With my slight knowledge of the German language (which isn't very advanced, I must admit!) I understand that the German translations for the English word "bunny" are "hase" and "haschen". Is that correct? Also, I would like to confirm whether or not haschen has any other meanings, other than bunny, that I should be aware of? Thank you in advance for any help!

  • 5
    Did you look it up in a dictionary? If so, you should write here what you found there. If not, why not? Jul 28 '17 at 22:13
  • Bunny (rabbit) is translated "Kaninchen", but hare is Hase or Häschen
    – Beta
    Jul 30 '17 at 6:47

Bunny would be Häschen, which is two syllables: Häs-chen. That's a common diminutive to Hase (hare), which might also get applied to animals which are actually Kaninchen (rabbit).

The way you spell it, you are not only turning the ä into an a (which has a very different sound), but massively changing the meaning. The verb haschen has sch [ʃ] as a single sound, so it's ha-schen. It's can be used as an outdated verb for catching or snatching something or someone, as in “die Kinder spielten Haschen” (the children were playing tag) or “die Polizei erhaschte den Täter auf frischer Tat” (the police caught the culprit red-handed). But as I said, that use is outdated, and these days the more likely meaning is the consumption of Haschisch (hashish).


If you cannot type the ä, you have to write it ae, not a. The difference is significant for meaning. It's also a different vowel sound than a. The same for ö and ü.

Das Häschen (spoken Häs'chen) means (cute) little hare. And all the pet things you connect with it.

While haschen means to snatch and to smoke pot.

The two words cannot be mixed up in speech because of the glottal stop in Häschen and the different vowel sound.

  • Glottal stop? Where?
    – fdb
    Jul 30 '17 at 8:54
  • Between s and ch.
    – Janka
    Jul 30 '17 at 12:09
  • 3
    There is a syllable boundary, but no glottal stop.
    – fdb
    Jul 30 '17 at 12:25

You made two severe errors:

  1. a ≠ ä
  2. h ≠ H

What you wrote as »haschen« should be correctly »Häschen«, which is pronounced very different , and has a completely different meaning. (Both words, haschen and Häschen, exist in German.)

  1. German has umlauts. This are three additional letters, that English (and most other languages) doesn't have. (There is a fourth additional letter, »ß«, which is a version of »s«, but this is not an umlaut and therefore not topic of this answer.) This letters are:

    • ä
    • ö
    • ü

    Historically, they developed from a, o and u, and there are still connections between them (for example when inflecting verbs in different tenses, or creating plurals of nouns), but they are three distinct letters, with pronunciations that are very different from a, o and u.

    It's like in English: If you replace a letter within a word by another letter, you either get a bunch of letters that is no longer an English word (sit → sut) or you get another word with a completely different meaning (bit → but).

    And if you replace one of the letters a, o, u by it's umlaut-version ä, ö, ü, it's the same. Example:

    zucken = to twitch
    zücken = to whip out

  2. In German all nouns have to be written with an uppercase first letter. ALWAYS! No exceptions! All nouns, every time.

    In internet you will see, that some people are too lazy to press the shift key every time they write a noun, so you will find evidence of nouns written in lower case, but this is not correct. It is an error.

    There are even pairs of words (one of them a noun, the other one not), that have completely different meanings, and the only difference in their spelling is the capitalization of the first letter:

    Rasen = lawn (noun)
    rasen = to race (verb)

    Ungeheuer = monster (noun)
    ungeheuer = immense (adjective)

So, what you obviously did mean was:

Hase = rabbit, hare, bunny
Häschen = little rabbit, little hare, little bunny

-chen is a diminutive suffix in German. If you add it to a noun, you turn the thing into a smaller version of what it was before. But if you do so, you very often have to omit a trailing e (if there is one), and you also very often have to replace a, o, and u by its umlaut version, which also changes pronunciation.

The pronunciations are:

  • Hase [ˈhaːzə]
  • Häschen [ˈhɛːsçən]

There is also a website, where you can listen to the pronunciations of Hase and Häschen.

Note, that the pronunciation of the first vowel is different ([a] vs. [ɛ]).
Also note, that the letters sch in Häschen belong to two different syllables (Häs-chen), and therefore they are pronounces as s and ch ([s] and [ç])
(look at International Phonetic Alphabet on Wikipedia to learn more about pronunciation symbols)

About hase:

There is no German word »hase«. Only the noun »Hase« exists.

About haschen:

This word exists, and it has two meanings, both of them are verbs.

The first meaning is: to catch

Der Polizist wird den Dieb sicher bald haschen.
The policeman surely will catch the thief soon.

But this meaning is outdated and almost forgotten.

The second, more common usage is a verb, derived from the noun Hasch which is a shortened form of Haschisch, which is hashish, hemp, cannabis or pot in Englisch. The verb haschen means: to smoke cannabis.

But in haschen the three letters sch belong to the same syllable (hasch-en), and therefor this is a triglyph, that is pronounced the same like English sh, i.e. as [ʃ].

The pronunciation of the full word haschen is [ˈhaʃən] or [ˈhaʃn̩] (listen to the pronunciation of haschen).

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