Thursday, May 31, 2012


I have just recently learned this word and have found that in at least a work setting it has become quite handy.

weiterleiten- to forward, transfer, transmit

weiter- along, forward, more, onward, resume

leiten - to guide, lead, convey, route

I get a lot of emails that I end up forwarding to others or that get forwarded to me. Which at some point gets brought up in conversation. 

This has given me a lingual boost. That I am sure no one is aware of. I find my self looking for opportunities to use this word in conversation. Before I had only been using schicken, to send, in these situations. Which is correct, but doesn't sound as smart as weiterleiten.

Oh yeah, words that make me feel smart! Until I use them incorrectly and then they don't!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Note: Correction to the previous post 
Here is a new word I finally learned. I say finally because I have over heard people use it here and there and it had always caught my attention. It just sound cool, 'Neidisch', but I had always forgotten to write it down and remember it.

Neidisch - envious, jealous

auf jmnd neidisch sein - to be jealous of smb.

Note: jmnd.= jemand - somebody, someone

der Neid - envy

There appears to be an online debate (at least on Leo) about whether in German one says, 'Grün vor Neid' or 'Gelb vor Neid'. That is Green with envy vs Yellow with envy'.

I checked on Google, and the Search for 'Grün vor Neid' had about 620,000 results and 'gelb vor neid' had only 172,000. So if we go with that Grün is the winner.

In looking this up I learned another word.

der Eifersucht - this is a stronger form of Jealousy, I guess it could be considered the clinical name of Jealousy.

Eifersucht is different from Neid, because the person is fearful of loosing something or someone. In English we use the same word, and so we have many levels of Jealousy, in German they make a distinction. I find the word itself interesting. It is made up of Eifer and Sucht.

der Eifer - eagerness, enthusiasm, fervor, zeal

die Sucht - addiction, dependency

So this is an 'enthusiastic addiction' or a 'fervorous dependency'. Which is a good way to think of a crazy jealous person. Those that we hear about it the news or watch in movies. Those that have serious Jealousy issues. This word also seems to be more often used as a poetic word for jealousy, a clearly more  passionate version.

Yeah, neidisch just doesn't roll off the tongue like Eifersucht does! hehehe

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wer zuerst kommt. . . .

I learned a new phrase last night!  Update; Correction!

Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst.  

Whoever comes first, grinds first.

Mike cleared me up, you can see in the comments below, that this phrase comes from the time when farmers would go to the mill to grind their grain. So whoever got there first, got to grind their grain first. . . In the original post I translated mahlen as to paint (malen).

zuerst - first, first of all

mahlen - to grind

malen - to paint

In my defense. . . The German guy that told me this saying, translated it as 'paints' and even moved his hand as if he were painting! So that makes me wonder if my own error, is a common one? That said, the fact that the internet browser prompted me to change my spelling to from 'malen' to 'mahlen', should have been a huge red flag. I just assumed I had miss spelled to paint. arg!!

Well anyway. . .  now that I have the correct version of this saying, it does ring a bell. Maybe we do have some old saying that is similar, or maybe I am getting my signals crossed with the story of the little red hen, which was also brought to my mind with the mentioning grinding grain.

Friday, May 11, 2012

AD: BaumWOLLE und SprengSTOFF

Here is a new ad on the subway. Nothing super spectacular about this one, though there is a play on words.

"Das ist kein Baumwolle, das ist Sprengstoff" "That's not Cotton, that's explosives" 
die Baumwolle - cotton

der Sprengstoff - explosives, blasting agent, pyrotechnic material

Both of these nouns deserves some deciphering. 

First Baumwolle. This word is a combination of der Baum, tree, and die Wolle, wool. Tree wool, better known as Cotton. I think this word is kind of cool since you realize that cotton looks a lot like wool in it's natural form, but it comes from a plant and not an animal.

Sprengstoff is also an interesting word. It comes from Sprengen to blast, blow up. I have to admit I had always thought this word was spelt "Springstoff." From the verb Springen is to jump, bounce, leap, spring. Similar but not the same, I digress. . .

