Die Daumen drücken. The examples given here are just one suggested pronunciation. (ayn-fêr-shtând-en.) German idioms are a constant source of hilarity, especially when directly translated into … This means I’m wiped out or I’m exhausted. This one might be a bit painful for those who gave their best and arrived second — after all, isn’t trying hard already good enough? German All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet, By Wendy Foster, Paulina Christensen, Anne Fox. Just like English, German has many idioms, or expressions typical of a language and culture. Paulina Christensen has been working as a writer, editor, and translator for more than 10 years. But I prefer to interpret this a different way: a pony farm sounds extremely boring, so I’m glad that life has bit more excitement to offer! His main interests are learning languages and discovering new music styles. (Sleep like a woodchuck [marmot].) There is no equivalent in English for “Ich habe dich lieb”, it’s kind of between “I like you” and “I love you”. Some expressions are more common than others. ), Einverstanden. But nothing could be further from the truth! For example — zum Beispiel (abbreviated as z.B.) What are Filler Words? 15. Ich bin fix und fertig. These two expressions are used to say “You’re w… (Mark Twain wrote, “Some German words are so long that they have a perspective” in an appendix to A Tramp Abroad that was appropriately titled The Awful German Language). German is a polite language and words like bitte and danke schön are particularly important to use and remember. (ge-nou.) There are some phrases that are particularly helpful to international travelers. But don’t give up — you’ll find the right job and that dream flat in Kreuzkölln eventually. The English meaning is It’s a stone’s throw away. 3. When you translate these idioms word for word, they may sound obscure, silly, or just plain meaningless, so to use them appropriately, you need to find out what they really mean. Welcome to Berlin. Learn some general German expressions related to time, including topics such as specifying when something happened, duration, and frequency. Another common German swear word with the same effect is Zicke. (You’re taking me on your arm!) Thankfully, learning a language is one of the best ways to understand another culture. That was literally all the planning I did. Here we take a look at some of our very favorite vintage German words. (Isn’t that true?/Don’t you think so?). 1. (oh-der?) Gabriel Mestieri was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he studied Journalism and History and worked at several news and media outlets. However, a short and precise “Oi!” could sound very threatening — just like the German Na or Oha pronounced with emphasis. Anne Fox has been working as a translator, editor, and writer for more than 12 years. Firstly, the grammar is – uhm – challenging. It’s often heard as a reply to something. Du nimmst mich auf den Arm! (fêrt-iH.) Speak like a native with these 27 Hilarious Everyday German Idioms and expressions. Try the German word challenge and learn 125 German words in an hour. But don’t get too attached to anything either, after all…. I learned this expression when a classmate refused to have a beer at lunch with me. Wo sich Fuchs und Hase gute Nacht sagen (voh ziH fooks oont hah-ze gooh-te nâHt zah-gen) (where fox and hare say good night to one another), which means in the middle of nowhere or in the sticks. Nichts, danke. But if I had known this expression, I would have braced myself for a rude awakening. [fi:lən daŋk] — Many thanks! Now that that initial phase is over, I finally have time to wonder: “Who am I?” “What am I doing on this planet?”. (shlâf-en vee ayn moor-mel-teer.) Wo sich Fuchs und Hase gute Nacht sagen (voh ziH fooks oont hah-ze gooh-te nâHt zah-gen) (where fox and hare say good night to one another), which means in the middle of nowhere or in the sticks. (I’m quick and ready.) 6. Filler words (also known as particles) are defined as words that provide a pause, depict an emotion or add emphasis to a conversation. I knew it would be particularly difficult on this occasion. There is now an excellent Wikipedia article with a List of German expressions in English, so I will no longer be making additions to this page. Some expressions have an English equivalent that’s recognizable, so using them correctly isn’t too hard. If you want to say “Thank you!” in German, use these phrases: 1. The English meaning is Keep your fingers crossed. This same principle applies in many other languages, including German. For me, this one can also be interpreted on a more personal level: problems begin, and in fact only exist, in your head. Learning German? The basic German words page is aimed at individuals who need to learn some quick German phrases before traveling to Germany. Literal translation: “It is to me a sausage.” I’ve heard other variants of this expression, such as the Berliner dialect version, Das ist mir total Schnuppe, which expresses the same idea. (Too bad!/What a pity! (ês toot mir layd.) Genau. (Exactly./Precisely.) (dee doum-en druek-en.) It is most often used between family members. This is a casual way of saying goodbye. (dâs mâHt niHts.) (Agreed./Okay. ), Schade! Not only did the following nine expressions help me understand the German mindset and point-of view, they also debunked a myth about the German language that I had been subconsciously holding against it: that it’s too harsh and direct, leaving no space for figures of speech or playful prose. There are English translations of all the phrases, plus sound, which has been professionally recorded by native speakers. These words are common but often take on a different meaning when used in everyday conversation. Some of the words below have an audio file attached so you can hear how it is pronounced. In reality, das Blaue von Himmel versprechen is a German … Learn some sympathy messages in German. In German, new words can be created simply by smooshing together existing words, and this can lead to some really unwieldy compounds. I was visiting … Another struggle with learning German is that there are several words that have … But let’s not take everything so seriously. (dâs ist ayn kâts-en-shproong.) Weather words and weather-related expressions in German with English equivalents. Most recently she has been developing, writing, and editing student textbooks and teacher handbooks for Berlitz. Dr. Christensen recieved her MA and PhD from Dusseldorf University, Germany. Noticeboard. Referring to point/example… — dabei