Let's have some fun with German idioms & compound nouns

Last week we had our first ever online charity event.  Seven people got together for an hour and brought literal translations of German idioms and working out what they meant. Not only did we have great fun, we also raised £165 for this year’s charity. If you also like to donate, here’s the link:  School Fees for Perfect & Princess

If you’d like to have a go at working out those literal translations, here are 20 of them, those we discussed plus a few extra ones.

  1. Equal goes it loose.
  2. You’re taking me on the arm.
  3. This is where the music is playing.
  4. I understand only train station.
  5. Life is no pony farm.
  6. A stone fell from my heart.
  7. To ask for an extra sausage.
  8. What’s this here for a juice shop?
  9. To have tomatoes in your eyes.
  10. I make me out of the dust!
  11. Sponge over.
  12. Rubbish with gravy.
  13. You’ve probably done something to the coffee.
  14. As clear as dumpling broth.
  15. I see black for you.
  16. You go to me on the biscuit.
  17. That’s a cat jump.
  18. That is children easy.
  19. To bite into grass.
  20. First weigh, then venture.

We also looked at some literal translations of compound nouns. Here are 10 (from the evening plus a few spare)

  1. Dragon fodder.
  2. Loo glasses.
  3. Early piece.
  4. Lucky mushroom.
  5. Sorrow bacon.
  6. Glow pear.
  7. Little sea pig.
  8. Naked snail.
  9. Waiting snake.
  10. Lazy animal.

If you like, you can download and print the PDF with those translations to give you some time to work them out. 20 literal translations of German idioms

And here is the PDF with the answers: 20 German idioms and 10 compound nouns ANSWERS

Or you can scroll down to see them. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

.

.

.

.

.

The 20 German idioms were:
1. Equal goes it loose. Gleich geht’s los. We’re about to start.
2. You’re taking me on the arm. Du nimmst mich auf den Arm. You’re pulling my leg.
3. This is where the music is playing. Hier spielt die Musik. This is where the action is.
4. I understand only train station. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. It’s all double Dutch to me.
5. Life is no pony farm. Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof. Life isn‘t easy.
6. A stone fell from my heart. Ein Stein ist mir vom Herzen gefallen. That’s a load of my mind.
7. To ask for an extra sausage. Eine Extrawurst verlangen. Ask for special treatment.
8. What’s this here for a juice shop? Was ist das hier für ein Saftladen? What kind of a dump is this?
9. To have tomatoes in your eyes. Tomaten auf den Augen haben. Not to see obvious things.
10. I make me out of the dust! Ich mach’ mich aus dem Staub! I’m off!
11. Sponge over. Schwamm drüber. Forget it.
12. Rubbish with gravy. Quatsch mit Soße. Rubbish!
13. You’ve probably done something to the coffee. Da haben Sie wohl etwas in den Kaffee getan. You’ve got to be kidding.
14. As clear as dumpling broth. So klar wie Kloßbrühe. It’s crystal clear.
15. I see black for you. Ich sehe schwarz für dich. I’m pessimistic for you.
16. You go to me on the biscuit. Du gehst mir auf den Keks. You’re getting on my nerves.
17. That’s a cat jump. Das ist ein Katzensprung. It’s a stone throw away.
18. That is children easy. Das ist kinderleicht. That’s a piece of cake.
19. First weigh, then venture. Erst wägen, dann wagen. Look before you leap.
20. To bite into grass. Ins Gras beißen. To kick the bucket.

The 10 German compound nouns were:
1. Dragon fodder. Das Drachenfutter. An apology gift given to a spouse
2. Loo glasses. Die Klobrille. Toilet seat
3. Early piece. Das Frühstück. Breakfast
4. Lucky mushroom. Der Glückspilz. Lucky devil
5. Sorrow bacon. Der Kummerspeck. Excess weight gain from comfort eating
6. Glow pear. Die Glühbirne. Light bulb
7. little sea pig. Das Meerschweinchen. Guinea pig.
8. Naked snail. Die Nacktschnecke. Slug.
9. Waiting snake. Die Warteschlange. Queue
10. Lazy animal. Das Faultier. Sloth

 

Which one is your favourite?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this:

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close