My Favorite German Word for the Week ...
... is das Schlagzeug (aka die Trommel)! Finally, a -zeug word I really like! (Close runner-up was der Schlagzeuger ...)
What's your favorite word you've learned (any language) this week?
My all time favorite German word is Krankenhaus, it sounds funny in English. I told the nurses in the hospital "this is a Krankenhaus" and they told, yes everyone here is cranky, I told them that it means hospital in German.
Way back when nursing was done by nuns = sisters. Actually you still find them in some hospitals.
Eichhörnchen and Flughörnchen! (squirrel and flying squirrel) Try to pronounce them fast!
My favourite German word is 'Schmetterling' (butterfly). It sounds so aggresive, you wouldn't think it was something as harmless as that. :D
Strange -- I don't find that "Schmetterling" sounds aggressive at all. Do you think "butterfly" sounds aggressive? It's got the same cadence as "Schmetterling" and is phonetically quite similar, but starts with a plosive "b" rather than a soft "sch" sound. "Sch" is used in many cultures to encourage silence or to calm an agitated person, so to me it's practically the opposite of an aggressive sound -- still, these things are always rather subjective.
pont - I agree, it depends how you say it. You can say it as though the wings were gently flapping.
That is true but Germans roll their ‘r’s making it sound harsh. What I really find significant is the fact that the verb ‘schmettern or ‘zerschmettern’ means to smash. How such a strong action can turn into something as innocent as a butterfly is beyond me. I guess that’s what makes German such a unique language
Did you read my post about the etymology? It has nothing to do with the verb "schmettern" but with the butter used in butterfly. The etymology is simply not know by most people and they tend to think of the negative connotations of "schmettern".
That is true but Germans roll their ‘r’s making it sound harsh.
The rolled "r" is really only common in the more southerly German-speaking areas. Depending on the region, there are two common pronunciations of the German "r": an uvular trill (as also used in French, Dutch, Portuguese, etc.), and an alveolar trill (as also used in Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Czech, Finnish, etc.) -- this is the one generally referred to as a "rolled r". So if you truly find that a rolled "r" is enough to make a language harsh, rather a lot of European languages should be sounding harsh to you.
How such a strong action can turn into something as innocent as a butterfly is beyond me.
Jileha already expained before your post that "Schmetterling" comes from a word for cream. It's got nothing to do with "zerschmettern".
I guess that’s what makes German such a unique language
That kind of thing isn't really unique to German. If you want an English example of something comparable, look at the word "crush". It can mean "violent compression or pressure that bruises, breaks down, injures, or destroys". It can also mean "a person with whom one is enamoured or infatuated". How such a violent action can turn into something so innocent is beyond me ;-).
Your post made me look up the etymology. Turns out "Schmetterling" is actually closely related to "butterfly"!
Schmetterling die Bezeichnung des Falters ist seit dem 16. Jh. gebräuchlich und leitet sich von dem mitteldeutschen Wort Schmetten „Rahm“ ab, das seinerseits auf čech. smetana „Milch“ zurückgeht; die Benennung stützt sich auf den alten Volksglauben, nach dem Schmetterlinge verwandelte Hexen seien, die Milch und Sahne stahlen; regional wird der Schmetterling auch als Buttervogel bezeichnet, vgl. dazu engl. butterfly
Technische Begriffe sind oftmals großartige Komposita.
Sogar die ganz normalen Abkürzungen PKW und LKW sind genial. Personenkraftwagen und Lastkraftwagen.
Und in der Mechanik haben sie viele schöne Begriffe, da wird Deutsch fast zu einer agglutinierenden Sprache.
Gonna guess without looking it up - something to do with regulating something on an engine? It's got to be technical!
idle mixture-control screw, that's s definitely technical, not every day German
Not a word, but a phrase. "Verteidigung Gegen die Dunklen Künste", which is the name of Harry Potter's class "Defence Against the Dark Arts."