Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun with German!

It’s been nearly 9 months now that I’ve been living in Germany and my German is starting to improve. Don’t get me wrong, I can hardly have a conversation in German, but I can make appointments in German- on the phone, without humiliating myself and I don’t break out in a cold sweat at the grocery store when they ask me one of the 5 different ways of either “Is that all?” and “do you need a bag”.

Despite my noticeable improvements, I still sound like a 4 year old and I do primarily live in the now. Not because I read some 70’s hippie book of living in the now, but because my verb conjugating skills only extend to the present tense.

Like when I learned Spanish, I’m finding German vocabulary “fairly” reasonable to learn. Even if I’ve never heard the word before, I can make a reasonable assumption of what it means, a lot of the nouns seem to be similar to either English or French or have a root from another German word. Sentence structure has been my enemy though. The sentence structure is not at all like any language I know and the fact that two verbs can (mostly) not be together is weird. One verb seems to always be at the end. It’s like when they were developing the language, they decided that the listener should pay full attention to the speaker and wait til the end of the sentence to know it’s meaning. Why else would you have a verb at the end? Makes no sense!

Speaking of whomever developed the German language, I do know they must have had a bit of a sense of humour, because some of the words are cute. Herewith, are some of my favorite German words I’ve crossed paths withs….

German Word               English Word                         Literal Translation

Auspuf                           exhaust pipe                          out puff

Handshuhe                    Glove                                     hand shoe (not  exactly rocket science!)

Krankenschwester        Nurse                                    sick sister

Operlipbart                     Mustache                            Over lip beard

Brustwarze                      nipples                                breast warts (more creepy than cute!)

Then there are just instance where there might not be a literal translation, but it’s wrong. Case in point, the picture above. I knew that saft was juice, but when I saw dick saft? Well, it was just creepy. I’ve since discovered that dick is thick. And so, it’s thick juice. But still, it seemed far more perverted at first glance!

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