German Word of the Year 2019 Posted by Constanze on Dec 11, 2019 in Culture, Current Events, Language
Guten Tag! Today we will look at the Wort des Jahres in Germany. Each year, the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) – The German Language Association – picks a word as their Wort des Jahres – ‘Word of the Year’. This is often a word related to a prominent topic in the country during the year, and is usually interesting from a linguistic perspective, too. The Word of the Year has nothing to do with how often the word has been used, but is more about the word’s significance. What’s great about learning the German Word of the Year is that it gives us an insight into Germany’s current events, politics and culture, whilst teaching us some quirks of the language, too. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Wort des Jahres 2019!
The Wort des Jahres 2019 is:
This literally translates to ‘respect pension’ (der Respekt + die Rente). There has been great debate in Germany this year over new laws that are set to change the German pension, ultimately leaving Rentner and Rentnerinnen (pensioners) at a disadvantage.
Those against the proposed changes have deemed them disrespectful to those who have worked hard their entire lives and deserve to enjoy their retirement properly. The term ‘Respektrente’ came about because they believe people deserve a retirement pension that respects a life of hard work.
- Image via Pixabay
Don’t be confused by the word die Rente (pension). This word could be deemed a false friend, because on first glance you’d assume it’s the German word for rent, which is in fact die Miete.
The runners-up for the Wort des Jahres 2019 are as follows:
Rollerchaos – ‘Scooter chaos’
Fridays for Future
Schaulästige – combination of Schaulustige (onlookers) and lästig (annoying)
Donut-Effekt – ‘Donut-effect’
brexitmüde – ‘Brexit tired’
gegengoogeln – ‘Google against’ (to check something on Google)
Bienensterben – ‘bee death’
Oligarchennichte – ‘Oligarchen niece’
Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz – ‘Orderly return law’
I will go into more depth on the runners-up in a separate post!
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