Owch! Auch! Jao!

What do you say when you hurt yourself? What do they say around the world?

It may not have occurred to you that people in different countries say ‘ouch’ differently – it’s certainly not the kind of thing teachers tell you when you’re learning foreign languages! I recently came across this excellent list of pain words, which tells you how different countries express themselves when they get hurt.

Here they are:

Arabic أخ (Aakh!)
Chinese 哎哟 Aiyo!
哎呀 Aiya!
Croatian Avaj!Jao!
Danish Av!
Japanese いたい! (いたっ!いったっ!いったたたっ!いって~)
Itai! (Ita! Itta! Ittatata!)
Maltese Ajma! (Ay-ma!)
Persian آخ or واخ (pronounced aakh and vaakh, respectively)
Spanish

Au!

Auch!

Tagalog (Philippines) Aray!
Thai

โอ้ย Oy!

Urdu/Gujarati/Hindi

Oh baa!

Oh maa!
(Gujarati): Oh baaprey!

So maybe the next time you stub your toe whilst abroad, you might like to try one of these new words! If you know the word for ‘owch’ in a language that’s not listed here, please share it with us!

Christmas around the world: Celebrating Christmas in Russia

Christmas around the world: Celebrating Christmas in Russia

Seven interesting facts you may not know

Christmas in Russia is normally celebrated on the 7th January in accordance with the Russian Orthodox Julian Calendar. Christmas-Tree-S-Petersburg 200x300

The Russian advent lasts for 40 days, starting on the 28th November and ending on the 6th January.

The official Christmas holidays in Russia are from the 31st of December until the 10th of January.

In Russian Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘s rah-zh-dee-st-VOHM’ (C рождеством!) or ‘s-schah-st-lee-vah-vah rah-zh dee-st-vah’ (Счастливого рождества!).

On Christmas Day, hymns and carols are sung. People gather in churches which have been decorated with the usual Christmas trees ( Ёлка), flowers and coloured lights.

Christmas dinner includes a variety of different meats – goose and suckling pig are favourites.

The ‘Babushka’ is a traditional Christmas figure who distributes presents to children. The word ‘Babushka’ is translated as grandmother in English.

Car Names Translated – prepare to be entertained!

There is a theory that the Japanese prefer to buy cars with names that sound “foreign”. Therefore, many Japanese car producers launch cars with very weird names.

Unfortunately, the marketing managers often do not check the meaning of these terms. This lack of wisdom often leads to funny and sometimes unpleasant results. The following are some examples:

Fiat Uno – In Finland sounds this word like “Uuno“ – which means a dork.

Ford Pinto – Means in South America bandit, dastard, or drunk.

Ford Probe – In Germany, “Probe” means sample, test, trial.. A trial car?!

Lada Nova – This is a not really appropriate name for a car in Spain – „no va“ means not going.

Mazda Laputa – Another weird name for Spanish people. This means the lady of the night.

Mercedes Vaneo – “Vaneo”, in some countries, means toilet paper.

Mitsubishi Dingo – Dingo is an Australian dog. It steals babies out of tents.

Mitsubishi Legnum – Sounds like leg numb.

Mitsubishi Pajero – This term mistake is probably the best known one. In Spain it means pansy, sissy, etc. There it is also used as an abusive word. This car name was changed to Montero in countries speaking Spanish and in the United Kingdom it is known as Shogun.

Rolls-Royce Silver Mist – In Germany, the term “Mist” means rubbish, garbage, muck, etc.

Toyota MR2 – French people have to laugh whilst pronouncing the name of this car. For French it sounds like „merde“ which is not a very nice word!

VW Jetta – In Italy Jetta sounds like „iella“, which means something like a “run of bad luck”…

Other strange names:

  • Daihatsu Naked
  • Honda Life Dunk
  • Isuzu Bighorn

What is to be said about all this?

Dear Marketing Managers, please research the meanings of the translations you would like to apply to cars… or maybe it’s a ploy to entertain us!

German words used in English

Whilst analysing or comparing one’s own language with a foreign language, many people find it helpful to look for words that are well-known or similar to their own language. This stems from the fact that most languages have evolved from Latin. Latin is the mother of almost all languages worldwide, so it is not surprising that it has left marks on individual words. This article does not deal with Latin roots in English, but with German words applied in English.

