Friends International English Conversation Group

“Muskelkater” – what is that?

Posted on: 15. December 2013

During our last Friends Club meeting, somebody brought this up:

Everybody knows the feeling that after a good round of walking, running or playing football or tennis, there is a funny feeling in your muscles which makes it nearly unable to move.

In German, the word is “Muskelkater”. But there is no use translating it literally, as for “Muskel” the English word is “muscle”, but the German word “Kater” means “tom cat” in English, That does not make any sense. Still, there is another meaning for “Kater” in English: “hangover”! And this gets us nearer to the meaning of “Muskelkater”, as you use “Kater” in German for any state of physical indisposition coming from a reason such as too much alcohol or physical exercise.

So, for the German word “Muskelkater” you would use “sore muscles” or “aching muscles”, as the LEO dictionary tells us. The Google translater only knows “ache”, which is fairly unspecific.

For more of these discussions, why don´t you join us at Berlin Friends Club? You will get a warm welcome and you can sure to spend some joyful, interesting hours each Tuesday.

See you then!

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