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

 

Branding Cockups

We all love a good laugh and branding cockups don’t ever fail to deliver. I bet the new brand decision makers for these well-known brand names most certainly weren’t too happy – but it’s great entertainment for us. Who in their right mind would name their company ‘F***ing Hell’ – I kid you not. Read on to find out about that and many other hilarious branding cock-ups.

Baniff translated a slogan claiming finely upholstered seats “Fly in Leather”. When this was translated into Spanish it comes out as “Fly Naked.”Clairol

Clairol marketed a curling iron as “Mist Stick”. Unfortunately “mist” in German is a slang word for manure.

When Colgate launched a product in France it decided upon the name brand name “Cue”. Unfortunately if they had done their market research they would have realised that “Cue” is also the name of a French pornographic magazine. This must have caused confusion for customers shopping in the supermarket when asking for Cue to brush their teeth with.

The well known American beer brand Coors suffered an unfortunate mishap when it launched it’s product in Spain. Their marketing team chose the slogan “turn it loose” which in Spain is a colloquial term for diarrhoea.

World famous vacuum cleaner manufacturer Electrolux chose the slogan “Nothing suck like an Electrolux” when they launched their product in America. Of course sucks is a reference in American slang that means bad or poor. Of course this is also considered and urban legend of translation but would still be funny if it were true!

Ford launched a car in Brazil called the Ford Pinto. Unfortunately in Brazillian Portuguese Pinto also means “tiny male genitals”

American meat processing and poultry farming company Perdue Farms used the slogan “it takes a tough man to make tender chicken” to try and appeal to some of the masculine male customers in Spain. However when this slogan is translated into Spanish it comes through as “It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate”.

Everyone knows Ikea right? Ikea is a world recognised furniture store that began in Sweden. However when they launched in Thailand they didn’t realise that some of their Swedish names mean “sex” or “third base” in Thai. Also in China Ikea’s Chinese website advertised a stuffed wolf toy called Lufsig, or Lo Mo Sai (路姆西). This unfortunately contained a homophobe of Hai (閪), a profane Cantonese word meaning “vagina”. The name itself could be written as Lo Mo Hai (老母閪) which means “mothers Vagina”.

Fast food restaurant chain KFC made some Chinese customers feel uncomfortable or just confused with their slogan “finger licking good”. When the restaurant chain launched in China their slogan translated to “eat your fingers off”.

Mercedes Benz launched in China under the brand name “Bensi”. Which in China means “rush to die”.

Sportswear manufacturer Nike was forced to recall thousands of it’s products when the design on some of it’s products was deemed too similar to the Arabic word for Allah.

Electrical giant Panasonic launched a new web ready PC using a Woody Woodpecker theme. Not too bad in itself except the slogan they used was “Touch Woody : The Internet Ready Pecker”.

The makers of premium pens Parker Pens launched in Mexico using it’s slogan “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Unfortunately this was mistranslated as “It won’t leak in your product and make you pregnant.

Iranian consumer goods company Paxam marketed it laundry soap using the Farsi word for “snow”. This resulted in packaging been labelled as “Barf Soap”.

American branded Puffs Facial Tissues, from Procter and Gamble, entered into the German market. Unfortunately they didn’t realise that “Puff” is a German slang word for brothel.

The American Dairy Association used it’s slogan “Got Milk?” as it’s slogan in Spanish speaking markets. This was translated as “Are you lactating?”. Bit of a personal question don’t you think?

Procter and Gamble brand Vicks moved into the German market with it’s cough drops. In German the pronunciation of “V” is actually “F” which made “Vick” slang for sexual intercourse in Germany.

When the name of the Toyota MR2 is pronounced in French it is phonetically similar to “mede” in French, which is their word for “shit”.

Motoring manufacturer Mitsubishi found that their Pajero product name as the same as the Spanish word for “wanker” when they launched in Spain.

Japanese motor company Honda initially launched their Honda Jazz as the Honda Fitta. However when their marketing team contacted their Swedish office with the name they found out that Fitta is a slang word for “vagina” in Swedish and Norwegian. They promptly decided on the Jazz although Japan kept the “Fit” brand for it’s home market.

I know what your thinking. How rude. How profane. However Fucking Hell is the name of a German Pilsner beer brewed in Germany. When they launched the brand in 2010 they upset the European Union due to the nature of the word and it’s expletive nature in the English language. However the brand name refers to an actual town in Austria which is in fact called Fucking whereas as Hell in Germany refers to pale lager. They launched an appeal against the original EU decision to disallow this name and they won.

 

Below is a short list of some actual products that are available on sale in various countries. Are they marketing mistakes or are they genius in advertising? Decide for yourselves!

