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Piotr Zgodzinski [PersonRank 4]

Sunday, October 3, 2004
19 years ago

Interesting article, showing me many things that I was not aware of. One thing
I can say about Germans – I think they are perfect employees. The company where I work is inviting students from many different Western European countries from time to time for the trainship period that lasts about six months so I had plenty of time to observe and compare.

As a neighbour, it's no surprise that Polish language has many words that are
taken from Deutsche sprache, and most people are aware of it that they are not Polish words, for example:

sznycel (schnitzel)
precel (pretzel)
kamrat (Kamerad)

more here

Sone German words and phrases are common knowledge and are frequently used on a daily basis in their original form, although they are mostly connected to the bitter period of the second world war, for example:

Arbeit macht frei
Kapo (Oberkapo)
Ordnung muss sein

Some of Poles also noticed the "Denglish" phenomenon you wrote about once, although not many:
(look at the two interesting tables and the poem at the very end)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

19 years ago #

The Denglish christmas poem somehow reminds me of the very old The Katzenjammer Kids cartoon

What does the table show, i.e. what does the following mean?
- słowo obce
- niemiecki odpowiednik
- odpowiednik polski

Piotr Zgodzinski [PersonRank 4]

19 years ago #

The meaning of this table:

Members of the "Verein Deutsche Sprache" organization consider the following words as unwanted in
German language and would like to see them replaced by their German equivalents:

- foreign word
- German equivalent
- how this word is used in Poland (Polish equivalent)

justin [PersonRank 0]

19 years ago #

"schaudenfreude" is becoming more and more used in England, and without needing to explain what it means. Newspapers are using it a lot – a lot more so than 10 years ago – mainly because there isn't a single word equivalent in the English language.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

19 years ago #

The Leo Dictionary suggests the following translations for Schadenfreude – I guess none of these do their job very good:

- epicaricacy
- gloating
- malicious joy
- mischievousness
- spitefulness

Hanan Cohen [PersonRank 7]

19 years ago #

A must read about Germany and Germans is "Three Men on the Bummel" by Jerome K. Jerome. The three heros of "Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog" are traveling in pre WWI Germany. The book is hilariousely funny (like the first one) and frightenly predictive.

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

19 years ago #

English usage example:

"There's a certain joy to watching a truly terrible movie, and that schaudenfreude translates remarkably well to reading reviews of the same."

without the german word , the phrase in pure english would be
"and that gloating in other peoples misfortune translates remarkably..."

So,, the german word shortens a longer english phrase – and is therefore used.

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

19 years ago #

I enjoyed this post. It's always interesting to read about foreign cultures. I did have a word to add that is moderately pervasive around here... Uber. Does it have a negative or war related connotation? I like it a fun, simple prefix (although one guy I work with got mad at me when I used it). It conveys a meaning of "super" that isn't always the first one people think of, so generally it's usage seems justified to me anyway.

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

19 years ago #

Heh, just reread the article: "But often, German words used as foreign words express feelings of grandeur, deep thoughts, and war." An argument could be made that "uber" expresses a feeling of grandeur. Hmmmmm

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

19 years ago #

Jamie, "uber" – or as Germans spell it, the more correct "Über" – can have somewhat negative associations in the German language, but not necessarily.

Philosopher Frierich Nietzsche coined the term "Übermensch" (I believe that was in Thus Spoke Zarathustra), and the Nazis adopted his language (which wasn't a terribly fair or correct adoption). They also adopted parts of what Darwin had to say and used it as groundwork for their theories (only the strongest animal survives). And then there's Freud, who coined the "Über-Ich" (the super-ego, judgmental father-role within anyones brain).

Freud's Übermensch could be directly translated into "Superhuman" or just "Superman" (like Clark Kent). I used it in my search engine FindForward by calling it the "Uber Engine" (the German version will read "Übermaschine"). I specifically did not want to call FindForward a "meta engine" because to me that has the meaning of a search engine which combines several other engines (like Google, Yahoo and MSN all in one), which I don't like or find very meaningful (one, the best, result is enough I think). I also chose "Uber Engine" because I find it funny this word is used in English, and that I can get away with using it in English.

In the German national anthem, which has been around for quite a while (also in Nazi Germany), there is one verse which goes: "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" (Germany, Germany above everything else.) Which of course is highly idiotic, but also very revealing to how aggressive nations were thinking ages ago – illusions of grandeur. Interestingly enough, this specific part has been "removed" from our national anthem, so it's not really allowed to sing it anymore (only a Neo-Nazi would sing it).

In other contexts, "über" can also just mean "about". "I will be talking about money" would translate to "Ich werde über Geld reden". Or it could mean: rest, left. Like: "I don't have any money left" would translate as "Ich habe kein Geld über" (or "übrig").

So as you can see it has different meanings. In English, of course, it's mostly used as "much better, higher, more drastic, more complete, above all others", like "Ubernerd" (the king of nerds). Note the missing Umlaut "Ü" in most spellings.

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