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Untranslatable Words: Der Spießer Posted by on Jan 20, 2019

Spießer. A very German word! Germans feel as if they are seen from the outside Germany as Spießer, as Germans generally like things to go orderly, not too chaotic, and are not the biggest fans of societal change. That is the stereotype. Let’s look at that word today! What does Spießer mean? Spießer is short for the official word Spießbürger…

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Christmas & New Year In Untranslatable German Words Posted by on Dec 19, 2018

Guten Tag and, since it’s almost time, Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas)! Weihnachten (Christmas) and Neujahr (New Year) is the time of the year when people experience a whole range of emotions, from excitement over receiving presents to annoyance about being in the company of certain family members, from feeling nostalgic and reflective about the year…

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Untranslatable German Words: Der Saftladen Posted by on Jul 24, 2018

In our series on untranslatable words, we look at words in German that have no direct English equivalent. Today, we look at the curious, but enjoyable Saftladen. What does Saftladen mean? According to the Duden, a Saftladen is a: “schlecht geführter Betrieb; schlecht geführter, schlecht sortierter Laden” (badly managed establishment; badly managed, badly assorted establishment) So basically, a Saftladen Nichtskönner is a place…

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Untranslatable German Words: Der Nichtskönner Posted by on Jun 26, 2018

What does Nichtskönner mean? The Duden gives us a straightforward definition: “jemand, der sein Fach nicht beherrscht; Stümper” (Someone that has not mastered their discipline; bungler) So that would give us a definition straight away! Done! Well, not quite. Nichtskönner is a word you could hear here and there, whereas bungler is not really used a lot. It…

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Untranslatable German Words: der Schickimicki Posted by on May 3, 2018

A friend of mine told me this week: “Schickimicki is one of my favorite German words!” It made me realize, it is quite a cute word! It also made me wonder: How would you accurately translate it to English? It is harder than you might think. Let’s go! Click here for previous posts in this series of…

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Untranslatable German Words: die Scheißfreundlichkeit Posted by on Feb 14, 2018

Guten Tag! We’re back with another untranslatable words post! In this series, we look at the quirkiest, most interesting words the German language has to offer – words which, often, point at a very specific feeling or situation, and don’t have a perfect translation in English. Today’s untranslatable word is die Scheißfreundlichkeit. What does die…

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Untranslatable German Words: Verschlimmbesserung Posted by on Oct 18, 2017

Guten Tag, and welcome to another ‘untranslatable words’ post! This is a series where we look at words unique to the German language, and try to find an equivalent English translation for them. So without further ado, today’s word is: die Verschlimmbesserung. What does die Verschlimmbesserung mean? Die Verschlimmbesserung describes an action that is supposed…

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