(urth) BotNS in German

Hmpf MacSlow hmpf1998 at gmx.net
Sun Dec 5 14:42:59 PST 2004

>According to my dictionaries, the German for barbican is
>Barbakane,die; Torvorwerk, das

Wow. Methinks I need a better dictionary!

But, as I said, checking all kinds of dictionaries at the university 
library and the Deutsche Bibliothek will probably help a lot. For the time 
being, I just put the 'strange' words in brackets behind my temporary 
translations of them. When I've collected enough of them I'll make a trip 
to the library to check them all.

Just curious: how well known is the word 'barbican' among native speakers 
of English with an 'advanced' vocabulary? My German vocabulary is pretty 
extensive, or so I'm told - I'm a native speaker, I've always read a lot, 
I've had thirteen years of 'normal' school, five years of university, three 
and a half years of professional training as a goldsmith (including art 
history classes), I visit museums and am interested in all kinds of 
'cultural stuff' - yet I've never in my life heard or read the word 
'Barbakane' anywhere, I think.

(Part of the 'problem' may be that I've been reading more English than 
German for years now...)

I'm just curious if that word, and others that Wolfe is using, could be 
said to be slightly more 'common' in English than they are in German, or if 
they're just as obscure.


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