What is awesome in German?

In article
[snip]


I discovered this while in Sweden, and found it quite amusing. My pleasant but un-researched theory is that the Vikings called beer "oil" as a barroom joke, and over the centuries the joke became the standard.
So the Swedes had to invent a term for oil: olja.
Joe Gwinn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right. While at university, I read an article on the wolverine (Gulo gulo) in Swedish in a volume on wildlife biology published by the Swedish Hunter's Association using my knowledge of (southern) German and English. I found that I have to imagine how the words would sound when spoken. Meanwhile I studied some Swedish and can read Swedish newspapers at a somewhat slow pace and think Swedish is much closer to German than to English. Knowledge of English is useful because other than the southern and middle German dialects from which Hochdeutsch mostly evolved (``hoch'' originally refered to height above sea level), Swedisch and English did not take part in the second sound shift.
(And to me Swedish and Norwegian seem similar enough that I avoid reading the second as not to mess them, except for articles that are of special interest to me.)

I guess grammar is the other way round. German dialects, that still exist today (and may be spoken by young people who came e.g. from the Lebanon with their parents) reflect the languages of the Germanic tribes more than 1000 years ago and construct sentences much simpler than Hochdeutsch. Hochdeutsch has evolved a lot as the language of bureaucrats of whom were plenty as there were hundreds of local governments. Those guys tend to demonstrate their importance by using a special language, nouns instead of verbs, etc.
Written Swedish has stayed much closer to the daily language of common people. (Ah, and I remember an article by a Swedish ``sprkvrdare'' who writes that they have a hard time to translate the EU bureaucrats into comprehensible Swedish.)
What I find remarkable is the germanic (miss)habit of concatenating nouns. On the one side this seems to make it especially easy in German to formulate nonsense that looks meaningful to an uncritical reader/hearer. This is used a lot in advertising and politics. You encounter things like ``Wohnwelt''. ``Wohnen'' means living/dwelling and ``Welt'' means world. The ordinary German will ``feel something'' when he hears ``Wohnwelt'' and this is exploited by the advertiser to address him. Another rather new concatenation, used a lot as a political club, is ``Erinnerungskultur''. On the other side it is especially easy in German to introduce new terms in science by naming an abstraction through a concatenation of nouns that hint at the contents of the abstraction.
Finally, we have already seen a funny concatenation within the current thread: ``Katzenjammer''. Resolving it into the two words will not lead to the meaning which is hangover or, in a wider sense, when someone feels bad and complains though this is the consequence of something that he originally welcomed and where the consequence should have been obvious. I thought a little over that strange expression and it quicly occured to me that the usual translation of hangover is ``Kater''. Now that word means also (in the first place) a male cat! And there is also ``Muskelkater'' meaning delayed onset muscle soreness.
But phonetically ``Kater'' is close to greek ``katharsis'' and there is a German Wikipedia artikel saying the word ``Kater'' started to be used in the 19-th century by university students to describe their state after an evening of drinking.
Making ``Katzenjammer'' from ``Kater'' was then a straightforward ``Verballhornung'' (cacography). Lang lebe die deutsche Sprache!
--
hw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

German correct grammar is definately more complicted than the Scandinavian grammars. The Scandinavian grammars sort nouns in genuses, masculine, feminine, and neutral, and use grammar rules accordingly.
But unlike German, the Scandinavian languages has no mechanism to indicate dative, accusative and the likes. There are still traces of such forms, at least in certain Norwegian dialects, but the main languages have long since lost them.

Sure. Language equals expression. Different languages invite different expressions. I can write phrases in both Norwegian and English I would never dream of saying orally (I am talking about *phrasing*, not contents), simply because written and spoken languages are different.
If you have seen the movie "lock, stock and two smoking barrels" you know what I mean. The dialogue in that film might look good in text, but just sounds awkward, construed and stylized in the flesh.

I would have guessed "Katze" = "cat". In that case, "katzenjammer" means something like "squealing sounds made by cats".
But I have got burned on etymological speculations in the past.
Rune
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Translations can be much harder when the phrase is from literature. Referring again to the Moscow-Washington Hot Line article I've been reading, they used "Horses, people" from Lermontov's poem "Borodino" (a Napoleonic battle) to describe a chaotic political situation. Luckily it was only a training exercise, that one confounded the translators for a while.
The call sign of one of the Soviets in the KAL007 incident was "Trikotazh" To me it suggests the French word for knitting, or perhaps his home-made sweater. I asked an Air Force Russian translator about it and he was stumped.
Lermontov was originally Learmont, a Scottish refugee from some political mishmash.
jsw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rune Allnor wrote:
...

