Deutsch am Donnerstag – Germany’s youth words of the year 2014


The Germans like to collect words of the year. There is the most used word of the year “Wort des Jahres”, the worst word “Unwort des Jahres”  and since 2008 there is also the youth word of the year, “Jugendwort des Jahres”. Youngsters can submit  their favourite word of the year and from mid year until the end of October they can vote for their favourite word or phrase from a choice of 30. They get narrowed down until the top 5 are chosen.

So, what are the top 5 words this year? They were announced on the 24th November and are:

  1. Läuft bei dir! This means something like ‘I’m happy for you that things are well’. As a question it could mean ‘Everything ok?’ hoping for a positive answer. It can also be used ironically.
  2. Gönn dir! Have fun! Treat yourself! Spoil yourself! But again, it can also be used ironically.
  3. Hayvan This is a Turkish word and means animal. It can be used positively or negatively for animal characteristics. For example ‘true friend’ or ‘muscleman’ or ‘driven by instinct’ or ‘without intellectual power’
  4. Selfie! This is one German word I won’t have to explain to you ☺
  5. Senfautomat literally a mustard machine, meaning a ‘know-it-all’ or ‘smart-arse’ or just somebody who has to give his (or her) comment on everything.

You won’t find any of these words in GCSE or A-level textbooks, but if you are a teenager and want to be cool ………go on, be a Senfautomat  😉

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