Thursday, 16 April 2009

You know more German than you think

Following on from yesterday's blog, I was thinking about words that we use in English but come straight from the German. I live in Morecambe and very near to my house is a nursery. It's new extension has a big sign saying Kindergarten. You know what it means because I have told you, but it is also worth knowing that it is a compound word made up of die Kinder und der Garten.

I hope you don't have angst about learning German because there is another word that you know. A beer fest is a festival or beer celebration. Either word is a translation of das Fest. You don't need to translate words like frankfurter but we have lost the capital letter and the word Wurst that follows it.

Sometimes German people gave their name to words and that is why we use them. These are words like Fahrenheit, which keeps its capital letter and zeppelin which lost its capital letter. I hope you don't take too much flak if you don't know these words but in German it is an anti-aircraft gun as it is in English but usually we use the word to mean criticism.

Bis bald

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