Transitional Phrases as Writing Tools (German)

Brigitte very generouslyhas translated and shared with us in German those transitional phrases that Drew posted here a little while ago. I will make a category for them. We need them in French and Latin. 

(The kids are told that they may use this sheet as a reference for any in-school writing assignments/tests, as long as no additional notes are written on it.)
after, afterward = nach, danach
already = schon
always = immer
as soon as = sobald
at first = zuerst
at last = endlich
at the beginning = am Anfang
at the same time = zur gleichen  Zeit
at once = sofort
before = bevor
briefly = kurz
day before yesterday = vorgestern
during = während
eventually = schließlich
finally = endlich
first = erst/e/er/es/em/en
frequently = oft
immediately = sofort
in a little while = bald
in the first place = an erster Stelle
in the meantime = in der Zwischenzeit
in the past/future = früher
last night = letzte Nacht
lastly = zuletzt
later = später
meanwhile = in der Zwischenzeit
most of the time = meistens
next = dann
(the) next day = am nächsten Tag
never = nie
night before last = vorgestern Abend
now = jetzt
often = oft
on the following day = am nächsten Tag
once = einmal
promptly = sofort
rarely = selten
sometimes  = manchmal
soon = bald
suddenly = plötzlich
then = dann
when = wenn, wann
yesterday = gestern


above = über
among = zwischen, inmitten
around = herum
below = unter
beside = neben
beyond = darüber hinaus, außerhalb
down = hinunter
from = von
here = hier
in front of = vor
inside = in, innerhalb
nearby = in der Nähe (von)
next to = neben
on = auf
opposite = gegenüber
outside = außen, außerhalb
through = durch
under = unter

again = wieder, noch einmal
also = auch
and = und
as well = sowohl als auch, auch
besides = außerdem
further, furthermore = weiters
in addition (to) = zusätzlich (zu)
in the first place = erstens
in the second place = zweitens
last(ly) = zuletzt, schlußendlich
likewise = gleichfalls, ebenfalls
more = mehr
moreover = weiters
on the other hand = andererseits
similarly = ähnlich
too = auch

as follows = wie folgt
for example = zum Beispiel
in other words = in anderen Worten
in particular = insbesondere
in the first instance = erstens
like = wie
mainly = hauptsächlich
namely = nämlich
specifically = besonders, speziell
such as = wie
that is = das ist, das heißt
thus = deshalb


although = obwohl
but = aber
conversely = vice-versa
differently = anders
however = allerdings
in contrast = im Gegensatz
in spite of = trotz
nevertheless = dennoch, trotzdem
on the one hand = einerseits
on the other hand = andererseits
no doubt = ohne Zweifel
of course = natürlich
on the contrary = im Gegensatz
otherwise = sonst

accordingly = folglich
as a result = demzufolge
as one would expect = wie erwartet
consequently = folglich
for this reason = aus diesem Grund
hence = deshalb
in any case = auf jeden
logically = logischerweise
of course = natürlich
then = dann
therefore= deshalb
thus = somit
so = deshalb, daher

above all = vor allem
equally = gleichermaßen
especially = besonders
in fact = tatsächlich
principally = hauptsächlich

after all = immerhin, im Grunde
as has been noted = wie erwähnt
finally = zuletzt
in the end = zum Schluß, letztendlich
in other words = anders gesagtr
on the whole = generell, im Großen und
to summarize = zusammenfassend
that is = das heißt, das ist

Courtesy of Drew Hiben, Rancho Cucamonga HS, CA



6 thoughts on “Transitional Phrases as Writing Tools (German)”

  1. This is an amazing collection. I am wondering how much of it will translate in Mvskoke? It is worth trying. I find often that languages of people who never concieved of jail systems and legal hoo-hah, do not have many of these structures. They weren’t needed and aren’t a part of the worldview. So, I am going to consult this list (now that it is in English) with my Harvard trained friend who managed to complete his thesis in religion studies in Mvskoke.