It is surprising how many German words are known and used in foreign languages (not only in English), and there are various reasons that other languages adopt them. One such reason might be that in a particular language there is no true equivalent word and thus a translation is not possible. Another reason might be that the word is specific to the region where it is from and therefore expresses the original background meaning.

The following are some loan German words used in English. The list below is only a short summary of the most popular words.

Food & Drink

Sport

Dogs

Others

Bratwurst

Foosball

Dachshund

ABS

Brezel

Karabiner

Dobermann

Achtung

Hamburger

Rucksack

Rottweiler

Angst

Hefeweizen

Volkswanderung

Schnauzer

Bauhaus

Frankfurter

Wanderlust

Doppelganger

Muesli

Dummkopf

Pilsner

Hausfrau

Quark

Hamster

(Sauer)Kraut

Kaput(t)

Schnitzel

Kindergarten

Waldmeister

Oktoberfest

Wiener (wurst)

Poltergeist

Weltanschauung

Zeitgeist

Walzer

Wunderbar

to Yodel

On the other hand, sometimes it also happens that a language uses words from a foreign language, but misunderstands the correct meaning, as the following examples show.

“English” words in German

The term Bodybag is used in German language for describing a bag carried close to the body. A small difference to the English meaning of body bag, which is a bag used for dead bodies. Another term, Handy, is used to mean a cell phone by German people, who are unaware that it does not mean the same in English. The last example is the term Mobbing which in German expresses bullying. For a longer list of anglicisms in German click here. The amount may surprise you!

All together it has to be said that is important to know the exact meaning of a word before using a foreign term. However, the best option is to use words from one’s own language (if possible) and to try not to use foreign language words, even if the correct meaning is not known.

Do you know any other German words used in English? Or can you add anything to what I have mentioned here… I am looking forward to reading your comments! Alternitavely, if you’re looking for more information about our German language services then click here.

Food & Drink

Sport

Dogs

Others

Bratwurst

Foosball

Dachshund

ABS

Brezel

Karabiner

Dobermann

Achtung

Hamburger

Rucksack

Rottweiler

Angst

Hefeweizen

Volkswanderung

Schnauzer

Bauhaus

Frankfurter

Wanderlust

Doppelganger

Muesli

Dummkopf

Pilsener

Hausfrau

Quark

Hamster

(Sauer)Kraut

Kaput(t)

Schnitzel

Kindergarten

Waldmeister

Oktoberfest

Wiener(wurst)

Poltergeist

Weltanschauung

Zeitgeist

Walzer

Wunderbar

to Yodel

 

German Tongue Twisters

So, after Polish, Chinese, Finnish, and Italian it’s now time for some German tongue twisters. Anyone who has ever been to a speech therapist will know what I’m talking about. Even if you’re not trying to practice your pronunciation, give them a go, because it’s always funny to listen to the nonsense you’re saying! Let’s start with the most famous example: “Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz.“ (“Fischer’s Fritz fishes fresh fish, fresh fish is fished by Fischer’s Fritz”).

Also well known is: “Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut.“ (“A Wedding dress stays a wedding dress and red cabbage stays red cabbage”), or “Bierbrauer Braun braut Braunbier, Braunbier braut Brauer Braun.“ (“Brewer Braun brews dark beer, dark beer is brewed by brewer Braun”).

Anyone who wants to try something new should try the following:
Tick, Trick und Track trippeln treppauf und treppab. Treppauf und Treppab trippeln Tick, Trick und Track.“ (Tick, Trick and Track are scampering upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs and downstairs Tick, Trick and Track are scampering.) or “Auf dem Rasen rasen rasche Ratten rasche Ratten rasen auf dem Rasen“ (“On the lawn quick rats are running around, quick rats are running around on the lawn”).

