5 fantastic German words you should start using...
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Aug 21, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

5 fantastic German words you should start using today

OurWindsor.Ca

Many fantastic German words have been absorbed into common use in the english-speaking world.

However, there are a handful of German words that describe complex feelings and states of being with such brutal efficiency that, sadly, never made it through:
 

Kummerspeck


kummerspeck
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Translation: the sadness you experience when you've gained weight from emotional eating

Literal translation: grief + bacon
 

Weltschmerz


weltschmerz
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Translation: pain or weariness caused by the state of the world

Literal translation: world + pain
 

Schadenfreude


schadenfreude
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Translation: delighting in someone else's misery or misfortune

Literal translation: malicious + joy
 

Backpfeifengesicht


backpfeifengesicht
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Translation: a face that is begging to be slapped

Literal translation: slap + face
 

Fremdgeschämen


fremdgeschamen
Shutterstock

Translation: the feeling of embarrassment on someone else's behalf

Literal translation: foreign + embarrassed
 

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(4) Comment

By Brenda | AUGUST 25, 2015 01:15 PM
If you enjoy these words that have no English word for them... check out hhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Dictionary-of-the-Untranslatable/...
By Roger | AUGUST 21, 2015 06:35 PM
Well said, Mitsy. This is what we get when Metroland "journalists" use Google and Twitter to research their "stories". Schade ;(
By Ian | AUGUST 21, 2015 04:27 PM
I worked for an older Austrian gentleman once, and I remember him asking if we had and English word that meant such and such. He was quite surprised we didn't. I remember a Tibetan asking me if we had a better word than "unlearn" to describe a very important process in Tibetan Buddhist teachings. My Quebecois uncle told me learning another language involves actually thinking in that language, not just translating it back to your native tongue as you speak it, because translation, as this article illustrates with Mitsy's corrections, is not very accurate.
By Mitsy | AUGUST 21, 2015 01:31 PM
Several corrections are in order for this piece: (1) "Kummerspeck" is NOT "the sadness you experience when you've gained weight from emotional eating" but the reverse: the fat you put on from sadness. (2) The literal translation for "Schadenfreude" is not "malicious + joy" but "damagejoy". "Malicious" is an adjective meaning "of ill intent". "Schaden" is a noun meaning "damage" or "harm". (3) The term "Fremdgeschämen" does not exist in German. The correct form is "Fremdschämen". And again the translation is incorrect. "Fremdschämen" is a verb the second part of which refers to the German reflexive verb "sich schämen", which translates as "to be ashamed". The translation given, "embarrassed", is past participle, "schämen" is infinitive.
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