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Guten Tag! Making mistakes is a big part of language learning, and often mistakes involve muddling words up – either because they sound similar, because they are the same (but have different meanings), or because they are ‘false friends’ – words that seem like they should mean one thing, but they actually mean another. This can lead to some very funny sentences, which will definitely raise some eyebrows! In this fun post, I will take you through some German words you definitely do not want to mix up! Be sure to check out part one, too, to read some slightly less embarrassing, but still very funny, mix-ups.

Scheide vs. scheiden

Image via Pixabay

The word die Scheide is the German word for vagina. The verb scheiden means to separate or divorce. If you want to say you’re separating, though, as much as it might make sense to say ‘Ich scheide’, don’t. In doing this you are saying ‘I, vagina’. Instead, say ‘Wir lassen uns scheiden’, which is the correct way to say ‘We are getting a divorce’. Try to think about using the word ‘Wir’ because it means ‘we’, and a divorce/separation involves two people… this will hopefully steer you away from saying ‘I vagina’.

geil vs. geil

While this is not so much a case of getting words mixed up, it’s worth mentioning the tricky little word geil, because geil means horny or hot (sexually), and it also means cool. So how are you supposed to know if you’re saying something is cool or something is hot/horny?! Try to think of it like: If you say you are geil, it means you’re horny. If you say another person is geil, it means you think they’re sexy/hot. If you say an object or a situation is geil, it means you think it’s cool. ‘Das Auto ist geil’ is a perfectly acceptable thing to say. People will also respond to things they like simply by saying ‘geil’. To be safe, though, unless you’re 100% sure, it’s best not to say this word around close relatives/managers/people you don’t know very well!

Brüste vs. Bürste

Image via Pixabay.

If you need a hairbrush and ask your German friend if you can borrow her Brüste, she will give you either a confused look or walk very quickly away from you. That’s because the word Brüste is the plural of die Brust – breast. The word die Bürste means hairbrush. Don’t ask to borrow your friend’s breasts. To avoid this mistake, practice your pronunciation, especially with Umlauts. If you’d like a post with audio clips on how to pronounce words with Umlauts, let me know!

schießen vs. scheißen

Can’t see the difference between these two words? Look a little closer. Schießen with ie means to shoot. Scheißen with ei means to shit. Be careful what you shout next time you’re at a football match.

Huren vs. Uhren

These are words that sound more similar than they look. Make sure you pronounce the ‘H’ in Huren, and elongate the ‘U’ sound in Uhren a little. Why? Because the word die Uhren is the plural of die Uhr – watch. The word die Huren is the plural of die Hure – whore.

Vorspiel vs. Vorspeise

Das Vorspiel is the German word for foreplay, while die Vorspeise is a starter at a restaurant. Be careful what you order! To avoid this mistake, try to remember that the word ‘Spiel’ from Vorspiel (foreplay) means ‘play’ or ‘game’.

Fotze vs. Fotze

We conclude this post with a spectacular example of how important it is to know regional differences between German words. Having spent a huge part of my childhood in Lower Bavaria, I grew up hearing and using the word die Fotze all the time. Die Fotze was a slap in the face. I used to be ‘threatened’ with a Fotze when I was misbehaving, as were all the kids. Imagine my horror when I found out – far too recently, actually – that die Fotze is also a very offensive German swear word!! Yep, the exact same word means ‘pussy’  or ‘c*nt’ in most of Germany, BUT it is a harmless word for a slap in Bavaria and Austria. Now, I just hope I never said the word Fotze to someone from a different part of Germany…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Have you ever muddled up any German words? Please share in the comments – it happens to the best of us! Be sure to check out part 1 of this post, too.

Bis bald

Constanze

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Last minute cram before the quiz! Photo by Stacy Brunner on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Servus! Ready to check how fleißig (studious) you’ve been? Here’s a quiz regarding my last few posts. If you want to brush up before you start, you can find the posts here, here and here. Today will be a vocabulary test about shapes and insurance. Share your score below in the comments!

