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German Words In The English Language  
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2762 times:

One thing has always confused me:

While English words in German are usually short words replacing longer German words (e.g. Service -> Dienstleistung), the few German words that made it into English seem to be the most awkard words imaginable.

For example:

Gedankenexperiment (saw this recently on this forum, I think it was used by BR.)
Angst
Schadenfreude
Doppelganger
Flak
Zeitgeist
Blitz
Wunderkind
Hinterland
Meister
Kindergarten
Über-...
Galgenhumor
Rucksack

There are probably some more but that are the ones I remember having seen in English textes.

Now I can imagine how a word like Kindergarten gets into English (someone from Britain sees it in Germany, likes the idea and opens one in the UK). And words like Blitz (from the "famous" Blitzkrieg) or Flak are probably explainable due to the war.

But how the hell did a word like Zeitgeist or Schadenfreude (how in hell can't you have an own word for this joy ?  Big grin) get into English?

It's similar with French, I recently saw the word "Waldsterben" in a French text.

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2738 times:

For some reason, someone I know always calls a tinopener a Dossenhoffner.
They're not German, and can't speak any other german.


User currently offlineSchoenorama From Spain, joined Apr 2001, 2440 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2729 times:

I always wondered how someone called Kevin Schwanz could actually make it to 500cc World Champion. At first, I thought it simply was his nickname used in his racing career.

A Google-search learns that there are many more Schwanzes out there in the US!
 Wink/being sarcastic



Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8766 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2721 times:

Wie bitte? Ich wusste ja schon immer, dass die Engländer ein bisschen unterbelichtet sind, aber dass sie nicht mal ein eigenes Wort für "Schadenfreude" erfinden können... sowas!



Okay, here ya go... "Pardon? I did already know that the English are a bit underexposed, but that they can't even make up an own word for "Schadenfreude"... weird!"



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

The French adopted the German word "Waldsterben" in the 80ies (if my memory serves me correctly) mostly to stress that the dying of forests, in which conifers weep needles and beeches grow bald was a German problem.
Of course, outside of Germany, trees showed the same symptoms but this wasn't considered a problem resulting from a polluted environment.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

English, especially American English, borrows heavily from the many disparte cultures that populate our nations. It is the mark of a growing and expanding language.

Remember that America has been populated by peoples from all over the world and they bring with them their cultures, bits and pieces of which are then brought into the mainstream culture. Many Yiddish words are commonly used today in the US without people realizing where they come from, (Schmuck, putz, to name a couple.  Smile ) The same with words from the Russians, French, Poles, Chinese and more recently from Mexico etc...

Some words are working class terms (ie..schmuck) Others, like Schadenfreude are "intellectual" words. Sure, you could say "joy" but then you would not sound educated.  Smile


User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2705 times:

Also take note of word Autobahn

User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2693 times:

here is another one:

festschrift


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2683 times:

...or "Gesundheit"

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2679 times:

the only German words i've heard are:

Angst
Flak
Blitz
Rucksack

Of course in some cases, Kindergarten, Uber etc ... But mostly these are just words that English/American people have picked up that they find funny, and then have used them for that reason..



User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

In addition to Über-, a few of my anglophone friends habitually form plurals with -en. Maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong people.

As for Zeitgeist and Schadenfreude - Germany perfected them first.  Wink/being sarcastic



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2667 times:

From Saving Private Ryan: "Fubar"
Don't know if it is a real word or not but it is better than saying F**k.



War Eagle!
User currently offlineLindy field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3131 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2666 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Perhaps Schadenfreude is just such a quintessentially German feeling that the word was left in its original form in English.  Smile

User currently offlineLindy field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3131 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2664 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Oh and Fubar stands for F**ked Up Beyond All Recognition. It's an acronym, not a German word.

User currently offlineJessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2656 times:

Actually many english words have German roots.
English is a Germanic language
http://softrat.home.mindspring.com/germanic.html


User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4638 posts, RR: 36
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2655 times:

Kindergarten a funny word? Ummm ok....




Word
User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

What about, fart (fahrt?)


You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

Bremsstrahlung!
(filler)



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

Don't forget:

hand
arm

I think the words borrowed in recent years from German capture some nuance that is not easily expressible with an existing English word.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2580 times:

Though not exactly in keeping with the spirit of this thread, I can't ever get this commercial out of my head.

"Das ist ein und Deutsches auto?"

"Nein, Acura."

(Something like that...)


User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

When I was taught English (after Spanish & Portuguese), I was told that it was just a mixture of everything - German, Latin, some French even some Greek and Scandinavian words make an appearence i.e. 'kudos' from the Greek. (Singapore_Air's favourite word  Big grin ).

It's also interesting to know about the history of the people of the UK....looks like there were a few Celtic tribes running around before the Romans, Normans, Vikings and God knows who else came in.

The result is a totally screwed-up country, but it's ok, I can just manage it.  Big grin

If you come to the UK, you might begin to notice how strange the names of some villages can be e.g. mixing Latin such as 'Magna Heath'  Nuts


User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2572 times:

hand
arm


Words like this aren't really "borrowed" from German; they are survivals from an earlier form of English that just happened to have the same roots as various other NW European languages. If things like this are loanwords from German, they are also loanwords from Dutch, Frisian, Danish, ...  Wink/being sarcastic

Eigen- is common in mathematics / physics &c. (eigenfunction, eigensolution) but not in real life... oops.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

Bob,

That is a good point. My reasoning is that the language of Saxony predates English (as an independent language) to the best of my knowledge. That Saxon language gave rise to the languages you mention.


User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2559 times:

bob, another one of that kind:

eigenvalue (factor analysis)

but indeed, there are some words that are almost identical in english and german, because of the shared latin, indo-germanic, and greek roots. sometimes, the meaning is slightly different or the words are not used frequently (e.g., swine = schwein = pig).

funny.

and another thing:

i sometimes had the impression that german automakers use strage german words in their ads to pronounce the cars decent.

example: VW's "fahrvergnügen" slogan. i can tell you that there is nothing comparable in germany.

but maybe this is nothing particularly german, as for instance renault has introduced the slogan "createur d'automobiles", which is not used in france (i suppose).





User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2547 times:

Oh, we have that French thing too.

Also, who could forget 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' (sp?) for Audi.  Big grin

p.s. what does that mean?


25 Post contains images Bobrayner : Schmaltz, abseil, ersatz, muesli, delicatessen, spiel, kitsch, frankfurter/hamburger, ... and wanderlust is my favourite.
26 Racko : Thanks for the input. "Vorsprung durch Technik" means something like "Advantage/lead thanks to technology". Sounds stupid in English, that's probably
27 DoorsToManual : Thanks Racko (and apologies for the use of a capital 'D' in 'durch'). I still find it very bizarre that Audi would take this gamble (keeping a German
28 N766UA : What about, fart (fahrt?) Fahrt comes from Fahren, which is "to drive." So I kinda doubt that one.
29 FDXmech : >>>Fahrt comes from Fahren, which is "to drive." So I kinda doubt that one.
30 Andreas : FDX that is correct but for God's sake don't mix those two words up... fart means indeed furzen and einen fahren lassen means the same thing, but if y
31 Arv79 : I have also seen the word verboten (prohibited) in English dictionaries.
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