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German Word of the Day : (Die) Hochzeit

Today my wife and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary. I am truly blessed to have her in my life (plus our little baby angel who is now a little over 3 months old).

My word for the day is the German noun Hochzeit which means wedding. It is a feminine noun, the plural of which is Hochzeiten.

Here are some phrases from german.about.com used for congratulating people on wedding-related events:

  • Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu eurem zweiter Hochzeitstag! “Best wishes on your second anniversary!”
  • Wir wünschen Euch eine glückliche Ehe! “We wish you a happy marriage!”



German Word of the Day: (Die) Milch

Now that I have a baby, I think it’s time for me to learn a few more words that are related to her. At the top of my list is (die) Milch which is the German word for milk. Since I’m quite bad with plurals,  I add these nouns and their plurals (after |) to my list:

  • die Tochter – the daughter | die Töchter
  • das Mädchen – the girl | die Mädchen
  • das Baby – the baby | die Babys
  • das Kind – the child | die Kinder
  • das Krankenhaus – the hospital | die Krankenhäuser


On Becoming A New Dad

Last night (03 February 2014) at 11:52 PM, my daughter was delivered via CS. I saw my 4-kg baby girl about half an hour after that and, although I had thought it was just an exaggeration, I was indeed filled with emotions that I cannot express through words. As much as I would want to share that experience with you, you need to be there to understand the tremendous amount of joy that came with seeing your very own little bundle of cuteness for the first time.

It was a little over midnight and the lights of the hospital lobby were turned off (yes, this is a true story), but when the pedia carried my daughter out, my baby almost literally glowed from within like she produced her own light. My mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and the pedia carrying my baby seemed to have disapparated. It’s like she was the only thing in front of me, suspended in mid-air like a celestial body and I was her satellite.

I was overwhelmed, but I did not cry, or at least I’m denying that I did. 🙂 My daughter’s own cries bounced off the walls of the dark hospital lobby, and although it was music to my ears that she was breathing (and wailing), I wanted to just hug her and kiss her and tell her that it’s gonna be alright.

I can say that the anxiety that came with the long wait has finally subsided. Now it’s time for me to enter this exciting world of parenting, and I think I’ll start by learning how to change her diapers. 🙂

Welcome to the world, my daughter Elaina Rebecca (Laica)!


My Baby Laica :)

My Baby Laica 🙂

German Word of the Year: Neu

Here’s a new word for the new year 2014: the adjective neu, which means – tada – “new”.

I Google-translated “Happy New Year” and the app suggested two translations:

  • Frohes neues Jahr!
  • Glückliches neues Jahr!

I think this depends on where the speaker is (like Samstag and Sonnabend which are both used to mean Saturday).

Both used the same form neues because the German word for “year” – which is Jahr – is a neuter (das). Notice also that Frohes and Glückliches – which can be used as synonyms for happy – also have -es ending.

  • froh – glad; happy; joyful
  • glückliches – lucky; fortunate; happy
  • neu – new
  • (das) Jahr – year

You can read more about the basics of adjectives here.

Things I Learned From My Parents

Remember, remember the 30th of November (?). My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this year!

You are probably trying to guess how old I am, but to distract you, let me share a few of the important things I learned from my parents.

(1) Dad: Listen to your parents. Learn from your mistakes.

Dad used to say a lot, “I told you not to go to, but you go to, now look at?” which is basically the same as, “I told you so” but with awkward sentence construction. Many people don’t like getting an I-told-you-so, because admittedly it doesn’t really help with the current situation.

In popular culture, “I told you so” is usually offensive, but when said in bad English, the sting is sort of diminished. You learn to take a step back and really “look at” what you did wrong and how you can improve next time.


What does G.R. in Philippine Case Citations stand for?

A friend recently posted this question: “What does G.R. in case numbers mean?”

She was actually referring to Supreme Court case citations. A case citation is basically a way to refer to past court case decisions. The example in the Wikipedia article is: Fortich v. Corona, G.R. No. 131457, 24 April 1998, 289 SCRA 624.

From the same article, it was pointed out that “G.R. No 131457” is the “case docket number originally assigned by the Supreme Court… .” The article, however, does not say what G.R. represents.

Although a bit trivial, this was a question I could not leave unanswered. 🙂


Basic Filipino Pronunciation: Stressing Tagalog Words

On this article, I will give a high level on stress classifications of typical Filipino words – particularly Tagalog (as used in Metro Manila) which is my native language – and give examples for each classification.

I did not need to know the term “transitive verb” to be able to use transitive verbs. However, my knowledge of the term gave me a vehicle to learn on my own and a way to ask native/fluent speakers about transitive verbs. Similarly, the stress classifications to be discussed are probably not essential to your everyday conversation – many Filipinos do not even know them! – but they give you a starting point on learning more.

Stress (in pronunciation) is important to many languages, as it sometimes changes the meaning of the word altogether. In English, these are heteronyms, an example of which is the word desert, which can be pronounced as désert (noun – dry, usually sandy, land) or desért (verb – to abandon).


German Word of the Day : (Der) Geburtstag

Today I want you to know the German phrase for “Happy Birthday.” 🙂

Google Translate returns it as “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag.” This is practically wishing someone “all the best for your birthday.” Both About.com and Wiki-how (along with other forums) note that you can also use “Alles das Beste zum Geburtstag.


Basics of Using German Adjectives

I knew I reached a milestone in my self-study of the German language when I learned how to use adjectives correctly. Sentences like “Der Junge hat ein Spielzeugauto had become boring, even though the word Spielzeugauto still sounded cool.

Actually, I could already use the few adjectives I knew but only when they were acting as predicate adjectives (or adjectives after a linking verb). For example:

  • Das Auto ist groß. “The car is big.”
  • Meine Frau ist schön. “My wife is beautiful.”
  • Sein Sohn ist klein. “His son is small.”
  • Die Blumen sind gelb. “The flowers are yellow.”

For predicate adjectives, as shown in the examples above, only the base form of the adjective is used, regardless of the gender of the subject noun (including plural).

It is a different scenario, however, when using the adjective with a noun (i.e. not predicate), for example when saying “the big boy.”


Basic German Cases

One of the things I found confusing at first – OK until now – is the German case. Wikipedia defines grammatical case as “a grammatical category whose value reflects the grammatical function performed by a noun or pronoun in a phrase, clause, or sentence.” An example of a function is whether a noun is the doer of an action or the receiver.There are four cases in German which I will share later.

I first realized the importance of German case with the translation for the English pronoun him. As mentioned in previous sections, I started studying the German language per phrase/expression and not per grammar rule. This means I knew how to say certain expressions correctly – e.g. Ich möchte etwas essen – without knowing the rules like conjugation. However, the pronoun him was translated two different ways which I always incorrectly interchanged.

Accusative: German ihn | Dative: German ihm


  • “I give him money.” Ich gebe ihm Geld. (dative)
  • “I give him to you.” Ich gebe ihn dir. (accusative)