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I'm still in Germany!

Loving it here. Keeping very busy with sightseeing and boring things like sorting health care and ID numbers. Do a bit of research into what your area/bank/health insurance company might need from you. Here comes my language related wisdom... I realised that there are a few vital words that I learnt from my German friend and not just Doulingo that you may or may not know. Genau: Pronounced gen-ow this means exactly or I agree. Germans use it constantly. If somebody says something you understand, somebody answers a question in a way you would or somebody makes a statement you would you just say 'Ja Genau'. Doch: Pronounced dou-k this means but or yes. We don't have this word in English. It is a stronger yes. If I am arguing with somebody it goes like this - 'Du bist komish' 'Nein!' 'Ja!' 'Nein' 'Doch'. At this point the argument has been won. The woman I live with said I was a good singer, I said nein and she said doch. A great word. Super: Means what it seems to mean. Germans use it a lot more then Brits though. Super means great and isn't cringey. Schön: Means beautiful or nice, easy to use. Somebody says something cool like 'My friends are getting married' and you say 'Ah Schön!'. Schande: Pronouned sian-da it means shame. Germans don't need to say what a shame they just say this. If something is bad and somebody says to you 'My dog ate my handbag' you can say 'Ah schande' So these are just some words you will use but you can use them a lot. I've set you up with enough words to just be the quiet one of your friends. Say these words with a German accent and you can pass for a local. If you have any questions write them below!

July 26, 2014



It's so true about Genau, if you get lost in the middle of a German conversation just adopt a thoughtful expression, nod your head and say 'ja, ja, genau!' every few seconds. You'll go from 'beginner learner' to 'wise sage' automatically - only down side is you may have no idea what you're agreeing to!


So true! I've used it a lot to reassure Germans that I understand them cause they talk so slowly to me, and once I get it I want them to move on so I'm just like 'Ja genau'


wow this is amazing ! thank you especially for the new phrases, never heard of them before, hope you're enjoying your time in german


Hey! I love your posts! I thinks they're incredibely useful and very interesting! After studying English for almost ten years, I felt really lost when I moved to London and started to listen "Cherrs!" "wicked", words that I never studied before. So thank you very much to help me not to happen this with the german! :)


I thought it was just "schade" for "what a shame?" If it's "Schande," I've been saying it wrong this whole time! Thanks for the interesting post!


it is Schade (too bad) [actually] ... in the OP the better example would be "Ach du Schande" instead of just "Schande"

Doch has no k sound either and I know there is no english letter combination to make up for it

I would also like to see some paragraphs in that text wall

other than that a nice text :)

One word that is used constantly even though it is actually not that useful is the word "eigentlich" which means actually. It gives you a bit of safety though when you talk about a fact xD because it might be actually wrong.


Thanks Kr1tik von Kunst! So 'Schade' is used as a noun in this instance?

Und Quatsch! Wir wollen Deutsch lernen! Absätze würde zu einfach sein! ;)

Interesting about 'eigentlich'. I hear 'einfach' a lot, like it's just thrown in to soften what someone's saying. Also, concerning how 'genau' is used, isn't 'gleich' used a lot to answer questions affirmatively too?


well it wasn't that wrong with "Schande" but you actually hear "Ach du Schande" which has the same value as "Herrjemene" (which is probably not a real word but just something people say when something stupid happened like you let your glass fall to the ground and it bursts and instead of swearing you say "Ach du Schande" or "Herrjemene")

"Schade" is used when someone answers your question negativly like

  • A: Kommst du zur Party? | Do you go to the party?
  • B: Sorry, Kann nich', hab' keine Zeit. | Sorry, I can't, I have no time.
  • A: Schade | too bad (but I guess "too bad" doesn't sound sad enough lol)

You wouldn't use "Schade" if something stupid happened like my example with the glass ... even though you could, because it is still better to say that than "Scheiße"

Ich könnte einfach eigentlich einfach erklären aber mir fällt einfach kein guter Grund ein, dir einfach zu sagen, dass es einfach ein genauso bedeutender Lückenfüller wie eigentlich einfach ist.

gleich is used when someone asks you to help him or listen to him or whatever and you can't do it right now so you say "gleich" . It doesn't have a fitting translation in context of time. Gleich can also mean "equal" "same" "alike" but that is when you are comparing stuff.

