German word of the day: Platzregen

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
German word of the day: Platzregen
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Getting caught in torrential downpour in the middle of summer is a distinctly German experience. Here's a word you'll need to talk about it in German.


Why do I need to know Platzregen?

Because it's the perfect expression to describe a weather phenomenon you're bound to experience regularly in a typical German summer, and one you might come across in the weather forecast as well. 

What does it mean?

Der Platzregen (pronounced like this) is the German way of saying "downpour", "heavy shower" or "torrential rain". If you spent any time in Germany in the hotter months, you'll know exact the type of rain this is: at the end of a sweltering hot, humid day, when dark clouds descend suddenly and you're hit by an avalanche of rain that seems to come down in sheets.

Though there are plenty of words that could be used to describe this type of weather - der Regenschauer or der Regenguss, for example - few feel quite as expressive of the violent downpour as Platzregen. That's because Platzregen quite literally means "burst rain", which perfectly captures the sense of the clouds suddenly bursting open for a short, ferocious rain-shower. 

If you want to show that you're not just au fait with the central European weather, but also with the German language, this is a great one to have up your sleeve.

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Das Schmuddelwetter


Use it like this:

Beim Spazieren hat ein Platzregen mich erwischen und ich bin komplett durchnässt zu Hause angekommen.

A torrential downpour caught me while I was out walking and I came home completely soaked.

Es war so warm und sonnig als wir zum Strand abgefahren sind - dann wurden wir von diesem Platzregen überrascht.

It was so warm and sunny when we left for the beach - then we got caught in this torrential downpour.


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