Although I’ve been in Wien for over 18 months now, I’m slightly ashamed to report that my Deutsch levels are probably not where they should be. I can follow conversation in groups of friends just fine, but spitting out phrases in return I’m still a bit clunky and basic. However, in my efforts to continually learn more I’ve collected quite a few phrases that when translated into English are brilliantly adorable and fun.
This is by no means an extensive collection and its likely the sayings are quite regional to the groups of people I spend time with. So, apologies for the dominance of Tirolian and Pfalz-ian phrases – they are what I’m regularly surrounded by. If you’ve got some equally brilliant and amusing translations please feel free to share and add to my collection. These are a few select favourites of mine that I encourage you to integrate into your every day lingo….
Ich glaube, mein Schwein pfeift!
Translates to: I think my pig is whistling!
Real intention: I think I’m going crazy!
Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei
Translates to: Everything has an end, only the sausage has two
Real intention: A philosophical phrase, spoken when something sadly comes to an inevitable end
I have no idea what is happening here, but it is hilarious
Das ist großes Kino
Translates to: That’s real big cinema
Real intention: That’s really, really impressive/cool
Es ist gut Kirschen essen mit dir
Translates to: Its good cherry eating with you
Real intention: I’m thoroughly enjoying this conversation with you
My sister and close friends enjoy some seriously good cherry eating at Christmas!
Das Leben ist kein Zuckerlecken
Translates to: Life is not a sugar licking
Real intention: Life isn’t always easy
Sadly life is not always cupcake…
Geh dahin, wo der Pfeffer wächst
Translates to: Go where the pepper grows
Real intention: Kindly, er, rack off!!
To round out, these are three of my favourite sayings, guaranteed to always make me giggle because I adore them so much!
Du alte Wursthaut
Translates to: You old sausage skin
Real intention: Ah, you reliable old friend of mine. This became a catch-cry of our family over Christmas once the English speakers found out the literal translation, so much so that nearly every sentence was being finished with ‘You old sausage skin!’ and a hearty pat on the back.
Du bist der Deckel zu meinem Topf
Tanslates to: You’re the lid to my pot
Real intention: You’re my perfect match. A very sweet phrase to use when describing your partner…..slightly cheesy but completely adorable! Who knew Deutsch could be so cute??
The lid to my pot – who will no doubt hate that I shared this ridiculous photo!
Du frech Dachs!
Translates to: You cheeky badger!
Real intention: You cheeky little so-and-so. This is now a popular phrase in our household for any number of crimes, whether it’s stealing the last piece of chocolate or ‘forgetting’ to put your shoes in the cupboard. Incredibly useful in most domestic scenarios.
Evidence of actual badgers stealing chocolate – the threat is real.
One of the best things that all these phrases have taught me is how the German language (with its Austrian dialects) is always referring back to nature and food – the two great loves of the Deutsch speaking world!!
I’m sure there’s many more regional and gorgeous Deutsch sayings out there and I can’t wait to learn more. I’d much rather spend a day discussing dialect phrases than an hour in Deutsch school learning grammar rules so please, feel free to share your favourite phrases in the comments below.
Sausage image credit:
photo credit: Mr Jaded via photopin cc
Cupcake image credit:
photo credit: FUNKYAH via photopin cc