Floating Candles | Mistranslation Monday

One afternoon, not too long ago, I was browsing Pinterest with my girlfriend from Lithuania (as stereotypical ladies do). And as you can imagine (and as evidenced by my other Mistranslation Monday posts), mistranslations are quite common when us two non-German women spend the day speaking German with each other. Anyways, as we were browsing Pinterest, my friend found a lovely centerpiece that we thought would be perfect for a winter wedding. It looked something like this: After thinking about all the different flowers and greenery we could put in the water, we starting talking about where we could buy Continue Reading

Balls | Mistranslation Monday

After almost a month of internet silence, I am back with everyone’s favorite type of post: Mistranslation Monday! Today’s Mistranslation Monday is brought to you a single seemingly simple word, balls. Over Christmas and New Year’s, we rented a big house in Germany where both Marco and my families would spend the holidays together. This included both of our parents, both of our brothers, my sister-in-law, and Marco’s practically-step-brother. It was a full house, and of the 8 residents…1 was English/German bilingual1 could speak German and very limited English2 could only speak Germanand4 could only speak English. With such a Continue Reading

Top 5 Translation Tools (German<>English)

Being enrolled in a German master’s program, I do my fair share of reading and writing [in both English and German]. I also do a lot of translation work for my student job at the university. So, I would consider myself quite knowledgeable when it comes to online translation tools and websites. If you have taken a German class, then your teacher probably told you to never use a translation website. Instead, you should use a German dictionary. Sure, that is a good tip for gaining a deeper understanding of the German language, but translation dictionaries are quick, easy, and Continue Reading

Intimate Dancing | Mistranslation Monday

Mistranslation Monday has been missing from the blog lately. Unfortunately, this is not because my German is getting better. It’s more likely due to the fact that I took a vacation to the U.S. and have been speaking a lot of English lately. So, today’s Mistranslation Monday doesn’t come from myself, but my lovely friend Adele from Lithuania. As you may know, the German fianc√© and I are currently planning our wedding. Since we will only have about 30 guests, we have been discussing whether or not there should be dancing at the reception. When Adele came over last week Continue Reading

He’s My Sponge! | Mistranslation Monday

I recently started tutoring two female German high school students in English. Seeing as I have no experience in talking to teenagers or teaching English, this has been an interesting experience to say the least. During our sessions, I discuss all kinds of things with the girls, from dream vacations to embarrassing school stories. Since we only speak English, they occasionally come across words for which they don’t know the English translation. So, after saying the German word, they will pause, waiting for me to say it in English before they continue with their story. My German is good enough Continue Reading

My Favorite German YouTube Channels

The most common questions I received after posting my Top 5 German TV Shows was whether the shows were available online. Unfortunately, many German shows are not available online (Germany is a little slow to the digital party). But do you know where you can always find free German-language content? YouTube! If you regularly watch YouTubers, then you know that the platform has largely turned into a lot of attention-seeking 20-somethings creating video content for 13-year-olds. The German YouTube-sphere is very much the same. There are, however, some great channels with funny and original creators that are worth checking out Continue Reading

Oh, the Difference One Letter Makes

I dressed up for Halloween this past weekend for the first time in at least 4 years. I was Little Red Riding Hood, and Marco was my wolf. Since Germans stick to scary costumes (luckily the “sexy” costume trend has not made it over here yet), I used liquid latex and fake blood to make scratches along the side of my face. We had to travel by train and subway to get to the Halloween party, and Marco had not yet put in his fangs and contacts. So, our friends kept commenting on how “cute” he looked, which is not Continue Reading

Flying Kohlrabi | Mistranslation Monday

While in the U.S. last month, the German boyfriend saw his very first hummingbird! Hummingbirds only live in the Americas, so this was something he was quite excited about. Since my parents have a hummingbird feeder, we continued to watch a group of hummingbirds fly all over the backyard for our entire two-week stay. As we were watching the hummingbirds from my parent’s patio one morning, I tried to strike up a German conversation with Marco by saying the German word for hummingbird. “Kohlrabi!” I think this is what Marco imagined when I said that. After a confused pause, Marco Continue Reading

Colorful | Mistranslation Monday

–haft is a German adjective suffix. Examples of words with this suffix include dauerhaft (permanent; long-lasting), herzhaft (hearty), and grauenhaft (atrocious; morbid).  Today, however, I want to talk about the German word fabelhaft, which I always missheard as farbehaft. Fabelhaft means fabulous or mavelous. It comes from the word Fabel (fable). Add on the suffix –haft, and it becomes an adjective which basically means “like a fairy tale.” Silly me has always understood the word fabelhaft as farbehaft, which is not a real word. To me, however, it meant “colorful” (Farbe = color). I am pretty sure that I have been Continue Reading

Germany’s Obsession with Titles

Recently, I saw a poster on campus for a lecture called Warum ich als Wissenschaftler der Bibel glaube (Why I believe the bible as a scientist). However, it was not topic that caught my attention. Rather, it was the man’s name. Here is a picture of the bottom half of the poster: The name of the man who is giving the lecture is “Dir. U. Prof. A. D. Dr. Werner Gitt.” His titles take up more space on the poster than his actual name! What the heck do these letters even mean?! Well, let’s take a look… Dir. = DirectorU. Continue Reading