Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Life right now, as only German can express it

German is known as being a difficult language.
Sure, some words sounds Afrikaans, but their grammar is incomparable and though when it's written it may look familiar, when it's spoken it gets jumbled. Excuse the quick grammar 101, but perhaps the three most common gripes about German are
1. The genders of nouns - masculine, feminine and neuter. For example, a young girl is neuter, a highway is feminine and a shoe is masculine. Each gender has its article and each article changes according to the role of the noun in the sentence, resulting in the use of the dative, genitive, accusative and nominative.
2. Verbs are often split in half - Mark Twain laments this and gives the following example he translates into English: "The trunks now ready, he DE- after kissing his mother and sisters, and once more pressing to his bosom his adored Gretchen, who, dressed in simple white muslin, with a single tuberose in the ample folds of her rich brown hair, had tottered feebly down the stairs, still pale from the terror and excitement of the past evening, but longing to lay her poor aching head yet once again upon the breast of him whom she loved more dearly than life itself, PARTED.
3. The excessively long nouns - Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (the law about labeling beef correctly) and Geschwindigkeitsbeschrankungen (a speed limit) being two good examples.

Please excuse spelling mistakes - I'm not using a Rechtschreibungsüberprüfungsprogramm (spellcheck).

*Grammar lesson over* 

However, despite these long nouns, some of them are so precise and express so concisely what we need so many words for in English. And some of these wonderful words describe perfectly what life is for me right now. 

I've been pretty much glued to the TV the past couple days. It's nice to watch some "good news" and get away from the Weltschmerz (world-hurt) for a bit. Yes, you guessed it. I'm addicted to the coverage of the Royal Baby. The little Prince. They're hoping to raise him like a normal child, but I'm wondering if it's possible for a royal these days not to be a little bit of a Sitzpinkler (a man who sits and urinates), Handschuhschneeballwerfer (one who keeps his hand-shoes (gloves) on while throwing snowballs), Schattenparker (one who will always park in the shade)
I was entranced by the royal wedding and now by the new heir, but all this mushy-baby-stuff leaves me with a bit of Torschlusspanik (door closing panic). I know, I know, I'm only 23 - but turning 24 soon - and sometimes it feels like 'Real-Life' will only begin after Malcolm finishes his doctorate, when, if all goes well, will be when I'm 27. It just seems like a long time, you know? Sometimes I need to remind myself that this is life, and a pretty darn exciting one at that. This Wanderjahr (a year of wandering, though it can be longer) is such a blessing and we're growing so much, individually, as a couple, and especially with God as our Provider and Sustainer. 

But, if I'm honest, Heimweh (home-hurt, home-sickness) crops up quite often and yesterday especially. I just felt like I was really far from my Heimat (a really deep sense of ones home and place of belonging) and people I really love. I spent a significant time indulging in Herbeiwünchen (wishing somebody/something were close). I would do anything to have a Kaffeeklatch (gossip over coffee) with friends who know me - it's a weird feeling, being in a strange city and not recognising people; every now and then I see a Doppelgänger (somebody who closely resembles another) of a friend and want to run over and say Hi. I considered searching for some Waldeisamkeit (the peace found in a forest), but that was too much Schlepp (to drag something - effort) so I rather accumulated some Kummerspeck (the weight one gains from eating sorrow-bacon) eating ice-cream and watching funny Youtube videos (somehow I landed on cheerleading fails, which resulted in immense Schadenfreude (the happiness one gets at the expense of another))

Anyway, it's a new day, I'll hopefully find a Glückspilz (lucky mushroom). And if not, then words like Nacktschneke (naked snail = slug) and Klobrile (toilet glasses = toilet seat) will certainly put a smile on my face. As will a letter in the mail or an email in my inbox. Just sayin'.

*Pity-Party over*

Need some useful German? Okay... 

Have a wonderful day, try use a random German word in a conversation (How about Haarsmuck (hair accessories) or Drakenfutter (dragon-food: something one buys to appease an annoyed wife)?) and brighten somebody's day :) 
Sending lots of love... 


  1. This was a wunderbar blog. It is lots of Spass to read. Wenn the Heimweh sets in, take a Betthupferle and sleep till you feel better. Love you lots. :)

    1. Danke, good advice. I think I should add Betthupferle to this list...

  2. hahaha those words are so cool! we do need words like that in the English language

    1. Absolutely! No wonder English has borrowed so many!