German Sayings that don’t translate…and other things….

Last week while I taught, I learned some valuable lessons from my students…well, maybe they were more weird than valuable.

Some of you may have experience in this, but there are some German sayings that just don’t translate. Of course, you can infer the meaning…but the true feel of the collocation is completely lost on all of us. I just want to share a few that I learned last week and throw up some pictures from our week/weekend =)

Durch die Blume Gesprochen. This translates as “to speak through the flowers”. This came up in one of my classes when we were learning the word infer. In that class, I had a particularly involved student– she does a lot of learning outside of the classroom (which is great!) and a lot of translating as well. So, when I was describing the meaning to the class and she interjected with “Yes, it means to speak through the flowers. I understand completely.” I was completely dumbfounded. I had no idea what she was talking about, after I figured out what was going on and what she meant (to say one thing but mean another) we all laughed heartily about things that just don’t translate. If you’re looking for a similar saying in English– “to read between the lines”.

Tomaten auf den Augen haben. This translates to “You have tomatoes on your eyes.” Ouch! All of that acid! No, they aren’t threatening you or telling you about some sort of eye disease– this means you can’t (literally) see what everyone else is seeing. It’s not metaphorical or anything like that, which still seems a little strange to me. But! That’s the whole point of this little blog post….things that just don’t translate!

Mein Englisch ist nicht das Gelbe vom Ei, aber es geht. This translates to “My English is not the yellow from the egg, but it goes.” The outgoing student mentioned earlier absolutely loved this saying. I showed her the picture below– it is something she new already, of course, but to see it translated absolutely tickled her funny bone. For days. I’m serious– 4 days she kept thinking of it during class and laughing hysterically. What does it mean? Basically, my English isn’t perfect but it’s good enough. I feel this way about my German…

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That is all for my sayings this week, I will try to learn more this week. We will be signing Rob up for German classes this week, probably, so maybe he will learn some too!

After 2 whole weeks of teaching (I know, I’m practically an expert) I have come to the following conclusions: I love teaching, I would rather not split the class times with another teacher, and I don’t understand German jokes…or I don’t find them as funny as they do.

I learned a few jokes this week, translated of course (it’s English class, after all!). I thought they were funny, but my students were crying from laughter….which led me to the above conclusion “I don’t understand German jokes…or I don’t find them as funny as they do.” Maybe they were just punch-drunk from being in class all day, but I just couldn’t believe how long they carried on laughing!

Anyway, about sharing classes. We do this because we can fill up our schedules that way…but I think I prefer being the only teacher…or at least the main one, so I know where I left off or what I’m doing next! I will get used to it, but I had a nice surprise last week and had to quickly come up with a lesson plan! Luckily, most everything is spelled out for us with Berlitz. I suppose experiences like that one are good for me– teaches me to be able to teach on my feet! (I bet that little saying wouldn’t translate to German at all…)

All new experiences aside, it has been a great two weeks teaching and I am excited to teach more!

Now, without further adieu, here are the promised pictures!

We found a French market in the Old Town.
We found a French market in the Old Town.
French market.
French market.
Flat pizza with crunchy crust, white sauce, delicious cheese, and ham. NOM.
Flat pizza with crunchy crust, white sauce, delicious cheese, and ham. NOM.
Brought the mustache back...from our very late night in the bars on Saturday.
Brought the mustache back…from our very late night in the bars on Saturday.
A Metall Bar (German spelling)...check out the stone ceilings! It is in the basement of the building we usually go to for our favorite bar.
A Metall Bar (German spelling)…check out the stone ceilings! It is in the basement of the building we usually go to for our favorite bar.
We had quite a few clear days around here. With all the hills, it seems you can see for miles and miles. Rob caught some sweet pictures on those days.
We had quite a few clear days around here. With all the hills, it seems you can see for miles and miles. Rob caught some sweet pictures on those days.

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A park in the old town, looking onto our favorite little shopping street (we go for the coffee).
A park in the old town, looking onto our favorite little shopping street (we go for the coffee).
Some kids lost their soccer ball in the little tributary.
Some kids lost their soccer ball in the little tributary.
Rob's photography skills are getting out of hand.... =)
Rob’s photography skills are getting out of hand…. =)
This guy rescued the soccer ball.
This guy rescued the soccer ball.

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In the French market.
In the French market.
French market.
French market.

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Playing with filters on the camera. Turned into a silly photo shoot in the community orchards.
Playing with filters on the camera. Turned into a silly photo shoot in the community orchards.

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