The Language Phrasebook Millenials Actually Need

Traditional phrasebooks don’t reflect life in 2019 so here’s some small talk for our era…

The Language Phrasebook
Millenials Actually Need

  • “Ist deine Wohnung so groß wie ein Kühlschrank oder pendelst du drei Stunden pro Tag?” Is your apartment the size of a refrigerator or do you commute three hours a day? 
  • “¿Quieres destruir los medios de producción?” Do you want to destroy the means of production?
  • “Scheisse, was hat er gerade getwittert?” Shit, what has he tweeted now?
  • “No, no puedo comprar una casa, como demasiado aguacates.” No, I can’t buy a house, I eat too many avocados.
  • “Ich ziehe nach Neuseeland um.” I’m moving to New Zealand.

Delving into Denglisch

English can be found everywhere in modern German. It varies depending on location, environment and person, but you regularly hear things like “sorry”, “happy”, and “das Meeting”. This is perfect, right – the more English that gets absorbed into German, the less vocabulary you need to be understood.

The catch, though, to this linguistic invasion, is the homegrown Denglisch which has to be reinterpreted. Here’s some more obscure examples…

Homestory
I could not work this one out from context. A Homestory is when a tabloid newspaper pays to have an exclusive photo session and home-visit with a celebrity and their family. They tell their story… from home. I guess it works?

Sprayer
If you want the English interpretation of this slang word, urban dictionary has some graphic examples. For some Germans, it refers to graffiti artists.

Youngtimer
I should have better things to do than to let this word infuriate me, but it’s such a bad name in such an elaborate way. Youngtimer is actually a descendent of the famous misappropriation OldtimerOldtimer has long meant a vintage car in Germany. Youngtimer means a less-vintage car, i.e. vehicles from the 80s rather than the 40s.

Fake rage aside, it is inevitable that languages evolve over time – who’s to say that it’s only native speakers who are allowed to influence the evolution? English is not a language that needs “protecting”.

I’ll continue to highlight great or baffling Denglisch when I see it!

German Verb of the Week (No.3)

bummeln

Bummeln describes strolling or sauntering (as well as dawdling) and it is excellent for three reasons:

  1. It describes a pleasant and serene activity
  2. It confirms the stereotype that German sounds ridiculous
  3. It contains a childish British word which relates to the point above

Try and use it in a sentence! Bis zum nächsten Mal!

Everything You Need to Start Learning a Language

It is almost the new year and if you are thinking about your language goals, here’s all the most useful languageuntangled tips for apps, podcasts, books and vocab.

Everything You Need
to Start Learning a Language

Resources

Game Plan

German Vocab

German Verb of the Week (No.2)

Spinnen

Want to tell a friend they’re talking rubbish? Tell them “du spinnst”. It is related the English phrase “to spin a yarn”, but is more common and extremely colloquial – it basically means someone is “talking crazy”.

I like that it sounds whimsical in English, but vulgar in German. Don’t use it with strangers!