  • Crapsy Fruit, a French breakfast cereal
  • Alu-Fanny, a French aluminium foil

  • Atum Bom, a Portuguese brand of tinned tuna

  • Kack, Danish confectionery

  • Plopp, a Swedish chocolate bar

  • Mukk, an Italian yogurt

  • Bimbo, a brand of bread in Spain and the Americas

  • Slag, a Belgian lager

  • Kum Onit, a German make of pencil sharpeners

  • Pschitt, a French fizzy soft drink

Food for thought

 

How much do you think the ‘cock-ups’ cost each company? Get in touch with us for professional translations, that are localised and right on the mark – every time!

International YOGA day

International YOGA Day

Lingua Translations 900x532Yesterday, 21st June, the day of the summer solstice, was the International yoga day. The date was chosen because it is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and a meaningful day all over the world. In India, it marks the transition to Dakshinayana and it is said that the first yogi, Adi Yogi, began imparting the knowledge of yoga to mankind on this day. The United Nations, recognising how popular yoga has become all over the world, proclaimed this date as the International Yoga day. For this year the theme is Yoga for Peace.

Let’s learn some terms!

Lingua Translations 768x511Yoga – In Sanskrit it means “union” or “connection” and is used to indicate both a state of connection and a body of techniques that allow us to connect to something.

Asana – yoga poses or postures. This is what we refer to when we say that we take ‘yoga classes’. But it is only one aspect of yoga. Asana has the purpose of opening the energy channels and create balance in body and mind.

Chakra – Represents the energy centres in the body, located between the base of the spine and the crown of the head. We have 7 chakras and how we feel and where we are in life is reflected in these chakras. Therefore, having balanced chakras has a positive effect on people’s well-being.

Mantra – is a word, sound or phrase repeated either out loud or in the mind to make concentration easier while meditating.

Namaste – is an Indian greeting. In Sanskrit “Nama” means “bow”, “as” means “I” and “te” is “you”. When saying Namaste, people should bring their palms together in front of their heart or forehead and bow the head a little, closing their eyes. It is a custom to start and end a yoga class with Namaste.

Prana – is the life energy or life force in all living beings. The equivalent of Qi or Chi.

Sutras – a collection of teaching about yoga (“sutra” means literally “aphorism”) originated from the sage Patanjani. They describe the philosophical basis of yoga.

 

So now that you’ve been introduced to the basics, why not celebrate this day by attending yoga tester sessions like millions of people around the world?

 

Roland Garros 2018- Useful Vocab!

The French open 2018

Roland Garros is almost here!

 

 

On the 21st May, some of the best will take to the clay courts to compete for the French Grand Slam title. Now, when it comes to clay, we’re always going to think it will be Rafael Nadal, but this year, who knows! Could it be the comeback year for Novak, will Roger take the title to add to this years Aussie open, or will Andy be fit enough to try and win his first French open title?Serena Williams is back from having a baby, and will be looking to get her title back! She has shown that her time away from the sport hasn’t slowed her down as she’s been on fire since returning.

So, how many of the players would have been familiar with French tennis vocabulary?

All should by now be familiar with the scoring system as it is called out after every point. But what about other vocabulary, such as the type of shots they were playing, or even the type of court they were playing on?

I thought it would be good to include a list of some important vocabulary related to the sport as, who knows, maybe one of the games stars will read this and find it useful! Or, perhaps more likely, it could come in handy to those studying the language, or could maybe be interesting to those who enjoy a game of tennis, or maybe a mixture of the two.

So here goes:

  • le court de terre battue clay court
  • le court en dur hard court
  • le court en gazon grass court
  • le filet net
  • la ligne de fond baseline
  • la ligne de service service line
  • la balle de tennis tennis ball
  • le carré de service service box
  • le couloir alley, tramlines
  • la raquette tennis racket
  • un ace ace
  • un amorti drop shot
  • le coup droit forehand
  • la deuxième balle second serve
  • une double faute double fault
  • un effet spin
  • une faute fault, error, out
  • un let let
  • le lift topspin
  • un lob lob
  • le revers backhand
  • le revers à deux mains two-handed backhand
  • le service service, serve
  • le slice slice
  • un smash smash
  • la volée volley
  • la balle de break break point
  • la balle de jeu game point
  • la balle de match match point
  • la balle de set set point
  • un jeu décisif tie-breaker

 

and finally, a few verbs for you:

  • donner de l’effet (à une balle) to put spin (on a ball)
  • être au service to have the service, to be serving
  • frapper to hit
  • jouer to play
  • prendre le service de quelqu’un to break someone’s serve
  • servir to serve
  • tenir le score to keep the score

 

Roland Garros women’s final is on June 9th, with the men’s final on June 10th- more than enough time to learn some helpful phrases to understand the umpire!

 

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Russia

FIFA World Cup 2018

football-300x115The domestic football season has ended we now know our national champions for the year. Next up are the finals of the Champions League and some domestic tournaments. This can only mean 1 thing now – the internationals are approaching! The FIFA world cup is 1 month away!

Every 4 years the World Cup arrives and although the home nations aren’t as represented as they were 2 years ago in the Euros, the countries are gearing up for an exciting month of football in Russia.

