Neither German nor English is my first language, and I am having trouble calling out names for food at my school. For example specific sauces like salsa, Pasta names like farfalle and pennoni. Does the German language also have such names? If so, do German people use them instead of just calling all of them pasta?

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    What did the dictionary tell you? Oct 13, 2016 at 11:51
  • Was sagt Wikipedia dazu? Der deutsche Artikel listet über ein Dutzend verschiedene Nudeln auf, teilweise mit verschiedenen Namen, und teilweise mit in Deutschland und Italien üblichen sehr ähnlichen aber nicht identischen Varianten.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 15, 2016 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


It depends on age and grade of socialization. In very early years all pasta is Spaghetti and each Salsa is Soße. By growing up Germans learn to differentiate between Ketchup, Mayo, Senf and Jägersoße. At the same time a sausage will not be a sausage anymore but a Bratwurst, Currywurst or Bockwurst. Later on nearly everybody is able to subdivide salsas in hot and/or with garlic. Pasta is called Spaghetti, Lasagne, Nudeln or Spätzle, but after some more few years in a bbq-maniac world any Sausage, Steak, Frikadelle, Schnitzel, Braten, will be reduced to a simple "Fleisch". Certainly, the most important word at all times is "Bier" which always means "beer".

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    Just to add to this very good answer: Some of the Italian names for pasta are quite well known: We use Farfalle, Tortellini (not that good of an example), Spirelli (not sure about the italian origin here), Fusile, etc. as there are no specific german names for these.
    – Tode
    Oct 13, 2016 at 6:14
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    My kids used to call it Nudeln. "Spaghetti" is a pretty tough word, even if it's always been their favourite. Oct 13, 2016 at 7:45
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    And to makes thinks even more complicated. A Frikadelle is only a Frikadelle in some parts of Germany. In Other regions it is called Boulette or Fleischküchle or Fleischpflanzl....
    – Iris
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:34
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    Not even Bier is beer: Export, Pils, Weizen (Kristall Hefe hell/dunkel), Alt, Bockbier, ...
    – Takkat
    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:46
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    Ich bestreite, dass Spracherwerb üblicherweise so vor sich geht, dass man erst Oberkategorien lernt und später Differenzierungen. Wenn es Pommes mit Mayo gibt wird die Muter Mayonaise sagen, nicht Soße. Ebenso Bockwurst, Bratwurst usw. Die Kategorisierung lernt das Kind zwar später, aber welche Wörter es zuerst lernt hängt von den Zufällen des Lebens ab. Oct 13, 2016 at 11:50

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