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I saw this text while playing Pokemon in German. The phrase was used by a girl who had just come out of a cave.

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It is usage of the "Erikativ" or "Inflektiv" - see… – Takkat Jun 13 '14 at 21:44
Oh, I see. So it means that the girl is breathing with difficulty, right? – user7606 Jun 13 '14 at 21:49
@user7606 Exactly. Comic-style way of expressing that the character is struggling to regain her breath/breathing heavily. – Hulk Jun 13 '14 at 21:55
the wiki article about the Inflektiv is in German only – user5513 Jun 14 '14 at 4:20
@embert: why not translate the essential parts to make it an answer here (or in the Q I linked to above)? An english refererence on Erikativ/Indikativ would be great for the site. – Takkat Jun 14 '14 at 7:32

those are terms to express that someone is out of breath, mostly after running (away).

Hecheln = panting
Keuchen = gasping

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Welcome to the site. I removed your sig, as signatures and greetings are against StackExchange policy. (I know it's more polite, but that's how it is) – stevenvh Jun 15 '14 at 9:04
I am not allowed to be polite O.o ooooookay... Thanks for the info. – Exportforce Jun 15 '14 at 9:12
These words are frequently used in comics, made famous by Don Martin of MAD magazine. – Robert Jun 16 '14 at 15:00
No. The first German Mad Magazine came out 1967. The Erikative was well in place in the Barks translations by Erika Fuchs as early as 1951, a year before American Mad got started.. – TaW May 23 '15 at 8:38

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