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Unofficial FIFA German Language Class

by Crazy Horse Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 02:55:16 PM EST

Back when Deutschland experienced Das Sommermärchen, the fairy-tale 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Gobal Village Idiot wrote a piece for Der Spiegel (the mirror) on what englisch-speaking tourists would find in German.  In the spirit of Mark Twain, who wrote:

"In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has."

Sparked by something Fran posted in the Salon, i give you, through the time tunnel, a cursory understanding of the German language, if you want to call it that.


Unofficial FIFA German Language Class

by Global Village Idiot

You've made it through the Group Rounds, you've survived the first KO round with the help of your Spiegel Survival Guide, and now you're ready for the serious portion of the soccer cup.  This week will be the first time there are days off from Fussball, so you can now dive deeper into the joyful German culture.  There's one thing still weighing heavily on your experience in Germany... the language.  But don't fret, "It's the hammer."

Mastering the language is simple if you follow the Mark Twain rule:  "In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has."   Gender is simple; the "main train courtyard" is neuter, despite the main being masculine and the train being feminine.  At least you'll arrive on time or not.

Most people will ask you "Go you good?" or "How goes you?" and you can answer "It goes me good."   Unless you've got Cologne, Dortmund or Gelsenkirchen tickets but your hotel is in the Bergische Land, where they will ask you "Naaah?" and you answer "Yo, it must."  But that's because they were "born with rain shields and frog fingers."

So here are a few "donkey bridges" to help you get across the feminine river, except when it's masculine.  As long as you don't get "heavy on the wire" you'll be fine.  If you want to stay in good graces with your hosts, don't get "on the hunchback" and please, "don't fall with the door in the house."  The "In-livers" might want to "give you soon" or "take you around the corner" and that won't be "the hammer."   "Shit equal," you're already learning.

Be careful if one of your hosts is "fully next to it," unless you're the President of the United States, and get out of the way when someone tells you "I've got no more Billy Goat!"  That probably means he's "at the end of the Snake."

When your friend says "Party Evening" it's not an invitation to drink, it only means he's finished with work.  But the Germans will have a Bier just as soon as the whistle blows.  Belly up to the bar and ask the Kellner "How stands me a mushroom?"  He'll know exactly what you want, a refreshing seven-minute Pilsner with perfect crown, if you can stand the wait.  Order another right away, because you "have two legs."  Learn to fall down before the others, because you don't want to be "last man standing."  Especially if you have "dead pants."

While in the bar using your Survival Guide dating skills, be careful if you meet a nice woman, she might want to "let me press you."  Check first to see if "she has a lot of wood before the hut."  And remember, there's only one word for horse tail, and Lagerfeld's hair, and penis, so pay attention.

When hunger strikes, forget about the great German delicacies like horse hot dogs and see-through white asparagus, there's always the world-renown "Mirror Eggs."  That's a yolk.  After all, "fat meat gives fat soup."

Speaking of fat meat, it's not good to make fun of German names.  That a key young player for the New York Yankees of Bavaria is named "Pig-climber" is not a reflection on his ancestors' sexual traditions.  His National Team's best friend, Prince Poldi, is not really a Prince.  He was beloved in Cologne, but now they call him "Bavaria Slut."  That a former Chancellor was named "Cabbage Helmet," sometimes translated by Mr. "Long-Separation" as "Rubbish Head Protector" is not a reflection on his legacy, depending on who you talk to.

Germany was once a highly religious society, which is why many still belong to old time Churches like Schalke 04 or Borussia Dortmund or Saint Pauli Girl.  But these Churches do not always win proper blessings, as the Devil here is everpresent.  So wherever your journey takes you, "Paint not the Devil on the wall," because "the Devil always shits on the same pile."  And if you didn't like your "Mirror Eggs," "In an emergency the Devil eats flies."

Speaking of emergencies, don't "not out go" the emergency exit, even though it says not.

See how easy it is?  Soon you'll be speaking "one wall free" German.  As likely as "let you times five even be."  It will take some doing of course, for while many languages have exact use, the German mindset allows "completely exact," which is a bit more exact than other exacts.  Oh well, "I make me nothing, you nothing, out of the dust."

What other language has "Danube Ship's Travel Captain's Sleeping Cabin Door Key Beard" as one word?  "Exactly, or?"

