Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back in Vienna - Fun with Deutsch!

Now that I’m back in Vienna, I’m back to having no excuse not to blog. I had a rather exciting two weeks in the USA, though, before returning to my Viennese haunts yesterday. Highlights included my 5th college reunion, working at the national quiz bowl championships in Chicago, spending an afternoon at the Jersey Shore, and passing the tryout test for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We’ll see if I’m accepted into the contestant pool- I should know within a few weeks.
I will send along a more complete update on my progress towards some of my goals later on this week, but for now, I’d like to pause for a moment and consider some of the more amusing words of the German language. Just for kicks, you know.
1. Hochzeit – This is the German word for wedding- translated literally into English it means “high time”
2. Schnitzeljagd- The German word for “treasure hunt.” Translated literally, it means “schnitzel hunt.” Well, sort of. The German word Schnitzel is a South German derivative of Schnitt, meaning a cut. Usually of meat, but in this sense, it refers to the cut up pieces of paper one employs for a treasure hunt.
3. Handschuh- The German word for glove. No extra credit for guessing why this word ended up on the list.
4. Unkraut- This is the German word for weed, as in a plant that’s growing where it’s not supposed to. Kraut, in German means herb or plant. Meanwhile, the prefix “un” in German has the same meaning that it does in English. So an “unkraut” or weed, is actually a “not plant”
5. Paradeiser- An Austrian dialect word for tomato, which means, as you might have expected, “native of paradise.” Given the current hullaballoo surrounding tomatoes in the USA, this seems a tad inappropriate this week, don’t you think?

No comments: