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Top ten German sayings
Photo: DPA

Top ten German sayings

Published: 04 Jan 2012 16:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2012 16:33 GMT+01:00

This latest instalment of The Local List hopes to shine a little light on some of the charming eccentricities of the German language.

While German might not have a reputation for being the most creative of languages, Germans still have a wealth of funny sayings to draw on. The Local has put together a list of common ones to help avoid those awkward "lost in translation" situations.

Some, like “he’s a scaredy-rabbit” are twists on English favourites, whilst others such as “I understand only train station” can leave a non-native baffled, and may lead to minor diplomatic incidents.

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Either way, a working knowledge of idioms can help guide any non-German through a conversation with a local, so read on and take notes!

The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:35 January 4, 2012 by romber58
"As stupid as bread" is,i agree, a not particularly witty expression.but if you say it in Berlinerisch as" Doof wie Stulle", then it sounds much more evocative....
19:37 January 4, 2012 by Alofat
Because train stations were very noisy things back in the day. Duh!
08:25 January 5, 2012 by Landmine
On the 6th slide, do you all realize what the word "pecker" also means in terms of it being stiff?
15:52 January 5, 2012 by Al uk
Something very similar in English used over here is "daft as a brush" and "as thick (stupid) as two short planks".
20:23 January 6, 2012 by koli
I have one more... if it is too simple, Make it comnplicated... or the German way, for every solution there is a problem....
13:45 January 7, 2012 by JohnnesKönig
Schick dich ein bisschen!
19:59 January 11, 2012 by MrBowlocks
Here are a couple from those wacky Germans:

"Arbeit Macht Frei'

"Freund und Helfer"

"Sehr geehrter herr..."

And my favourite, "Freistaat Bayern"

Comedy gold!
15:37 January 17, 2012 by Craptastic
I got rather puzzled when one client referred me to a new customer by saying something like, "You'll like her. She's an old rabbit." I'm not overly sensitive about age, but had to ask a friend what that meant.
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