In New York at least, katzenjammer includes "noisy hubbub" among its meanings. "Yammer" means lament; wail; shriek. Perhaps http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/katzkids/about.htm led to the local (and colloquial) meaning.
Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That would rather be ``Katzenmusik'' in German. You might want to look up both terms at
http://wortschatz.informatik.uni-leipzig.de /
I have scanned and put on the Web a work by Wilhelm Busch, author of ``Max und Moritz'', called ``Katzenjammer am Neujahrsmorgen''. You can find it at
http://hemedarwa.de
--
hw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Heinrich Wolf wrote:

Thank you. I use DjVu to read the Century Dictionary at http://www.global-language.com/CENTURY /, so I had nothing to install.
Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rune Allnor wrote:

But then the reference gets moved to another language - English. I grew up with a comic strip titled "Katzenjammer kids" q.v. http://www.google.com/search?q=Katzenjammer+kids
Evidently it was created by a German immigrant. Was title a joke referring to a hangover or to a squealing cat?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 05:46:25 -0800, Rune Allnor wrote:

Yikes! I'm 60 freakin' years old, and I swear, as Goddess is my witness, that this is the first time in my life I realized that this refers to a gun! All my life, I've assumed that it had something to do with shipping, meaning "a full load of cargo."
"Stock" - well, compare "stockroom", and "barrel", well, that's a container with staves, used for shipping all manner of stuff. The "Lock" part, I simply assumed was something I didn't know about, maybe the padlock on a treasure chest or something.
Thanks, Rich
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Specifically it refers to a muzzle-loader's main subassemblies.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lock: Flintlock mechanism. Stock: wooden holder to fit your shoulder. Barrel: tube which fires the bullet
It's not really common use, now that we've progressed past flintlocks.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

A flintlock uses flint to make a spark. A matchlock uses a smoldering match (slow fuse) to set off the powder. A cap lock uses percussion caps. The lock consists of the moving parts of any muzzle loader. The skills needed to make one are those of any locksmith.
Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 09:27:00 -0800, Rich Grise wrote:

You're 60 freakin' years old and still have opportunities to stretch those old brain cells!
I knew what it meant whenever I thought hard about it, but for the most part it's just another cliché rattling around in the old brain pan.
(We need _new_ metaphors to replace these old clichés that you have to be a historian to understand their meaning. How many kids these days -- even ones that shoot -- are going to 'get' "lock, stock and barrel"?)
--
www.wescottdesign.com

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'm not (quite) 60, never shot firearms as a kid, but understood the meaning and roots of LS&B. ...maybe from US history. <horrors>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 09:27:00 -0800, Rich Grise wrote:

And talking about clichés, Wikipedia has this quote from Salvidore Dalí: "The first man to compare the flabby cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."
--
www.wescottdesign.com

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/25/2009 6:46 AM, Rune Allnor wrote:

That was intentional in that particular movie, and even as a native English speaker I had to have a lot of it explained to me by some British friends. Many of the jokes and the verbal nuances in that movie had to do with the plays on Cockney rhyming slang. It's a much deeper and interesting movie when you're aware of that, and I think much of it still went over my head.

--
Eric Jacobsen
Minister of Algorithms
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I am sure it was intentional. Still, I think its dialog was a very good example on the difference between written and spoken language. The non-cockney English came across as very formalistic and stylized etc. The cockneys I have worked with, talked nowhere near the dialog of that movie.

I've seen the movie a couple of times, but with Norwegian subtitles. I must admit that with the subtitles, my attention to the spoken dialog is not quite as high as it might have been.
Rune
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:14:35 +0000, Heinrich Wolf wrote:

So, what's the derivation of "The Katzenjammer Kids?" http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/katzkids/about.htm
;-) Rich
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 24 Nov 2009 17:40:11 -0800, Rune Allnor wrote:

Well, sometimes "well-oiled" means "quite drunk." ;-)
Cheers! Rich
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Wilkins schrieb:

There's a slight difference:
EN GE mother Mutter mothers Mtter (Muetter) hex nut Mutter hex nuts Muttern
HTH ;-)
Reinhard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.