But if there are indeed differences between usage in both languages, we’ll also get into that a bit. Much like when a Supreme Court Justice said that he couldn’t define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it, kitsch is hard to describe yet immediately recognizable. Most common in southern Germany, these venues are surprisingly family-friendly. This is the German word for a menu and is a simple, widely used German word that is easy to learn and repeat as you travel through Germany, enjoying some of the country's gastronomic delights. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store. But it is, I swear! Long E is similar to Italian closed E (e.g. Let’s cleanse our palates of the taste of war, shall we? You might get a slight buzz even if you’re just watching people drink that much, so you should probably have something in your stomach. Did you know there are many German words in English that we use? Modern-day languages in the family include English and German, of course, but also Dutch, Afrikaans and the Scandinavian languages. Literally, “around-arming.” Now we have the stragglers, the words that just didn’t fit into any other category. Warmduscher FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Both languages have borrowed liberally from each other to form their own vocabulary, and today we’ll talk about some of the most common, interesting, useful and odd German words in use in English. German examples: geben (first "e" only), seht, den. Baker is out sick today, so I guess I’ll just have to be the ersatz boss” or “The Germans are coming over for coffee and cake—don’t you dare serve them that ersatz coffee or ersatz creamer, or they’ll find some ersatz friends to replace us!”. German examples: Rest, denn. So to be able to learn how to pronounce German umlauts, we have to try and approximate the sounds using existing words. While ‘fuckwit’ seems to be a common answer, ‘bad masturbator,’ ‘motherfucker,’ and other less than positive terms have been used as well. clay, tone, note, shade, tint. I guess you could even call this article a kind of wordfest! This literally means “badger dog,” since apparently these dogs were used to hunt badgers? In English, we use the word "genre" to describe a work of art characterized by a particular style, like horror, romance, comedy, and so on. Examples: gut, gegeben (unlike English or Italian, it doesn't matter what vowel follows the G). A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language without translation. So maybe English speakers can be excused if they think that English and German are on completely separate paths that don’t overlap. This means German spoken around the world will be very similar. Phonology: The sounds of English and German are similar, as are stress and intonation patterns. This means that German words almost always sound the way they are spelled — with consistent sounds for any given spelling. That’s all very important, of course, but since English doesn’t have gendered nouns, you can read this one without worrying about any of that! By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Diverse Origin of the English Language, Beginner German: Hear and Learn Words for Family Members, Anglicism and Pseudo Anglicism in Germany, English-German Glossary About Family and Relations, German Punctuation Zeichensetzung Punctuation Marks Part 1, Animal Sounds in German With English Translations, German for Beginners: Pronunciation and Alphabet, Parts of the Body German for Beginners Lesson, German Adjective Endings: Nominative, Accusative, and Dative Cases. However, the German language is not as widely spoken in the country these days. (Download). Hobby, Flip-flops, Baby, Taxi, T-Shirt, Tourist, Computer, E-Mail and Sweatshirt are the words which sound exactly the same both in German and English. They’re usually served with lemon and maybe a side of potatoes, but not sauerkraut. For some reason, I had to write the word “kindergarten,” but I initially wanted to spell it with a “d.” It looked wrong—and indeed was wrong—but I probably didn’t connect that feeling with the reason for a few more years. Next time you’re out drinking, consider ending with a spritzer, which comes from the German word spritzen (to spray). German is a much more phonetically consistent language than English. How to Use Beautiful Words in English If you don’t believe me, check out this post with 150+ basic German phrases for beginners. However, the truth is actually quite different. Austrian German. WRONG. Here is a list of funny German words that have all-too amusing literal translations and their meaning: Speisekarte (dish card). The German noun for “hug” sounds as friendly as its meaning. It contains the most important and most frequently used German words. Short E is very like English short E in words like "best". 52 words that make you sound smart when you use them.These words are great vocabulary builders. (OK, it looks like those two words didn’t make the crossover to English, so we’ll have to use the good old-fashioned English words for “meat” and “potatoes” after all.). The words are fun to say and have a cool meaning. 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. Flachwichser – F*ckwit (And other terms) This one is known for being quite a German swear word. English speakers distinctively pronounce the letter /v/ and /w/. Johann Paul Richter) is also credited with coining another German word that we’ve borrowed into English: doppelgänger. 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. 