Yes? No? Jein!

Who remembers “Little Britain”?
Do you remember Vicky Pollards ‘yeah but no but’?

Here’s a little reminder:

What is the relevance to learning German, you may wonder?

Well, the Germans don’t have to say ‘yes and no’, they can say ‘JEIN’!
Jein is made up from the two words ‘ja’ and ‘nein’ and is frequently used in spoken German if the person isn’t sure how to answer and would need to say ‘yes and no’.

So, from now on, if you can’t decide whether to say yes or no, say JEIN.

  • Warst du schon mal in Deutschland? Have you ever been to Germany?
    Well, yes you have, but you’ve only driven through and didn’t really see anything. Answer: Jein.
  • Schmeckt dir das Eis? Do you like that ice cream?
    Yes, one of the flavours tastes really nice, but the other one doesn’t. Answer: Jein!
  • Bungee-Jumping?
    You’d love to have a go but are really scared. Answer: Jein!
  • Siehst du gerne ‘Inspector Barnaby’? Do you like watching ‘Midsomer Murders’?
    You do, but sometime you just wish there were fewer murders. Surely that place can’t have many residents left. Answer: Jein!
  • Lernst du gerne Deutsch? Do you like learning German?
    Yes, you do, but you wish the grammar would be a little easier sometimes. Answer: Jein!
    Actually, no! That answer should always be Ja.
    Why? Because I said so ☺

I leave you with a song from the German band ‘Fettes Brot’,  where the chorus goes
“Soll ich’s wirklich machen oder lass ich’s lieber sein?  Jein.”

Did you like it? You have my permission to answer with Jein!


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