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15
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10answers
2k views

Translation of a German word: “Gutmensch”

The word "Gutmensch" consists of gut = good Mensch = human Sounds like a compliment but actually the word is very insulting. It describes someone who (for example) is not able to take ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

I am a non-native speaker from Germany. In German there's one idiom that goes: Sich die Eier schaukeln Literally translated, this means "to rock the eggs", where "the eggs" are testicles. This ...
1
vote
2answers
145 views

Technical train terms

I am looking for the correct technical English terms for these German words like you would use them in a published paper: Bahnhof → station (We are boarding at the station) Zugstrecke → route, line, ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Translation of Merkel Speech in Auschwitz

German chancellor Angela Merkel said at the Auschwitz commemoration: "Es ist eine Schande, dass Menschen in Deutschland angepöbelt, bedroht oder angegriffen werden, wenn sie sich irgendwie als Juden ...
7
votes
2answers
167 views

Etymology of orchard

Etymology of orchard As a German I would assume that orchard is related to German Obstgarten (a garden with fruit trees), and as Obstgarten has a consonant group of four consonants bst+g the bst was ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

In search for a word in German [closed]

I asked this question before, but I am looking for it in a different language. The language of the word is German. The meaning of the word I am looking is 'shadowless' or 'Has no shadow.'
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How to translate the German term “Selbstverständnis” with respect to organisations?

The German term "Selbstverständnis" can be used in the context of (typically) not-for-profit / non-profit organisations to denote the aims they have and the (typically social) changes they try to ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

The origins and usages of “waffle”

Scottish dogs used to waff American voters waffled in 2000 British politicians “waffle on” for hours And Swedish children eat them on March 25th Waffle nowadays has basically three meanings: ...
3
votes
2answers
586 views

Is there an English variant of “Zeitgeist” other than “spirit of the times”?

Is there a cut-and-dry English word that means the same, or roughly the same, as the German word "Zeitgeist," other than its literal meaning of "spirit of the times"? I've grown sour on its presence ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Etymology: to till the land

OED gives a connection between the German verb zielen and the English preposition till. The semantic connection between German zielen and the verb till (cultivating land) seems a bit far-fetched. I ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

What's the English equivalent to the German “Manufaktur”?

I'm looking for the English equivalent to the German word Manufaktur. Basically, a Manufaktur is just a factory, but in German it is assigned with "premium" and "hand-made". The term comes up as a ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

“I like it a tick better” - proper English?

There's a German expression, "einen Tick besser", which means "just a little bit better". Does that same expression exist in English? I just wrote this comment on a Stack Overflow question: I ...
26
votes
18answers
6k views

Term describing the practice of anticipating dangers while driving

When one is driving a car (or any other vehicle for that matter) there is a German term that describes the practice trying to predict situations that might occur. When attempting to translate it I can ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

The penny dropped slowly

In Germany we have the saying "der Groschen ist gefallen", which exists in the English language, too: The penny dropped. But there is also a variation for slower thinking, "der Groschen fällt ...
3
votes
6answers
666 views

Is there a better term than “technology”?

I already started quite a fruitful discussion about the term methodology over here, but today's topic is the term technology. Whenever words end in -logy, my brain links them to the field of ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

German way of saying numbers found in Dickens [duplicate]

Reading "Great Expectations", I noticed that numbers (I don't remember if this refers to all numbers, but I'm sure it was used when age was concerned) were given in the German way, namely, for ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there such a word as “lightweightness”?

Is there a good translation for the German word "Leichtgewichtigkeit" (lit. "lightweightness")? According to leo.org and dict.cc, there is none, but according to these translations, there are ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between maintenance, upkeep & sustenance [closed]

Question: I was translating the term Wartung, Instandhaltung und Unterhalt in our software. I came up with Maintenance, Upkeep & Sustenance And I was just thinking. Is somebody actually ...
4
votes
1answer
285 views

Is “are” a borrowed word?

I read somewhere that English is the only language to have borrowed a form of its to be verb from another language. I want to say, if memory serves, that it was are that was borrowed from an early ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of the German “ersatz” in English [closed]

As a native German I know some well-known uses of German phrases, but I was astonished that a book from a British reporter I am reading today used "ersatz" without explanation. Is the word "ersatz" ...
12
votes
4answers
691 views

During what period of history did English use “ß”, the “sharp s” ligature?

The ß glyph is a lowercase letter than represents a ligature between a long s and a round s, and is still used today in (some versions of) German. Its uppercase equivalent is two characters instead ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Proper pronunciation of Neanderthal

Why is Neanderthal pronounced with a /t/ sound instead of a /th/ sound?
5
votes
2answers
186 views

A different sort of antonym for Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is the joy or pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. What is the word for the feeling of discomfort derived from witnessing the misfortunes of others?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

German words in common English [closed]

Just curious: Which words are often used in everyday English? I came across the Wikipedia article about List of German expressions in English. There are listed thousands of words. I was surprised ...
2
votes
8answers
4k views

A better way of expressing “burst like a soap bubble”?

So the other day my friend was telling me about this employment contract which he said would "burst like a soap bubble". It doesn't seem to be a common idiom in English, but he seemed to mean by it ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Capitalization of German words in English sentences

If I write an English text and use some German nouns in there do I have to write them capitalized or not? If I would have a whole sentence or quote in German I would probably use German grammar and ...