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Old 26.01.2007, 23:51
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German words expats dislike

Since another thread about German words we like enough to use in English exists, I thought it would not hurt to create a thread for the opposite end of the spectrum.

Maybe this should go in the complaints section, but I cannot stand the word "anhalten". How can one word mean "to continue" and "to stop / pause"?! It just does not make sense. Typically the "to continue" form is confined to "anhaltend" -- the adjective form. However, it is still used as a verb with both definitions (saw it in the NZZ today with the meaning "to continue").

I know that languages are not always logical, but I find the ability of one word to mean the exact opposite rather annoying -- one has to read the context extremely closely each time in order to know which meaning is being used. Anyone else find another word in German annoying or extremely strange?
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Old 27.01.2007, 00:47
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Re: German words expats dislike

A word which always throws me is "kompetent". When a german speaker says "Ich bin nicht kompetent" it sounds like a confession of inadequacy or ineptness instead of which they are just passing the buck and protesting that it's not their fault or responsibility !
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