As hosts, Russia have the first game on the 14th June against Saudi Arabia, with the final of the tournament on the 15th July. We at Lingua Translations are gearing up for an exciting summer of sport (let’s not forget Roland Garros and Wimbledon are approaching too!)

Russia 2018

The group stage:

Group A Russia Saudi Arabia Egypt Uruguay
Group B Portugal Spain Morocco IR Iran
Group C France Australia Peru Denmark
Group D Argentina Iceland Croatia Nigeria
Group E Brazil Switzerland Costa Rica Serbia
Group F Germany Mexico Sweden South Korea
Group G Belgium Panama Tunisia England
Group H Poland Senegal Colombia Japan

 

These are the 32 countries competing for the greatest award in football. 4 years ago, in Brazil the final was Argentina vs Germany, with Germany taking home the championship. Argentina are back with a vengeance and will be trying their best to take the trophy home, especially as this is likely to be Lionel Messi’s final world cup. Brazil will also be looking to get back some pride after an awful beating by Germany in the last world cup. The home defeat was not the plan for what is thought to be one of the greatest footballing nations in the world.

 

Can we expect much from England this year? It’s been 52 years since England took the trophy home with them (I know I sound like Rose from Titanic there! – it’s been that long!). Every tournament there is optimism followed by a sense of dread that we won’t make it out of the group stage… England should make it out of this group, but who’s to say how much further. It would be great to see them do well, but hey, we’re a bit more pessimistic about England than our parents/ grandparents were 52 years ago!

 

Any shockers here?

Well Italy didn’t make it through! We were all a bit shocked about that bombshell! Spain Vs Portugal in Group B could be very interesting. Spain were on a very good winning streak in the earlier part of the decade – winning the euros twice in a row and the world cup. Then along came Germany to take the World Cup 4 years ago, and Portugal winning the Euros 2 years ago. David De Gea vs Christiano Ronaldo… This could be very exciting indeed. Morocco and Iran might just struggle a bit to get out of that group, unless there’s a massive shock!

 

So, who will you be supporting? With the premier league as it is, our club teams have players from all over the world! Will this help the English? Our boys will know a bit about the teams they are playing against as they spend 9 months playing with them each year. They’ll know their weaknesses and their strengths… but can they capitalise?

 

Being an international event, you can expect most things to be in English, but we’re a translation company and we love languages, so here’s some helpful lingo if you want to ‘blend’ into the crowds in Russia!

Bolelschik [болельщик] Football fan
fanat[фанат] Football fan
mundial[мундиаль] World Cup
Match [матч] Match
Arbitr [арбитр] / sudya[судья] Referee
Gorchichnik [горчичник] Yellow card
Myach [мяч] Ball
Gol [гол] Goal
Champion [чемпион] Winner
Vratar [вратарь] Goalkeeper
Zaschitnik[защитник] Defender
Poluzaschitnik [полузащитник] Midfielder
Napadayuschy [нападающий] Forward
Gde nakhoditsya stadion? [где находится стадион] Where is the stadium?
Kto igraet? [кто играет] Who is playing?
Kakoy schyot? [какой счёт] What’s the score?
Kto vyigral? [кто выиграл] Who is the winner?
Za kogovyboleete? [за кого вы болеете] Which team do you support

 

 

Bring on a great summer of sport!

 

 

 

How Lingua Translations can help with your sporting needs

How Lingua Translations can help with your sporting needs

Here at Lingua Translations, one of the many services we offer is language services in the field of sports (“field” – get it?!). We have provided a range of services – mainly to sports teams and agencies – and perhaps we could help you next!

Whether it’s translating articles to broaden to global appeal of major football clubs, to interpreting for new players, or even teaching them English, we are here to help you reach your goals (I’ll stop with the puns soon) with any sporting matter, no matter how big or small.

Sports translation? We got this!

Professional-sport-translation-300x300We translate and proofread match reports and articles for one of the biggest clubs in world football right now, while also translating promo’s involving a major betting agency and various teams including not only a Premier League winning club, but also a 5-times European cup winning team too! Besides translating articles, reports and promos, we’ve also been asked to translate medical documents needed for a player’s transfer. This is of course top-secret stuff as any leak could jeopardise the transfer, or alert other teams who might try and snap the player up instead! With Lingua Translations, you are safe in the knowledge that your documents remain 100% confidential.

We also have experience with interpreting for major football clubs as well, including helping them interpret during football camps for kids (run by another Premier League and Champions League winning club), as well as helping players during their medical before a transfer. Once the players had signed, we also offered them English language lessons in our office to help them settle. For players coming to a new country and culture, this can be a great help!

While a lot of our recent sports work has revolved around football (or “soccer”, for our American clients!), our linguists also have experience and knowledge in a variety of sports and related subjects for example things like cycling and athletics, but also things such as physiotherapy for sports injuries.

Whatever your sporting-related language requirements – whether you are an internationally supported sports team, or an individual amateur athlete – why not get in touch? You can visit our website at www.Lingua-Translations.com, or you can send us an email at info@lingua-translations.com.