Leo.org gives me plenty ways to translate gleich but nothing seems to fit in my eyes. The next best thing seems to be "shortly"

gleich in context of time is just as meaningfull as "sofort" which means immediately. So don't wonder if you ask someone for help and he answers "sofort"

Absätze würde zu einfach sein! ;)

würden. sie würden. you talk about Absätze with me and Absätze is plural. 3rd person plural.


Thanks for the correction! I think that was a typo, but it probably wasn't lol.

You've given me a new word! Lückenfüller! I've never seen that before, it should [fill in a gap] in my vocabulary.

So can 'gleich' come off as rude? You're basically telling someone to hold on a minute right? Or is it more polite than that?

Tell me though, does this make sense?

A: Ich heiße Nathan.

B: Was? Ich dachte, dass dein Name Nate war...

A: Ja, gleich.

Thanks again for all the help!


well gleich can come of rude when you sound rude and annoyed :P like a child who keeps begging mommy while she cooks and the mother just answeres "GLEICH"

It is always more polite though to say "warte (bitte) einen Moment / warten Sie bitte einen Moment" than gleich. Gleich is more informal. You answer it mostly to people you know and in a non-buisness situation.

Your example does not make sense for me, because

  • you are the one approaching the other just to be immediately busy when he answers lol
  • I guess it would be better if A: answered: "Warte 'mal kurz, okay?" (if it was really necessary to switch of to something else so fast), because it seems more polite in this situation, because you are the one who is .... well ruder than the other
  • You wouldn't answer to simple yes no question with gleich really but more to questions where you need to stop your action to help someone else. For this situation it is more demanding a complex answer so I rather stick to "Moment." or "warte bitte kurz".

Overall a bit weird to think about that situation but I tried to explain it as good as I could.

About the typo. Yeah I thought so but I just couldn't let that slide ;)

EDIT: Well in your example if you want to say it is the same thing Nate = Nathan for you .... yeah it would "es ist das gleiche" ~ at least that direction.


Kunstkr1tik misinterpreted what you meant there. "You want to say 'das ist das gleiche" for "it's the same thing". So 'gleich' means 'same', but it also means 'soon'- and when you say 'ja, gleich' it sounds like 'yeah, I'll tell you soon' which is where Kunstkr1tiks comment comes from.

"gleich' is a sooner soon than 'bald'. If I'm on the phone with my friend, and leaving my house to meet them, I'd say "bis gleich!'. It is used in a similar way to the way we use 'right' in english, such as when I say "I'll be right there" - 'ich bin gleich da".


that is helpful! thanks! could you make a thread where some expressions that are usually used with interjections such as ach! which are not taught ; here

so that it could be a reference? such also as igitt! and alot more that would be helpful if you would, seems you're a native! thanks


I probably could but I am really bad in remembering everything I want to write about. I probably would forget a lot of examples ...

  • ach! = surprise
  • ach so! = finally understanding something
  • igitt! = disgust, equivalent of "yuck"
  • bäh! = tasting something that tastes horrible
  • autsch, au, aua! = ouch
  • oh! = Seeing that there is a problem, surprise
  • hoppla, huch! = doing a mistake

that's all I can think of and don't know how to explain them in more detail. If I gave examples for each one that would be a long post lol

yes, I am native german with a weird love for languages


We have the 'ch' sound of Doch and Ich in words from Scots English - the loCHness Monster is probably the most famous example. And sometime also in Scotland you'll hear 'night' or 'light' pronounced as 'licht' or 'nicht' with that ch sound.


