Better German Podcast with Susi

Susanne Schilk-Blümel

Episode 15 - Introduction to Capitalization (big letters) in German

2023-12-07 12 min

Description & Show Notes

In this episode we will cover the basic rules of capitalization in German. Capitalization means writing some words with a big letter (capital) in the beginning of the word. German is the only language that writes many words other than names and the beginnings of sentences with a capital. We are going to cover the basic rules and make sure you will not get confused about this when learning German. 

Basic Rules for Capitalization in German: What Words to Write with Big Letters
In this episode, Susi covers the basic rules of capitalization in the German language. She explains which words are written with a big letter at the beginning and provides examples to help you understand the concept. If you've ever been puzzled by when to capitalize words in German, this episode is just what you need! Stay tuned for future episodes where Susie will delve into holidays, the German alphabet, and more. 

Primary Topic: Introduction to Better German Podcast
- Susie Blumel introduces the Better German podcast, emphasizing its focus on teaching German language, countries, and culture.
Primary Topic: Basic Rules of Capitalization in German
- Explanation of the importance of covering capitalization early in the podcast and the differences in capitalization rules between German and other languages.
Primary Topic: Words Written with a Capital Letter in German
- Discussion of the rule that every noun in German is written with a big letter, and the unique nature of this rule in the German language.
Primary Topic: Exceptions and Specific Cases of Capitalization in German
- Explanation of exceptions to capitalization rules for book titles, chapter names, and specific words used in sentences.
Primary Topic: Future Episodes and Topics
- Teaser for upcoming episodes on holidays, German courses, and German pronunciation, along with reminders for listeners to subscribe and sign up for the newsletter.