sei auf Punkt/Beispiel… hingewiesen namely — und zwar. But let’s not take everything so seriously. In English, you say Sleep like a log. Fertig. [daŋkə ʃø:n] — Thank you very much! I love German idioms because they are full of references to popular German foods like sausages, bread rolls, and mustard! Now, two years later, I think I’ve earned the right to tell newcomers: Aller Anfang ist schwer. (Take it easy.) [as in may I have your attention].) The following sayings, proverbs, and idiomatic expressions (Redewendungen) are our favorites. You can use this alone or in a statement. When someone thinks they can walk all over you, remember: Nicht jede Kuh lässt sich melken. Even if you speak English, it may be respectful and nice to add bitte when you ask for something or danke schön when you say thanks. (Press the thumbs.) And it’s impossible to learn German or any language without picking up quirky local expressions too. Maybe that’s a debate for another time, but if you want to register your displeasure with this person’s busybody ways, this is the perfect expression. When I asked why, I got the curt, four-word answer, “Kein Bier vor vier.” That kernel of wisdom didn’t dissuade me (I had the beer with lunch anyway), but the expression has been one of my favorites ever since. eins – one. No matter where you are in the German-speaking world, who you are talking to and what time of day it is — learn the most suitable German greeting for your needs. No problem: Here are our seven useful phrases to WOW any German. Oftentimes, these words and phrases aren’t outlined in your German study books, which is why we’ve gathered up some of the most common German slang words to ensure that you’ll be able to carry casual conversations with natives. This one, the way I see it, is about resistance, resilience and establishing boundaries. 4. (Maybe./Perhaps.). My favorite of the German sausage truisms explains that everything comes to an end, so don’t worry too much, alright? drei – three. A few other typical German idioms are. (Nonsense!/How silly of me! Other German expressions are a little harder to figure out. (Press the thumbs.) German Words that Express Concepts for which English Lacks Suitable Words. Remember, there is often more than one way to pronounce some words. The other common languages for musical terms are Italian and French. When the German language isn’t using five words to describe one thing, it’s using one word to try and describe everything. Ich spreche nicht viel Deutsch. German Musical Terms. Krass! (I speak English.) Politeness costs nothing but gains everything. “ Krasse Musik!” “Krasses Essen!”. Jiminy Cricket! Who said that Germans don’t have a sense of humor? German phrase of the day: Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund. This section is new: Try the lists and trainer, give us feedback and help us improving your learning experience. This is a great thing to say to your German friends after beating them in any sports, competitions, card or video games (and the Germans do like games!). Many of these work with Germany's love affair with its endless variety of Wurst (sausage). Translating this expression word-for-word isn’t going to give an English speaker much insight into its true meaning. Balderdash! When I moved to Germany two years ago, I jumped in at the deep end: no place to live, no job lined up, I didn’t even know German yet! And they’d be right to, because sausages are well represented in German idioms. Krass. Es tut mir leid. We strive to provide accurate, helpful, effective and entertaining tools to expand your German vocabulary. It basically means that you like someone very, very much. I had been coming to this barber ever since my follicles first demanded it, but had never satisfactorily fielded his cutting remarks, which, just like his politics, had not become blunted with time. (I don’t speak much German.) Schlafen wie ein Murmeltier. (Excuse me. ), Vielleicht. 1. (ê-ven-too-êl.) We will learn the German vocabulary and phrases commonly used to speak to friends and family of someone who has passed away. It totally relates with the way my life evolved after arriving in Berlin: in the first year, having to look for a job and a place to live, I didn’t have time to think about the many mysteries of existence and the universe. vier – four. You can find more here. To keep it simple, no one likes being called a pig or a swine. Composed of only 4 words, this expression impresses me for its simplicity and for being an example that, at least sometimes, it’s possible to say a lot in only a few words of German. Können Sie das übersetzen? The English meaning is Keep your fingers crossed. Every language has its share of old-timey words and expressions, and German is no exception. She studied at Interpreter's School, Zurich, Switzerland, and holds a degree in translation. (shah-de!) (iH bin fix oont fêr-tiH.) (Ready./Finished.) (Nothing, thanks.) This is a great thing to say to your German friends after beating them in any sports, competitions, card or video games (and the Germans do like games!). I like to think that my conscience has always been (more or less) clear, but I’ve still had trouble sleeping for as long as I can remember. Das ist ein Katzensprung. For example a mother might use it to tell her child how fond she is of him or her. (I’m sorry.) To close the list, here’s an expression that can be seen as a very hard take on life: Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof, so expect a lot of problems, things going wrong, and everything getting worse. … (qvâch!) Use this when you apologize for something. Entschuldigung! All you need to do is survive the city. Whether you're at the supermarket, ordering in a restaurant, or just having a normal conversation, it's essential to know how to use numbers in German. So, although this expression sounds very nice with its rhyme and cool metaphor, I have to say I strongly disagree. It's a good start for anyone who likes to start with learning german. sechs – six. the whole book was in german, but the term “teenager” is used very common in german (like many other english words ), but I didn’t even recogniced that it was an english word, because it also could be a combination of two german words (which is very usual in german… This can be used to tell someone that you really agree. 2. This can be either a question or a statement. When I decided to quit my job in São Paulo and move to Berlin, I bought a plane ticket and booked a hostel for two weeks. 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