German has its share of funny words. Some have no direct translation, while others are mashups of several words into one ultra-long word. Here are some gems:
- Kummerspeck = “grief bacon.” It’s the few pounds of weight you may put on in the wake of a breakup or loss of a loved one.
- Backpfeifengesicht = “Slap face.” This is a word to describe someone who you think either needs a slap in the face or someone who looks particularly slapable. Not that you’d go around slapping people in Germany, right?
- Hanschuhe = “Hand shoe.” This is the general word for gloves and mittens.
- Handschuhschneeballwerfer = “Gloved snowball thrower.” It’s another word for a wimp.
- Stinktier = “Stink Animal.” You probably don’t have to think too hard to know who the stink animal is. The skunk.
Polishing your German pronunciation will depend on your receipt of immediate and accurate feedback on your German pronunciation attempts. Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine helps guide you to the correct pronunciation. Our patented speech technology instantly compares your voice to native and non-native speakers, so you get real-time feedback for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to fine-tune your accent. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the German language.
Learn German Words and Phrases
German is the second-most widely spoken language of the European Union. German comes just after English in its popularity in the EU. This makes sense when you take into consideration that German is one of the official languages of a number of European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Germany, parts of Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, and Swiss German. Around the globe, there are more than 229 million German speakers. The worldwide use of the German language makes it one of the most popular and practical languages to learn for reasons of business and travel.
Rosetta Stone German language lessons help beginning learners focus first on needed foundational language concepts. Every Rosetta Stone German lesson provides brief and practical exercises that help you learn to speak German with correct pronunciation, from the start. Language lessons begin with helping you understand and say everyday phrases like; nice to meet you, good day, how are you, pardon me, and excuse me. Then building on these basics, Rosetta Stone lessons will help you learn to understand and be understood in German. The language lessons are designed to help you learn to speak German with confidence. So whether you have plans to travel across Northern Germany, ski through the Alps, or experience city life in Munich and Berlin—learning German with Rosetta Stone will serve you well.
One notable characteristic of German is its tendency to combine multiple words into one word. So in English where you might use two or even three words, in German you might combine those two or three words into a single, compound word. As an example, the single word for orange juice in German is Orangensaft. Orangen + Saft = Orangensaft. And what’s more, these compounded German words also have a gender. Here’s how you determine a word’s gender: the gender of the word which comes last in the compound word (e.g., der, die, das) determines the gender of the compound word. For example, “die Orange” is feminine, but “der Saft” is masculine, so the resulting compound word “der Orangensaft” is also masculine.
The German language does include vocabulary that can be challenging to learn. Mark Twain is said to have famously taken issue with the “clumsy” German language practice of creating overly complicated, compound, multi-syllable words. As one example, let’s look at the German word Freundschaftsbezeugung. This lengthy word means “demonstrations of friendship.” Yes, the word is quite long, but it might help to try to break it into its recognizable and understandable parts. You can see that the compound word starts with the single word “Freund.” The word “Freund” is what is called a cognate, a counterpart with the same meaning of the English word “friend.”
After you have developed the ability to understand and speak the basics of the German language, you can move onto learning the longer phrases that come into play in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s digestible, 10-minute German lessons are built to lead you along the path of learning to confidently understand and correctly speak German. Rosetta Stone language lessons will help you learn German vocabulary and proper pronunciation for real-world situations.
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