racko
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German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:02 am

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.
 
777236ER
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:12 am

For some reason, someone I know always calls a tinopener a Dossenhoffner.
They're not German, and can't speak any other german.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Schoenorama
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:24 am

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
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aloges
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:42 am

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!"
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
NoUFO
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:48 am

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
 
2912n
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:53 am

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
 
Sonic
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:21 am

Also take note of word Autobahn
 
rabenschlag
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:52 am

here is another one:

festschrift
 
USAFHummer
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:05 am

...or "Gesundheit"

Greg
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EGGD
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:10 am

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..

 
bobrayner
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:50 am

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
 
da man
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:54 am

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!
 
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lindy field
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:56 am

Perhaps Schadenfreude is just such a quintessentially German feeling that the word was left in its original form in English.  Smile
 
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lindy field
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:57 am

Oh and Fubar stands for F**ked Up Beyond All Recognition. It's an acronym, not a German word.
 
jessman
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:18 am

Actually many english words have German roots.
English is a Germanic language
http://softrat.home.mindspring.com/germanic.html
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:23 am

Kindergarten a funny word? Ummm ok....

 
FDXmech
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:09 pm

What about, fart (fahrt?)
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
bobrayner
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:16 am

Bremsstrahlung!
(filler)
Cunning linguist
 
N79969
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:23 am

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.
 
buckfifty
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:35 am

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...)
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:40 am

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
 
bobrayner
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:51 am

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
 
N79969
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:59 am

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.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:36 am

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).



 
DoorsToManual
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:03 am

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?
 
bobrayner
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:27 am

Schmaltz, abseil, ersatz, muesli, delicatessen, spiel, kitsch, frankfurter/hamburger, ... and wanderlust is my favourite.  Smile
Cunning linguist
 
racko
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:43 am

Thanks for the input. "Vorsprung durch Technik" means something like "Advantage/lead thanks to technology". Sounds stupid in English, that's probably why they kept the German slogan. The Audi slogans really helped them here, everybody knows "Vorsprung durch Technik" and the former "Technik, die begeistert".
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:10 am

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 slogan in their UK marketing drive, no pun intended...)

But it seems to have worked...I perceive it as 'it's German, so it must be pretty good'. (I don't have any particular interest in cars, but will admit that the designs at least, are generally very good).
 
N766UA
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:39 am

What about, fart (fahrt?)

Fahrt comes from Fahren, which is "to drive." So I kinda doubt that one.
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FDXmech
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:07 pm

>>>Fahrt comes from Fahren, which is "to drive." So I kinda doubt that one.<<<

Thanks. I was under the impression that "Fahrt" translated to "Air" when in fact "Luft" is "Air", I think.

But this from an English /German dictionary,

fart................Furz
to fart................furzen
to fart................einen fahren lassen (ugs.)
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
Andreas
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:46 pm

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 you intend to tell somebody that you got yourself a nice ride, please DON'T tell him that by saying you had yourself fahren lassen...you might see yourself confonted with a discussion you really don't want.
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
arv79
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RE: German Words In The English Language

Wed Sep 03, 2003 5:29 am

I have also seen the word verboten (prohibited) in English dictionaries.

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