The image is from www.cambridge.org.
This week, let's take a look at one of the most well-known Germanisms in the English language: schadenfreude, commonly defined as "pleasure at the misfortune of others." This is the original German meaning. Apparently, the English language now even boasts an invented inversion of schadenfreude: freudenschade. It is supposed to mean "sorrow at another person's success" (see the English-language Wikipedia entry on schadenfreude.) This word hasn't made it back into the German vocabulary (and I suppose it never will, since it does not make much sense to a German speaker.)
The image is from www.cambridge.org.
This week, an example from France. The large WWII bunkers that dot the French coast (part of the Nazi's famous Atlantic Wall) are know as blockhaus in French. In German military terminology, a Blockhaus is a defensive strong point, a blockhouse. However, a layperson will usually call these buildings Bunker, and think of a house made of squared logs when they hear the term Blockhaus. So, when I came across the blockhaus (in French, this is also the plural) in Brittany, I was at a loss as to why the French were calling these huge bunkers blockhaus. One lives and learns.
My thanks go to my former colleague Dora Strinkau for reminding me of this term.
The image is from www.militaria.collector.free.fr.
This week's term is courtesy of my colleague Alexander Drechsel, who thankfully even provided me with the picture to go with it. What you see here is the 2007 "barcode building" in St. Petersburg, Russia, by Vitruvius and Sons Studio. In Russian, it's called штрих код (usually spelled штрих-код or штрихкод, "shtrikh-kod"), which is the Russian version of the German Strichcode. Funny enough, while the Russians use a word of German origin, more and more Germans seem to prefer Barcode to Strichcode.
The image is from http://io9.com/buildings-designed-to-look-like-barcodes-569396673/all.
A while ago we had vorspiel, now let's take a look at nachspiel. Both are interesting cases because what they are used for in Norwegian differs considerably from their original meaning. The most common meaning of Nachspiel in German is "unpleasant consequences." The Norwegians, however, use it for something potentially very enjoyable - "after-party". And so the three founders of moods of Norway apparently developed their international brand from an idea they conceived over a few glasses of pricey Norwegian alcohol - at least that's what they claim above.
The image is from www.slideshare.net.
This seems to be the season of technical terms: after last week's Sprosse, here's another one, this time from Russian. Reißschiene (t-square, a drawing tool) has turned into рейсшина (pronounced "race-shina").
The image is from www.school.xvatit.com.
Spring is almost here - time to clean the windows! Including the glazing bars, if any. They are called Sprossen in German, as well as in Norwegian and Danish.
The image is from www.sentrumbygg.no.
Only 86 days to go till the next FIFA World Cup! Time to look at a piece of football/soccer terminology: the (blatant) dive, known in German as Schwalbe (swallow) - apparently because a diving player's splayed arms and legs are reminiscent of a swallow's wings and tail. The Dutch have taken over this term (as evidenced by the above still from an interview with Arjen Robben who, according to Wikipedia, is infamous for his dives.) For those of you who speak Dutch: somebody seems to have come up with a Dutch equivalent, the fopduik.
To be honest, I never expected this entry to become so topical. Штурм ("shturm") is the Russian version of Sturm (assault, attack). Admittedly, the poster above is for an American movie ("White House Down" in the original version), but against the backdrop of what is happening in Ukraine/Crimea these days, it might as well be a Russian one.
The image is from www.online-life.ru.
Today is Shrove Monday, the most important day of German carnival. Not that I'm a carnival fan myself, but it is a nice opportunity to present you a carnival-related term - schminken, and the matching noun, schmink. The verb schminken is used for all kinds of makeup in German, from your daily mascara and eyeliner to children's face paint. In Dutch, however, it is used exclusively for the more flamboyant kind (see picture), including stage makeup. For this purpose, the Dutch use schmink, which is the German Schminke minus the "e".
The image is from http://adwords.fun-en-feest.nl.
This week's pick is a nautical term courtesy of my colleague Judith Schächterle. A sailing boat's centerboard is called Schwert in German, and this has been taken over by the Russians as шверт ("shvert"). Correspondingly, a Schwertboot (a boat with a centerboard, a dinghy) is called швертбот ("shvertbot") in Russian.
The image is from www.pioneership.narod.ru.
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.