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These 10 witty sayings prove Germans think everything revolves around beer

We didn't realize just how obsessed with the amber brew Germans were until we started researching this article.

These 10 witty sayings prove Germans think everything revolves around beer
Photo: DPA

A lot of German sayings about beer boil down to meaning “if I don't find a woman attractive, it means I haven't drunk enough.” But we decided to pick out a few others (from the very many that exist) which we thought were quite a bit funnier.

1. Man soll das Bier nicht vor dem Kater loben

There are surely few sayings that hold more truth than this wise call to caution in what one drinks. It translates as “don't praise your beer until you've experienced the hangover”. When you think about it, this statement applies to so much more than just alcohol consumption.

2. Halb besoffen, ist rausgeschmissenes Geld

But while some German beer sayings call for forethought, others encourage you to throw all caution to the wind. This freewheeling adage advises that “being half drunk is wasted money.”
Photo: DPA

3. Durst ist schlimmer als Heimweh

Proving that Germans think that everything can be solved if you drink enough, this dictum states “Thirst is worse than homesickness.” And somehow we don't think they mean a thirst for Apfelschorle.

We should caution though that this doesn't apply to all alcohol – whiskey often leaves homesick Scots sobbing out every third word of Loch Lomond in the corner of an empty pub.

4. Durst wird durch Bier erst schön

“Thirst is only beautiful when accompanied by beer,” goes the saying. Thirst might be the thing Germans fear the most, but it turns into a wonderful thing when they have a cold frothy Maß placed in front of them.

4. Hast du Kater, nimm den Rat, trinke früh, was du trankst spat

If you're ever wondered whether Germans agree that the “hair of the dog” is the best cure for a hangover, this saying should put your mind at rest. “If you've got a hangover, take the advice to drink early what you drank late,” is a rough translation of this rather poetic little ditty.

Photo: DPA

5. Bei kaltem Wetter läuft die Nase, bei kaltem Bier läuft die Blase

“When the weather's cold your nose runs, when the beer's cold you bladder does”. Well, we can't argue with that.

6. Am morgen ein Bier und der Tag gehört dir

“Drink a beer in the morning and the day is yours.” German medical authorities have been fighting to consign this idea to the past for some time now. And with beer consumption dropping steadily over the past few decades, you're only likely to hear this saying on father's day.

8. Ein Bock ist jenes Tier, der auch als Bier getrunken werden kann

“A goat is an animal that can also be drunk as a beer.” This 19th century aphorism is a reference to Bock (goat) beer, a strong beer that has an alcohol content upwards of 6.5 percent. It is most famously brewed at Andex monastery in Bavaria. Just as you're unlikely to come out on top in a fight with a billy goat, get too intimate with this powerful brew and you'll be left reeling.

9. Wenn ich Durst habe, sieht es keiner. Wenn ich besoffen bin, sehen es alle

The pearl of wisdom gets to the heart of the lonesome pursuit of being a beer enthusiast. “When I'm thirsty nobody notices, but when I'm drunk everyone does,” it laments.

Photo: DPA

10. Der Wirt ist nicht der Beste, der mehr trinkt als die Gäste

Everyone likes their barman to have good chat, but nobody wants to have to pick him up off the floor at the end of the night. Or as this saying puts it “A landlord certainly isn't the best, if he drinks more than his guests.”

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LEARNING GERMAN

The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German

Once you've learned the basics of German, listening to podcasts is one of the best ways of increasing vocabulary and speeding up comprehension. Here are some of the best podcasts out there for German learners.

The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German

STARTING OUT

Coffee Break German

Coffee Break German aims to take you through the basics of German in a casual lesson-like format. It is extremely easy to listen to. Each 20-minute episode acts as a mini-lesson, where German native Thomas teaches Mark Pendleton, the founder and CEO of Coffee Break Languages, the basics.

All phrases are broken down into individual words. After new phrases are introduced the listeners are encouraged to repeat them back to practise pronunciation.

The advantage of listening to this podcast is that the learner, Mark, begins at the same level as you. He is also a former high school French and Spanish teacher. He often asks for clarification of certain phrases, and it can feel as if he is asking the very questions you want answered.

You can also stream the podcast directly from the provider’s website, where they sell a supplementary package from the Coffee Break German Academy, which offers additional audio content, video flashcards and comprehensive lesson notes

German Pod 101

German Pod 101 aims to teach you all about the German language, from the basics in conversations and comprehension to the intricacies of German culture. German Pod 101 offers various levels for your German learning and starts with Absolute Beginner.

The hosts are made up of one German native and one American expat living in Germany, in order to provide you with true authentic language, but also explanations about the comparisons and contrasts with English. This podcast will, hopefully, get you speaking German from day one.

Their website offers more information and the option to create an account to access more learning materials.

Learn German by Podcast

This is a great podcast if you don’t have any previous knowledge of German. The hosts guide you through a series of scenarios in each episode and introduce you to new vocabulary based on the role-plays. Within just a few episodes, you will learn how to talk about your family, order something in a restaurant and discuss evening plans. Each phrase is uttered clearly and repeated several times, along with translations.

READ ALSO:

Learn German by Podcast provides the podcasts for free but any accompanying lesson guides must be purchased from their website. These guides include episode transcripts and some grammar tips. 

DEVELOPING YOUR GERMAN

Easy German

This podcast takes the form of a casual conversation between hosts Manuel and Cari, who chat in a fairly free-form manner about aspects of their daily lives. Sometimes they invite guests onto the podcast, and they often talk about issues particularly interesting to expats, such as: “How do Germans see themselves?”. Targeted at young adults, the podcasters bring out a new episode very three or four days.

News in Slow German

This is a fantastic podcast to improve your German listening skills. What’s more, it helps you stay informed about the news in several different levels of fluency.

The speakers are extremely clear and aim to make the podcast enjoyable to listen to. For the first part of each episode the hosts talk about a current big news story, then the second part usually features a socially relevant topic. 

A new episode comes out once a week and subscriptions are available which unlock new learning tools.

SBS German

This podcast is somewhat interesting as it is run by an Australian broadcaster for the German-speaking community down under. Perhaps because ethnic Germans in Australia have become somewhat rusty in their mother tongue, the language is relatively simple but still has a completely natural feel.

There is a lot of news here, with regular pieces on German current affairs but also quite a bit of content looking at what ties Germany and Australia together. This lies somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

A woman puts on headphones in Gadebusch, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Photo: dpa | Jens Büttner

PERFECTING YOUR GERMAN

Auf Deutsche gesagt

This is another great podcast for people who have a high level of German. The host, Robin Meinert, talks in a completely natural way but still manages to keep it clear and comprehensible.

This podcast also explores a whole range of topics that are interesting to internationals in Germany, such as a recent episode on whether the band Rammstein are xenophobic. In other words, the podcast doesn’t just help you learn the language, it also gives you really good insights into what Germans think about a wide range of topics.

Sozusagen

Bayern 2 present their podcast Sozusagen! for all those who are interested in the German language. This isn’t specifically directed at language learners and is likely to be just as interesting to Germans and foreigners because it talks about changes in the language like the debate over gender-sensitive nouns. Each episode explores a different linguistic question, from a discussion on German dialects to an analysis of political linguistics in Germany.

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