Deutsch am Donnerstag – fernsehen


The picture on the TV above is a view across a valley. I took it last week as it was such a lovely far view.
The German word fern means far, remote or distant, and sehen is to see, look, view.

So, literally ‘fernsehen’ means to see far or into the distant – and that is exactly what you can do when you switch on your TV. Needless to say that therefore ‘fernsehen’ also means to watch TV, der Fernseher is the TV set and die Fernbedienung is the remote control. (I think the German language is really clever, but I would say that, wouldn’t I?  🙄 )

Other words beginning with Fern are

  • das Fernweh – when you have itchy feet and want to travel, or the other lovely ‘English’ word wanderlust
  • das Fernstudium – distance learning course
  • das Fernglas – binoculars
  • die Fernsteuerung – remote control for further distances than TVs, like remote controlled cars

But what sort of programmes (Fernsehsendungen) do we watch on TV?

  • Dokumentationen – documentareis
  • Filme – films
  • Serien – series
  • Shows – shows
  • Reality-TV
  • Quizsendungen – quiz shows
  • Kindersendungen – children’s programmes
  • Krimis – crime stories
  • Spielfilme – feature films
  • Reportagen – reports
  • Nachrichten – news

und natürlich den Wetterbericht – the weather forcast!

If this is making you wonder whether you should watch some German TV, check out my blog post ‘Improve your German with German TV’.

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