Monday, April 07, 2008

Wörter des Tages (Words of the Day)

I've spent a good part of the evening creating the random words papers for the Cambridge competition. 200 words, randomly picked out and translated into German. Well randomly-according-to-strict-rules, anyway - I decided to make sure there was the right kind of split between concrete nouns, abstract nouns, verbs and adjectives (60%, 20%, 10% and 10% respectively is what I decided, although since they're randomly mixed together and nobody is going to get beyond 120 or so in the five minutes, they won't necessarily get that exact mix). So what I did was sort my random-word list into a random order and go down the list eliminating all the words that were too long and obscure or which become much easier or much more difficult to memorise once they're Germanised, making sure to ignore all the verbs after I'd filled the quota, and then sort the resulting 200-word list into a random order again.

Words I was sadly forced to reject include the wonderful 'eisteddfodd' and 'tatterdemalion'. If I was doing a single-language random words test I would have included them with pleasure, but I don't think there's a German equivalent...

I really must work 'tatterdemalion' into everyday conversation more often, though.

And incidentally, to all the Germans reading this who haven't yet decided whether to come to Cambridge, please do! It will be fun, there will be an announcement about prize money very soon (I hope), and the translations will be guaranteed checked by a real German-speaker and not just done by me, so there's nothing to worry about!

1 comment:

Sam said...

I don't think Eisteddfod would translate into any language, it's a concept peculiar to the Welsh, I think.

Sounds like fun though - does it matter what language the words are in, or does it depend on your system?