The image is from http://jdvorak.blog.idnes.cz.
My colleague Barbora Molnár pointed out an interesting new trend in the Czech Republic - the German term Kurzarbeit (working on short time) seems to have gained ground there in recent years (in step with the introduction of this economic measure). Not everybody is happy with this development, of course, and there was even a Communist MP who caused a controversy by using the slogan Kurzarbeit macht frei to protest against it. The above cartoon relates to this incident and I'm hoping to be able to give you a faithful translation next time.
The image is from http://jdvorak.blog.idnes.cz.
While researching this week's term I discovered an interesting method for moving timber down a mountainside - historically, in the Vosges mountains in France, this was done by sled, and not just in winter! La schlitte is the French term for these sleds, the German original is Schlitten (unlike schlitte, this is a masculine word). The people whose job it was to steer the schlitte piled high with logs down the mountains were called schlitteurs, what they were doing was le schlittage. Exceptionally, here's a second picture to give you an idea of this back-breaking line of work.
Both images are from www.delcampe.net.
This week's term I only stumbled upon a few days ago. And it's a pretty straightforward pick, unlike the Japanese "medical patient" we looked at last time. The Russians use the German Vorposten (picket, forward post) in the form of форпост ("forpost"), without any change in meaning.
The image is from www.vimeo.com.
This week's pick really makes me wonder about the differences between traditional Japanese and Western medicine. Apparently, the Japanese didn't have their own word for somebody who is ill - der/die Kranke in German. Otherwise, why would they have had to adopt the German word and turn it into クランケ (kuranke)? Admittedly, this seems to mean "(medical) patient" in Japanese, so it probably has a more specific meaning than the German original. But even considering this I'm still no wiser when it comes to how the Japanese view illness.
The image is from www.ecareer.ne.jp.
This week something we can probably all relate to: time pressure, the feeling of running out of time. The Russians use a German term for this that originally came from chess - цейтнот (pronounced approximately "tseytnoot"). The German is Zeitnot. The illustration above is an ad for "How to leave time pressure and procrastination behind".
The image is from www.mariyaleontieva.com.
The dachshund is a German breed originally destined to flush out badgers (Dachse) or foxes from their burrows. Hund is the German for dog. In Germany, however, these dogs are more commonly known as Dackel or, to hunters, as Teckel. The English plural is dachshunds, another one of those plurals that sound so wrong to German ears (the plural of the German Hund is Hunde). There is no standard pronunciation of dachshund in English - varieties abound.
As soon as you start digging a little deeper into the dachshund issue, a whole new world of terminology opens up, and there is even some more German to be found: There are three sizes of dachshund, one of which is called kaninchen in English - the German for "rabbit".
The image is from www.enchantedlearning.com.
It's very strange to see a word from your native language whose plural has been tampered with. In German, the plural of Einzelgänger (loner, lone wolf, maverick) is the same as the singular, but in Dutch, it becomes Einzelgängers. The meaning of the original German remains largely unchanged, however, just like the spelling.
The image is from www.slideshare.net.
If I wanted to, I could probably start a separate blog about all the different kinds of sausage that have spread all over the world from Germany. This blog has dealt with nakki in the past, the Finnish version of Knackwurst. Today, let's take a look at the Italian version of Würstel (Austrian German for sausage). If you've been to Italy, you've probably encountered the local wurstel (or würstel) - they seem to be everywhere. And if I remember correctly, an Italian friend once told me that many Italians think the correct pronunciation is "wrustel" - don't ask me why!
The image is from www.vismaraitalia.it.
Leitmotif is one of the most prominent German terms in English. A leitmotif is a "recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation" (Google). It seems to have entered the English language with Wagnerian music and comes from the German Leitmotiv, "leading motive".
The image is from www.langwitches.org.
Hello again! After a somewhat extended winter break, Word of the Week is back. We start the year with an addition to the Russian language: штрейкбрехер ("shtreykbrekher") - a strikebreaker, from the German Streikbrecher. This term was pointed out to me by my colleague Frederike Strunk. Based on this word you might be tempted to think that the Russian for "strike" could be "shtreyk", but the Russians have a completely different word for that: забастовка (zabastovka).
The image is from http://www.stroika24.eu/archives/5768.
This is a blog about the traces German (my mother tongue) has left in other languages. Contributions from your language(s) are more than welcome! Mail me at email@example.com.