- Episode 14 - Watching Movies with Subtitles to Learn German

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Welcome to the Better German podcast. My name is Susi Blümel, and I will teach you German and everything around the language , the countries and the culture. So I'm really thrilled, you're tuning in, whether you're coming back or you're listening to my podcast for the very first time. In this episode, I'm going to cover the basic rules of capitalization in German. Capitalization means, which words do we ride with a big lecture in the beginning? This is something that I wanted to cover quite in the beginning of the podcast, because while I'm going along this podcast, I kind of follow a path like a course, so I highly suggest you to start in the beginning of the podcast and follow along through the episodes. So I don't have any additional materials for this episode, but I want to refer you to something that I published with the last episode. And that is an interactive guide about German movies and shows. So in the last episode, which was episode 14, I describe it and you can access it on my homepage. This is, and I'll also link to it in the show notes, and I highly suggested to get it because watching movies with subtitles is one of the best things you can do to help you learn German, and I think it's probably the most entertaining one. You can find the show notes at the number of the episode. This is episode 15. So the show notes are Or you should also be able to see them wherever you are listening to this podcast. Okay, so let's jump into this episode, we're going to cover which words in German are written with big letters. This is different in German than in most of the other languages or all of the other languages, actually, and it's something that you will see, and maybe you're wondering about it and therefore we're covering which one's, which. So welcome to the better German podcast. I'm Susi, I'm a German teacher, and I have decided that I want to help people to learn German without the super complications that are sometimes there. It is a language that can be learned and I'm going to help you with it. So if you follow this podcast, from the first episode, actually it's more or less build up like of course. So. Let's get into the subject. It's actually very easy. Like which words do we ride with a big letter ? So as, also English, we write, every beginning of a sentence with a big letter. Okay. That's the easy part. We write names with big letters, obviously. Susi. Or also last names, Franz Maier. Franz being the first name. Maier the last name. But, we also write every noun, with a big letter. So every noun, a noun is a word like chair, wall, window and things like that. So in German, these would be written with a big letter. So the German translation, not the English ones obviously. So in German window - Fenster. We write Fenster, with a capital, a capital is a big letter, so not a small letter. In German, by the way, this is called "Großschreibung". So "groß" meaning big. Und "Schreibung" is the way how you write something. So Großschreibung is, what are you writing with a big letter in the beginning? So the Großschreibung. in German is every noun is written with a big letter. Das Fenster, das Bild, das. Kind. And one of the easy rules is if you have an article in front of it, you will write it with a big letter. Why am I telling you this? Basically the main reason why I'm telling this to you as a beginner is, so do you don't get puzzled by it. And when you learn a new noun, yes, you will try to write it correctly with a big letter. I don't think it's something that you should get worried about very much, but try to do it correctly, obviously. By the way, German is the only language on this planet that does that. It's literally the only language that will write all nouns with capitals, usually like English, it's the beginning of, sentences, and a few other occasions, but German really writes every noun with a big letter. And actually, throughout the history of German for many, many years, there have also been people that said, okay, maybe we should get rid of it. I'm not going to go into if it's good or bad that it's done like that. There are certain reasons why this is the case, which I'm not going to go into right now. 'cause that's like deep into the grammar. But anyway. German is the only language that does that. And this rule that so far as I have told you is relatively easy. So, every noun is written with a capital, with a big letter, in the beginning. and why am I telling this to you? I'm basically telling this to you at this point, so you're not getting confused. So, if you see that something's written with a big letter, you can know it's a noun. One thing, however, that is important to know here, that other words can be written with big letters as well. depending on how they are used in the sentence. So, for example, when you say something like, My husband's snorewhen sleeping. Mein Mann schnarcht beim Schlafen. Schlafen, sleeping, is actually not a noun originally, but if you use it in this way, when sleeping, beim Schlafen, then it's also written with a big letter. You don't need to worry if you're a beginner or like only a little bit advanced, on learning the rules, when I writing things with a big lecture. I just want you to not get confused, why that is the case. So if you see that in a book, you'll understand it. I'm going to tell you a few words, a few examples that give you a clue why things are written that way. So every word is written with a capital in the beginning of a sentence. Then next point that's maybe a question. How is it when you have headings, when you have titles of books? In English the rule is actually different. In English, when you have a title of a book, for example, or the name of a chapter, you write every word except for the really small ones like "in" and "the" with a capital. In German, we don't do that. In German we write all the nouns with a capital. And, I'm going to give you, a few more examples when you have, for example, Before a word, an article, you will write it with a big letter, usually. So, if you say "Das Lesen ist gut", reading is good. And there's a "das" before you will see it's a big letter. And there is another word that I'm telling you, "beim", for example. "beim Lesen", when reading. You will always write this with a capital, but at this point in time, don't worry about it. When you learn new nouns words like table, chair, love, you know that this is something that is written with a capital. And when you see other things written with a capital just note it for now, don't worry about the rule too much and know that this can happen. And when you are more advanced then we're going to go more into the exact rules when you do that. But honestly, I think for a learner of German as a second language, until you get to the point where you say, okay, you want to write correctly. You want to be able to write whole articles in German and essays or books, you don't have to worry about that ever, but know that this is there. And, don't get confused about it. So I hope, if you had a question mark about this or were wandering, then I hope that it, is no longer there. And if you were always like, huh, I don't care about them, then that's fine. And carry on with it. Okay. See you next time. The next episodes, are going to be the second part of the holidays in autumn and winter in Vienna. This one I'm excited about it, on one hand, on the other hand, I always think I have forgotten something. There is something else I need to add, but anyway, it's coming up, I'm almost finished with the edit. And then I have an episode coming, which is called at this point, "Why pay for German course?" So I'm going to cover some points for you to consider if you're looking at: are you going to do a German course? Do you want to pay for it, or not, and what are actually the plus points as far as I can tell from my experience. to paying a course, as opposed to learning by yourself, with YouTube or a podcast or things like that. So, with that episode, I want to. give you more information so you can make him more educated decision. when you're looking at whether or not you should pay for a German course, This is probably true, not just for a German course, but as this podcast is about learning German, I've particularly looked at it from that viewpoint. And then the next one after that is actually, we're going to cover, the German alphabet and the basics of the German pronunciation. I can't cover everything about German pronunciation, obviously in one podcast episode, but we're going to cover the basics. This is an episode that I am going to record with video. So while you will be able to listen to it as a podcast, you will also be able to watch it as a video. Okay. Cool. So this is just to give you a little bit of an idea of what's coming. See you the next time, see you in the next episode next week. Hang in there. Do well, and. one other thing, if you like this podcast, please tell other people about it. subscribe to the podcast. And if you want to get notified about a new episode or new things coming up, then please go to better and sign up for the newsletter there. See you next week bye bye!


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