Translate these German words into English:

die Versicherung

Answer
the insurance

das Dreieck
Answer
the triangle

Pflegeversicherung
Answer
care insurance

Haftpflichtversicherung
Answer
liability insurance

rechtwinkliges Dreieck
Answer
right triangle

der Quader
Answer
rectangular prism

der Kegel
Answer
the cone

die Krankenkasse
Answer
health insurance

Translate these English words into German:
shapes

Answer
die Formen

heptagon
Answer
das Siebeneck

cube
Answer
der Würfel

pension insurance
Answer
Rentenversicherung

old people’s home
Answer
Altenheim

equilateral
Answer
gleichseitiges Dreieck

Name the two main insurances you need (in German) for when you go on holiday

Answer
Reisekrankenversicherung
 
Answer
Reiserücktrittversicherung

What is the social insurance in German called?

Answer
Sozialversicherung

How many different insurances is the social insurance made up of?

Answer
five

Name all of the insurances that create the social insurance (in German)

Answer
Krankenversicherung
 
Answer
Rentenversicherung
 
Answer
Unfallversicherung
 
Answer
Pflegeversicherung
 
Answer
Arbeitslosenversicherung

How did you do?! Does a quiz help you refresh your memory? You can comment your score and thoughts below, the quiz is out of 23 points. The last and fourth before last question you get a point for each answer.

I hope you had fun!

Larissa

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You may have come across the word das. It is the article for neuter nouns, and so it shows up quite a lot. But then there is also dass. And daß? And they all sound the same! What are all these words? Let’s disentangle this Wortsalat (word salad) today!

Der Artikel (the article)

Made by author

Das is the most common and straightforward one. It is the article for neuter nouns in German, and das is the form in nominative and accusative.

Dort ist das Pferd (There is the horse) – Nominativ

Dort ist dessen Freund, das Kaninchen (There is its friend, the bunny) – Genitiv

Das Pferd gibt dem Kaninchen einen Kuss (The hose gives the bunny a kiss) – Dativ

Aber das Kaninchen beißt das Pferd (But the bunny bites the horse) – Akkusativ

Das Relativpronomen (relative pronoun)

can also be a Relativpronomen (relative pronoun):

Dort ist das Kaninchen, das ich suche. (There is the bunny that I am looking for).

So even though there is a comma before, it is not a conjunction!

Die Konjunktion (The Conjunction)

Made by author

You can see a conjunction through the double-s at the end of dass. This is not an article, but a conjunction.

Here is an example:

Das Kaninchen bedauert, dass es das Pferd gebissen hat. (The bunny regrets that it bit the horse.)

Sometimes, you may see a sentence construction with …, dass das … That is absolutely normal, and you don’t need to worry avoiding that. Here is an example:

Wie kann es sein, dass das Kaninchen das Pferd beißt?! (How can it be, that the bunny bites the horse?!)

Die veraltete Konjunktion (The obsolete conjunction)

Made by author

You may sometimes still see daß, especially in older texts, for example the original texts of the Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm (fairy tales of the Grimm brothers). See the example below!

However, in 1996, there was a Rechtschreibreform (spelling reform) that changed the spelling from daß to dass. Despite that, people that are used to writing daß and didn’t care to change will still use it.

So: daß is no longer used.

Copy of a book of 1812 of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers. Daß occurrences are red underlined. Public domain, from Commons.wikimedia.org

Hope that cleared up something for you!

Any questions, doubts, concerns, comments, additions? Let me know in the comments below!

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Guten Tag! Making mistakes is a big part of language learning, and often mistakes involve muddling words up – either because they sound similar, because they are the same (but have different meanings), or because they are ‘false friends’ – words that seem like they should mean one thing, but they actually mean another. This can lead to some very funny sentences, which will definitely raise some eyebrows! In this fun post, I will take you through some German words you do not want to mix up!

Image via Pixabay.

Nacht vs. nackt

English speakers often struggle with the soft ‘ch’ sound in German, so it often comes out as a hard ‘k’ sound, instead. This can lead to pronouncing the word die Nacht (night) like the word nackt (naked)! Avoid this by practising the soft ‘ch’ sound – it sounds a bit like a cat hissing!

Mutter vs. Mutter

You most probably know the word die Mutter as meaning mother. But there is another word, which has exactly the same spelling and gender (die Mutter), which is a type of screw nut. There are lots of different types of Mutter in the technology world – Vierkantmutter, Nutmutter, Kreuzlochmutter… The way to tell these ‘Mutters’ apart is by context, which should be easy enough, because I doubt there are any situations where you would ‘go over to your nut’s house’ or ‘screw your mother onto something’ (I hope).