The other half of the word is stoff, which has many meaning.  Der Stoff means material, matter, stuff, tissue, substance, and Cloth. And that is where the play on word comes in.

"Das ist kein Baumwolle, das is sprengSTOFF"  "That's not Cotton, that is blasting MATERIAL/CLOTH"

Get it? I hope it is clear. By the way the enthusiasm of the model really conveys the message, . . boring. Not quite what I would consider to be, as the Fonz would say, "Dynamite!"

der Baum - tree

die Wolle - wool

der Stoff  - cloth, material, matter, stuff, tissue

Sprengen - to blast, blow up

Springen - to jump, leap, spring

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Do you ever find yourself at the store or at the dinner table and you want to ask (in German of course) for a particular item, but you don't know what it is called? This happens to me often.

Then this is a word for you.

das Dingsbums - doohickey, thingy, thingamabob, thingamajig

das Dingsda - whatsit, whatchamacallit ( sounds just like 'the thing there')

It is funny to see these words written out in English. They really only belong in the spoken language. Is there a spell check for thingamabob?

This word has been one of my language life savers!! I learned it form a 7 year old. Note to self: Hang out with kids more often!
Too bad there isn't a Dingsbums Candy Bar!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Culcha Candela

Culcha Candela's Webpage
This group comes out of Berlin. They have a strong DanceHall sound, but have created a nice mix with Reggae, Hip Hop and Salsa beats. Which gives them a recognizable sound and rhythm.

The group was started first by Johnny Strange, Itchyban and Lafrotino. They were later joined by Larsito, Mr. Reedoo, Don Cali  and DJ Chino. Though Lafrotino is not a current member of the group. The group members have a range of backgrounds. Johnny Strange is German and Ugandan, Itchyban is Polish, Lafrotino, Larsito and Don Cali Columbian, Mr Reedoo is German and DJ Chino is from Korea.

There multicultural heritage has come through in their music. Not just in the rhythm that they have but in the lyrics and content of there music. Through their music they also comment on the issues that effect us. Like in their song 'Schöne Neue Welt'.

I first heard of these guys back in 2007 when they released their hit, Hamma! It is probably one of their more well known songs! Hamma is slang for Awesome, Hot, Sexy. I think of it as similar to, the not so often used term, Bangin' or Fine. 'Hamma' is also not used so often in spoken German. More in exaggerated circumstances as is the same with the use of Bangin in US-American English. Here is the video for Hamma.

These song have a really loud and heavy quality and that is mostly what we hear from them on the radio. Their music has a much wider range then what is represented on German Radio. Songs like African Children and Extranjero soy are two examples of the other end of their musical spectrum. They will be touring to promote their latest album, Flatrate, this summer! Flatrate Open Air 2012 coming to a German city near you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bonus Post: Paper Graffiti Art

Here are some shots of the Paper Graffiti I mentioned in this post These can all be seen along the raised train tracks between Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt here in Berlin.

The monkey and the scuba girl caught my eye but then I noticed the 'Back of a Sign Post' next to it.

There is a bunch from El Bocho. 

"Hey Kalle, da Reißt einer Plakate ab!"  "Ich Ruf Die Bullen"  "Hey Kalle, there someone ripping of a poster!" "I'm calling the police."
abreißen - to rip off, to break something away from something, Thanks Mike for the correction!

"I miss my plattenbau." I discussed Plattenbaus in this Post.

 A few others that where noticeable.

This Little Lucy girl I often see in Prenzlauer berg. And she is always hurting her Kitty Cat.

I have no idea about this huge Guy. I just noticed him for the first time. I guess he must be new, because how could you miss that!

I almost totally missed this one. Whoever put it up there, put some effort into it because it is on the glass behind the metal. That takes some time!

These triangles are everywhere. I don't know anything about them. But they always catch my eye.

Then the last of the bunch this giant colorful pill! (over an old torn el Bocho girl)