by Marina Penélope ♡

10 beautiful untranslatable German words

10 beautiful untranslatable German words

Aloha my lovely friends,

I guess, the ones who are living in a country where Whitsun is celebrated, are doing great. To the rest, stay strong. You can hustle through tomorrow and will have a holiday on another Monday where we do not have ūüėČ despite this, this blogpost is written for all of you. As you can read from the title it is about untranslatable German words, and this problem I have only with my non-German friends. Whenever I am talking with you, there comes a point where I want to say a certain word, but I know only the German version of it. Because of this I open my translation app, type the word, and find a description of the word I am looking for. No translation. Every time it is a new disappointment, because that one word expresses exactly what I am thinking and/or feeling. I do not want to experience this again. So, my lovely friends here is my top ten of the most beautiful but untranslatable German words for you:


Schnapsidee 
A¬†Schnapsidee¬†is an idea which is quite crazy. The idea is so crazy, that people assume you must have drunk a lot of alcohol or had to many shots (in some cases even both). But you do not necessarily have to be drunk. Sometimes you just have a Schnapsidee. Even sober. And to be honest, I have quite a Schnapsidee although I am the one who’s (almost) always sober.

Fremdschämen
Oh oh oh, this word describes me perfectly. I stopped watching trash tv because of it, and I am quite surprised that Fremdschämen is untranslatable! What is wrong with you? I know, that a lot of friends are also feeling ashamed for other people who are acting ridiculous. Please, invent a word for Fremdschämen.

Wanderlust
Wanderlust describes¬†strong desire to travel. Leaving home. Filling your passport. Become a travel blogger. Get to know new countries, new people, new languages and new cultures. It describes me ūüôā

Ohrwurm
It was really funny when I tried to translate¬†Ohrwurm for the first time. My friend thought I would have a worm in my ear. But no it is not a worm it is¬†a song you can’t get out of your head and have to sing it over and over again. It sticks in your head, or just in your ear like an¬†Ohrwurm.

Erbsenzähler
An Erbsenzähler is someone who pays a lot of attention to the greatest accuracy and completeness of people or their actions. Or just EVERYTHING. He or she has  a love for detail Рa nit picker. But in German this person is counting peas. I like this untranslatable word, because I immidieatly create a picture in my head where this person sits on the floor and starts counting peas. This imagination leads me to the next word.

Kopfkino
This word says, that you are creating your own movie in your head. Sort of a cinema in your head. It has something to do with your imagination. You follow your ideas to the end or you illustrate something like me with the word Erbsenzähler. Do you remember the sitcom Scrubs?  JD had always a Kopfkino. He always started to imagine something when someone told a story.

Fingerspitzengef√ľhl
It describes the ability to communicate with others without offending, or embarrassing them. Many sensitive people have a good Fingerspitzengef√ľhl. They act highly emphatic.

Fernweh
Fernweh describes the human longing to leave familiar conditions and to open up the wide world. It is an ache for long distance. The word Fernweh literally contrasts with homesickness, the longing for home.

Pantoffelheld
I would hazard that amny men are¬†Pantoffelhelden. I bet now you want to know what this untranslatable word means. It is a¬†man who pretends to be the tough guy in front of his friends, but cannot assert himself against his wife or girlfriend. How many people will now use this word to call one of their friends being like that? ūüėČ

Schadenfreude
Okok, I do admit, that sometimes the feeling of Schadenfreude is stronger than Fremdschämen, but in those cases I cannot help myself. Schadenfreude is about the misfortune or bad luck of others. For me it plays a dominant role in maintaining justice. I do not feel Schadenfreude for good people, only for the not so good ones.


Now you know my most favourite untranslatable German words. So next time when we meet again, I want you to understand my phrases when I am using them again. Or you can even use the words. This would impress me even more ūüė䬆but maybe you can tell some untranslatable words in your language. One English word I really like is sweet tooth. I don’t know but I think it is really cute. But any language is welcomed! Spanish, Mandarin, French, Swedish .. just tell me, and explain it to me/us ūüėČ

‚Ąíove, Marina


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