Happy new year, everyone! I hope that you have been able to enjoy a Christmas break that was restful and you're feeling ready to tackle the challenges that 2015 will bring.
Stuttgart and German Regions
Personally, I have had the luxury of taking two weeks off and travelling around in Germany. It was great to visit Stuttgart as a tourist for the first time, and to walk the snowy streets imagining that this country is where we could live one day. And of course my fiancé made great progress as a German learner!
If you have never been to Germany before, you may not be familiar with the idea of Lokalkolorit, the local flavour of each region. With a country as diverse as ours, this extends to the languages and dialects spoken in particular. For example, Stuttgart is the capital of Schwaben, a region known for its frugal mentality and delicious Spätzle (OM NOM NOM). It is also the home of Mercedes, Porsche, and Äffle und Pferdle. This the cutest German cartoon classic, complete in Schwabian dialect.
Are you a Bananen or a Hafer person?
Words You Just Don't Learn in German Class
For your enjoyment, here are a few local words and observations from Stuttgart and the Mosel Valley. You can read more about these here.
- In Schwabia, anything that is a -chen (a little thing) in other German regions is now a -le. For example, Häuschen is Häusle.
- The German word for weak coffee? Or even worse, barley cup? Muckefuck (masculine). No really.
- When you've put on a few pounds because you have been very indulgent, Germans call this Hüftengold (neuter). The closest English equivalent we could find was "love handles".
- I have no idea why my father would have possibly taught the next word to my fiancé, but just in case you're ever in the Moselle and want to call a woman a nagger, call her en Geij (pronounced "ern Guy"). This means "a violin" (eine Geige) in our local dialect.
I wish you all a great start into 2015, and here on Fluent I want you to look out for two awesome things coming up soon: The Italki Challenge and the Language Book Club!