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Old 06.08.2010, 17:17
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German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

hi everyone,

as someone who takes a great interest in and has a passion for the German language, I'd be interested in hearing what words in German or CH DE have especially impressed you, that you found funny, wished for an equivalent in your mother tongue, etc.

I was posting today in the pet forum and got to throw one of mine around, which got me thinking about my favorite words in German. I did a brief search, didnt see anything so i thought i'd just start one.

gewöhnungsbedürftig: not only is it hard for native english speakers to say correctly, its also a fantastic word, translatable only by an english sentence: "it takes some getting used to" translated as a single adjective. I love that.

Meinungsverschiedenheiten: differences of opinion.

äxcüsé: a swiss colleague wrote this on a pad of paper i was doodling on during a boring meeting, i had no idea what he meant till he spoke it, which was just "excusé", which id heard the swiss say as one of the standard french words theyve cheerfully adopted (along with merci, velo, etc), but decided to respell into phonetic schwyzertüütsch. it gave me a good laugh, thought I'd share.
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:29
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

My first favorite word is rather "pedestrian":

Badewanne: Come on, that's just fun to say.

The second is just a fantastic visual, and it works wonderfully in the right situations:

Ergötzen: I am so bad at translating things, unless they're in context; but this little gem (contrary to online translations, so don't even try to play that game) basically means to worship something that doesn't really merit the worship. Somewhat like a false idol. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Just love this language!
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:33
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

die Kakerlake means cockroach - its just fun to say
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:40
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

i just love it when people say esch guet - to your question or suggestion - and for the life of me i cannot say it like that!
gern geschehen also says it the best!
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:42
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

Yes! Kakerlake! That's the best, I just love that word.
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:43
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

Feierabend - A wee celebration every evening
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:43
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

Umschlagbahnhof!

It means loading train station

It sounds more like something Rammstein would write a song about.
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:48
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

mischtchrätzerli - chicken (literally "dungscratcher"/"crapscratcher")

undenufä - up (literally "underup")

obenabä - down (literally "abovedown")
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:53
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

Katzenscheisse!
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:55
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

"gääl?", gääl ?
.
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Old 06.08.2010, 17:58
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

ausflippen - to freak out.

But I particularly like it in the past tense. When someone says: ... dann habe ich ausgeflippt! it always makes me smile, it sounds so perfect
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Old 06.08.2010, 18:01
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswe rkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft
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Old 06.08.2010, 18:03
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

I like 'Als das Kind Kind war...' from a poem I know but featured in the opening of Wenders 'Himmel uber Berlin' - great film that.

I like it when someone says 'Ich habe das file gedownloadet...' - or similar, my German is not so good....

Or. 'Ich habe ein Durchfall' - spotted it my first German phrasebook, never had chance to use it yet - still waiting!
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Old 06.08.2010, 18:10
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

I love the word - Das Giesskannenprinzip - literally the 'watering-can principle'.

In English it would be "the principle of indiscriminate all-round distribution" which somehow lacks the ring of the German.
It is used in the sense of everyone getting an old-age pension from the state whether they 'need' it or not.
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Old 06.08.2010, 18:32
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

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Or. 'Ich habe ein Durchfall' - spotted it my first German phrasebook, never had chance to use it yet - still waiting!
Try to eat more Mexican foods Let me know if you want to hear some other, very colorful swiss-german descriptions of that condition :-)
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Old 06.08.2010, 18:39
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

"beratungsresistent," which just means impervious to advice but I love the way it is combined into one diplomatic word.

"Arschgeweih," eg ass-antlers (or tramp stamp in American) never fails to crack me up.
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Old 06.08.2010, 19:43
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

There are many, from my first meeting with Schwiizer tüütsch in a tram in Zürich and two men talking to each other, every sentence ending with "nid Wahr". Of course, the first experience with "luege e mal". Excuse spelling but you can get away with so much in Swiss German. These words have always fascinated me. My first two years in Zürich, Of course, after so many years in Kanton Solothurn, my Mr. Swiss tells me that I now speak Solodurner tütsch, but who knows what it is.
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Old 06.08.2010, 19:50
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

I hesitate to ask but what on earth are ass- antlers/ tramp stamps???
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Old 06.08.2010, 20:08
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

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I hesitate to ask but what on earth are ass- antlers/ tramp stamps???
Google gives a wealth of results on a search....
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Old 06.08.2010, 20:21
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Re: German: Favorite words in DE and CH-DE

My partners boss is Swiss, and when he gets the hourglass on Windows, he shout's in English - 'Oh no, sandwatch again.....'

And her previous boss (German) used to say in English, 'How are your childs?', insist on calling 'Rugby' - 'Rubgy' and my favourite, '..and he was speaking perfectly English'

Now I'm laughing at foreigners' English, how very British of me! And gone off topic...
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