Iesaa Raa'ie
Where do the following German words come from? Hi there dear italki community, At the moment i'm studying German, and while i was busy writing everything down i've learned so far, i came across the subject of clock watching. I was testing my vocabulary of clock watching, and i totally forgot what a watch means in German. The same goes for digital watch and a clock. So basically the following words are in German: Clock = Glocke Watch = Beobachten Digital clock = Digitaluhr Correct this if needed! Now i can understand both Glocke and Digitaluhr. But where does 'Beobachten' come from? It doesn't even sound like a watch or the Dutch 'horloge'. Why is that and where does it come from? To close this sucbject, i want to ask an other question as well. Is it allowed in German to say for example 'Es ist acht Stunden' instead of 'Es ist acht Uhr'? Because normally you would use 'Uhr' instead of 'Stunden'. Stunden is used when to describe for example how much hours it would take to cook a specific dish. Or am i wrong? Thanks in regards!
Dec 5, 2016 2:21 PM
Answers · 5
The verb "beobachten" contains the word "Obacht" which means "attention" in English. This is quite close to the meaning of the English verb "to watch", as a watchman has to pay attention, but it has nothing to do with clocks or watches in German. We use the word "Uhr" for any device that shows the time, no matter whether it is a big clock, a watch on somebody's wrist or a digital Display. Only if you want to make a difference, you specify that it is a "Wanduhr", "Turmuhr", "Armbanduhr", "Digitaluhr" or whatever. When you want to say what time it is, you always say: "Es ist xx Uhr". The word "Stunden" is only used when talking about a duration or the amount of time elapsed after a given point: "Die Fahrt dauert 6 Stunden" "2 Stunden nach der Abfahrt macht er eine Pause" "Jetzt ist er 4 Stunden unterwegs" "Um 10 Uhr kommt er an".
December 5, 2016
(the) clock = die Wanduhr; (the) bell = die Glocke (the) watch = die Armbanduhr (literally: bracelet-watch), to watch = beobachten (to watch TV = fernsehen; to watch somebody closely = jemanden genau/scharf beobachten) No, we say "acht Uhr" for "eight o'clock", because "die Stunde" = (the) hour. Therefore "es ist acht Stunden" does not make any sense. As you said, "Stunde/n" is used for describing how long something takes.
December 5, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Iesaa Raa'ie
Language Skills
Arabic, Arabic (Maghrebi), Dutch, English, Flemish, German, Berber (Tamazight)
Learning Language
Arabic, Arabic (Maghrebi), German