The Local List

Funniest mistakes the English make in German

Funniest mistakes the English make in German
Photo: DPA
In this week's Local List we turn the tables on Anglophone expats, and guffaw heartily at their embarrassing faux-pas as they negotiate the pitfalls of what Mark Twain famously called "The Awful German Language." Is it hot to you?

German can be a perilous language to learn. For a start, you have those maddening adjectival endings caused by those four “cases” – so pointless to an English ear – and the arbitrary division of things into “genders.” (Surely a carrot should be masculine, if anything?)

But as if that weren’t enough, you drop one of those pesky little suffixes, prefixes or umlauts, which seem to just buzz around like midges on a woodland camping holiday, and you end up making a right fool of yourself, prompting many Teutonic titters.

One “ein,” “ab,” “an,” and “vor” at an inopportune moment and you could end up spending the night in a cell, or an impotency clinic.

So as a handy guide for what to avoid, we've collected some linguistic embarrassments that happened to … ahem … friends of ours.

Check out our list of the funniest English expat errors here


The Local/bk

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