77

there was a German word with the definition that means: It only works when I try to show you how it does not work. What you are probably looking for is called the Vorführeffekt. It's used like Die öffentliche Präsentation der Anwendung scheiterte leider am Vorführeffekt.1 It basically means that you try to give some evidence in ...


47

"Los" is the German equivalent of English "Go" - as in "Ready, set, go" which is "Auf die Plätze, fertig, los" in German. Thus it's a frequent choice when something is launched or set off.


37

"Brillenschlange" would be the only one I can think of that specifically refers to wearing glasses. It literally translates to "spectacled snake", and it is the German name for the spectacled cobra, However, it is often used to refer to bespectacled people in a derogatory manner as well. Not much by anyone above age 10 though.


35

In German you use the same word as in English. It’s called an anglicism. Noob is often used in computer games: Du bist doch voll der Noob! But it’s classified as a offense. Anfänger or Newbie would be more friendly. You can also decline noob exactly as a German Word. For more information see also this page.


33

You have to append vektor in German when you have to make clear a vector is meant. Geschwindigkeitsvektor (note the linking s between the two word parts and also note vektor is spoken with an o as in the English word core) This applies to any other physical variables as well.


33

In Germany, Mineralwasser typically refers to carbonated sparkling water. Many people, including me, who were raised in Eastern Germany, would call all carbonated sparkling waters Selters, even though Selterswasser is a brand of a particular water from a mineral spring in the Taunus region. If only water is mentioned, you can specify, whether it should be ...


32

"Fire" isn't really a very logical way to command the release of a torpedo - unlike Firearms and cannons, there isn't really a lot of fire involved underwater. This is why the standard command to release a torpedo is, even today, in German "Torpedo los". In the movie, that was apparently shortened to "los". "los" is a prefix for a lot of verbs that denotes ...


30

Modern German does not have an equivalent generic vocative. The use of antiquated forms such as «mein Herr!», «gnädige Frau!» or «Monsieur!» would be extremely unusual and probably lead to amusement or puzzlement. In the absence of a generic vocative, people use forms such as «entschuldigen Sie!», «hallo!», «excusez!», etc. etc.


30

All languages have words that are unique and hard to translate, because most other languages don't have a perfect matching translation for it. The German word Gemütlichkeit is one of them. You can translate is as "cosiness, snugness, sociability, comfortability, warmth, friendliness, slowliness, homelikeliness, ..." but all of those words matches only parts ...


28

There are so many ways to express this and so many degrees and notions of what makes a sparkling water sparkling. When I first used the term "mit Gas" in German it was a humorous copy of how to express it during the vacation I had before (Spanish- "con gas"). Maybe the term "mit Gas" generally was imported into German, because "Gas" is usually not used for "...


27

I slipped him a twenty. would probably be best translated as Ich habe ihm 'nen Zwanziger zugesteckt. or Ich hab' ihm 'nen Zwanziger zugesteckt. The shortening of "einen Zwanziger" to "'nen Zwanziger" adds to the casual tone. Additionally, one could shorten "ich habe" to "ich hab'".


27

With a bit of jest, some people still use Grünschnabel (greenhorn, literally “greenbeak“). It's not at all limited to internet speech, though, but if used there it has the same meaning as noob.


25

Häufchen, literally "little heap", it is what cat droppings are often referred to. It is a naturally harmless and polite expression, so there's no danger of being rude. However, it is not very funny either. P.S. "Häufchen" is usually not used to express dissatisfaction in the way "poop" often is. I guess it would be understood if someone did, and it would ...


24

You don’t have to translate this into German because we use this abbreviation too. If you see phrases like Adler & Co. it means that not only Mr. or Mrs. Adler is the shareholder. There are others too but they are not mentioned in the company name. In German we call a Co. Company Compagnie. Sounds not very German but it’s the truth. Until the 19th ...


24

The German Wikipedia article on Black Death (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzer_Tod) mentions the word Wüstung: Unrentabel gewordene Grenzböden wurden aufgegeben, was in manchen Regionen dazu führte, dass Dörfer verlassen oder nicht mehr wiederbesiedelt wurden (sogenannte Wüstungen), die im Hochmittelalter im Zuge des Landesausbaus abgeholzten ...