Yeah it's hard to explain how to pronounce doch to English people and this was the closest I got. Also it doesn't let you do paragraphs. I make them then Duolingo lumps them all together.


you need to add two paragraphs so you see a clear gap between the lines instead of just writing directly under your last line


^ that is so useful :)

as for the pronounciation. The pronounciation of "ch" when it comes after a "e" or "i" like ich or technik is very close to the h in huge (imo) not perfect but close.

as for the pronounciation after a,u,o ... it is more like a hissing cat or someone who snorrs a bit. But I haven't found a word in english that comes close to this sound and I doubt that there is one


Maybe making some kind of podcast would help. I'm assuming you're a native speaker?


yes I am native but I am sorry, I can't help you with podcasts, because I don't really listen to any ... I only listen to the podcasts from "Game One" (german show about video games, news and stuff) which are mostly about games or movies.

But I guess the best way to practice the ch is practising with german natives ^^


Game One Podcasts sind die besten :)


Schade is correct ;) You are not wrong :)


Haha thanks! I'm right for once! :D


"Schade" is correct and used more frequently.

The usage of "Schande" actually originates as a nicer word for "Scheiße" - "shit". Since "Scheiße" is a word which isn't supposed to be said e.g. in front of kids it often goes:

Sth. goes wrong - "So eine Sch... Sch... ande!" :-)


My bad, typos all around ;)


I never really given this word "doch"much thought as I grew up bilingual German/English, but yeah, I can see where this word would be a little confusing. A person would generally use "doch" to counter a negative statement as Ellie has stated. The word "schade" pronounced ""sha- de" means what a pitty or what a shame, it can also be used sarcastically.


Great info, and thanks! The Pimsleur course does talk about "Doch" a bit.


Thanks so much for sharing these phrases! I'll definitely have to use "Genau" more often, as I use it so much in English.

I take French in school, and the way I can remember "Doch" is by the fact there is a similar word in French; similar in the way that it shares the same principle. The French word is "Si", and it was taught to me as a contradictory yes; if one said "Tu ne chantes jamais!" (You never sing!) you could reply "Si, je chante!" (Uh-huh, yeah, I sing!) I've also watched French films where it's used in another way you've shown; they'll say "Non!" "Si!" "Non! "Si!" back and forth.


I'm also here in Germany and I leave tomorrow. I've also found they say wie geht dir with the dative pronoun instead of du or dich, at least where I am.


As a native speaker I can tell you that the only correct forms are "Wie geht es dir?" (with dative) or "Wie geht's?" as an abbreviation. You don't say it with nominative or accusative. (Even though I can't fully rule out that there are dialects who use it like this - but that would sound very odd for my Hochdeutsch-ears)


Sorry I forgot to put es in when I typed it in.


I've not experienced that, but people have been instructed to speak very high German to me. Whereabouts where you staying?


I was staying in Berlin.


I've heard some hilarious things about language in Berlin, every German I know from the south, west or the north say they can't understand the people of Berlin! As a result I don't much either.


keep these tips coming :D


Thank you, very informative and useful :)


Wonderful Article..:)


another usefull one: "Oh je". sounds a bit like "oh, yay!" but is used like "oh dear" (basically the opposite of "yay")


Very constructive piece of information, cheers! Are employees in public (tax-job offices, etc) and private (banks, house owners, etc) services willing to speak english to you or do they assume that you must know German? I am seriously considering moving to Berlin for a career perspective, but I am really worrying about the language.


In Berlin people tend to know English as it is a touristy place. Although this is true, don't underestimate the power of a little bit of German. Germans are impressed, if you've done like the first 5 topics on the tree (which is easy to do between now and when you would move) this amount of German is already begone their expectations. I would say go for it because in the future you'll regret not going more then you would regret going.


Great post. But I should not that Doch does not mean But or Yes. It's probably better interprered as "But No" or "To the contrary". For example you say something I disagree with, I'd respond Doch.


I beg to differ. Doch is always used as but yes, or but of course and never as no


I like "oder?" at the end of sentences where they want your opinion. Sometimes I catch myself saying "or?" at the end of my English sentences as well.

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