"Untranslatable" German words

145 posts in this topic

This is intended as a slightly tongue-in-cheek self-help guide for English speakers who have never quite managed to speak English since coming to Germany.

 

I'll kick off the listing:

 

Beamte(r) - officer / official

Anmeldung - registration

Steuererklärung - tax return

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Just now, RedMidge said:

Not sure I understand! Why are these "untranslatable". ^_^ 

 

They're not untranslatable. People just don't. Read these forums for example.

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Schienenersatzverkehr: bus which replaces the train

Haftpflichtversicherung: liability insurance

 

Bier: German beer

Biermischgetränk:non-German beer

Starkbier: light beer in Belgium

 

Oktoberfest: September festival

 

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1 minute ago, yourkeau said:

Schienenersatzverkehr: bus which replaces the train

Haftpflichtversicherung: liability insurance

 

Bier: German beer

Biermischgetränk:non-German beer

Starkbier: light beer in Belgium

 

Oktoberfest: September festival

 

 

Schienenersatzverkehr: bus which replaces the train - or "replacement bus"

Haftpflichtversicherung: liability insurance

 

...ah, wait, the rest of those are off topic.

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32 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Why are these "untranslatable".

When it comes to untranslatable, the sentence "Nein, deine verkackte Reisekrankenversicherung ist nicht ausreichend!" wins hands down on this forum...

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15 minutes ago, franklan said:

When it comes to untranslatable, the sentence "Nein, deine verkackte Reisekrankenversicherung ist nicht ausreichend!" wins hands down on this forum...

 

Isn't that "nope" in American English?

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

Never found a satisfactory one for... menschenverachtend.

without regard for the humanity of someone ?

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2 hours ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

They're not untranslatable. People just don't. Read these forums for example.

 

I for one am guilty.  After living here for 30 years, I do have moments when I forget the English version of various words.

 

There could be a psychological reasoning for this.  Perhaps the house lass knows. 

 

But I have noticed we tend to do it with nouns and not verbs.  I've yet to read or hear, or 'I trinke another beer' or I schau a progamme on the telly an'. :lol:

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That is because Germans use nouns for everything and have lousy verbs, Bayrisch😝 ( a brief summary of the problem I also share with you after so long in Germany!)

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

Never found a satisfactory one for... menschenverachtend.

Inhumane?

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I knew I was finished when I started pronouncing english words German-wise

 

eg "Seinfeld" with a "z" at the start and "t" on the tail.. usw.

 

and yeah..."usw.",  stuff like that.  

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5 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Try saying Harvey Winesteen in the U.S. instead of Winestein.

 

For me US English is another language anyhows. Yes, anyhows.

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25 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

 

I for one am guilty.  After living here for 30 years, I do have moments when I forget the English version of various words.

 

 

I know people who live in Frankfurt and can't have a conversation in either English or German any more :lol:

 

BTW it's "the English word for..." not the "English version of..." - this is the psychology of German; German is the only language. All the others are really just "versions" :lol:

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