German word of the day: Der Filmriss

Struggling to remember what happened last night? In Germany, you’re suffering from a “Filmriss”.

German word of the day: Der Filmriss
Photo: DPA

Literally translating to “film tear”, this German word takes inspiration from before the age of digital cinema, when a roll of film ripping or tearing in some way would cause the movie to stop playing, leaving the screen temporarily black. 

The word has remained in modern usage to describe a gap in memory or a ‘mental blank’, and relates nicely to another German word, ‘das Kopfkino’ (literally ‘head cinema’), used to describe the act of playing out scenarios and images in the mind.

READ ALSO: German word of the day – Das Kopfkino

Photo: DPA

So while the world of cinema has since advanced in terms of technology, humans can still experience a temporary ‘blackout’ or missing moments in their ‘head cinema’, most typically on weekends after one too many drinks, or perhaps more frequently for any of us with generally bad memories.


Heute habe ich so einen Filmriss wegen gestern Abend. Ich habe viel zu viel getrunken.

I've got real gaps in my memory from last night. I had far too much to drink.

Ich war am Samstag Abend in dieser echt coolen Bar, aber jetzt habe ich einen Filmriss wegen der Name.

I went to this really cool bar on Saturday night, but now the name has completely escaped me.

Ich habe einen Filmriss und kann mich an nichts erinnern.

I've got a mental black out and I can’t remember a thing. 



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German word of the day: Isso

Perhaps you've seen this word on social media and you're not sure what it means. Let us explain...

German word of the day: Isso

Why do I need to know isso?

Because it’s a nice colloquial expression to use if you’re feeling a little lazy since it combines a few words. It was also one of Germany’s favourite youth words back in 2016, although it’s definitely not particularly cool anymore and is used by all ages

What does it mean?

Isso is derived from the statement: ist so (short for es ist so) meaning ‘it’s like this’ or ‘it is so’ in English. When used as a response to someone’s statement, it usually means you completely agree. A good translation is: ‘right on!’, yes, that’s exactly right!’ or ‘it’s true!’.

You can also use the expression yourself to emphasise your thought. In this case you’d add it on at the end of your sentence. You often find isso used on Twitter, when someone is quoting a Tweet.

It can also be used in a more downbeat form accompanied by the shrugging of your shoulders. In this case you’re saying isso, because it can’t be helped, it’s the way it is. 

Use it like this: 

– Wir müssen gegen steigende Mietpreise in Berlin demonstrieren.

– Isso! 

– We have to protest against rising rents in Berlin. 

– That’s exactly right!

Frauen sind die besten Autofahrer, isso!

Women are the best drivers, it’s true.