germannn:

Funny and bizarre German animal names
The German language is famous for some really long nouns (Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän comes to mind). This is because German nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like lego bricks; you can stick them together in almost any way to create new words that encapsulate new concepts. This gives the language a special ability to name just about anything. You could call it the German language’s lego brick-like quality, or Legosteineigenschaft (see what I just did there?).

But why does German rely on such an elaborate process to name things as simple as squirrels? When broken down into their separate components, the names of familiar animals mutate into bizarre new creatures.

The Uncanny X-Tiere

Comics are full of heroes with names like super, wonder, iron, ultra, bat or cat followed by -man, -woman, -girl or -boy. A lot of German animal names work the same way, where Tier – the word for animal – is preceded by a word describing that animal’s “super power”.

  • Stinktier – stink animal (skunk)

  • Faultier – lazy animal (sloth)

  • Gürteltier – belt animal (armadillo)

  • Murmeltier – mumbling animal (groundhog)

  • Schnabeltier – beak animal (platypus)

  • Maultier – mouth animal (mule)

  • Trampeltier – trampling animal (bactrian camel). The verb trampeln means to trample or tread upon, whereas the noun Trampel is a clumsy oaf.

Sometimes suffixes get more specific than -tier, but still tend to describe the wrong animal:

  • Schildkröte – shield toad (tortoise)

  • Waschbär – wash bear (raccoon)

  • Nacktschnecke – naked snail (slug)

  • Fledermaus – flutter mouse (bat)

  • Seehund – sea dog (seal)

  • Tintenfisch – ink fish (squid)

  • Truthahn – threatening chicken (turkey). Trut is onomatopoeic for the trut-trut-trut cluck of a turkey, but it’s also been hypothesized that the name comes from the Middle German droten which means “to threaten”.

No, I’m Pretty Sure That’s A Pig

Swine seem to be a popular yardstick in German animal taxonomy.

  • Schweinswal – pig whale (porpoise)

  • Seeschwein – sea pig (dugong). Not to be confused with the Seekuh, or sea cow, known in English as a manatee.

  • Stachelschwein – spike pig (porcupine). The English word is actually just as literal; porcupine sounds a lot like “pork spine”.

  • Wasserschwein – water pig (capybara)

  • Meerschweinchen – ocean piglet (guinea pig). The ending -chen denotes something small. Add it to the end of Schwein and you get a little pig, or piglet. Since the stems Meer and Wasser are often interchangeable, it’s most likely that Meerschweinchen actually means little capybara.

Just Plain Weird

I’d like to end this list by giving one animal a category all to itself: the humble squirrel.

Eichhörnchen:

  • little oak horn: Eiche (oak tree) + Horn (horn) + -chen (little)
  • oak croissant: Eiche (oak tree) + Hörnchen (croissant)

alternate names:

  • Eichkätzchen (regional name) and Eichkatzerl (Austria) – oak kitten

Calling a squirrel a “tree kitten” is reasonably literal, but where does “little oak horn” come from? It seems that the answer comes down to a misplaced h: Eichhörnchen comes from the Old and Middle German eichorn, which has nothing to do with oak trees or horns. In this case, the eich comes from the ancient Indo-Germanic word aig, which means agitated movement, combined with the now obsolete suffix -orn. Somewhere in history a superfluous h was added (along with the diminutive -chen ending) but the original meaning remained. Today, Hörnchen is a category of rodents that includes all squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, prairie dogs and flying squirrels.

Keep an eye on this spot for an upcoming post where we’ll delve deeper into the animal kingdom: branching out to birds, insects, reptiles, fishes and any other mammals we find crawling around.

(via attemptingtolearnlanguages)

serkankayak:

chels-e-lately:

emerald-avenger:

tarteauxfraises:

kendrajbean:

In the mid-1930s, an Australian journalist visited Germany to report on the rise of fascism and interview Adolf Hitler. The atrocities she saw there, which included the public beating of Jews, forever changed the course of her young life. Nancy Wake, who died Sunday at age 98, would spend World War II fighting Nazism tooth and nail, saving thousands of Allied lives, winding up at the top of the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and ultimately receiving more decorations than any other servicewoman.
Wake made her way from Spain to Britain, where she convinced special agents to train her as a spy and guerilla operative. In April 1944 she parachuted into France to coordinate attacks on German troops and installations prior to the D-Day invasion, leading a band of 7,000 resistance fighters. In order to earn the esteem of the men under her command, she reportedly challenged them to drinking contests and would inevitably drink them under the table. But her fierceness alone may have won her enough respect: During the violent months preceding the liberation of Paris, Wake killed a German guard with a single karate chop to the neck, executed a women who had been spying for the Germans, shot her way out of roadblocks and biked 70 hours through perilous Nazi checkpoints to deliver radio codes for the Allies. (via)



I’m going to keep talking about this until you all buy her god damn biography. Because I don’t think you guys understand.
She was NUMBER ONE on the Gestapo’s most wanted list during the war.  There was a 5 MILLION FRANC prize on her head.
They called her the White Mouse because of her skill for escaping certain death. 
She was parachuting into a camp once and got tangled in a tree. A French soldier saw her flailing around and said, “I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year.” She answered only, “Don’t give me that French shit.”
She would smuggle messages, food, and supplies in a supply truck and when she passed German posts she’d wink at the soldiers and say, “Do you want to search me?” They never did.
She found out at one point that her men had been hiding a female German spy, protecting her. The rule was to kill them, but the men didn’t have the heart. But Nancy Wake did. And she never regretted it.
When she killed a man with her bare hands, it was an SS sentry who’d spotted her and she killed him to prevent him from raising the alarm during the raid. She would later say of it, “They’d taught us this judo-chop stuff with the flat of the hand at SOE, and I practiced away at it. But this was the only time I used it - whack - and it killed him all right. I was really surprised.”
She died in 2011, 3 weeks before her 99th birthday.
If you don’t think Nancy Wake deserves a movie and a TV show and all the damn recognition in the world, you’re wrong. 