Don't be shy, tell your hosts if something please you "That's Animal."  If you want to express hope that things will go well for a new found friend, just tell him "I wish you what."  If it's not "Pig Cold" you'll want to be "Washed with All Waters," and don't we all.  "It's the hammer, or?"

(Ed.  All quotes are direct translations of common and not so common German phrases.  Oder?)

((german speakers are welcome to point out my mistakes, or to translate the phrases back into german, but paint not the devil on the wall.))

Poll
Does a turnip have sex?
. Genau 0%
. Ganz Genau 0%
. Bestimmt ganz Genau 11%
. Sicher 0%
. Bin nicht so sicher 0%
. Ganz nicht so sicher 0%
. Genau nicht sicher 0%
. Weiss es nicht, genau 0%
. Scheiss egal 88%

Votes: 9
Results | Other Polls
Display:
I know this is only funny for German speakers, and perhaps not even them, but i think it's funny, a witty insight into the strange corners of culture and language translation.

After all, spoon is feminine, fork is masculine, and knife is neuter.  A veritable german family.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 03:35:43 PM EST
Ich bin ein mangel-wurzel.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 03:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I too have faulty roots.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 04:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 04:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, that "makes me laugh a twig". :-)
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 04:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, thank you, that was priceless! It was fun to find the German originals...

don't "not out go" the emergency exit

Was that the Kein Ausgang sign?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:12:19 PM EST
ganz genau

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way. Have you ever gotten to the city of Umleitung? ;-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:23:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i've often been sent there, but there's no there there when i get there.

Luckily, since i don't drive anymore, i never get sent there.

Little known is the city of Ausfahrt, which has it's own exit on every freeway, because you can get there from anywhere.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's like Service Drive in the US ... I swear you can drive from one coast to the other on Service Drive, if you don't mind the unending succession of fast food places.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
german speakers are welcome to point out my mistakes

Just one, but one specially for me: Hbf should be "main track courtyard".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:17:04 PM EST
You are correct, you win the Opel!  (Please remember i wrote this years ago... though 'til you pointed it out, i hadn't realized my misteak. mispaek. ahhh whatever.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
misteak

LOL :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean this is not a German class for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but you can bet it will be worse there, what with so many tribal languages, not to mention Afrikaans.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just Southern Africa's polyglot ... also languages from Central African migrants.

Why, I have heard of outraged South Africans complain about neighborhoods where you will hear more French than English/isixhosa/iszulu/afrikaans/etc.

The outrage!


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"That's life, that's what the people say."

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:37:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"C'est la vie", say the old folks,
"It goes to show you never can tell".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 02:03:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it could also be translated: the "main train yard".
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be a translation for Hzf :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:25:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the funny thing about translations, is what it actually means in the other language.  it "means" the main train station, but in the english language they have no real understanding of Bahn, because everyone drives.

Hauptgleisstation? Nein. Be careful, more than a prohibition on estrology, it's important on ET to paint not the devil on the wall.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
everyone drives

For those, there is still Einbahnstraße, but with that, I am really painting the devil on the wall...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:15:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
estrology????

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 07:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Weiss es nicht. You're guess is as good as mine.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 07:50:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily. There seems to be many translations for Bahn.

You could say: "Ich fahre mit dem Zug", but also "eine Bahnfahrt ist schön". Both would mean the wagons that make a train and you could exchange the words in the sentences and the meaning would stay the same. I would say Zug and Bahn are pretty much used the same way.

by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:40:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say Zug and Bahn are pretty much used the same way.

Not  in the sentence "Ich fahre mit dem Bahn nach Zug".

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:00:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, I knew that's gone come! :-D
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:01:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which of you would like to help clean the whisky from mein Bildschirm? LOL

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But, stricktly speaking, When you say "Bahn", you approach the system from the infrastructure side, and when you say "Zug", you do so from the vehicle side.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:18:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Bahnfahrt" is like "taking the subway" (NYC) or "taking the Tube" (London).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess is that you are technically correct, but it could be considered "deformation professionnell" by you :-) and that in the collogial use in German this differentiation is not made.
by Fran on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 12:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be professional inflictment, but, isn't the original infrastructure sense of "Bahn" apparent at least to car-drivers from terms like "Fahrbahn", "Einbahnstraße", "Autobahn"? In addition, is it not that Mars zieht seine Bahnen um die Sonne? And, while both terms may be used for the system (vehicles+rails), surely you never call a vehicle itself "Bahn"? (Also, might there be a Swiss-German difference here?)

