Sunday, April 7, 2013

Direct Translations of German Words

Something different: Germany, the land of poets and thinkers. Well, not always, sometimes we are also pretty uncreative, a few examples of direct translations of German words:
  • aircraft - fly thing (Flugzeug)
  • entrepreneur - under taker (Unternehmer)
  • bicycle - drive wheel (Fahrrad)
  • unicycle - one wheel (Einrad)
  • (watch) television - far view(er) (Fernsehen- Fernseher)
  • telescope - far pipe (Fernrohr)
  • dictionary - words book (Wörterbuch)
  • vehicle - drive thing (Fahrzeug)
  • motorist - force driver (Kraftfahrer) [official language]
  • zeitgeist - time ghost (Zeitgeist)
A train leader (Zugführer) can be both a train operator ond a platoon commander.

Some words we use are kind of weird:
  • citizen - bailer (not quite bailsman) (Bürger) - I don't get why we complain about having to bail out other countries since it is even in our name.
  • contract - live in harmony/agree (Vertrag) from vertragen
We are sometimes pretty creative with English words. Guess what the following seemingly English words mean if used in German(answer below the fold):
  • Handy
  • Public viewing
  • Oldtimer 
  • Beamer

  • cell phone
  • public live broadcast of a sports event
  • vintage car
  • video projector

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