Yaaassssssss can we get a movie? This is like inglorious bastards BUT REAL AND WITH A WOMAN

 

serkankayak:

chels-e-lately:

emerald-avenger:

tarteauxfraises:

kendrajbean:

In the mid-1930s, an Australian journalist visited Germany to report on the rise of fascism and interview Adolf Hitler. The atrocities she saw there, which included the public beating of Jews, forever changed the course of her young life. Nancy Wake, who died Sunday at age 98, would spend World War II fighting Nazism tooth and nail, saving thousands of Allied lives, winding up at the top of the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and ultimately receiving more decorations than any other servicewoman.

Wake made her way from Spain to Britain, where she convinced special agents to train her as a spy and guerilla operative. In April 1944 she parachuted into France to coordinate attacks on German troops and installations prior to the D-Day invasion, leading a band of 7,000 resistance fighters. In order to earn the esteem of the men under her command, she reportedly challenged them to drinking contests and would inevitably drink them under the table. But her fierceness alone may have won her enough respect: During the violent months preceding the liberation of Paris, Wake killed a German guard with a single karate chop to the neck, executed a women who had been spying for the Germans, shot her way out of roadblocks and biked 70 hours through perilous Nazi checkpoints to deliver radio codes for the Allies. (via)

I’m going to keep talking about this until you all buy her god damn biography. Because I don’t think you guys understand.

She was NUMBER ONE on the Gestapo’s most wanted list during the war.  There was a 5 MILLION FRANC prize on her head.

They called her the White Mouse because of her skill for escaping certain death. 

She was parachuting into a camp once and got tangled in a tree. A French soldier saw her flailing around and said, “I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year.” She answered only, “Don’t give me that French shit.”

She would smuggle messages, food, and supplies in a supply truck and when she passed German posts she’d wink at the soldiers and say, “Do you want to search me?” They never did.

She found out at one point that her men had been hiding a female German spy, protecting her. The rule was to kill them, but the men didn’t have the heart. But Nancy Wake did. And she never regretted it.

When she killed a man with her bare hands, it was an SS sentry who’d spotted her and she killed him to prevent him from raising the alarm during the raid. She would later say of it, “They’d taught us this judo-chop stuff with the flat of the hand at SOE, and I practiced away at it. But this was the only time I used it - whack - and it killed him all right. I was really surprised.”

She died in 2011, 3 weeks before her 99th birthday.

If you don’t think Nancy Wake deserves a movie and a TV show and all the damn recognition in the world, you’re wrong. 

Yaaassssssss can we get a movie? This is like inglorious bastards BUT REAL AND WITH A WOMAN

 

(via vinedragonheartstring)

fishingboatproceeds:

aliewa:

grouchythefish:

ladyofpurple:

I like how the original title for The Fault in Our Stars is all poetic and then the Norwegians just translated it to “fuck destiny” and I think that’s beautiful

Aw man, I thought for sure this had to be bullshit but nope


Why is it always Norway

Norway, a nation where you can put the word “fuck” on the cover of a young adult novel.

fishingboatproceeds:

aliewa:

grouchythefish:

ladyofpurple:

I like how the original title for The Fault in Our Stars is all poetic and then the Norwegians just translated it to “fuck destiny” and I think that’s beautiful

Aw man, I thought for sure this had to be bullshit but nope

image

Why is it always Norway

Norway, a nation where you can put the word “fuck” on the cover of a young adult novel.

(via thegirlinapartment34)

die Wunderkerze

thatswhywelovegermany:

  • das Wunder = miracle, wonder, marvel
  • die Kerze = candle

die Wunderkerze = sparkler

wanderlusteurope:

Konopiste, Czech Republic

wanderlusteurope:

Konopiste, Czech Republic

(via languageramblings)

languageloser:

Index of EVERY LANGUAGE YOU WANT YO LEARN

linguistika:

Literally soooo many resources here. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning Korean or Hungarian it’s all here.

(via polyglotinprogress)

wnderlst:

Prague, Czech Republic | Olivier/Nathalie Focus

wnderlst:

Prague, Czech Republic | Olivier/Nathalie Focus

(via languageramblings)

thatswhywelovegermany:

Street of the 17th of June and Victory Column, Tiergarten park, central Berlin

A blog about traveling, languages, linguistics, and cultures. I just got back from my study abroad trip to Germany, and greatly enjoyed Europe.

When not traveling, I study Languages and Cultures at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I hope you enjoy!

Currently in: U.S.A.

Currently Learning: German (Deutsch)

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