1. Tassyr
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    Tassyr New Member

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    German Phrases

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Tassyr, Oct 17, 2015.

    So a friend of mine and I are setting up to write a few short stories. While we're pretty sure this'll never go anywhere, we're mostly using it for practice anyway.

    It's a modern setting, and one of the characters is German. I figured it wouldn't make sense for him to speak in perfect English ALL the time, so I was trying to find a list of phrases that would be used for frustration/anger/similar situations. (You know; you stub your toe, you shout "Dammit!" or you drop something you're carrying, you might say "Oh COME ON." Et cetera.) But I can't FIND any database of this stuff; I keep running into direct translations, which I know aren't right.

    Anyone know where I might turn for advice?
     
  2. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    "Verdammt" - Damn it.
    "Scheiße" - Shit.
    "(Oh), verdammt (nochmal)" - more wordy version of the first expression.

    Those are the most common ways to express your frustration/anger. It often depends on where you are from.

    German regions are very distinct from one another, and their dialects are completely different so that some people from the south claim to be unable to understand those in the northeast. I was once travelling by train, and the ticket inspector said something to me. I thought he had been threatening me. It was only a couple of minutes later that I understood that he had been telling me that the next train stop would be the last one. Just to give you an example of this madness: Even Austrian is much closer to Bavarian or Franconian than Upper Saxon. Franconia is part of Bavaria, but Franconians even struggle to understand the dialect in Lower Bavaria.
    The dialects have a huge amount of unique words to them. Curses also are very regional at times. The three expressions I listed are probably the most generic. The more colourful you go, the less "High German" you get.

    http://www.redensarten-index.de/suche.php?suchbegriff=~~Ausruf der Veraergerung / des Erstaunens / der Ungeduld 2. Fluch / Verwuenschung&bool=relevanz&suchspalte[]=erl_ou

    This site lists some other phrases. On the left, there's the German expressions. The site doesn't provide English translations, thlugh. If you have further questions, feel free to ask^^
     
  3. Tassyr
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    Tassyr New Member

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    Well color me impressed. Definitely not used to responses that quick! I'll give those a read but to narrow things down, I'd chosen Hesse as this char's origin. Admittedly mostly by a random number generator.
     
  4. ADreamer
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    ADreamer Banned Sock-Puppet

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    Ah yes, the dialects. My German relatives sometimes joke you can travel over the next hill and into the town beyond and you wouldn't necessarily understand more than the basics of what the people are saying.

    It's one reason why at work I no longer tell my employers/co-workers in North America that I am fluent in German [being a British(mum)-German(dad) born in Canada] because unless they are German themselves or of close German ties... the average person thinks it is all the same language - with simple differences like that between American English & British English. I was foolish when I first started working - and to explain my accent and some lisps in English [I can not say thanks like an English to save my life as the th is a z sound, and mother sounds like mutter hence why I always use mum] told my employer after he sort of poked fun. Never again for the clown embarrassed myself and the poor old southern German lady terribly by shouting out I speak German to her. Yes we both spoke German - one an "apple" German and the other an "orange" German to take mickey of the saying "compare apple to oranges" - and could tell that within a few sentences.

    That is of course not taking into consideration the particulars of Plattdüütsch [Low German], Hochdeutsch [High German / Standard German - the stuff typically taught at school], and Missingsch [the combination / "slang" German]


    But it seems to be a trait of the Germanic & Germanic based languages - my long-time Swedish friend has similar claims of dialects and understanding people being difficult.



    Fick - is one version if you change the I to a U for the English though ficken and vögeln can be used depending on the context.
    Schwachkopf - halfwit, imbecile, dimwit, etc. Typically moron.

    What sort of theme are you looking for - insulting, just sudden shout outs, etc.


    Hesse is a bit more Franconian than straight German - it's more Dutch? I guess you could say. It's related to the language the older generations of Mennonites spoke.

    I mean:

    Apfel - High
    Aupel - Low
    Abbel - Franconian
    Ebbel - Hessian [softer consonants apparently]
    Appel - Dutch

    German is tricky for the Germans to understand half the time. Don't get me started on the pronouncing of words ending in ich - more than once I've stopped and starred at my uncle who speaks Berlinerisch [a type of Missingsch] because he pronounces ich differently when amongst family & friends than he does in the public or what I am used to; takes a moment for the brain to connect the dots.
     
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  5. Tassyr
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    Tassyr New Member

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    Mostly just expressions of frustration, anger, and incidental pain. (You know- stubbing your toe, tripping on something someone left out, hitting your head standing up under a cabinet, pinching a hand in a car door.)
    The odd insult might be nice but I don't want to go too heavily into that.

    And yeah, I know language can get tricky over there- I visited with a tour group and our bus driver had issues understanding the tour guide- it made for a rather interesting trip. That's why I'm asking for help- I KNOW I wouldn't get it right. XD And even if no one sees it, I still don't like half-assing things.
     
  6. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    I am adding ADreamer's suggestions to my list:

    "Verfickt (nochmal)" - very rude, and considered colloquial. Mostly associated with the lower class, but often used by youths, too. And people who would like to be youths^^ It's very strong.
    We also quite commonly use "Fuck you." Germans love to use English expressions. It's mostly used by youths, too.
    "Ach du meine Güte!" - that's something older people like to say. It translates to "Oh, goodness!" Not rude, but a quite formal expression of shock or frustration.
     
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  7. ADreamer
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    ADreamer Banned Sock-Puppet

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    Schwanzlutscher is as rude or ruder.


    Arschloch - asshole.
    Dummkopf - everyone should know that
    Du Hurensohn - typically you son of a B**** / son of a whore ... depends on the context. Some use Sohn Von einem Weibchen which is so long winded... though good if no one understands what you are saying as it's not as common as hurensohn.

    ...

    Dropping things / stubbing toes

    gottverdammt / Gott verdammt - god damn it.
    meine/mein blutig zeh - my bloody toe - Mum understands basic German so when she tells me off for saying "bloody" [or fucking] in British English I just switch over and say it in German.


    Here's some websites about insults with English translations. Some of them are a tad off but close enough no one but a German would realize that. I'd post some that my uncle uses to Richard - they've been friends for years [since I was 6], Rich is a close family friend - and those two can get sort of creative but simply in an insulting aspect not dropping things, etc.

    http://www.vnutz.com/curse_and_swear/german
    http://marathonsprachen.com/swearing-and-words-of-aggression-in-german/
     
  8. Tassyr
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    Tassyr New Member

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    I really wanna thank you guys, you've been a great help! This is actually really useful!
     
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