Some people say German is an ugly language, but I’ve always found it incredibly enjoyable to speak, wonderfully descriptive, and, at times, hilarious! Besides, writing this allowed me to spend some time rifling through my Duden German dictionary, which took me right back to the happy place of my student days.
So, if you’re ready for a bit of fun oral exercise…
Big long German words
Big long German words are such a banquet for the ears,
They’re scary on the page, but please, just set aside your fears!
For like those German vehicles we’ve taken to our hearts,
The perfect German word is made from perfect German parts.
“Staubsauger” means hoover, or a “sucker up of dust”,
A “Büstenhalter” is a bra, or “holder for the bust”,
“Liebestrunken” means besotted, “drunk or high on love”,
A “Handschuh” is “a shoe for hands” – you’ve got it, it’s a glove!
“Gluhbirne” means “glow pear”, or a lightbulb, as you guessed,
“Brustwarzen” are nipples, simply “warts upon the breast”,
“Fahrtrichtungsanzeiger”? Well, that won’t take much unravelling,
It’s an indicator, or a “thing that shows which way you’re travelling”.
“Nacktschnecke” means “naked snail” – a slug to me and you,
“Durchfall” – well, that’s diarrhoea, or “stuff that falls straight through”,
“Fallschirmspringerschule” is a parachuting school,
And it means “a school for jumpers with umbrellas for a fall”!
So that’s the way it works! You see, it’s not TOO big or clever,
You just work out all the little parts, then stick them back together,
And now you’ve got the basics nailed, you won’t get stuck again
On words like “Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän”!
©️ Nina Parmenter 2018