Technical English 2000

Meeting of 14 September


We had some problems with spelling - because of German / French / English differences in the names of the letters. You have to explan in which language you are spelling, you cannot mix, because of the problems with a, e, i and r. 
letter sound NATO
A ay alpha
B bee bravo
C cee charlie
D dee delta
E ee echo
F eff foxtrot
G dgee golf
H aitch jotel
I a-e india
J djae juliet
K kae kilo
L ell lima
M emm mike
N enn november
O oh oscar
P pee papa
Q keu quebec
R arr romeo
S ess sierra
T tee tango
U eu uniform
V vee victor
W double-you whiskey
X ex x-ray
Y ooei yankee
Z zed (U.K.) 
zee (U.S.)


  • popular written material - Time Magazine - sentence structure analysis
  • phrases - especially phrasal verbs - for instance make or look
  • translation
    • word translation is useless
    • phrase translation is better
    • but learning to think in English is ideal.

    • Start before 5 years!
  • dictionaries - I recommend a Readers

  • Cambridge International Dictionary of English,  
    ISBN 0 521 48421 9,  
    from Cambridge University Press 
  • golf terminology


before the flood happened   now  since the flood 
3 years ago                      in three years  
                                 until the next one 

Phrasal Verbs

look at, in, into, out, out for, after, away, ... 

You have to learn the verb together with the preposition 
Best with a phrase or sentences as example. 

anschauen, abschauen, hineinschauen, zuschauen ...   
the same problem for a German learner! 

Skills - Listening and Speaking - Methods 

  • Listening to radio or TV - BBC, CNN, or what - I will check
  • cassette books (Kornhaus library)
  • movies especially in English with German subtitles
  • CD-ROM courses


Noun=Substantiv, Nomen=Proper Noun (John, London, the Roman Church), Common Noun=all others, Pronoun (I, we, him, that)

Understanding structure, sentence by sentence:

  1. look for the verbs
  2. find the nouns and noun phrases and be sure that you understand them
  3. figure out the structure of the sentence - more about this later
  4. simplify the text - construct simpler sentences

Translating from Time Magazine to Plain English

Time Magazine  
a short and jazzy style
but nearly impossible for those from other cultures! 
  • frequent slang or colloquial expressions
  • many unusual words 
  • sentences with complicated structures
Plain English 
simple style with only common words 
Easy to understand and translate
  • give first the subject then the detail
  • use simple sentences (break up complex structures)
  • make lists (and each item has the same structure)
BIG WHEELS Finland scored a double with Tommy Makinen, world rally champion for the fourth year running, and Mika Hakkinen, champion Formula One driver for a second time. In racing, Finland had two successes: 
  • Tommy Makinen was world champion for rallies (for the fourth year in sequence).
  • Mika Hakkinen was the champion driver in Formula One racing (for the second time).
BURNING BRIGHT Eight tournament wins, twice that number of top-10 finishes, an average of nearly 4.5 birdies per round.  Oh, and Tiger Woods added $6.6 million to his bank balance.  The 23-year-old may face tougher competition next year, especially from Spain's Sergio Garcia, 19, one-shot runner-up to Woods in the PGA. 
In golf, Tiger Woods had a good year: 
  • he won 8 tournaments
  • he finished in the top ten places, 16 times 
  • he averaged nearly 4.5 birdies per round
  • he earned $6.6 million 
Next year he may face harder competition, especially from Sergio Garcia of Spain.  Garcia was second, one stroke behind Woods in the Professional Golfers Association championship.
Big Wheels - tractor or drag races, often on TV.  
Tiger, tiger, burning bright from the poem Tiger Tiger by William Blake (1757-1827)
Vocabulary of Golf (explained in class): clubs (irons, woods and the putter), pin, green, round, 18 holes, handicap. If par (the expected score) from a hole is 5, then you score a birdie if you take 4 strokes, an eagle with 3, and an albatross if you take two.  If you score a hole-in-one, you have to buy drinks for everyone at the 19th hole (the bar).