Gather round children. Do I have a treat for you today! Did you know that YOU know German?!? I mean besides the obligatory "Heil Hitler" (can I even write that?!?) and Brüno's "Ich Don't Think So", which sadly has only one word of German in it.
It is not an easy language. But really, learning any language other than your own is pretty tough. There are some weird things going on in Germans, though. Oh, how I love when the Deutschers place verbs at the end of the sentence. Imagine saying "Would you like later German speaking practice?" and trust me, that is a fairly simple example of this nonsense.
Plus, the Germans like to take three, four....eighteen words and smoosh them all together into one word. For instance, there is Fernsprecherteilnehmerverzeichnis, which if I have broken it down correctly, means Phonebook. Weird, because the German word for phone is 'Telefon' and the word for book is 'Buch'. Could've been soo much easier, but noooo.
Although I am being a little hard on the German language, I do feel lucky that so many German words were morphed into fairly common English words. We use them seamlessly in everyday conversation. So yes, you too know German. Get our your resume and add it on now!
For example, I know you know the German words for 'lightning' and 'thunder', you just may not realize it. Reach back about a month ago and you will find the answer.
"You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?"
Yep, 'Donner' is thunder and 'Blitzen' is lightning. Puts a whole new meaning on 'getting blitz', doesn't it!
Of course there is:
Kindergarten - literally a place for children to grow.
Doppelgänger - your identical double in the world.
Briefcase - 'Brief' coming from the German for a letter.
Spiel - From the German word for Play or Game, it means to tell the whole, lengthy story.
Schmutz - literally the word for dirty.
Schuss - ever heard someone describing the way they ski by going "schuss, schuss, schuss" Well, little did they know that they were explaining in German, because it's the German word for skiing.
And even more:
|Various Sources: 1, 2 and 3|
Sounds easy, right?! Wrong. There are so many 'false friends' that I am sure I embarrass myself even more with every passing German conversation.
Some examples of good ol' German false friends are:
Lied - which is a song
Gift - poison. Makes you think about where we got that word?!
Pickle - pimple. Don't ever tell a German that you would like pickles on your hamburger.
Handy - cell phone. But sure, I guess it is handy at times.
Bad - bath. I kept seeing this on town signs everywhere. Bad Kreuznach, Bad Hersfeld, etc. I just thought the villages were being punished.
Bald - soon. For some men, you will be bald bald enough.
Fast - almost. That one still gets me.
Menü - meal. The hubs' favorite order, "Ein BigMac Menü mit Cola, Pommes und Ketchup"
And my all time pet peeve, DAS BOOT!!! Ok, I get it. I am a big fan of Beer Fest too. I think it is hilarious to watch someone drink out of a large glass boot. But really, you are shouting "THE BOAT" and it is getting on my nerves. While you are wearing your skank-a-licous Dirndl at your fake Oktoberfest, why not add in a touch of authenticity and yell out "DER STIEFEL". That should get those Germans going.
|Various Sources: 1, 2, and 3|
And one last story that I have to tell. I taught an advanced English class last night. (I'm so smart, I know. haha) It was with one of the nicest German men I have had the pleasure of meeting. He is so soft spoken and polite, about in his 50's and really pushing himself to learn English for his job. He works for a big software company as a Marketing Manager and he was telling me all about this Messe, or Exhibition that his company is going to in March. I tried to keep a straight face when he referred to himself and other company employees that would be joining him at the exhibition as Exhibitionists. Haha. Poor guy, I would have made the same mistake. And then I of course had to tell him what an Exhibitionist was, yeah, that is never awkward.
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