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  5. "Die Zwiebel ist scharf."

"Die Zwiebel ist scharf."

Translation:The onion is pungent.

October 20, 2015



I've never heard of spicy/hot onions.



Also, it seems scharf can mean pungent, at least according to Duolingo.


I would say raw onion is a little spicy, especially red onion.


What does pungnent mean (catalan speaker lv.50 in english)


A pungent smell is a strong smell. It's a word that applies to tastes and smells. "Pungent" isnt necessarily a bad or good smell, but it's usually something that is strong enought to be unpleasant because of thr strength. So onions sitting in a hit car for a while would be pungent, but freshly fried onions that make the kitchen smell like food probably aren't going to be described as pungent.


Indeed "pungent" means having a sharply strong taste or smell (definiton by google translate).

My question here is: Can scharf can be translated to and be used just as "sharp" (since it refers ti the sharp-tasting food)? The sound of both words is very similar.


Usually it means a strong bad smell like with garbage or raw onions or garlic. A pungent odor is usually fowl or nasty like fish also. At least this is how I have heard it used. Onion oil is so pungent it keeps bed bugs away or supposed to.


Imagine if you left a sandwich out for a very long period of time and its so rotted out its green and black, well, it would really stink. Pungnent is a bad stench thats super strong. ONIONS


Your body odor mannnn its pungent!!!!! (After P.E. class conversations)


Only literally - onions don't actually cut you. I don't think "sharp" is used metaphorically like this in English for onions, is it? (Though I've seen "a sharp cheese".)


Figuratively. Literally would mean they could cut.


Precisely. Translating "scharf" as "sharp" would be a literal translation, meaning they can cut. But that's not what it means.


No, it's exactly how a strong- smelling or tasting onion is described. "These onions are really sharp," one says, weeping over the cutting board. Or "really strong." But "hot" or "spicy" isn't right. "A sharp, oniony flavor." "Spicy" is more likely to be mustard or peppers.


Interesting; not a use I've heard before. Thanks!


Correction to Solar Guru: we describe onions as "Spicy" (which they sometimes are); "Spicey" isn't a word - yet.


People like you help me to understand English better. Thanks a lot, have a coin, Mademoiselle.


At least here in Utah USA, people describe onions as "hot" or "spicey" all the time. If you eat a really strong onion by itself, it kind of burns your mouth and that's why they call it "hot"


Sharp was accepted for onions but is not accepted for food generally. I wonder why.


Yes, sharp was my first thought. Strong, second. Pungent 3rd or later. Spicy and hot arent even in the running as far as onions go.


In my book, if my mouth burns, I don't care what you call it, just make it stop!


Aren't there separate words for "pungent" and "spicy"?


Yes and no. W├╝rzig means spicy as in heavily seasoned (with any spice), while stechend can mean pungent (or strong, biting, intense, etc. referring to taste or smell), but spicy as in hot is scharf which also means pungent (or sharp as in a blade, or many other meanings).


If someone could please help me out, can the word 'scharf' mean both spicy and pungent?


Yes, it can mean both, as well as "sharp" (like a blade).


Awesome thank you, so I just need to rely on context?


Yep. Spicy peppers, curry; pungent onions, garlic; sharp blades, pictures; fierce anger, combat, etc. - German scharf- can be used in all of these situations. Duden gives many definitions (in German): http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/scharf


I would say a rotten egg has a pungent smell (never tasted one!) Mustard has a strong taste. Curry tastes spicey. Onions taste sharp. The onoin in question is probably rotten, but I think Duo's translation is wrong - the direct translation "sharp"would be better


The onion is PUNgent.


Yeah, and the knife is round


Would "The onion is smelly" or "stinky" be an acceptable translation? Or does "scharf" refer to the specific scent profiles sharp and pungent?


No, you cannot translate scharf as smelly or stinky. First of all, it is talking about taste not smell. Second, smelly/stinky both mean a clearly unpleasant smell. Scharf is not negative. It just means spicy (or pungent, biting, etc.). Depending on your taste preferences, you might dislike it, but it is not inherently bad.


Never even heard of the word pungent


i thought scharf was spicy??


I always get confused with "Zweibel" which means onion with "Zwei" which means two any tips?


Zwei has an "ei", pronounced like "I".

Zwiebel has an "ie", pronounced like "E".

I don't think there's any relation between the two words except that they share a few letters.

Hope that helps.


You could think onIOn has an IO in it and ZwIEbeL has an IE in it. Also onioN ends with a consonant and ZwiebeL also ends with a consonant. Sounds like Zveeebell

tWo has a W in the middle then ends with a vowel. So does zWei. Sounds like Zvye.


One thing that would help you read & pronounce German, and also remember the spelling correctly, is to notice that when there is a combination of i and e, you pronounce the second one as it sounds in English. Some examples: the number two, zwei, is pronounced "zwhy". The word for "she," "they," and "you" (formal) is sie /Sie, pronounced "see". Start noticing that, and you will see it's true for all words and it will help you spell the word correctly when you hear it or you are remembering how it is pronounced.


So "scharf" can mean both spicy and strong (pungent)?


I just discovered I have a serious lack of food vocabulary xD Do you (english native speakers) actually use all of this?

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