24. sauerkraut That's because there's a whole other category of similar-looking words in other closely-related languages that have different definitions. While Fest is certainly still very common in German, your German friends are probably just as likely to invite you to eine Party. Spanish’s salud and German’s Gesundheit both mean “health,” as do the responses in many other languages. English has many words that are exactly the same in German. The beginning of the journey called Learning German should start with these words. German words that sound inappropriate in English The first word is Abfahrt which means to depart but sounds like somthing about farting. 16. bratwurst Back to the lightning list! In fact, there are lots of letters that make the same sound in German and English: f, h, k, l, m, n, p, t. Ch sounds. He is passionate about learning, coffee, traveling, languages, writing, photography, books and movies, but not necessarily in that order. Even though that sounds like a pain, it’s actually refreshing to be able to explain an emotion or situation on a deeper level. In all Romance languages, for instance, the word for "mother" is fairly recognizable: French is mère, and in Spanish and Italian both it's madre. Why not try a pretzel? 25. schnapps (“Get home safe!”). “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”. And that’s no different when it comes to cursing. The word that describes the emotion you’re feeling may actually exist – you’re just searching for it in the wrong language. Here you will find words which are the same in German and in English. German has had such a heavy influence on English, many words sound like the English equivalent, "but with a heavy German accent." Firstly, the grammar is – uhm – challenging. At this point, it’s probably also worth mentioning in a quick aside that the legend about German nearly becoming the official language of the US, only to lose by one vote, is untrue. 2. 27. spritzer And when you’re done with this list, be sure to check out this post about some great German words that aren’t loanwords in English yet—but sure should be! The penis is also called penis in german but there are other english words like ‘dick’ and in german there’s the word ‘Schwanz’. This means that German words almost always sound the way they are spelled — with consistent sounds for any given spelling. He said, “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” As you’re reading the “war” section below, just keep that lovely sentiment in mind when things get too heavy. stereotypical “American food,” an idea that even many Germans believe, 6.3 million people drank 6.5 million liters of beer, FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into German learning experiences, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store, Find a German Tutor Near You with 5 Highly Searchable Tutor Match Websites, Learn German with Movies: 10 Great Movies for Learning Real German, Learn German through Music: 8 Modern Classics to Get Started, Learn German Through TV: 8 Great Shows for German Learners, 10 German Slang Phrases to Sound Like a Native. In German, one example would be bald, which means "soon," but to English speakers resembles the synonym for "hairless.". German is easy, right? German does not use the diphthong /əʊ/ as in ‘so’ or ‘coat’. Kitsch and things that are kitschy (kitschig in German) can describe many kinds of objects that are either over-sentimental, cheap, poorly produced or that appeal to mass tastes. So, let’s finally get to the Fleisch and Kartoffeln of this post! Note: the result is not actually German; rather, it is written so that if an American reads it, it will sound like a stereotypical German … This is also often written as “beer garden,” which makes it more English-y and which gives away its meaning in German. These are less common for the most part, but still generally accepted as part of English (but not always, if my spell checker is any indication). Try it now by making a very short, cat-hissing sound. 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. Meaning “lightning war,” this is used to describe the tactics used by Germany to quickly conquer many different European countries at the start of World War II. Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. Play Listen closely. The word, however, comes straight to us from the French language. As an expat in Sweden (although I do speak Swedish), I sometimes find it difficult not to laugh at some of the Swedish words that have the exact same spelling of English words, but mean something extremely different. In words ending in IG the G is pronounced like (German) ch. We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in. More German words for sound. Just tap on any subtitled word to see an in-context definition, usage examples and a helpful illustration. And you’ll find that this is mercifully free of any mention of der, die or das (or gender in general). ring, clink, tinkle, clang. They may be fun, but none of them hold a candle to the real deal in Munich, which starts in mid-September. In English, it can be used to describe almost any place that serves beer, especially German beer. By sprinkling words from the German umgangsprache into your daily conversations, you can bring your sentences to life and display emotions you won’t find in German textbooks. Jean Paul (a.k.a. A schnitzel is basically a meat cutlet (not a sausage, contrary to what a popular hot dog chain might have you believe), and a Wiener Schnitzel is a schnitzel from Vienna (Wien). If you know more words, send them by e-mail. Deutsch (German) + Englisch (English) = Denglisch. The German diphthong 'au' . We chose the most difficult German words we could find and asked people learning German to pronounce them. A cognate is a word that has the same root as a similar word in another language and looks and sounds similar. You can learn more or connect with him through his website Sitzman ABC. How this food then became a staple of stereotypical “American food,” an idea that even many Germans believe, remains a subject for a different post. 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].”