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German word of the day: Das Sprudelwasser

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German word of the day: Das Sprudelwasser
A woman in Berlin quenches her thirst with Sprudelwasser on a sunny day. Photo: DPA
10:49 CEST+02:00
In times of climate change, reducing carbon dioxide and plastic bottles is a big topic. But this could be a sore spot for many Germans.

That's because Germans love bubbles in their water.

Sprudelwasser has many other names in German: Mineralwasser, Sprudel or Selters. All of those mean the same thing: Sparkling water.

Sprudel is an onomatopoeic word and describes the sound that sparkling water makes when you fill it into a glass. Mineralwasser, meanwhile, translates to “mineral water."

But Selters is a different case. Back in the days it described sparkling water as well, nowadays it is protected and may just be used only for a water brand called Selters.

Still, in the colloquial language, some parts of Germany use it to describe the carbonated drink.

Sprudelwasser has been around for a long time: In the early 19th century, a watchmaker names Jacob Schweppe developed a way of aerating water with carbon dioxide to make it fizzy.

That technique became popular very quickly, as the carbon dioxide keeps water fresh – back then drinking water wasn’t always clean and safe to consume.

His technique is still used to this day and the name Schweppe can be found on a brand of tonic water, bitter lemon and ginger ale.

But if you're thinking about climate change, the consumption of Sprudelwasser in Germany can be a problem.

It is the most popular non-alcoholic drink in Germany – in 2015, every German citizen consumed some 147 litres of the fizzy drink.

But fizzy water doesn’t come from the tap, and not many people own a device to make their own. Hence, people usually buy Sprudelwasser at the shops.

And because glass bottles are too heavy, they usually buy plastic bottles. And even though most of these can be brought back to the shop and recycled (because of Germany’s Pfandsystem), it’s still a huge amount of plastic.

So if you live in Germany and are a big fan of Sprudel, maybe consider buying a soda maker – it really makes a difference.

Photo: Depositphotos

Examples:

Sprudelwasser stillt den Durst viel besser als stilles Wasser.

Carbonated water quenches my thirst much better than still water.

Ich mag kein Sprudelwasser, es ist mir zu sauer.

I don’t like carbonated water; it’s too sour for me.

Sprudelwasser schmeckt gut mit einem Schuss Zitronensaft.

Carbonated water tastes great if you add some lemon.

 
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