger und Kieler Akademiker. Keiner weiß, wozu die Arbeitslosigkeit der Akademiker führen wird, und viele geben die Hoffnung auf. Es wäre schön, wenn die Situation nochmals überprüft würde.

Write any text for the interactive task item here

What could the text roughly be about?

Activity 2: Look up the word "Arbeitsplätze" in different online dictionaries

This activity will show you how to find out the form and the meaning of the word "Arbeitsplätze".

Instruction

Type "Arbeitsplätze" in the different online dictionaries provided and try to find out which form "Arbeitsplätze" is. It is recommended that you leave all four online dictionaries open so that you can easily go back to them .

If you do not know how to handle the umlaut in "ä", see Part I of this learning activity.

Leo dictionary: http://dict.leo.org/

Pons dictionary: http://www.pons.de/

 

Wordreference: http://www.wordreference.com/

bab.la: http://en.bab.la/

Now that you have established, that "Arbeitsplätze" is the plural form of "Arbeitsplatz", what are the main meanings?

Activity 3: Look up all unknown nouns

Instruction

Look up all unknown nouns (everything which starts with a capital letter) in the online dictionaries provided and write down all possible major meanings. Make notes where problems occur with individual dictionaries. You do not need to use capital letters when you type the nouns.

In Deutschland gibt es nach dem Studium nicht genug Arbeitsplätze für Hochschulabsolventen. Dazu zählen leider auch immer mehr Hamburger und Kieler Akademiker. Keiner weiß, wozu die Arbeitslosigkeit der Akademiker führen wird, und viele geben die Hoffnung auf. Es wäre schön, wenn die Situation nochmals überprüft würde.

 

You will get feedback for the following nouns:

* Studium

* Hochschulabsolventen

* Hamburger

* Kieler

* Akademiker

* Arbeitslosigkeit

* Hoffnung

© Christine Bohlander, Durham University, photo by kind permission of David Tual, 23 May 2010

Created using the LOC Tool, University of Southampton