Die Taube vs. Der Taube

Some words in German are exactly the same, but their genders are different. In this case, die Taube (feminine) means pigeon, while der Taube (masculine) means a deaf person. This is why genders are important. Learn your genders!

Image via Pixabay.

Kurios vs. Neugierig

This is what we call a false friend. The German word kurios looks like it should mean curious, but it doesn’t. It means odd. So if you say Ich bin kurious, you are essentially declaring to the world that you are odd. The correct word you need is the German word for curious: neugierig.

Langweilig vs. gelangweilt

Langweilig is the word everyone knows to mean ‘boring’. So it only makes sense to declare ‘Ich bin langweilig’ if you’re bored. But this actually means ‘I am boring’, which you probably never want to say. The correct way to say you’re bored is either by saying Mir ist langweilig, or saying Ich bin gelangweilt. Both are acceptable!

Schwul vs. schwül

This is one of those examples that shows the importance of pronunciation, and how an Umlaut can change a word. The word schwul means gay, while the word schwül means humid. So you may receive some confused looks when you complain about how ‘gay’ the air is today. To avoid this mistake, work on perfecting your pronunciation of words with Umlauts in them. If you would be interested in a post on this with audio clips, let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed this post! In part two, I will bring you some words that you definitely don’t want to mix up!

Bis bald!

Constanze

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On this blog, we have explained before how to use tenses in German. But we have not yet looked at a rather peculiar tense in German yet: the Konjunktiv (subjunctive mood)! It comes in two parts, Konjunktiv I and Konjunktiv II. Today, we look at number II! I will tell you what it is, how to use it and in which cases. Let’s go!

Click here for Konjunktiv I.

Answers from the Konjunktiv I test:

  1. Fact
  2. Fact
  3. Claim
  4. Claim
What is the Konjunktiv II?

Sie steht (she stands) (Image by Tyler Nix at Unsplash.com)

Just like in the previous post, we will use the word stehen to explore the second Konjunktiv.

The Konjunktiv is a word that comes from the latin coniungere, which means “to connect”, as it connects sentences together.

We will use the verb stehen (to stand) as our example here. The regular, present tense looks like this:

ich stehe (I stand)

du stehst (you stand, sing.)

er/sie/es steht (he/she/it stands)

ihr steht (you stand, pl.)

wir stehen (we stand)

sie stehen (they stand)

When converting that to a Konjunktiv II, something interesting happens:

ich stünde/stände (I would stand)

du stündest/ständest (you would stand, sing.)

er/sie/es stünde/stände (he/she/it would stand)

wir ständen/stünden (we would stand)

ihr ständet (you would stand, pl.)

sie ständen/stünden (they would stand)

Great, but when do we use it?

Image by Fauzan Saari at Unsplash.com

Always if you wish for something or you are imagining something – it displays the unreal.

Let’s look at some examples:

Ich wünschte, die deutsche Nationalelf hätte im Spiel gegen Südkorea gewonnen.

(I wished that the German national team would have won in the game against South Korea.)

Wäre ich Bundestrainer, würde ich andere Spieler aufstellen.

(If I were national coach, I would put in different players.)

Hätte die deutsche Mannschaft gewonnen, wäre Deutschland jetzt noch in der Weltmeisterschaft.

(If the German team had won, Germany would still be in the World Cup now.)

Also, you use it to be höflich (polite) or nett (nice).

Instead of

Kannst du mir bitte die Teller reichen (Can you please give me the plates)?

You say:

Könntest du mir die Teller reichen (Could you please give me the plates)?

The same is with the versatile verb werden. Anytime that you want say “would you please…”, you can say “würdest du bitte…“. An example:

Würdest du mir bitte die Flasche Sprudelwasser geben?

(Would you please give me the bottle of sparkling water?)

A common Ausdruck (expression) is also: Wärst du/Wären Sie so nett… (Would you be so nice…) before a sentence with a Konjunktiv:

Wären Sie so nett, könnten sie mir bitte zeigen, wo die Toilette ist? (Would you be so nice, could you show me where the bathroom is?)

The same goes with the Konjunktiv of haben:

Hättest du Lust, zur Weltmeisterschaft zu fahren?

Would you like to go to the World Cup?

Hätten Sie Zeit für einen kurzen Anruf?

Would you have time for a short call?

Old German

Now, instead of using the Konjunktiv of the verbs haben (hätte…), werden (würde…) and sein (wäre…), you can also use the Konjunktiv of the word itself:

Stände sie im Feld, hätten die Frauen eine Chance auf einen Sieg gehabt.

(If she stood in the field, the women would have had a chance of a victory.)

Läge er nicht in der Sonne, hätte er sich nicht verbrannt.

(Had he not lied in the sun, he would not have burned himself.)

However, nobody uses these Konjunktiv forms anymore, because it is just easier to say:

Hätte sie im Feld gestanden, hätten die Frauen eine Chance auf einen Sieg gehabt.

Hätte er nicht in der Sonne gelegen, hätte er sich nicht verbrannt.

And that is what we do: Konjunktiv II + past perfect of a word. That also makes it a Konjunktiv II!

Below is a video that also explains all of this quite nicely:

Deutsche Grammatik: „Konjunktiv II“ (mit Sonja Hubmann) - YouTube

I hope this helped explain the Konjunktiv a little for you! Let me know if there is anything you did not understand, or if you have any questions, in the comments below!

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Guten Tag! So if you’re not already aware, German is full of amazing words for concepts we would need several words to describe in English. This is because of the German language’s ability to create compound nouns. Today I’d like to show you a few words for concepts that do exist in English, but which are summed up in only one German word. And these particular words are related to the different seasons of the year, starting with my favourite and the one we are in right now – summer!

Die Sauregurkenzeit

Image via Pixabay.

Broken down, die Sauregurkenzeit means ‘the sour cucumber time’ or ‘the pickled cucumber time’. This is a term that originated in the 18th Century to describe a time when food was sparse. This term existed in English, too, where it was called ‘the season of the smallest potatoes’ (die Jahreszeit der kleinsten Kartoffeln) or ‘cucumber time’ (die Gurkenzeit).

In the modern day, however, Sauregurkenzeit became known as the time in Hochsommer (High Summer) when everybody goes on holiday and business is a little slower than usual. Typically, Sauregurkenzeit lasts anywhere from the end of June until August – in other words, we are experiencing Sauregurkenzeit right now! The term is used in Journalismus (journalism), too, to describe a period of slow news.

Several other European languages have a word like Sauregurkenzeit, including the Danish agurketid and the Dutch komkommertijd.

Die Frühjahrsmüdigkeit

Image via Pixabay.

Broken down, die Frühjahrsmüdigkeit means ‘the early year’s tiredness’ (Früh = early ; Jahr = year ; Müdigkeit = tiredness, fatigue). This word describes what is known as Springtime Lethargy in English. It is a general feeling of weariness and tiredness that often arrives at the onset of spring, so around March and April. This may be caused by die Allergie (allergy), die Winterdepression/die Saisonal-Affektive Störung (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or the body’s changing hormonal reaction to warmer weather.

If you enjoyed these words, you might like these unique German words/phrases relating to different times of year:

For late summer/early autumn, check out the word der Altweibersommer.
For autumn/winter (or all year round, if you live here in the UK) check out the word das Unwetter.
For winter, check out the phrase Frau Holle schüttelt ihre Betten aus.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

Bis bald

Constanze

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On this blog, we have explained before how to use tenses in German. But we have not yet looked at a rather peculiar tense in German yet: the Konjunktiv (subjunctive mood)! It comes in two parts, Konjunktiv I and Konjunktiv II. Today, we look at number I! Let’s go!

What is the Konjunktiv?

Er steht (he stands). Image by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Konjunktiv (subjunctive mood) is a word that comes from the latin coniungere, which means “to connect”. It is one of the three modes of a verb, next to the indicative (Indikativ) and the imperative (Imperativ). The subjunctive mood often tells you about possibilities. So it is about Möglichkeiten (possibilities), which is why it is also sometimes referred to as the Möglichkeitsform (possibility form).

We will use the verb stehen (to stand) as our example here. The regular, Indikativ präsens (present tense) looks like this:

ich stehe (I stand)

du stehst (you stand, sing.)

er/sie/es steht (he/she/it stands)

ihr steht (you stand, pl.)

wir stehen (we stand)

sie stehen (they stand)

When converting that to a Konjunktiv I präsens (present), it looks like this:

Ich stehe (I would stand)

du stehest (you would stand, sing.)

er/sie/es stehe (he/she/it would stand)

wir stehen (we would stand)

ihr stehet (you would stand, pl.)

sie stehen (they would stand).