  2. I have to admit that I have developed an allergy to “transitional phrases” or “linking words”. Because when I started to teach in a French university, I was working with students whose final exam was to write a summary of an article from a English language magazine. There were very specific rules and the students were not to use more than 150 words. The purpose was to teach them to be concise, to use correct grammar and to test their comprehension of the original article. To my horror, most students started every single sentence with “a linking word.” They had been given lists very similar to what you have here and had it drummed into them that they were to use them. So the transitional phrases were there, even when they made no sense whatsoever. I tried to teach them that and-or-but can be wonderful transitions and when you are limited to 150 words, you should be saying “to” instead of “in order to”, etc. Although my colleagues still use the lists, I’ve found it more effective to wait until a students asks for a phrase because he needs and wants to know how to say “néanmoins”. If you give him the answer to a question that’s he’s thought about and formulated, he’ll generally remember the answer. What I’m trying to say is that these expressions should be a response to a precise need and taught only in context. For example, it’s difficult for a list to show that the preposition After and the adverb Afterward are not the same in English, although in French Après can be either preposition or adverb. My French speaking students often write, “After, I go to lunch.” (And they looked “après” up in the dictionary.) It’s much more difficult for students to “unlearn” incorrect expressions than it is for them to acquire the correct expressions as they need them.

    Sorry if I seem to be ranting, but I’ve seen too many students who are more concerned about form than content and read too many totally meaningless summaries that were full of transitional phrases.

    1. …these expressions should be a response to a precise need and taught only in context….

      Very insightful Judy and thank you. I think Brigitte got it right when she called these lists just more tools. However, how really helpful are such lists? Judy has me thinking. Do we need them because our students are not immersed in the language 24/7, in which case they would acquire all transition phrases effortlessly, as John’s four year old has shown?

      It bugs me that Krashen’s work is about how we acquire languages but he hasn’t said a word about how we acquire langauges in schools. In fact, is the Net Hypothesis even valid in our worlds? If it isn’t (and it’s not), then does giving those lists to our students fly in the face of what we know to be true about language acquistion (the part about mega input over long periods of time – well over 10,000 hours when all we have in four years of school is less than 500 hours)? And would the 96%ers “go” for these lists at all? Drew, when you did that at the semester, do you feel that all the kids benefitted from having been given that list?


      1. Yes and no. I teach an accelerated Spanish II class and the majority of them are in Honors English. When they are writing they want to sound intelligent. I think that these are just tools to help them with that. Sometimes two simple statements linked together with the right conjunction makes it sound so much better.
        1) I like cheese. I want to make cheese.
        2) I like cheese so logically I want to make it.
        Horrible example but I like the second better.
        I don’t let kids write ANYTHING at home. They use that bullshit translator program so this is my way of ensuring that I am giving them tools that they perceive as helpful.

  3. Judy, I agree with you. However, I do not “teach” those phrases. They are merely for the students to have if they want to. I handed them out and told the kids that they could use them if they wanted to but that they didn’t have to. Even though I also told them it was o.k. to use the list for writing assignments in class, I have yet to see a kid actually take advantage of his/her list. So, I look it at as just another tool for those (mostly) 4%ers like collecting lists. And if any of the other kids glance at it every once in a while and something sticks, all the better.

  4. So both Drew and Brigitte are offering, not requiring, stuff that some kids (mostly the 4% percenters) may want to use. Sounds good to me. I forget that some of us have vastly different student populations than others.

    Another thing to say in favor of giving these lists is that they can’t possibly get that vocabulary anywhere else in four years of normal CI. We have a fraction of the hours in our four years of AP prep that four year olds have. So naturally John’s four year old will use those conjunctions and things naturally in her speech because they have been inputted into the deeper computer of her Language Acquisition Device whereas we have been busy in the vastly fewer hours we have had just teaching much simpler kinds of CI.

    Somebody needs to write a book about how Krashen’s research doesn’t really apply in school settings to the extent that he might think, never having taught in a secondary school. Does anyone know if there is anything out there on that topic?

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