Friends International English Conversation Group

Posts Tagged ‘curious words

Today I would like to pass on information about learning German in your mother tongue on the computer. This way of learning has the advantage, if you want to decide on how much and how long you would like to learn. You can also take the programme with you on an MP3-player or your I-Phone and learn whenever there is time.

The reason why I prefer to use these courses is that you can learn words by different tests and word lists or index cards which you can also print out to take along. The best thing about that is that words are repeated until you have memorised them correctly five times. On top, there is information about how you best learn a language. What I like about that is that you can freely choose and try the method which suits you most and is most effective for you.

As a beginner, without any knowledge of German, you would best choose the basic course to start with and continue with the advanced course. If you need to learn German in a faster way, the express couse would be right for you. But even if you are quite fit in understanding and talking German, the special vocabulary collection could help you to improve your communicative competence. An online dictionary is available as well.

The computer courses on DVD are available in 40 languages, so there is a good chance that your language is amongst them. Take a look and decide! If you live in a German-language environment, the conditions to really apply what you have learned are best, but even if you live somewhere where German is not spoken, take a lookout for German conversation groups; you will find them in nearly every bigger city, and, of course, on the Web.

The best of success and fun in learning German!

During our last meeting we came across some words wwere not quite sure about. Here is the solution.

– Amazing but the English word for the German “Schwermetall” is really “heavy metal”.

– We didn´t find a suitable word for German “krass” in the sense of “amazing”, but this was a bit too ordinary. What I found out from is “far out”, and I think it suits best the colloquial meaning of the German word.

– The German word “Kitsch” is that unique that it is used in English, as well: “kitsch” and the adverb “kitschy”.

– You would exercise your climbing skills in the German “Hochseilgarten”. This is a “high rope course”, according to, but leo does not give a meaning.

– “Räumliches Vorstellungsvermögen” in English would be “spacial sense”, according to LEO.

So you can see that there is always something to learn and talk about in Berlin Friends Club. Why don´t you join us on Tuesdays?

During our last meeting of Berlin Friends Club on Tuesday, we came up on some words which we couldn´t find out on the spot. One of them was:

  • Knochendichtemessung (what a word!) Bone density, according to LEO dictionary, in special professional use also bone mineral density, is the right word for Knochendichte. So, Knochendichtemessung would be bone density examination, I would suppose.
  • We also diskussed the word for Urkunde in the context of sports. I didn´t find any special term, neither in LEO nor in the Oxford German-English dictionary. I presume it should be certificate.

If you would like to discuss more of these complicated words, why not join us next Tuesday at Asia Snack in Kochstr.? We not only talk about English-German words, but all sorts of topics that just come up.

See you then!

Last Tuesday, we were talking about the purchase of data of German tax evaders by the German government. We came across the following words:

  • tax evader = Steuerhinterzieher
  • Hehler = fence
  • Hehlerei = receiving of stolen goods, fence (marked as slang)

We also found a proverb in this context:

The fence is worse than the thief

So much for some words which fit into the current discussion in Germany!

Abbreviations in English are quite common. The most well-known is probably ASAP, which means “as soon as possible”, and is used in commercial English as well as in the colloquial language. Still there are some more, which we discussed in our club at one of our meetings.

  • IMHO is used very much in chats, and it means “in my humble opinion”.
  • MISAS means “make it short and simple”
  • KITA is not very nice and classed as very rude. It means “kick in the ass”.
  • SAE is mainly used in commercial English and means “stamped addressed envelope”.

If you know any more, why don´t you write a comment to let us know? Or join one of our meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in Berlin-Kreuzberg. You can be assured to get a warm welcome by all of us.

Berlin Friends Club is a place where you can get information about foreign languages and improve your command of English!

So we came across some words which we would like to get straight in both languages:

  1. Schadenfreude: This is a word which exists the same in both languages. Yes, it is schadenfreude in English, too! Does this mean, that malicious joy is something typically German???? 😉 Well, I don´t know!!!
  2. Geisterfahrer: This is rather tricky. LEO dictionary gives the phrase motorist driving against the traffic on motorways, a rather complicated way to express a single word. So does this mean that a single word does not exist in English? Not by all means: A LEO forum tells us that the Daily Mail uses the word wrong-way driver.
  3. Kinky is an English word, and it denominates that something is abnormal, pervert or the like. It may mean curly, as well. In German, it would mean abnorm, pervers, schrullig, abartig, verdreht, verkorkst. So it has a lot of different meanings, and it can be used in many different contexts.
  4. For the German word Esskastanie, LEO gives the word chestnut, as well as the word edible chestnut, but in our Friends meeting we also found the word sweet chestnut.

So you can see that at Berlin Friends Club, you can really learn how to express yourself. Hope to be able to welcome you at one of our meetings.

See you then!

What the hell is that? It´s from Hindi, spoken in India. And we discussed it at our ast meeting, so it is the word of the day!

You can see Dabbawalas only in Bombay. The main problem is that people going to work don´t want to carry their lunch boxes. So their wives get the lunch boxes ready, they are collected by Dabbawalas, who are lunch box carriers. The lunch boxes are marked by colours so that they cannot be mixed up and reach their destination. It is a huge organisation, but it works without using one single letter.

The only problem we could not solve is the question why somebody would need a service to carry lunch boxes instead of taking them along with oneself…

So you see if you join us you don´t only meet the world, you also learn about customs all over the world. You don´t want to miss out on that, do you.


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September 2020