Hallo wieder (hello again)!
There’s no denying that German is my favourite language. As I’m a German A level student, I have already studied the language in great detail, and I’m hoping to study German at university next year, too. German is admittedly a difficult language to learn, but with hard work and determination, you’ll feel as though you can also participate in this wonderful German-ness.
So, I thought I’d show you some reasons why I’m so passionate about this amazing language, and perhaps inspire some of you to do some further research or even learn some yourself… you never know! 😜
1. German is so literal, it’s just so precious!
You just don’t get this in English as much: the word for an object literally describing its meaning. For example, what’s German for solar panel? It’s only der Sonnenkollektor (literally, “sun collector”)! 🌞 Similarly, German for ambulance is der Krankenwagen (literally, “sick vehicle”) and lastly, my favourite: das Handy (which is the German for mobile phone), which in my opinion, is a far better description than “mobile phone,” as nothing is more Handy than a phone you can carry around everywhere with you!
2. German idioms are pretty entertaining, too…
One of the ways in which you can learn to really impress people by speaking a language like a native is by learning some well-known, clichéd idioms. Check out these examples in German, followed by what it literally means in brackets:
- Schwein haben = to have a stroke of luck (to have pig)
- sich von seiner Schokoladenseite zeigen = to show oneself at one’s best (to show off one’s chocolate side)
- eine Extrawurst verlangen = to ask for special treatment (to demand an extra sausage)
- wo sich Fuchs und Hase gute Nacht sagen = in the middle of nowhere (where the fox and hare say good night)
I think I might actually do an entire blog post dedicated to my favourite idioms soon, so stay tuned! 😊
3. German compound nouns are like nothing else!
In English, you wouldn’t, say, get a word like die Naturwissenschaftsmanteltasche, which is a legit German compound noun and translates as “the pocket of the science coat”, or literally, “sciencecoatpocket”, you see?! it’s just so unnatural to do that in English!
4. German spellings are largely phonetic
Whilst some German intonations and pronunciations are different to those of English (you’d expect that with any language though, really), once you’ve learnt a small set of rules on how to do certain sounds, you’re good to go! German words rarely ever deviate from this simple set of rules, so whilst people learning English often agonise about the differences in pronunciations of words such as thorough, thought and trough, you’d rarely encounter problems like this when learning German. Also, it’s far less flowery than a lot of languages, such as French; for example, French for music is la musique, but German for music is simply die Musik, proving that the same sound can be achieved with just 1 letter as well as 3. It’s particularly useful in exams when you’re running out of time – you’ve got fewer letters to write! 🎶
5. German’s quite possibly the language of Yoda!
… and who doesn’t love Yoda?!
Okay, yes, German is admittedly a bit of a headache to learn when it comes to word order, but again, once you’ve learnt the rules and have practiced enough, it’ll come much more naturally to you. Check out these hilarious but true examples of literal German word order:
- “I must eat breakfast” translates as „Ich muss Frühstück essen,“ which is literally “I must breakfast eat!”
- “If I had more money, I would travel more often” = „Wenn ich mehr Geld hätte, würde ich öfter reisen“ = “If I more money had, would I oftener travel”
- “I will go to bed” = „Ich werde ins Bett gehen“ = “I will in the bed go”
6. Some German words are just priceless…
I think that if I told you, for example, that a German word for mucus/phlegm is der Schleime (pronounced “sh-lime), and that die Leseratte (literally, “read-rat”) is German for bookworm, I think you’d quickly get that impression too…
7. German is excellent if you want to just get to the point!
With the joys of having to carefully consider wonderful sentence structure rules such as sticking certain verbs at the end, as well as perhaps putting words you want to emphasise towards the beginning of the sentence, it is clear that with German you really have to ponder on what to say before you say it! This has been a lifesaver for shortening my essays, not just in German, but also in my other subjects, such as Geography (but I have to be careful not to use German word order when writing in English 😂)!
8. German is also a pretty fun language to have an argument in!
It’s true, the stereotypes of German sounding like such a harsh language are, to quite a great extent, correct! When, for example, Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung is simply the word for speed limit and Eichhörnchen is the word for a perfectly innocent squirrel, you can probably already see that German isn’t exactly the easiest language on the ears …
9. German was almost the official language of the USA 🇺🇸 but it missed out by just one vote 😔
Don’t believe me? Then check out this video by rewboss, a YouTuber who I’ve recently discovered, explaining it all quickly but in enough detail. Germans were among some of the first Europeans to settle in America, so it’s a real shame that the influence of German in America is not as great as it arguably should be…
10. German place names can be so amusing!
Essen (which is German for “food” or the verb “to eat”) is the name of one of Germany’s major cities in the famous Ruhrgebiet; Regensburg (or English, “Ratisbon”) is the name of a city in Bavaria, whose name literally means “rain castle”; There’s a town in Brandenburg called Kotzen, which is also the German word for vomiting; The name of a town just west of Berlin is Busendorf, which means “Breast Town”!
So, I hope that these 10 reasons have perhaps provoked for you some further thought and consideration for learning the German language 🇩🇪 (or maybe they have had the opposite effect 🙈)! Either way, I thought this would be a really fun post to do… hope you enjoyed reading it!
Do any of you have any more reasons why German is so awesome to add to this list? If so, feel free to leave a comment on this post!
If you feel motivated to start learning German already, why not start?! Check out Duolingo, where you can learn German to quite an advanced level, free of charge!
Join me next Tuesday for a little pep talk on the stress of exam season which unfortunately is fast approaching…. see you then, bis bald!! 👋