Word of the Day – ” die Mühe”

muehe-geben-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. I hope you’re all well and energized because today we’ll take a thorough look at the meaning of

die Mühe

Mühe is a bit of a weird word. Like… if your boss gives you a new task, he’s probably gonna be like “Give yourself Mühe.” You, still new to German, do as your told but then two days later when you walk up to him and say “Hey boss, just wanted to let you know that I really have a LOT of Mühe with that task.”, he’ll furrow his eye brows and be all like skeptical and displeased. And you’re just thinking to yourself  “So, I’m supposed to give it to myself, but I’m not supposed to have it?! Yeah right.”
What sounds like some sort of riddle is due to the fact that depending on the phrasing Mühe can mean effort as well as trouble or even toil. And these are actually closely connected. Just imagine… Continue reading

Word of the Day – Wundertütenspecial

wundertute-1Hallo ihr alle,

and welcome to our first (well, actually second) Word of the Day  Wundertüten-Special. Now you’re of course all like “What’s a Wundertüte”. Well, ein Wunder is a wonder or a miracle and eine Tüte is a bag. So a Wundertüte is literally a miracle bag and it’s no surprise that it’s a euphemism for a joint. But the main meaning is a different one. I don’t know if they’re still selling this but when I was a kid a Wundertüte was sold at a lot of kiosks and it was a sealed bag with a bunch of  surprises in it, like chocolate, chewing, a yo-yo, a sticker or a Sony Play Station. At least that one guy in the other class claimed he got one. Although… now that I think about it that makes me a bit suspicious because…  I doubt they  actually sold Play Station in East Germany. God, I was so naive as a kid. Anyway, so a Wundertüte is the same idea as an Überraschungsei.
And that’s pretty much what a Wundertüten-Special is. Instead of looking at one of the main stream words, we’ll leave the beaten tracks of learners and venture out into the wild a bit. And trust me, there are a lot of really really cool and super useful gems out there. So, are you ready to dive in and learn some words that will really make you sound like a native without being slang? Awesome. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “nämlich”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll  have a look at the meaning of

nämlich

Nämlich, spelled backward it would be hcilmän, is one of those small little words that are used all the time but that many students find a little confusing. Not so much for the meaning, it’s more the way it is used that is throwing people off. Or at least I think that might be confusing.  Anyway, today we’ll take a look at it and see how easy it really is. Sounds good? Cool. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “der Spaß”

spass-german-fun-imageHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. And this time we’ll have a lot of fun because we’ll take a thorough look at

der Spaß

Now you’re probably like “Wait. Spaß means fun. That sounds like kind of a boring topic.”
Of course you’re right. Spaß means fun. What’s interesting is the use. The word fun is the core of a bunch of super common expressions. The word Spaß is also used in a bunch of super common expressions. The problem ist… the expressions do not look the same. You cannot just take an English expression and use the direct translation. That would  sound really really clunky and sometimes it might even mean something different than the English version. For example, when you say

  • Das war Spaß.

it actually means

  • Caraway does wonders if you have an upset belly.

Okay… I’m being silly. Of course it’s not THAT different. But still, there are some notable differences so today we’ll take a look at how to use Spaß properly.
Sounds fun? Awesome. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “weich”

weich-ausweichen-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. Today’s word can be used to describe a comfy cushion, a perfect breakfast egg and a man who cries at the end of Armageddon. Sounds random? Not at all. Ladies and gentlemen, today we’ll look at the meaning of

weich

You’ve probably guessed it. Weich means soft. And just like soft it can be used in a wide variety of contexts. Continue reading