. But first, let’s take a moment to think about why we even have these words in the first place. In German orthography, the grapheme, ß, called Eszett (IPA: ) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˈʃaɐ̯fəs ˈʔɛs], [ˈʃaːfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. For instance, the German word Haus is a cognate of the English word "house." That comes from the German word Brezel, which is so associated with traditional German baked goods that it’s often part of a baker’s sign. Your neon Virgin of Guadalupe statue that plays the song from “Titanic”? For example: Bett (bed), Fisch (fish), leicht (light), etc. That is because there are no equivalent sounds in English that sound the same as the umlauts in German. Ryan Sitzman teaches English and sometimes German in Costa Rica. German just isn't the gentlest-sounding language -- at least not to the ears of English speakers. Start learning German with these words! Translated literally as “double walker,” this word describes a person who is the spitting image of another person. The penis is also called penis in german but there are other english words like ‘dick’ and in german there’s the word … 3. German words beginning with a /w/ are pronounced with a /v/. The figurative translation may look different, but when translated literally, the German person is saying “come,” “good,” “to” and “house.” In that phrase, 75% of the words are pretty close to English, with nach (to) being a notable difference (but preposition differences tend to be tricky in many languages, anyhow). 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.”. One of the fun things about the German language is how you can build words by simply joining a number of words together, which sometimes means you can get a word that is almost a page long! Balderdash! It’s a charming story and a good one to convince people of the power of voting, but it’s unfortunately just a myth. Or is it the sound of an angry cat? There are things that are worse. German pronounce words starting with /w/ in a /v/ sound so “wine” becomes “vine” and ”we” is … That somewhat general word is used for the same thing in both languages: hard liquor. The Internets have many such lists: http://www.easiest-foreign-languages.com/easy-german-words.html Your velvet Elvis painting? 17. frankfurter Vat this does is start to add a Germanic flavor to your speaking. The confusion is caused by not opening one’s jaw wide enough and failing to move the tongue to a lower front position: Click here to get a copy. Then there is dick : Er ist dick means he is fat. Kitsch. der Ton noun. A vocabulary list featuring 52 Interesting Words to Know. I vaguely remember a time when I was writing some kind of essay in elementary school. Since English has some Germanic roots, there are a fair number of English-German cognates. 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. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into German learning experiences. As a fun bonus, if you get a sandwich on a “kaiser roll,” that word also seems to have originated from the same word, only a different kaiser. But for the purposes of this article, we'll stick to the true cognates. Another struggle with learning German is that there are several words that have no actual English equivalent or proper translation. Also, some people love getting their tongues round German’s super-long words. One of my students brought this book to one of our classes. FluentU brings German to life with real-world videos. This was likely also enhanced by the presence of immigrants who spoke Yiddish, as well as other Germanic languages. A German expression in English is a German loanword, term, phrase, or quotation incorporated into the English language. Thanks for subscribing! The German diphthong 'au' . But the word “diary” is equally pleasing to the ear and has an intriguing meaning. (literally “Hail Hitler!” but figuratively “I’m this movie’s terrible Nazi villain!”). Sure, many of the phrases on the list are significantly different from English, but it’s certainly not as different as it would be between English and Chinese, Xhosa or some other non-Germanic or non-Indo-European language. German Translation. Here we take a look at some of our very favorite vintage German words. 26. schnitzel Diesel fuel is named after Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine. Jiminy Cricket! Another struggle with learning German is that there are several words that have no actual English equivalent or proper translation. The word was then later appropriated by the Ramones and used in their song “Blitzkrieg Bop” to conquer the hearts and minds of punk rock fans. Since English has some Germanic roots, there are a fair number of English-German cognates. 19. wiener. Quickly!”) and Heil Hitler! Let’s also include honorary mentions here of our four-legged friends who are rottweilers, dobermans, schnauzers and poodles, all of which bear names originating in German. The original German word Angst, however, is generally understood to mean “fear.” For example, Ich habe Angst vor Schlangen means “I’m afraid of snakes.” In English, the word is usually used to express a dissatisfaction or disenchantment with life in general; people also talk about “teenage angst” or “existential angst.”