Wednesday, October 10, 2012


After yesterday's post about, Schmeichelhaft, a word that I am not that big a fan of. I decided to balance that out with a word that I really like and don't get to use so often.

wütend - angry, furious, irate, enraged

wütend sein - to be angry, furious

It is such a fun word to say and hear. The 'wüt' sound like 'voot' and the 'end' is well 'end' but the 'd' has a subtle 't' sound to it. The way is sounds together  'woot - ent' conjure the image of a Stereotype of some country guy slapping his knee and shouting something like. "Voot ent that be a beauty, Jasper? . ."

It just makes me grin a little whenever I hear it. Even if the word is about being seriously angry!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I learned a new word this weekend. I am not so sure about it yet. I have this feeling that as soon as I embrace this word that someone will jump out and say 'haha tricked you.'

The word in limbo on my brain is

schmeichelhaft - flattery

Like I said before, I am not sure what to think about this word. Schmeichelhaft just doesn't convey to me the same positive energy that I would expect with flattery. It makes me think of Gnomes and Snow White's little guys. HUH? Yeah, I don't know where that association comes from. But that is the image that pops into my mind when I hear this word.

schmeicheln - to flatter

Um. . .  I don't know if I really want someone to schmeicheln me. It sounds uncomfortable. It makes me think of, smite and tickle. The oh mightily lord on high is the only one I know who can smite something and tickling is well tickling, most of us are not fans.

My Freund said it is more like streicheln, to pet, as in to pet a dog or a cat. I guess to pet an animal is a form of flattery for that animal. Great, This is a much better word to associate with schmeicheln however I have to say. I don't want to think of getting petted either. Though I will take petting over smiting and tickling any day.

streicheln - to pet

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wladimir Kaminer

It's about time for another German Author, enough with the music lets get some Lit.

And on that note here is Wladimir Kaminer.

Wladimir Kaminer's webpage  (Source)
Wladimir Kaminer is one of my favorite German Language authors. He is originally from Russia. Born in the late sixties in Moscow he moved to Berlin shortly after the fall of the Wall. Though Russian is his first language we writes in German.

I first learned of him through my Brother. My Brother was reading one of his books, Schönhauser Allee, while he was visiting for a few months a while back. He left the book behind and I ended up reading it too. It is a collection of short stories, all revolving around Schönhauser Allee where Kaminer had lived with his family.

His book was the first that I actually read all the way through. First German language book that is. This I am sure is for a few reasons. One, the German he uses is understandable. He doesn't use long complicated complex sentences. I was able to follow along well enough not to get discouraged. Second he wrote short stories or chapter segments that were self contained and so after reading I felt like I accomplished something the length of the book wasn't a daunting task. Third he is funny, he has a great ability to make fun of people and situations in such a way that it is just funny and endearing. His humour isn't aggressive, it is just honest.

Around the same time that I was reading Schönhauser Allee, a special aired on the television which followed him and his family on a visit Caucausus. Kaminer goes Kaukausus  You can follow the link and watch it. It is just an under an hour, all in German. It is cool you get to hear his Russian accent in German. His personality really shines through even if you don't understand. He has a contagious smile and a natural dry sense of humour.

His book Russendisko was recently made into a film. That I haven't seen yet!!! Here is the trailer.

Matthias Schweighöfer and Friedrich Mücke act together again. They were in the movie Friendship that I talked about in this post. This movie looks like fun. I can't wait to rent it from the Videothek.

I look forward to seeing the movie. I guess I should probably read the book while I wait for it to come out on DVD.

Friday, October 5, 2012


This summer, my Freund and I took a little road trip up north. It was really great. Though it made me realize how much I missed having a car. Or at least regular access to one.

Now don't get me wrong.  I don't miss it as a function and necessity, I did a lot of commuting in my time for school and work. I miss it rather as an oasis and as place to have quality time. What's she talking about' you may be wondering but just let me explain.
Here in Berlin, you don't need a car. The Public transportation in the city and the train service in general in Germany is quite extensive and impressive. So no need for a car. Maintaining one can be quite expensive as well. So thank goodness for the BVG.

However it is just that PUBLIC transportation and that means you need to share it with the public. Not even considering who may be sitting next to you, it is that fact that a stranger is sitting next to you, that you don't sing along to the song your listening too or you may stop the conversation you were having until you are out of ear shot of others. It is for these kinds of reasons that I miss a car.

I miss being able to jam out and sing and have conversations with others unguarded. (ok a little guarded, we can still see you in your car oh nose-pickers out there!! We can still see you.) Sitting in a car, even stuck in traffic is a perfect opportunity to have some quality time for yourself or with others.

Anyway. . . I really just wanted to share another German word.

der Stau - bottleneck, holdup, traffic jam

We got stuck in traffic on our way home. I was kind of excited and entertained. Hence the photos. My Freund no so much.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In der Tat

I had already heard this phrase a few times before. It had always been in the middle of a conversation or it seemed to just fit the situation so I never really asked specify what it meant.

In der Tat - indeed, truly

die Tat - action, deed

The other day I was playing a board game with my Freund. It is one of our favorites, but we hadn' played it in a long time. As we started to play I sayed something like, 'Finally we get to play' to which my Freund replied 'In der Tat.' 

As I mentioned above, I had heard this phrase before and had never asked what it meant. I had always directly translated this phrase as 'in the act'. This time though, I asked for clarification. 

Translating this directly in my head as 'in the act' never conveyed the right mood. 'Indeed' is a word of agreement and 'in the act' seems to me to be more like 'we're doing it', or given a negative mood something more like 'duh.' So it makes more sense now that I know it means indeed and not 'in the act.'

Maybe you can image the scene the other night over the game table. I say, 'Yeah, we finally get to play!' and my Freund says,'duh, we're playing!' OK, He didn't really say that and his enthusiam to play was matched to mine. So I was more confused by his 'In der Tat' response than offended. Eitherway I didn't let the sentence 'In der Tat' go by without an explanation.

It is great to finally learn the real meaning. 

Lesson learned: Ask; even if you think you know what it means.