Everything bad is good for something!
Even if I had to wait for the bus that was delayed yesterday, I thought that is a good occasion to show you some vocabulary and to tell you a phrase that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
The entire phrase displayed on the screen was:
Verspätung durch starkes Verkehrsaufkommen.
Delay because of traffic jam.
I have to mention that usually is difficult to translate exactly from german to english. Let me show you what each word means and you will understand what I mean.
die Verspätung = delay (the ending “ung” is typical for feminine words -> “die“)
durch = by/through (preposition that always asks accusative after it)
stark = strong/heavy (“es” ending because of adjective declination; Verkehrsaufkommen is neutrum -> s is the endig for accusative neutrum)
das Verkehrsaufkommen = traffic volume (der Verkehr = traffic; das Aufkommen = appearance/emergence; between them appears an extra “s” that connects the 2 words and makes it easier to pronounce)
Four years ago, talking about the vocabulary with my tutor in the company where I was working, he gave me the following example:
Es kann vorkommen, dass unsere Nachkommen mit deinem Einkommen nicht auskommen und umkommen.
It can happen that our descendants with your salary will not manage and will die.
The root word here is obviously “kommen” = to come.
By adding different prefixes to a root word you can get a totally new word, with totally different meaning!
das Aufkommen = emergence
vorkommen (verb) = to appear/ to happen
die Nachkommen (pl) = descendants/offspring
das Einkommen = income/salary
auskommen (verb) = to get along/to manage
umkommen (verb) = to perish
volkommen = completely/fully (I often hear it in the following context: “Du hast volkommen Recht” = you are totally right)
and I think the list may continue…
…but I will stop here. I think you got the point.
Conclusion: Quote from my german teacher: “I don’t know why people are scared of grammar when learning german. The grammar has an end, but the vocabulary not!”
This may sound a little scary, but remain optimistic! We have an entire life ahead of us to learn german. :))
P.S.: I found 100 words belonging to the word family of kommen. Check it out yourself here. And let me add something – all those words are used in everyday life, they are not just some exceptions put there to make the list look longer.