Funny Things Germans Say In English: Part II

Ever since my previous blog post listing funny things the Germans I know have said in English, I’ve been keeping track – both secretly and also just bursting out laughing say “I need to write that down for my blog” – of more things Germans have said to me in English that they haven’t got quite right. As with before, I won’t name and shame, but you can still have a good laugh at the awkward misunderstandings.


“Yeah, go to the bank to see if you can get any bras.”

This was one of the “Ha! I’m writing that down for my blog” moments, but, as I said, I won’t comment on who said this. I had just told said person that, in Yorkshire, some people refer to money as “brass”. And five minutes later, when I stated I was just popping to the bank to get some money, said person said the above, trying to use the new vocabulary they had just learnt. Safe to say I did not find any bras, but I did find money.

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No, don’t think you’ll get bras from that. Image credit: — megawatts86 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/32317927@N07/) – Subject to CC 2.0 License.

“I’m just gonna look for the washing machine.”

What? Has it gone walkabouts again?! Nah, this is just a nice simple mistake. But to be honest, it’s not easy in English – you look for something when you’re searching, you look after something when you’re making sure it’s OK, you look up something when you want more information on it… said person had just got it all mixed up and when really they wanted to say “check” (to see when the washing was going to be finished), but there was a millisecond of me thinking… “Wait, you lost the washing machine?”


“Shame yourself!”

Said to me after I did something stupid to try and be funny. In German they’d say “Schäme dich” but in English it just sounds hilarious and it made me laugh even more. Also made me think of Game of Thrones, too!


Me to German: “If you had to vote in England, who would you vo…”
German: “Auswandern.” (“emigrate”)

Well, that cleared that up then! I don’t blame you.

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Sorry, Theresa. Image credit: — Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 Follow(https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiocfaidh_ar_la_1916/) – Subject to CC 2.0 License.

“One minute she’ll be your best friend and the next she won’t even look at you with her butt.”

OK, admittedly, said German did know that that is not an English phrase, but they were trying to teach me a good German phrase: “jemanden nicht mit dem Arsch angucken” which kind of means “to not give somebody the time of day”. The German translation is way better though!


And to top it off, a nice wrong German quote from yours truly:

“The car farted.”

One word for farted is “gepupt” and one word for beeped is “gehupt”. Easy mistake, right?!

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3 thoughts on “Funny Things Germans Say In English: Part II

  1. Fantastic! I’ve studied English and I speak German quite a bit and sometimes when I want to write something in English, I think about the word in German first, wait a second and look for English equivalent and I must admit: it is so confusing to know both, Engish and German! 😀

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