As you may notice, many of these forms are the same as in the Indikativ präsens, but it has some weird ones too, like ihr stehet.

The Konjunktiv I also has a past tense and future tense.

Alright, but when do you use this now?

The Konjunktiv I is mainly used in the Indirekte Rede (indirect speech).

Indirekte Rede

Image by Cristina Gottardi at Unsplash.com

The Indirekte Rede can be explained as follows:

“Ich stehe im Garten” (I stand in the garden)  – this is direkte Rede (direct speech). It is the normal, Indikativ präsens – no Konjunktiv necessary here!

Max sagt, er stehe im Garten (Max says, he stands in the garden) – this is indirekte Rede! Because it is what someone else said, and is also in the present, you use the Konjunktiv präsens here.

You will mostly hear the use of the Konjunktiv in this way in the Nachrichten (News). In normal conversations, you would rather hear this:

Max sagt, dass er im Garten steht (Max says that he stands in the garden).

While that isn’t technically grammatically correct, it is not wrong either. And it makes things a lot easier, because you can avoid the Konjunktiv, which is different for each word, and not always very predictable!

So a great advantage of the Konjunktiv is that you can easily disseminate hearsay and Behauptungen (claims). Take the Nachrichten, for example, where most Informationen (information) is provided by third parties:

tagesschau 20:00 Uhr, 24.05.2018 - YouTube

Take the first news item that the news reader Jan Hofer presents. Simply by grammar, try to disseminate Fakt (fact) from Behauptung:

1- Die Hoffnungen auf eine Annäherung im Atomkonflikt mit Nordkorea haben einen Rückschlag erlitten.

2. US-Präsident Trump sagte das für den 12. Juni geplante Treffen mit den nord-koreanischen Staatschef Kim vorerst ab.

3. Grund sei, wie es in einem Brief an den Machthaber in Pjöngjang heißt, die offene Feindseligkeit Nordkoreas.

4. Trump betonte aber, dass er grundsätzlich zu einem weiteren Treffen mit Kim bereit sei.

Let me know in the comment which of the 4 is a fact and which is a claim, simply judging by grammar! Answers will be revealed in the second blog on Konjunktiv II.

Rezepte and other Anweisungen

Image by NordWood Themes at Unsplash.com

What you will often see in recipes is, for example: Man nehme 5 Tomaten… (One takes 5 tomatoes…). These are Anweisungen (directions), for which the Konjunktiv can also be used. However, it is becoming increasingly rare. Nowadays, you will see rather something like the formal Imperativ (imperative) form: Nehmen Sie 5 Tomaten… (Take 5 tomatoes… (formal)), or Fahren Sie bis zum Ende der Straße (Drive until the end of the street (formal)).

Redewendungen

Image by Romain Vignes at Unsplash.

There are some Redewendungen (idioms) that use the Konjunktiv as well, such as so sei es (So it will be), or seien wir mal ehrlich, … (let’s be honest here, …). You will encounter these now and then, and they are well-established. It is therefore likely to hear these in everyday conversation as well.

Have you used the Konjunktiv before? Do you have other examples that you like or perhaps that you struggle with? Does your language have it, too? Let me know in the comments below!

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Guten Tag! In my last post I took it back to basics and taught you what all of the different body parts are called in German. This is a topic that is always useful, especially if you go to the doctor in Germany, for example. As there are so many different body parts and names for everything, I have split this into two posts. The first post focused on the basic names of the body parts. This follow-up post will give some more specific/advanced vocabulary. So hopefully there will be something for everyone over these two posts! Here is post number one Body Parts In German – Simple. And now here is post number two, with slightly more advanced vocabulary.

Body Parts In German – Advanced Der Körper – The Body

Image via Pixabay.

der Kopf – The Head

Image via Pixabay.


Forehead – die Stirn

Pupil – die (Augen)Pupille, also called das Sehloch (‘the see-hole’)

Iris – die Iris, also called die Regenbogenhaut (‘the rainbow skin’)

Eyelid – das Augenlid

Nostril – das Nasenloch

Gums – das Zahnfleisch (‘the tooth flesh’)

Eardrum – das Trommelfell

Tongue – die Zunge

Jaw – der Kiefer

Skin – die Haut

Spot – der Pickel

*By the way, if you would like to know what the different muscles are called in German, check out this post!*

der Oberkörper – The upper body

Image via Pixabay.