As almost every region of Germany has its own accent, many of them have their own tongue twisters. First of all a Swabian one: “Es leit ä Gletzle Blei glei bei Blaibäura, glei bei Blaibäura leit ä Gletzle Blei”(“A block of lead is at Blaubeurens’, At Blaubeurens’ is a block of lead”)

Here’s one from Palatinate: “Die Woch hots Teleringel gfont, donn bin ich die raas runnergetreppt un batsch wedder die bums gedeert.“ (This week the telephone rang, then I ran downstairs and smashed against the door). This one is pretty difficult too! “A Mamaladenammala hamma zwar a ana dahamm, aba a Rhabarbamamalaad hamma kanna“ (We also have a jam jar at home but we don’t have rhubarb jam).

After reading this article, try to say “Möwe” (Seagull) about ten times as fast as you can! Good luck!seagull

 

 

Do you know how many different languages Ed Sheeran has sung in?

Ed Sheeran | Lingua Translations 1200x979 It’s no secret that Ed Sheeran wrote his latest album while travelling the world and soaking up different cultures and styles of music. But he went further than that. He also isn’t afraid to delve into the world of languages either. What’s most impressive is his commitment to getting the foreign lyrics and their pronunciation spot on, and he has previously said he would only sing in other languages if he could do it properly.

However, it’s not just on his latest album that he tries his hand at other languages, but in songs recorded before and after too. Take a look below!

Twi – “Boa Me” & “Bibia Be Ye Ye”

Last year Ed teamed up with Highlife and Afrobeats artist Fuse ODG to create a new track called “Boa Me”, where Sheeran sings the entire chorus in flawless Twi – a dialect from Ghana. The song was actually written at Fuse ODG’s house in Ghana with his friends, and Ed has described it as “probably the most fun I’ve had writing a song”. The song peaked at #52 in the UK charts. While it didn’t reach the top 40, this upbeat track is definitely worth a listen!

This actually isn’t even the first time that the Twi language has featured on an Ed Sheeran track! The song/lyrics “Bibia be ye ye” from the Deluxe version of his latest album ÷ (Divide), is also Twi, and means “all will be well”. Fuse ODG was also involved in the writing of this song which peaked at #18 on the UK chart.

Spanish – “Barcelona”

“Barcelona” is another song which appears on the Deluxe version of ÷ (Divide), and this time Ed takes on Spanish at the end of the song which includes the following lyrics:

Mi niña, te amo mi cariñoLingua Translations 900x532

Mamacita, rica

Sí tú, te adoro, señorita

Los otros, viva la vida

Siempre vida, Barcelona

In case you’re wondering, “Mamacita” roughly translates as “hot mama”!

This is another feel-good song which tries to incorporate the atmosphere in this amazing city. It charted at #12 in the UK charts.

Italian – Perfect Symphony

Spanish isn’t the only language from mainland Europe that Ed sings in! After the incredible success of “Perfect” (initially debuting at #4, before climbing to #3), and then “Perfect Duet” with Beyoncé which propelled the song to #1 in the charts, Sheeran collaborated with Italian legend Andrea Bocelli to create a more operatic version, known as “Perfect Symphony”. Bocelli translated part of the song into Italian but it’s not just him who sings the Italian, with Ed also joining in. Incidentally this is also the first song in which Ed collaborated with his brother Matthew, himself a classical composer, and whose string section appears on both this and the original version.

Gaelic – Thinking Out Loud

Ed is clearly in touch with his Irish roots, spending plenty of time across the Irish sea with his family, having some tattoos in Gaelic, and also musically with two Irish-influenced songs “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” appearing on ÷. But he went even further back in 2015 by recording a Gaelic translation of one of his biggest hits “Thinking Out Loud”. It was recorded especially to be included on the album CEOL 2016, which was that year’s album from Conradh na Gaeilge (an organisation promoting the Irish language) and their Irish-language radio station Raidió Rí Rá, produced for “Irish week” (Seachtain na Gaeilge), featuring Gaelic tracks from the best Ireland has to offer.

The whole song is translated into, and sung in Gaelic, which I think we’ll all agree is pretty impressive! I’ll leave it up to native Gaelic speakers to let us know how good his pronunciation is, but I’m sure, as with the other songs, he wouldn’t have released it if he wasn’t able to get it right, as is his great professionalism and his respect for other languages and cultures.

Keep up the great work Ed!