On the English side, for English-speakers: is "I travel by rail" as widespread (and used equivalently) as "I travel by train"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 12:51:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm not a native English speaker, by I would say that they are.

My impression is that cargo travels "by rail" and people travel "by train." As in "I am going by train to Paris in September" but "the ore from Kiruna goes to Narvik by rail." But that may be because I talk about personal transport and cargo transport with different people, who prefer to use different words.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 01:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The popularity of InteRail, since it started in 1972, has shifted meaning a bit in the 'rail'  direction ;-)

And it began more than a generation ago.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 01:18:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will have to pay attention if there is a difference in use of Bahn and Zug. I sort of thought that Bahn is more Schriftdeutsch, but your differentiation makes sense too.
by Fran on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 02:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, if you leave away the "court" part, wouldn't Platz or Lager be the translation?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the "Bahnhofplatz" is the square in front of the Bahnhof. :-)
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
genau, and the other side is the Bahnhofrückplatz.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:37:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could also call it: "Hinterausgang". But be careful how you translate that one. :-)
by Fran on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:45:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
genau wie Schwanz, i'll be careful. LOL!

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's where I learned my first phrase in German:

"Das kostet extra, Schatzi!"

erm, did I say that out loud?

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 08:45:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But scrap yard is Schrottplatz, timber yard is Holzlager, and so on.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, wer hat andere schöne Eselbrücke?

That was the writer's call for more donkey bridges.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:46:29 PM EST
Only times with the calm!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, by the way, the above discusion reminded me to Anglicise another nice phrase: if I have no clue then "I understand only pathway courtyard."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 01:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Czech villages.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 01:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, if more german-speaking lurkers would laff and step up to posting on ET, i would be rewarded.

The prefix ver- often means to place something in the distance, like versteckt.  so what means verarscht?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 05:52:31 PM EST
It means you gave your money to someone who is already beyond all mountains...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:26:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i can't stop laughing enough to respond. Kudos.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 06:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ach so, I at last German learning am. Reminds me of when I French learning was, er, was learning French and joking with American friends about the idioms. And how to pronounce badly (oh, the Terrasse Hotel in Montmartre!).

Turnips, huh? Genau, oder?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 02:19:43 AM EST
i doubleswear it's arsecold im Bergischen Land but be not a frog or worse: a slimeshiter
by Specs on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 06:15:19 AM EST
Like to welcome Specs  to the ET fold.  Specs is a historic bohemian bar in Frisco, hangout for writers and artists directly across the street from infamous City Lights bookstore. it's actually also a maritime and leftist politics museum. It became one of my main watering and writering holes.

I met my ex-wife at the first table in the photo.

of course, that might simply be a nickname for this new user, as the Specs i knew so well was not known for telling jokes in German.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 09:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for introducing Specs...but in Germany it goes like this: if someone has to much red wine or whisky tonight someone might easily have not a hangover but a male cat tomorrow morning.
by Specs on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 03:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lol, I know what you mean. :-D

And Willkommen, hope to see more of you here on ET.

by Fran on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 04:08:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dang.  

I was either there or at the 'Great Scot' in the mid-80s when out quaffing the amber fluid.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Specs, the gorgeous bar, would be in Germany and you would ask how to find it, you might get answered: "That knows the vulture". "Ach, you nice time" could be your reply.
by Specs on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 03:30:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or "Ah you lovely time"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 04:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, after two days of "heavy reflection" i think you were right, "Ach, you lovely time" fits better... anyway, "i wish you one"
by Specs on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 07:25:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hey, where's dvx? bet he'd get a kick out of this. he does this for a living.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Jul 14th, 2009 at 01:29:55 PM EST
I would say that it's "fucking cold"

while the German says "Arschkalt"

As it was once explained to me, the Americans are always preoccupied with the phallic while Germans are ever more anal.

paging Dr. Freud!

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 08:48:26 AM EST


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