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German Language Blog

Did America Almost Speak German? Posted by on Apr 29, 2017

You have probably heard of that one Gerücht (rumor): The United States once had a vote that would have decided what the official language of the country was going to be. And only one vote decided whether that was going to be English – or German! The deciding vote was cast by Frederick Muhlenberg. This legend is…

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Untranslatable German Words: das Anstandsstück Posted by on Apr 26, 2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of untranslatable German words, where I bring you the quirkiest, funniest, most unusual words the German language has to offer – and ones that are difficult to find a direct translation for! Today’s word is das Anstandsstück.    What does das Anstandsstück mean? Das Anstandsstück refers to the last…

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9 German Food & Drink Idioms Posted by on Apr 19, 2017

Guten Tag! Ich hoffe, es geht euch alle gut. Recently I came across the German idiom klar wie Kloßbrühe, which is the German version of the English ‘clear as crystal’. In German, this idiom literally translates to ‘clear as dumpling broth’. In other words, it has nothing to do with crystal. It had me thinking…

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Fairytales in German Posted by on Apr 18, 2017

German fairytales (Märchen) fascinate me as they are so gruselig (scary)! In English to end a fairytale you would say “And they lived happily ever after…”, whereas in German you would say “und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, dann leben sie noch heute“, which translates to “and if they haven’t died, then they are still…

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Misleading German Verbs Posted by on Apr 12, 2017

Guten Tag! A while ago a blog reader called Michael sent this comment in: “an idea for a post… My knowledge of simple vocabulary sometimes lets me guess correctly at more complicated words. Halten/hold. Erhalten/receive. But sometimes knowing the basic word leads you down the wrong path. Erfahren is not about “to drive,” nor aufhören…

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