Saturday, March 26, 2005


Two mad men and the rails

Beißen zwei Irre in eine Bahnschiene, sagt der Eine: "Man, ist die hart!"
Sagt der andere: "Versuch's mal da hinten. Da ist 'ne Weiche."

Ok first of all: this should be a Joke. In Jokes, there's often an inverted word order by which you can often smell a line coming. Beißen goes before the subject here. Swap zwei Irre and Beißen, then you get the normal word order. Same for the second line: Sagt der andere <-> Der andere sagt.

Now, to get the joke, you need the vocabulary:

die Bahnschiene = the rail
die Weiche = track switcher on a railroad track
weich = soft

Eine Weiche has a double meaning here. You can make a noun from an adjective: This piece is hard. But here is a soft one. In German, simply capitalize the adjective: die weiche Schiene -> die Weiche.



Now to something very important in your toolbox of German expressions. No I don't mean bad words...
eine Party = a Party
Party machen = to have a party

You can say "Lasst uns Party machen"="Let's have a party". Did you notice that I dropped the article before Party? This happens often with fixed expressions like party machen. Likewise "lass uns Hausaufgaben machen" (homework), "lass uns Frühjahrsputz machen" (spring cleaning), "lass uns Sport treiben" (do sports).
durchmachen = (here:) stay awake all night

"Wir machen durch"="We stay awake all night. Normally durchmachen is used like "Ich mache eine schlimme Zeit durch!"="I'm experiencing a bad time!"

aufreißen, anbaggern, klarmachen: to pick up

Again, prefixes are separated in simple tenses: "Ich reiße sie auf", "Ich baggere sie an" and "ich mache sie klar." The roots of these words are interesting and very metaphoric: aufreißen = rip open something, anbaggern = dredge from something, klarmachen = prepare/tidy up something (like the deck of a ship, a gun etc.).

Ok enough for this post... Maybe there will be a second part soon!
Wikipedia is a bit too dry on this theme, but here goes anyways:

Party (Wikipedia)
Flirt (Wikipedia)



Hi dudes.

When I learn languages, I learn the most from small bits and pieces of text/speech that is thoroughly commented.
Deutsch-Happen, litterally "a snap of German", snap in sense of a piece of food, often also found to signify a quick-to-eat piece of fast food. "Lass uns einen Happen essen gehen" = "Let's go eat something." (pronounce with a slight stress on "essen")
Remember "Finding Nemo"? In the German synchronization, the fish in the aquarium call Nemo "Haihappen". "Der Hai"="the shark". So he's a snap for the sharks...
Normally it's the other way round: der Obsthappen, der Fischhappen, der Fleischhappen...
On the opposite, "Wow, Ein ganz schöner Happen Geld!" means "A big bunch of money!"

German is strange, I know.
Der Hai (Wikipedia)

Findet Nemo (Wikipedia)

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