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German Word of the Day: Die Gemütlichkeit

It’s snowing outside and you’re curled up inside with a hot chocolate, a good book and your slippers on. Very gemütlich.

German Word of the Day: Die Gemütlichkeit

Or it’s the middle of summer and you’re sitting, laughing in a beer garden with your pals. Or your sitting in your favourite coffee shop, catching up with your best friend whom you haven’t seen in too long.

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In the winter, it's often used to describe Germany's ample Christmas markets and the sensation that one receives when browsing booths selling artisanal crafts or Glühwein.

Gemütlichkeit is arguably one of the most famous German concepts. The word encompasses sensations of coziness, contentment and warmth. The term can also be extended to refer to the sense of social acceptance and well-being.

Although it’s a very German term, Gemütlichkeit has transcended its linguistic roots and can be used in English.

It has a broader meaning than English terms such as cozy, or comfortable, which makes it the perfect word to describe that sensation of warmth and well-being.

Examples:

Dieses Café gefällt mir nicht, da es an Gemütlichkeit mangelt.

I don’t like this cafe because it’s not very cozy.

Es ist sehr emütlichkeit

Ich fühle mich sehr gemütlich, wenn ich im Winter Gluehwein im Weihnachtsmarkt trinke.

I feel very warm and pleasant when I drink wine at a Christmas market in the winter.

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Do you have a favourite word you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion.

This article was produced independently with support from Lingoda.

 

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German Word of the Day: die Ausrede

If you want to get out of a date, or you haven’t done your homework – you might need one of these.

German Word of the Day: die Ausrede

This little German word can come in handy in a variety of situations.

Ausrede, Meaning “excuse” consists of the verb reden which means “to talk” or “to speak” and the prefix aus which translates as “out”, “off” or “from”.

So, a good way to remember the word is to think of it as a tool you use for talking yourself out of something. 

One thing to bear in mind, however, is that in German, the word Ausrede has a slightly negative connotation and can be used to hint that the reason given is fabricated.

So, if you want to tell your boss that you have a good reason for why you can’t come to work, it’s better to say you have eine Entschuldigung (also meaning excuse) instead.

Another thing to watch out for is trying to use the verb ausreden in the same way as the English “to excuse”. In German, the verb ausreden actually means to finish speaking, for example: ich lasse ihn ausreden means “I let him finish speaking”.

Examples:

Er hat nach einer Ausrede gesucht

He was looking for an excuse

Diesmal habe ich keine Ausrede
This time I have no excuse
 
Besser keine Ausrede als eine schlechte
Better to have no excuse than a bad one
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