23

These are called Stifte (singular: der Stift) or Kontaktstifte. There are Rundstifte like in continental Europe and Flachstifte like in the UK and the US.


22

I would suggest Schatzkiste which is completely unspecific, in which respect the content is to be considered as Schatz, but already conveys the idea, that the Schatz is already contained in it. Beutekiste lacks in that respect, it could (as e.g. Wäschekorb) just be an empty box to fill loot into as soon something is caught.


21

Das Zeichen § wird „Paragraph“ (auch „Paragraf“) gelesen, §§ steht für den Plural „Paragraphen“. Lesebeispiele: nach § 263 StGB: „nach Paragraph zweihundertdreiundsechzig Es-Te-Ge-Be“ bzw. „nach Paragraph zweihundertdreiundsechzig Strafgesetzbuch“ oder „nach Paragraph zweihundertdreiundsechzig des Strafgesetzbuchs“ vgl. §§ 121, 124, 626 Abs. 2 BGB: „...


21

First of all, as a native German I never heard of "Dummerchen" as sausage! I bet that no one would understand it in that way. "Dummerchen" is a minimization of a stupid person and always understood in a friendly way. A person calling you a "Dummerchen" is definitely favorable/benevolent towards you (like friends or family members) and it is not meant ...


21

der Strandkorb The literal translation is beach basket — which should be pretty obvious if you look at it, and where it is usually found. They are extremely common on beaches on the North Sea in Germany, where weather and wind are usually even worse than on northern French beaches.


21

In this special context I would use: Es ist mir schleierhaft, wie du den Wein über dein weißes Hemd schütten konntest. The word comes from Schleier (veil) und therefore implies some restricted vision. Is wine really, what the child would handle? Another option would be rätselhaft (translating to riddles me).


20

Unfortunately another area where little understood English terms have taken the cake. Geek: originally a person biting heads off of small animals The subspecies technology geek is what is known in German as der Geek Indirectly related to jeck (often heard during carnival season) - fool, jester ... Reminds one of der Elf/die Elfe while the German word Alb/...


20

I don't know a single word for that. I have never heard Volksdeutsche. If someone mentioned this to me, I had to ask what exactly is meant. And as you said, it sounds a little strange. Perhaps there are other short terms but I suggest to put it into some more words, to be understood correctly. Ich habe deutsche Wurzeln (I have german roots - perhaps this ...


20

Deutschstämmige Obwohl "deutschstämmig" zu ähnlicher Zeit wie volksdeutsch aufkam und ebenfalls 1940 einen Peak hatte, würde ich das Wort als relativ unbelastet betrachten. Ein wichtiger Unterschied ist, dass volksdeutsch für deutschsprachige Minderheiten im Ausland benutzt wurde, die dorthin (Ungarn, Russland, Ukraine) vor teils mehreren hundert Jahren ...


19

There are several juridical nouns for different kinds of homicides. @KilianFoth mentioned the most important ones in a comment already: Mord ‘murder’, Totschlag ‘man-slaughter’, fahrlässige Tötung ‘involuntary homicide’, Körperverletzung / Gewaltanwendung / unterlassene Hilfeleistung mit Todesfolge. There are also several (related) verbs: ermorden, töten, ...


19

EDIT: My answer below refers to the original question, which was something like Do Germans call american muscle cars "Muskelautos"? For the updated version of the question, see the last paragraph of my answer. No. As a native German speaker, I have never heard or read the term "Muskelauto". It is also not included in the german "Duden". A quick ...


19

The term, that is used in German language for what is called "muscle car" in English is: Muscle-Car It is a foreign word, that is just written with a hyphen and uppercase M and C, according to German rules for writing nouns (first letter of nouns is always uppercase) and compound words (a blank is no valid separator for compound words, but a hyphen is)....


18

Das weibliche Gegenstück ist Base. Es wird gelegentlich noch verwendet, aber Kusine (oder Cousine, in der ursprünglichen französischen Schreibung) ist heute der übliche Ausdruck.


18

I would use Ich mag ihre Eigenheiten it is relatively neutral in meaning so it doesn't have any negative connotation. But of course it could be too neutral for "quirky".


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