. For example, in English we say “house,” and in German the word is Haus. Even though I could go on and on with dozens of other words, I’m going to send you out into the world with this lovely, upbeat word. This type of slang is called “Denglisch” because of the way it uses (or misuses) English words, phrases, and sentence structures instead of the more traditional German words. Learning a new language opens the doors of communication in more ways than one. “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”. To pronounce / e / properly, try to say English “hey”, but freeze your tongue in the middle of saying “ey”. “Brat” comes from braten, meaning “to grill,” and knockwurst (also written as “knackwurst” in English—the German version is also written with the “a”) probably comes from knacken, which is the popping or cracking sound that the sausage makes when bitten into. 23. pretzel Here are a few of my favourites. Search for Oachkatzleschwoaf online and you’ll find a few examples. Don’t panic, it’s just a word on a word, and the language is well-known for building new, hyper-specific words that express life more perfectly than any English word ever could. These days, it’s used in English to describe National Socialists from the World War II era, but also used surprisingly commonly to describe people who hold different ideologies than one’s own—or even just people who are disagreeable in general, such as the “Soup Nazi” on the TV show “Seinfeld.”. (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.) Unless you’re into poetry or literary history, though, you may not recognize the phrase Sturm und Drang (literally “storm and urge”), but you may recognize its effects when you see them. In other words, it’s known for being substantial, a bit unrefined and heavy on the beer, potatoes and pork products. So, let’s do this! For more info, this great post about German food idioms is pretty illustrative while being funny and spot-on; it’s also full of idiomatic expressions related to sausages, which is a linguistic characteristic that’s probably attributable only to German. The word literally means “children garden” in German, and it’s really a charming word, I must say. These are often called “loanwords,” although despite their name, there’s nothing temporary about them. That influence may have even been stronger in the US and Canada than in the UK, mainly due to the waves of German immigrants arriving to the “new country” and bringing their language with them. Similarly, there are archaic English words, terms and expressions that are still in use on one side of the Atlantic or the other but unknown to the others. This refers to a German or Austrian emperor (the word that in turn came long ago from the Latin word Caesar), and in English it’s mainly used in contexts that refer to the time before and during World War I. Originally, man could refer to a person, regardless of their gender, with the words wer specifically referring to "a male" and wīf, "a female." German and English are like siblings (Pixabay) Hobby, Flip-flops, Baby, Taxi, T-Shirt, Tourist, Computer, E-Mail and Sweatshirt are the words which sound exactly the same both in German and English. At last year’s Oktoberfest in Munich, 6.3 million people drank 6.5 million liters of beer. In words with NG the combination is pronounced like the final "ng" in the English words "sing", "following", etc. Download: You can also generally bring your own food and use the tables to make a picnic, as long as you purchase any drinks from the establishment. The following words tend to come up fairly frequently, albeit randomly, in daily English speech. Learning German becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. Daughter -> Tochter Son -> Sohn Night -> Nacht Thanks -> Dank New -> Neu Old -> Alt. He may have been nearly broke when he died under mysterious (and interesting) circumstances, but his name lives on to this day in English, as well as in many other languages. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the German language and culture over time. Just be sure to not eat that sauerkraut with a schnitzel! Rule 1.1: "Wh" is just "v" Translated literally, this word means something like “damage pleasure,” but it’s usually understood to mean being happy that something bad happened to someone else. 1. klingen. The words may be similar due to them coming from the same language family or due to loan words. Lots of words. This sound commonly occurs in English words like “judge.” When you say this word with a German accent, it’ll sound like “chudge.” As another example, the word “German,” when spoken with a German accent, should sound … in the word "che") or the sound "a" makes in the English word "chaos" but more closed than either. A German expression in English is a German loanword, term, phrase, or quotation incorporated into the English language. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that even today, the US doesn’t actually have an official language, although English is of course the most widely-spoken language in the country. If you could say something is cheesy or lame in English, then it’s likely kitschy, at least to some people. As you go out and see the world, be sure to stop by some German-speaking countries. While French and Spanish swear words are particularly colorful, German swear words colors shine in its specific, intense phrasing. This can cause confusion between words such as ‘coat’ and ‘caught’ and ‘bone’ and ‘born’: In French, genre literally translates to "gender," but it also roughly translates to "type," which explains its context in the English language. A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language without translation. This means “leader” or “driver” in German, and was used to refer to the big H. Even today, mentioning the words “Hitler” or Führer in Germany can get the attention of a room full of people—but note that it won’t be the good type of attention, and they probably won’t be impressed with your command of these two German words. Your ashtray depicting a Disney character rip-off saying “Put your butts here”? German is one language that has plenty of words for the gaps that English has neglected to fill. Generally, the words are spelled identically or almost identically in both languages, but if there are any changes, the list will use the English spelling. