14 February 2008

Words that look funny to an English speaker

This photo was in Der Spiegel in a story about driving schools offering 'crash courses.' To a partial German speaker whose first language is English, this looks really funny. (Der Kurs means a course.) It looks like the driving school offers a class in how to crash.

Here's another. The word malerisch is a German adjective. It looks like malaria but means picturesque.


Eclectchick said...

French for sick, bad, etc., is "mal," i.e., headache is "mal de tete."

So to me, "malerish" looks like a word one would use when feeling just a little under the weather, rather than full scale sick; or when something is kind of bad, rather than full scale heinous.

Julia said...

That's what I like about German. You can build new "German" words out of English words.
For example, downloaden or uploaden, screenen. By using the ending "en" an English verb becomes a German verb. And still English pronounced but oftenly with a very awful German accent. ;)

Sophzilla said...

I love that. Would it be "Ich habe etwas gedownloaden" or "Ich habe etwas gedownloadet?" :)

Julia said...

It would be "Ich habe etwas downgeloadet."

It's funny, I never thought about the fact that the German use of Crashkurs might have a different meaning than the English crash course. Well, actually we use both meanings, to crash into sth. and to learn sth. in short time.

Sophzilla said...

German is such fun!