The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘german’

German Language Committee Meeting

Person 1: Hello, welcome, we will now begin the German Language Committee Meeting.

Person 2: Suggest removal of the chairperson, who wasted time stating the obvious.

Rest of Committee, in unison: Agreed.

Person 1: Respectfully, I agree. I will run this meeting and henceforth not show up. Today’s first word is bagel, which is currently ‘bagel’ in the German language. We want to make this ‘more German.’ Please write down your ideas.

(Committee members write furiously.)

Person 1: Please announce your ideas.

Rest of Committee, in unison: Brotmitlochinmitte! (Which translates literally to, ‘bread with hole in middle.’)

Person 1: Adopted. The next word is cat, which is currently ‘katze’ in German. This has been deemed ‘too weak.’ Please write down your ideas.

(Committee members write furiously.)

Person 1: Please announce your ideas.

administration architecture berlin building

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Committee Member A: My word is kleinerschwacherhund. (Which translates literally to, ‘small weak dog.’)

Committee Member B: My word is einsamepersonhaustier. (Which translates literally to, ‘lonely person pet.’)

Committee Member C: My word is andereshaushaustier. (Which translates literally to, ‘other house pet.’)

Person 1: I propose hundaberohnearbeitoderzuneigung. (Which translates literally to, ‘dog but without the work or affection.)

Person 2: This will be tabled as there is not currently a logical solution.

Person 1: The final word for today’s meeting is one that we have been asked to make less German. The word is ‘Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften’ and it means insurance companies providing legal protection. Please write down your ideas.

(Committee members write furiously.)

Rest of Committee, in unison: Bedeckedeinenarsch! (Which translates literally to, ‘cover your ass.’)

Person 1: The meeting has concluded.

Source … sorta …

Die Hand

Germany … you’re an odd place. And here’s why I say that.

The German word for neck is hals. The word for back is zurück. And ear is ohr. Eye is auge.

Distinct, unique. Clearly words the Germans had thought, ‘we should make words for these things.’

But here’s where they lose me.

The German word for hand … is hand.

The German word for arm … is arm.

The German word for finger … is finger.

It’s like they just completely forgot about those body parts until one day some Germans were hanging out with some English and the Germans realized, ‘oh crap … we don’t have names for any of the stuff connect to our brust (which means chest) … we should come up with names.’

Englishman: ‘and what do you guys call hands?’

German: ‘die hand.’

Englishman: ‘…no, like, in your language.’

German: ‘yah, hand … is hand.’

I would’ve been a pretty skeptical Englishman if I had heard, in sequence, that the German’s words for arm, hand and finger were … arm, hand and finger. And it’s not like the Germans forgot about appendages altogether. Leg is bein, foot is Fuß, and toe is zehe.

Germans, eh, they’re an odd bunch.

Flag of Germany.svg
Public Domain, Link

 

Du Spreche?

Recently I decided to take my German learning attempts to the next level. That is, LEVEL 0.2. My current level is doing Duolingo every day (or close to that), which has been going well.

I thought for next steps two things might make sense – a pen pal or reading children’s books in German. I’m anti-social enough that the pen pal idea lasted about one second.

panama 1For the children’s books I googled for German children’s books to learn German and what do you know – handy results came back. Great! I ordered three books:

Morgen, Findus, Wird’s Was Geben (Tomorrow, Fundus, Will Give What … That can’t be right, but I have no idea what it is)
Eine Woche Voller Samstage (A Week of Saturdays)
Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama (Oh, How Beautiful is Panama)

I looked forward to my three books with great anticipation. When they arrived I happily took the package home, opened it, and was immediately filled with … Whatever word means the emptying of ambition. These are no children’s books! These are more like elementary to middle school books! I wanted to be treated like a 3 year old having a book read to me! Dang it!stamstage

Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama is the one I will start with. It’s the easiest of the three. In this book a bear and a tiger (adorable) are on a journey to visit Panama (super adorable). I don’t know why, or if they succeed, my German isn’t that good. And, frankly, at this point I basically open a page, type word for word what I see into Google translate and then say ‘ohhhh, ok, I knew three of those words.’

Wish me luck on my likely fruitless endeavors.

Also, lesson learned, Germans do quotes differently. For example, in Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama they use these guys: << and >>.

<<Wer wusste?>> (Who knew?)

(I have no idea what’s happening in this book … but I’m excited to stumble through it 10 years from now.)

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