Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Language Week Day 2: deutsche Sprache, lustige Sprache/that funny German language

"Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache", so heißt es, auch unter Deutschen, aber ehrlich, so schwer ist die wirklich nicht, oder? Ich finde die deutsche Sprache eingentlich ganz lustig. Es gibt so viele witzige Wörter über die man schmunzeln kann.

Heute bin ich zu faul/beschäftigt (sucht euch eins aus) um einen richtigen Blogeintrag zu kreieren, daher präsentiere ich euch einige meiner Lieblingswörter auf Deutsch, mit Übersetzung natürlich.

Und jetzt, in keiner besonderen Reihenfolge...

"German language, difficult language" - that's what they all say, even the Germans, but really, it's not that hard ,is it? I think the German language is pretty funny, actually. There are so many amusing words to make one smile.

Today I'm too lazy/busy (take your pick) to write a real blog entry, so I'll present you with a few of my favourite German words with their translation, of course.

And now, in no particular order...

Leckerbissen - delicacy, tidbit, treat

Betthupferl - bedtime sweet

Mitbringsel - small present, hostess gift

Dudelsack - bagpipes

Eichhörnchen - squirrel

nichtsdestotrotz - nevertheless

Schmunzelhase - ("grinning rabbit") someone who can't stop smiling

Sättigungsbeilage - a side dish meant to fill you right up

fernmündlich - over the telephone

blümerant - slightly ill, queasy (from the French bleu mourant)

entrümpeln - to declutter or clear out

Kleinod - treasure, gem

Schlüpfer - panties, knickers, underpants

Dreikäsehoch - ("as tall as three cheeses") small child, half-pint

Spaßvogel - joker, jester

Scherzkeks - ("joking cookie") jokester

Pechvogel - jinx, an unlucky person

nippen - to sip

Stiefmütterchen - ("little stepmother") pansy

Lichtspielhaus - cinema, movie theatre

Jammerlappen - someone who likes to complain a lot

Und zuallerletzt, ein ganz langes deutsches Wort/And finally a very long German word

Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän - Danube steam ship company captain

Lernt diese Wörter und eure Freunde werden staunen!

Learn these words and amaze your friends!

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At June 26, 2007 4:45 p.m., Blogger Martina said...

Great choice of words!

You know, I always thought "Eichhörnchen" was the only word for squirrel, until I was walking dogs with a friend one day and she said "Hast Du das gesehen? Da ist ein Eichhorn direkt über den Weg gehüpft?" I was shocked, having always referred to them in the diminutive form myself.

At June 26, 2007 5:19 p.m., Blogger Carol said...

Ah, thanks for bringing back a few memories! My godfather sent me a "Betthupferl" container when I was in 3rd grade. I took it very seriously and always tried to have it filled. It probably led to some of the issues I blogged about today... (sigh)!

And really, there is no other decent word for Mitbringsel. I've taught many an American that word.

By the way, Annette, my niece who visited us from Germany last week, taught us this one: "Du bist wohl mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert." Tom intends to memorize it and use it... probably on me! :-)


At June 26, 2007 5:37 p.m., Blogger Betsy said...

These are great! I'm going to print your list out and try working some of these into my conversations in the next few days. Just think of all the damage I could do!

"Ist das ein Dudelsack in deinem Schlüpfer?"

"Dem Stiefmütterchen wird es blümerant."

"Der Spaßvogel ist mein Betthupferl."

At June 26, 2007 6:22 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I didn't know that "fernmündlich" and "Lichtspielhaus" were still in use!!

My all time favourite is still "Zahnfleich" (tooth meat??), wich means gums, of course.

At June 26, 2007 7:30 p.m., Blogger ColourMeCrazy said...

"Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän"! What a mouthful! These words a definitely more interesting than the ones I'm learning in beginners German!

At June 26, 2007 9:03 p.m., Anonymous Maribeth said...

Thanks for making me smile.

At June 26, 2007 11:39 p.m., Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

A post after my own heart. I love these kinds of words.

At June 27, 2007 6:50 a.m., Blogger Ms. M said...

I liked
Dudelsack. Do you actually have much opportunity to use it? Maybe if I heard some of the others I would like them too. You certainly didn't have any trouble coming up with interesting words, did you?

At June 27, 2007 9:52 a.m., Blogger Florian said...

Some of your beloved german words (blümerant, Dreikäsehoch, fernmündlich, Lichtspielhaus and Schlüpfer) are currently threatened by extinction, see

At June 27, 2007 11:39 a.m., Blogger christina said...

martina - Really? I didn't know that either? I wonder if it's a north/south thing?

carol - You're welcome! There are so many excellent words that really don't translate.

Betsy - Make sure you write down people's reactions. :)

Canswiss - Unfortunately both of those are almost extinct but I still like 'em!

colourmecrazy - I changed that one because according to the Rechtschreibereform, it's suppose to have THREE f's in the middle! They sure don't make it easy, do they?

maribeth - Bitteschön! :-)

heidelbergerin - I could just kill myself laughing sometimes. These words make living in this country so much more bearable.

ms. m - That's just a small selection. There are so many fun ones I could have gone on for hours. No, it's not that difficult to slip Dudelsack into everyday conversation. :-)

florian - Yes, I'm aware of that and have read the news articles. That's exactly why I put them here - got to get them out there so they don't disappear completely.

At June 27, 2007 5:37 p.m., Blogger Martina said...

It just hit me to look up "Eichhorn" in the Duden. There's no entry for it. Looks like it's not a word after all. So why would my friend (a "regular" German) have used it? Mystery upon mystery. I'll ask her the next time I see her.

At June 28, 2007 9:49 a.m., Blogger Lynda said...

wow there are lots of words in that list that I didn't know --- hmmm blogging is increasing my education - fabulous!

At June 28, 2007 1:27 p.m., Blogger Pardon My French said...

I took two years of German, but it's just about all gone. In honor of both you and my great German prof, though, I'm going to add "dudelsack" and "blu(withanumlaut)merant" to my vocabulary. Maybe even 'dreikasehoch' since that's also easy to remember.

At June 28, 2007 2:16 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Martina - Yeah, I googled it and only came up with Eichhörnchen as well. And all the related little animals are also in the "Hörnchen" family. Think it could be a dialect thing that your friend grew up with?

Lynda - Some of those are not used very often, but I like the sound of them. :-)

Pardon My French - Yeah, next time you meet a German you could say "Is that a Dudelsack in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" Blümerant is threatening to die out, but I still hear Dreikäsehoch used quite often.

At June 28, 2007 4:13 p.m., Blogger Martina said...

...however, when you do a google image search for "Eichhorn" you do get some squirrels, along with people whose last name is Eichhorn.

Darn. Went walking with my friend today and forgot to ask :-)

At July 03, 2007 1:04 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neat! This reminds me of Mark Twain's comment on the German language: "Never trust a language where the girls are neutrons and the potatoes feminine!"

Editor of Expat's Concise Legal Encyclopedia, www.LG2G.info


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