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

Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

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 …

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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.)

Attn: Ellen (8/16/17)

Front

Ellen321a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen321b

 

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

In my feeble attempt to learn some German via Duolingo, I am also learning that I don’t know much English. For example, today I am doing a lesson on ‘Genitive Case.’ I don’t know what that means, but I can only assume it’s language you’d use while visiting Geneva. Stuff like, “hey, nice watch!”

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Hallo Fliege

In this post I am going to attempt to use my fledgling German knowledge to express my hatred of a fly that is inside my house and does Top Gun style fly bys of the tower (my face) and I want to kill him but he never seems to land. Except for on my legs when I am eating.

 

Hallo Fliege,

Mein freund, du bist nicht gut. Und ich habe kein liebe für du.

Ich bin stark, und groß, aber du bist schmutzig und … um, nicht stark.

Hmmm. Ich spreche ein klein Deutsch so das ist schwer. Ich brauche … etwas.

Mit hass,

Mich

 

And now a translation to see how I’ve done. I can already tell you – not well. But let’s see it. I am lacking a vocabulary. You want me to say hello to a potato? I can do that. But to fully express my hatred for a fly? That’s beyond me.

 

Hello fly,

My friend, you're not good. And I have no love for you.

I am strong, and tall, but you are dirty and ... um, not strong.

Hmmm. I speak a small German so that is hard. I need something.

With hate,

Me

Czech, a Cryptographer’s Language

Recently my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Prague, Czech Republic. It is a beautiful city that seems to have a mystical and unsettling charm that is amazing.

It also features a language that, I think, was created by an English speaking cryptographer.

 

Pants

Spanish – pantalones

German – hose

Czech – kalhoty

Hello

Spanish – hola

German – hallo

Czech – ahoj

Friend

Spanish – amigo

German – freund

Czech – přítel

Ok. Well.

I thought I would find a bunch of words that would illustrate that Czech was incredibly confusing to me and somehow more foreign than most languages. With Spanish, French, German and Italian I’ve seen or heard enough words/phrases that it doesn’t boggle the mind. With languages that use different letters … of course it’s confusing. But Czech was letters I know in orderings that I’d never encountered before. There was no ‘wo ist die bahnhof’ (where is the train station), there was ‘kde je vlakové nádraží’ … go ahead, try and guess how to say that.

I’ll end with the most beautiful phrase in German I know, “Ich fürchte, es gibt einen Spinnenaffe in meinem Salat, bringen Sie mir bitte ein Paar chirurgische Handschuhe und einen Zylinder. Sofort. Oh und auch ein Monokel.”

8% Fluent

According to Duolingo, as of tonight, I am 8% fluent in German. I don’t know who I could communicate with my 8% fluency but I think it would have to be someone who has been hit by a truck several times.

I could maybe keep up with a 16 month old. Would you consider yourself 8% fluent in the English language at the ripe age of 1 and 1/4 years old?

Ich bin eine banane. Did you know that means I am a banana? I can tell people these kinds of things with my 8%.

“Hallo.”

“Hallo!”

“Du ist eine kartoffel?”

“Nein, bitte! Ich bin ein mann!”

Here we see one of any number of classic German conversations I might have. Someone greets me, I greet them in return, they ask if I am a potato, and in turn I inform them that I am actually a man.

What if I need to find a bathroom in Germany? No clue. But I can point to a glass of hot chocolate and say, “HeibBe schokolade, bitta! Mmmm, es ist lecker!” (This is tasty!)

Also that B should be … well, a different B. It’s called Eszett. Did duolingo teach me that? Of course not, I know “8%.”

I wish I could be confused as this guy, you need 80%+ understanding before idioms can even make sense enough to baffle you.

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