https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lea.1717

Native German Speakers: Can you explain the meaning of the word "Sehnsucht" to you personally?

I've read lots of texts on the meaning of this word, but most of them are not written by native speakers. Can you give your personal definition, whithout checking dictionaries or sites?

October 18, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThorusCrusius

Spontaneously, 3 situtations come in my mind, when I think about Sehnsucht:

Sehnsucht in the sense of nostalgia for example is the feeling when you listen to music of your childhood or youth and you cannot break out of this mood and run deeper and deeper instead. And so many memories of happy moments overwhelming you.

But you also can feel Sehnsucht if you're thinking of a person who is very important to you and you cannot be with her/him at the moment and you're wondering what s/he is doing right now.

And then there is a feeling of Sehnsucht that is directed to the future. If you're setting yourself an aim in life that you want to reach, no matter how hard it is.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ughngugn

Can this also apply to grief when someone has died and you want to see them again? Or would you never use this word for that?

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThorusCrusius

It can be understood, but it's very unlikely that you'd use it in this context. "Grief" (Trauer) would still be more fitting, even if the grief lasts for many years or a live long.

As a rule of thumb, Sehnsucht is longing for something positive. Also if one believes in paradisial afterlife and hoping for being reunited with the beloved ones, death is generally considered as something bad.


As a siede note: Contrary to this concept, Moslems insist to describe their wish to end up in paradiese united with the Creator as Sehnsucht. This often causes confusion among non-moslems because they have to die first.

Edit: The forum software makes strange things with my text formatings.

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YathushanV

Sehnsucht is yearning, wistful longing

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedAngel666

Hi,

a very good translation :-)

regards Angel

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elemiger

Sorry I had to XD but yeah i'm a Native German speaker and the word Sehnsucht is to want something a lot almost as if you crave it. You can also use it in a sense of home sickness. If you use it in that way it means that you miss your home but in an emotional way.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polyglot.loading

It's basically "saudade", although we don't use it as freely as the Portuguese word is used (sorry, my English is less than perfect).

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lea.1717

Do you speak both German and Portuguese (or Galician)? Because I'm Portuguese and from what I see, the word Saudade can be very over-romanticized on the internet by people who don't actually speak Portuguese. That's why you shouldn't always trust what you see on the internet, and why I am asking native speakers, From what I've read, it doesn't seem like it is basically Saudade, although both share similarities.

Can you try to desfribe it with other words?

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polyglot.loading

Do you speak both German and Portuguese

I'm half Portuguese half German. People in Portugal always comment on how well I speak, so my mum must have done a good job teaching me. She always made sure that I had exposure to Portuguese culture, even if it was mostly through books, TV and her.

... from what I see, the word Saudade can be very over-romanticized on the internet by people who don't actually speak Portuguese.

I 100% agree. To be fair though, I think Portuguese people are partly to blame for that.

From what I've read, it doesn't seem like it is basically Saudade, although both share similarities.

The basic meaning is pretty much the same (a longing for something/someone/some place), but Sehnsucht is a lot heavier, stronger. I would never tell my dad "Ich habe Sehnsucht nach dir" after not seeing him for a while, but "tenho saudades tuas" would be perfectly fine. It's the cases in which the words can be used that are different. I would only ever say "Ich habe Sehnsucht nach dir" to a significant other. If anything the German word is more romantic than the Portuguese one.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedAngel666

Hi Lea,

Sehnsucht is a very strong feeling squeezed into a word. It is mostly used in a poetic context. Or when you have a crush on someone.^^

Sehnsucht is a feeling for something that is out of range and you know! you can't reach it or you need a kiss from a good fairy.

regards Angel

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elemiger

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October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Schweiz74

I come from the Swiss German part of Switzerland and at school we learned high German and I learned it means nostalgia or wistfulness for the past

October 19, 2017
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