(“Get home safe!”). However, the truth is actually quite different. That perception is doubtless due in no small part to countless World War II movies where the Germans are the bad guys constantly shouting things like Schnell! Answer: That was the oh-so-lovely sound for the German ch. If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos. “American English” includes corruptions of German, Dutch, Italian, French and so on, which have become included in the American lexicon but are absent from universal “English”. Especially well-known from the word “Oktoberfest” (which we’ll get to in a few sections—don’t get angsty), “fest” combines the ideas of a festival and a feast into one neat little package. Humbug! 22. lager Your poster of dogs playing poker? To hear the audio, click GET FLASH TO HEAR AUDIO shown at the beginning of the list of words. The word, however, comes straight to us from the French language. It’s often used when talking about hypocritical people who get their comeuppance. In fact, this distaste for Hitler and his nickname was so strong that the German word for “driver’s license,” Führerschein, was changed in the GDR (East Germany) to Fahrerlaubnis, which means something more like “driving permission.” This is generally understood to have been a way to avoid using the word Führer, even in unrelated contexts. Even the non-Romance German language follows this similarity; the German word for mother is Mutter. A vocabulary list featuring 52 Interesting Words to Know. While Fest is certainly still very common in German, your German friends are probably just as likely to invite you to eine Party. The word lagern is a verb that means “to store” or “to wait,” and in fact that’s what happens with lager beer: It’s stored for a period of up to six months to age before consuming. Words that are similar in German and English; Words that sound similar but definitely aren't; How English words sneak into German to become "Denglish" Jens has noticed that when he hears people speaking English, lots of the words seem similar. As mentioned in the first section, Oktoberfests are common in English-speaking countries, including the US, where people are happy to have a good excuse to party and drink German beer. A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language without translation. klingen. 2 words for each letter in the alphabet. People often say it sounds “guttural” or “rough,” or that German speakers are “always shouting.”. However, the /th/ sound as in words like the, and thing does not exist in German, and many speakers have problems producing such words correctly. It can be a preposition or a prefix in German, and it generally means something like “above,” “higher” or “greater.” In English we tend to use it similarly, possibly calling people things like an “uber-chef,” an “uber-planner” or an “uber-[expletive].”. It is called “Schottenfreude – German Words For The Human Condition” and is about very long compound German words. Even though they don’t fit neatly into any of the other categories, most English speakers will recognize them without any confusion. Click here to get a copy. While French and Spanish swear words are particularly colorful, German swear words colors shine in its specific, intense phrasing. English speakers distinctively pronounce the letter /v/ and /w/. Your ashtray depicting a Disney character rip-off saying “Put your butts here”? Most common in southern Germany, these venues are surprisingly family-friendly. So it now starts in September and most of the fest takes place in September, but the name has stuck. The German 'au' diphthong - which can only be written 'au' - starts off with an /a/ phoneme and then glides towards a 'u' sound. (e.g., the German ei — as in nein — spelling is always sounded out EYE, whereas German ie — as in Sie — always has the ee sound.) One of the best examples of an English word used frequently by Germans in a completely different way is Handy. Popular examples of German compound nouns. Translated literally as “double walker,” this word describes a person who is the spitting image of another person. 18. knockwurst Also, some people love getting their tongues round German’s super-long words. I suppose that the idea is that you’re wishing the person who sneezed better health in the future, although, come to think of it, it would actually be pretty funny if you just responded to someone sneezing by descriptively saying “sneeze.”. The other two, “frankfurter” and “wiener,” refer to their respective cities of origin, Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien in German—see “schnitzel” below). I hope that this list has perhaps sparked a feeling of wanderlust in you, and that you’ll succumb to that desire. Even today, one of the most recent prominent examples of “German” in English is Lady Gaga’s 2011 song “Scheiße,” a surprisingly catchy tune in which she claims that although she doesn’t speak German, she will nevertheless do so if we’d like, and then proceeds to sing several verses of German-sounding gibberish. Most of the explanations are therefore more related to where the word comes from, when or how it’s used, or other interesting trivia tidbits. My day job is teaching English to Spanish speakers, and they never believe me that this is a common word in English. English is the closest language to German after Dutch. Did you know there are many German words in English that we use? German is one of those foreign languages that most people in the world can clearly recognize by its sound even if they do not speak a word of German. German is a much more phonetically consistent language than English. Don’t worry, though; if you slur your words and mispronounce it when you order it at the restaurant, they won’t throw you into the river out of confusion. While the origin of the food called a hamburger may be in doubt, the word itself clearly refers to a person or object originating from the city of Hamburg. When you do, keep your ears open, and you’ll likely find yourself thinking now and then, “Hey, we use that word in English, too!”. Technical and geographical words are listed only in a very small amount because of clarity. Be aware there is a standardised form of spoken German. Why not try a pretzel? Many are incorporated into larger parks or other relaxing natural areas, and some even have deer! This is also often written as “beer garden,” which makes it more English-y and which gives away its meaning in German. In French, genre literally translates to "gender," but it also roughly translates to "type," which explains its context in the English language. Here’s a quick “sausage sidebar.” Wurst is the German word for “sausage,” so any time you see it, you’re likely to get meat in tube form. Originally, man could refer to a person, regardless of their gender, with the words wer specifically referring to "a male" and wīf, "a female." Vat this does is start to add a Germanic flavor to your speaking. 3. That’s a good question—forgive me if I go off on a bit of a spiel here. Although this may seem like a simple chemical or scientific name, this is more than just a mere cognate. If you know more words, send them by e-mail. When most people think of German food, they think of sausages and beer consumed to the sounds of an oompah band. 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