So… I’ve sacrificed a lot in my learning of German. German makes me have to think twice about sentence structure in English. German makes me forget simple English words momentarily. But today I want to focus on why I like German and why I have dedicated so much of my life to it. So I thought that I would talk about some of my favorite German words and phrases.
First, let’s start with some pretty basic stuff—stuff that you might want to use in your daily life… or well… that I use in my day-to-day life…
· ERKLÄREN (Explain) – I just love to say this word. It just rolls off of the tongue so easily and it’s so fun to say. Also, it’s pretty useful. I think that this is also an exemplary example of German word structure.
· FREITAG (Friday) – So, as much as I love Fridays, it’s not my love for Fridays that landed “Freitag” on this list. “Freitag” literally means “free day” or “day of freedom” which is… well… wonderful!
· ICH WEIß / ACH! ICH WEIß / JA, ICH WEIß (I know / Oh! I know / Yes, I know) – So… I never say “I know” anymore. I just say: “Ich weiß” or “Ach! Ich weiß!” Quick note: The German letter “ß” (called “Eszett”) makes a “ss” sound, so you may see it spelt out “Ich weiss” though the “ß” will be much more common.
· TRÄUM / TRÄUM GROß (Dream / Dream big) – I say this quite often. An example would be:
o Someone: “Hey, do you think that I should put in an audition for this show?”
o Me: “Definitely! Träum groß!”
Now, let’s get on with some crazy words that we don’t have in English and some phrases that I absolutely adore…
· DIE LEBENSVERSICHERUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (The Life Insurance Company) – So… this isn’t an altogether bizarre thing to say, but it’s one of my favorite German words because it’s just so long! And I’m not kidding… this is an actual word and it really is only one word. That’s because in German, the word kind of just gets stacked up. For example, if you were talking about a button on a jacket, it’s a “mantelkopf” (“button”). “Lebens” means “life”, “versicherung” means “insurance”, “gesellschaft” means “society” or “company”, and so “lebensversicherungsgesellschaft” means “life insurance company”.
· DAS IST DER WEG DES HERZENS (That is the way of the heart) – I don’t know… I just like to say this. I think that it’s just so fun to say and it just kind of… flows, you know?
· KUMMERSPECK (The weight you gain after a breakup) – “Kummerspeck” literally translates to “grief bacon”. Yeah, that’s weird, I know. But it actually means the weight that you gain after a breakup or after you eat to drown out your feelings. I just think that this word is an absolutely wonderful word to have. I mean… where else do you have a word to express this?
· SCHANPSIDEE (An absolutely insane idea) – So technically, “Schnapsidee” will translate directly to “Schnaps (alchohol) idea”. Essentially, the idea of the word “schnapsidee” is to mean an idea that’s so crazy that someone might thing that you were under the influence of alcohol when you came up with it.
· VERSCHLIMMERN (To try to make something better but in the process to make it worse) – See how awfully long that explanation was? Why say all of that when you can just say “Verschlimmern”?
· DU HAST DICH IN MIR ERKENNEN (You have recognized yourself in me) – Now, really, when is this going to come in handy? I’ve got no clue. But it’s so fun to say and it’s just one of those things that I love the sound of. And who knows? Maybe you’ll have to say it someday!
Do you know any other languages? If so, what are some of your favorite words and phrases that you absolutely adore? Has learning this language messed up your English?