Wednesday, 15 April 2009

What is German for coup?

There was a question on a TV quiz programme today that asked for the German word that is used in English which means an attempt to overthrow the government. The question may even have mentioned Hitler's attempt at revolution which was called the Beer Hall Putsch or the Munich Putsch. It means a violent blow in the sense of a coup but it made me think of the words that we use in English that come directly from the German.

The word schadenfreude means to take pleasure in the misfortune of others. If you were writing it in German then is would have a capital s, like all German nouns, but in English it has a small letter. We don't have an equivalent word and that is why we use schadenfreude. I had to use eight words where one word will do. I first come across this word on the Simpsons and it is a word used by Lisa. So you should watch the Simpsons to increase your German (and English) vocabulary.

Bis bald

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