Friday, September 3, 2010


English speakers the world over can thank the German language for the myriad of words we've taken or adapted. A few examples include: kindergarten, kaputt, gesundheit, doppelgänger, sauerkraut, über, verboten, poltergeist, and Dachshund - the beloved Bavarian friend.

It's too bad there isn't a good translation for gemütlich (a cosy warm feeling) or schadenfreude (happiness from someone else's misfortune).

Oddly fahrenheit is also a German word, however most countries of the world now use Celsius, the stubborn Americans seem to be one of the last fighting the metric system.


Kate said...

Ah, school has begun. Thanks for the vocabulary education!

ann said...

Growing up near Lancaster County, which is considered "Pennsylvania German" territory as most of the people who live there, including myself, are of German extraction, I am always aware of how many English words are of German derivation. In fact, Hoch deutsch classes were mandatory in our schools from 4th to 6th grade. Most people who don't come from areas like mine, here in the states, probably pay more attention to how many words are Latin-derived.

As for the metric system, what can I say except it would be a helluva lot easier than our current system.