The German language has many words that are identical in English. They are spelled and written in the same way but have totally different meanings.
Knowing the meaning of these English words to avoid when speaking German can save you from potentially embarrassing moments that you may unwittingly find yourself in while conversing with your German-speaking friends.
Here we list 13 common English words to avoid when speaking German:
The word ‘Gift’ in English means ‘A Present’, something that is willingly given to someone without payment. However ‘Gift’ in German literally means ‘Poison’!
‘Mist’ in English means ‘Haze’ or ‘Fog’, a thin layer of tiny droplets of water suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. In German ‘Mist’ means ‘Rubbish’ or ‘Manure’ (mostly animal dung used as fertilizer).
In English ‘Advice’ means any form of guidance or recommendation offered with regard to prudent action. In German, the word Advice means a Rat!
‘Angel’ in English usually refers to a person or being of exemplary conduct or virtue. In German, ‘Angel’ simply means a ‘Fishing Rod’.
The English meaning of the word ‘Elf’ refers to an imaginary being, often a small person with magical powers and pointed ears, mischievous in nature. In German, the word ‘Elf’ means the number ‘Eleven’.
‘Rock’ in English refers to the solid mineral material forming part of the Earth’s surface. In German, the word ‘Rock’ means a ‘Skirt’.
In the English language, the word ‘Fast’ refers to a moving object that is traveling at a high speed. In German, the word ‘Fast’ means ‘Almost’.
‘Bad’ in English generally refers to anything that is unpleasant or un-welcomed. Something which is of poor quality or standard and is not desired or hoped for by anyone. In German, however ‘Bad’ means ‘Bath’.
In English ‘Bald’ means to have little or no hair on top of the head. In the German language ‘Bald’ means ‘Soon’.
The English meaning of the word ‘Boot’ refers to a sturdy item of footwear covering the foot and ankle, and sometimes also the lower leg. In German, however ‘Boot’ refers to a ‘Boat’.
”Grab’ means in English to grasp or seize suddenly and roughly. In German ‘Grab’ means the ‘Grave’.
In English, ‘Handy’ refers to something that is convenient to handle or to use or something that is useful. In German, ‘Handy’ means a ‘Cell Phone’.
‘Hut’ in English refers to a small, simple, single-storey house or shelter. In German, however ‘Hut’ means a ‘Hat’.
Hope you enjoyed learning the meaning of some of these common English words to avoid when speaking German. Germans also have a few interesting proverbs that you may find funny, such as:
Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei!
Everything has an end, only sausages have two!
Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.
Food comes first, then morals.
Das ist nicht dein Bier!
That is not your beer! (None of your business!)
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