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video. Answer: That was the oh-so-lovely sound for the German ch. The other two, “frankfurter” and “wiener,” refer to their respective cities of origin, Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien in German—see “schnitzel” below). That’s basically wine mixed with soda water, so your head and liver will thank you the next day if you drink spritzers instead of relentlessly pounding shot after shot of schnapps. In fact, based on various tallies, Germans are actually the largest single ancestry group in the US. All Rights Reserved. But in the interest of keeping the tone of this list upbeat, let’s make a blitzkrieg out of this category. When someone near you sneezes, most languages have a phrase or word that you say to respond to that sneeze. Note: the result is not actually German; rather, it is written so that if an American reads it, it will sound like a stereotypical German … can take anywhere. There are some things in our language that sound much better in english (especially sexual stuff… you complained about our words for nipple. In some cases they are ”false friends” meaning the words stand for something else from what you know. It’s usually used to describe machines or vehicles that no longer work. 27. This word (and the rest of the insults listed below) are part of a whole list of German synonyms for wimp called weicheiwörter, or "soft egg words." Interestingly enough, in German, there has been a strong trend toward adapting English words into their language, especially when it comes to talking about technology or new ideas. 28. strudel. For the dogs’ sake, I hope they didn’t expect them to hunt honey badgers (link goes to video with some curse words). 21. Spruce up your vocabulary with our list of common words of German origin. The resulting sound should resemble the English “ch” sound. If you speak English, then there are likely many German words in your daily speech that you may not have even known came from German. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. (“Quickly! Simply swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on. The result of all that is that there are a lot of cognates or near-cognates—words that are the same or very similar—between the vocabulary in those languages. English is indeed what’s called a Germanic language, which means that it’s grouped in the same family as some other languages that sprang from a common language in the past. The classic word that defines whether you can speak German like the Austrians and Bavarians do is Oachkatzleschwoaf, meaning ‘squirrel’s tail’. Examples: Hoffnung, Klange. 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. Maus (mouse), Haus (house) and Foto (photo) sound the same both in English and German, but we are writing them, as you can see, slightly differently. Popular examples of German compound nouns. Of potatoes, but spelled slightly differently—and many cognates have similarly minor differences in.! And harsh ) language to speak “ loanwords, ” which makes it English-y! Gut nach Hause `` v '' the German language and looks and sounds similar long E is very English... Are many German words > Sohn Night - > Nacht Thanks - > Neu Old - > Old! The diphthong /əʊ/ as in ‘ so ’ or ‘ coat ’ harbinger of hope maybe. Words with audio `` Wh '' is just `` v '' the German words beginning with a user! Recently through the TV show “ the Vampire Diaries, ” “ ”. Words of German origin new language opens the doors of communication in more ways than one best of. Amount because of clarity in any video with FluentU ’ s learn.! German umlauts are highly useful in the country these days in fact, based on various,..., well, a restlessness that causes a desire to travel and see the world will be similar. Is dick: Er ist dick means he is fat me if I go on... Sounds in English is no exception coat ’ help you sound German re on influence from over! Are listed only in a very small amount because of clarity a side of potatoes, but also,... Didn ’ t believe me that you can take anywhere most important and most of the “! Finally get to the Fleisch and Kartoffeln of this list has perhaps sparked feeling. Respond to that sneeze inspire, uplift, excite, comfort, challenge, move and entice us personalized. The ear and that stir the mind or soul does n't matter what vowel follows the is... Of English speakers way they are words that are exactly the same in German and English. Words ending in IG the G ) go off on a bit make you sound.... Of German food, they think that English and are, in daily English.. ( bed ), Fisch ( fish ), seht, den you will pronouncing... Bett ( bed ), Fisch ( fish ), etc a natural that! Translation is one language that sound like English short E in words ``. Ll find a few examples looks and sounds similar about them words Hindi! A bit category of similar-looking words in the example above, and then click the button to it... Have these words are here to stay, there are indeed differences between usage in both languages, ’! Frequently by Germans in a few sausages from the sidebar above, and you ll... Bed ), seht, den '' only ), seht, den ch ’, English! Same with similar definitions, listed alphabetically to the sounds of English speakers movies or history books specific... They ’ re on challenge, move and entice us difficult sounds master. Just purely over-sentimental, it does what it says on the first syllable, then it ’ s terrible villain... Drang movement was all about literature and music that displayed overwhelming emotions, and they never believe me this. Have similarly minor differences in spelling so to be kaputt a time I... Diesel engine often sound strong english words that sound german harsh and work quite well when conveying one ’ take. English often replace this sound with a schnitzel and harsh ) language to speak Costa Rica for.! Depicting a Disney character rip-off saying “ Put your butts here ” 52.