Throat – die Kehle

Collarbone – das Schlüsselbein (‘the key leg’)

Spine – die Wirbelsäule

Wrist – das Handgelenk (‘the hand joint’)

Palm – die Handfläche

Armpit – die Achsel

Knuckle – der Knöchel

Lung – die Lunge

Ribcage – der Brustkorb (‘the chest basket’)

Stomach – der Magen (specifically the stomach organ) or der Bauch (general area of stomach)

The fingers of the hand are called as follows in German:

Image via Pixabay.

der Daumen – thumb
der Zeigefinger – index finger
der Mittelfinger – middle finger
der Ringfinger – ring finger
der kleine Finger – little finger

der Unterkörper – The lower body

Image via Pixabay.

Hipbone – der Hüftknochen

Crotch – der Schritt or der Unterleib

Vagina – die Scheide or die Vagina

Penis – der Penis

Uterus/Womb – der Uterus/die Gebärmutter

Upper leg – der Oberschenkel

Lower leg – der Unterschenkel

Thigh – der Schenkel

Calf – die Wade

Kneecap – die Kniescheibe

Ankle – der Knöchel

Toenail – der Zehennagel

Sole – die Fußsohle

Now you’ve got the vocabulary, it’s time to test your knowledge! Study the body parts and then match the English words to the German in this short exercise. The answers are at the bottom of the page.

 

1. Eardrum ——————— A. der Penis

2. Spine ———————- B. das Zahnfleisch

3. Ring finger ——————— C. das Trommelfell

4. Penis ————————— D. die Regenbogenhaut

5. Thumb —————————- E. die Wirbelsäule

6. Kneecap —————————– F. das Handgelenk

7. Gums —————————— G. der Daumen

8. Iris ——————————- H. der Ringfinger

9. Wrist ——————————- I. der Unterleib

10. Crotch ——————————– J. die Kniescheibe


If you are finding this difficult, go back and study the words some more and try the quiz again. Eventually you will begin to associate the German word with the English one, and vice-versa. Let me know how you get on! And if you haven’t yet, check out part one, which contains the basic vocabulary.

 

Bis bald!

 

Constanze

 

Answers to quiz: 1C, 2E, 3H, 4A, 5G, 6J, 7B, 8D, 9F, 10I.

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What does Nichtskönner mean?

Bunch of Nichtskönner! What were these construction workers thinking? (Image by Nick Agus Arya at Unsplash.com)

The Duden gives us a straightforward definition:

“jemand, der sein Fach nicht beherrscht; Stümper”

(Someone that has not mastered their discipline; bungler)

So that would give us a definition straight away! Done! Well, not quite.

Nichtskönner is a word you could hear here and there, whereas bungler is not really used a lot. It also has a somewhat different connotation.

What would be a literal translation of Nichtskönner?

Nichtskönner literally means “somebody able to do nothing”, so it is quite simple and straightforward: somebody that is not able to do anything. Obviously, it is used in context with a specific discipline in mind – within that discipline, they have no competence at all, and are therefore a Nichtskönner. Such an exaggeration makes sense in German culture, that is generally known for its precision and perfectionism in small details.

How would you use Nichtskönner in a sentence?

Kranführer Ronny das Original - YouTube

An infamous example of use of the word Nichtskönner is the angry man, Ronny, in the viral video Kranplätze müssen verdichtet sein! (Crane spots must be solidified!)

So it basically is used in an angry situation or when you are just being sarcastic with somebody.

Mensch, Axel, du musst die Schraube nach rechts drehen, du Nichtskönner! (Man, Axel, you have to turn the screw to the right, you bungler!)

What is the nearest English equivalent of Nichtskönner?

As mentioned above, “bungler” could be an option, but “incompetent” makes more sense, I think. However, “incompetent” does not have the same sort of striking exaggeration that Nichtskönner has (that they are literally not able to do anything). Incompetent makes sense as the English equivalent.

What do you think of the word Nichtskönner? Do you have a similarly strong word for something like this? Let me know in the comments below!

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