Here’s a quick lesson on one of the nuances- or should I say, precision- of the German language. The word nicht, meaning “not,” with its literal negative connotation, plays a crucial role in the German language. Like its other variation, kein/keine/keins, and permutation in other languages, can negate one word, part of, or the entire sentence itself. This linguistic maneuver I learned the easier and artificial way in my German class last week. I will use the direct English translation which sounds a bit funny. Let the kissing begin…
Nicht ich kuesse dich heute. Not I kiss you today. (But someone else will…)
Ich kuesse nicht dich heute. I kiss not you today. (I will kiss someone else, sorry)
Ich kuesse dich nicht heute. I kiss you not today. (But definitely some other time… Patience is a virtue)
Ich kuesse dich heute nicht. I kiss you today not. (Tell me, when then?)
This might be irrelevant to Spanish, Italians, French, and Latinos, who just kiss, not only once but at least twice or even thrice. With Germans, though, one should be careful of the use of these sample sentences.
Those who have learned the language may tell me that I should simply forget the negativity. Learning German is easy. Now… das weiss ich nicht! (that I do not know!)