What does the german word "Flügeschlagen" (or "Flugenschlagen"?) mean and why does the GPS keep saying it in the movie (they are stuck in traffic)? According to google translator (I know, not a very reliable source) both mean "flight(s) beat".


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    This is the scene: youtu.be/MxlwL3pRNXM
    – Carsten S
    Mar 15, 2015 at 12:48
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    Perhaps they meant the word "Fehlgeschlagen" (failed)? Such errors are very common in American movies.
    – bogglez
    Mar 15, 2015 at 19:16
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    Fluegel Schlagen in French means ''battre ses ailes''. ..which means fly on your own...assert yourself...own it...but all the Babylon dictionaries out there just say Wing beat...it means Go out there and do it. PS. I like that movie. You have a basic message and a deeper message in this movie: Basic Primary Message: It aint easy...you have to work hard for the money...Secondary (subliminal) Messages: Diversity, Transparency, Pot, Do what you love, Rising of Consciousness, alternate or progressive thinking,come out of the closet as a Human, assert yourself= fluegel schlagen, when in Germany, as
    – user16061
    Jun 1, 2015 at 5:19
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    Yea it sounds a bit like "Flügelschlagen" (flap one's wings) but maybe it's a name of a non-real city or street
    – BlueWizard
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:06

4 Answers 4


The word does not exist.

I hear ”Flügeschlagen“, but that does not make any sense either. The point seems to be that it is a word that sounds German to them American audience, but that they do not understand. A made-up word works fine for that. Few American audience members will be confident enough in their German to be sure that the word does not exist.

On further thought, I could imagine that it was supposed to be “Flügel schlagen” as a joke inside this joke. That would have meant “spread your wings” which maybe would have been meant to indicate that flying would have been the last option left in that situation. However, then somewhere along the line someone would have ruined the joke by messing up the word.

  • I'll add to that: Flügel schlagen fits with the message of the movie and what they believe the word means. Aug 31, 2015 at 21:33

The GPS doesn't give any further information about this, and "Flugenschlagen" isn't something GPS's say in German. My best guess is that it's supposed to be a ridicules sounding word for the English viewer, while, since they're heading the wrong way, it would be supposed to say "Bitte Wenden" -> "Turn around".


Flügelschlagen (spelled with an extra L, but would sound almost exactly the same) translates to "wing flapping" or "flap your wings". I'm not familiar with the movie, so I don't know if this fits at all. It's not a word a GPS system likely would use.

  • The movie scene is in one of the comments of the question (spoiler alert!).
    – Rol
    Mar 17, 2015 at 16:27

i'm a "Spanier" living in Germany since 2 years.. "Flügeschlagen" has no meaning, in English will be "Hit Planes"(Airplanes).

"ein Ball in der Luft schlagen" <-> "Hit a ball in the air", or "jemanden schalgen"<->"Hit somebody".

"So, ungefähr"

  • 3
    Actually in English it would be "hit flights"; "hit planes" in German would be "Flugzeuge schlagen".
    – celtschk
    Mar 15, 2015 at 16:26
  • fast das gleiche
    – ieselisra
    Mar 15, 2015 at 19:34
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    If anything, it would be "hit flights" or "beat (up) flights"
    – Burki
    Mar 16, 2015 at 10:56

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