Why do some people use jargon
15 German expressions that are not in the textbook
If you have learned the German language without visiting a German-speaking country, then on your first trip there you will find that native speakers use many dialect words and slang expressions that you have never heard of before.
“The spoken language is only just beginning with dialect.” (Christian Morgenstern)
However, being really fluent in the German language means being able to understand these terms and use them correctly.
This is also the most fun part of learning a language!
We have selected fifteen dialect expressions and slang terms from our favorites. Understanding and using these German expressions will help you to perfect your colloquial German skills. This also saves you embarrassment when talking to native speakers who use these terms.
Terms from regular German colloquial language
"N / A?": This exclamation may confuse you the first time you hear it. He can say something like "Well?" to be translated. It is mostly used as a greeting - albeit very informally. The most difficult task is to find the right answer, but here's our tip: Just say “Well?” In return. answer and you’re fine!
"Enjoy the meal!": This word is also used as a greeting, although it literally means "food". It is the short form of the ancient greeting "Blessed Meal". In contemporary German, the expression is used to greet each other during lunchtime, especially in the work environment during the lunch break. When someone says "Meal!" says, you can also say “Meal!” reply. Alternatively, you can also use "Moin!" reply.
"Take care!": That means “take care of yourself!”. Therefore, this phrase can be used when saying goodbye to a friend or someone you have a family relationship with, "Take care!" but can also say "Good luck!" mean when the wish is for someone who is facing something important - such as an interview.
"Hello": This expression means "hello" and originally comes from northern Germany, but is also used in other parts of the country. This casual greeting can be used at any time of the day. Here, too, it is best to choose “Moin” or “Moin Moin” as an answer. In southern Germany, “Servus”, which originated in Bavaria, is also used instead.
"Yes and No": As you may have guessed, “yes and no” means both “yes” and “no”, so both. For example, if someone asks you whether you have been to Germany before, you could answer: “Yes and no. I was in Berlin with my parents when I was six years old, but I don't really remember that ”. Basically, you could say that “yes and no” has about the same meaning as “yes, but”.
"Get lost": This term actually means, “Get out of here!” But it can be used in a variety of situations. For example, if you are harassing someone on the street, you can say, "Get out of here!" To encourage them to leave. However, you can also use this phrase as a way of saying goodbye when a (close) friend is about to leave. Similarly, after meeting a group of friends, as you leave, you can say, “I'm leaving!”.
"Stupid": This word means either “stupid” or “crazy” and can be used to describe either a person or a situation. If one of your friends is talking nonsense, you might ask them, "Are you stupid ?!" And when you find out that your favorite shop isn't open on Saturdays, you can be frustrated, "That's stupid!" call.
"Wanting to do something": This expression can be translated as "to be in the mood for something" or "to like something". This formulation is also quite colloquial and should not be used in a professional environment! The negative form of it, namely “not in the mood” or “not in the mood”, is also versatile.
"Having a hangover": A “hangover” is literally a “male cat,” but that is a phrase you would use to describe your condition after too many drinks the previous night. The poor cat, however, has nothing to do with the alcoholic "hangover"! The term comes from "having a catarrh" - "catarrh" as a term for a catarrhal inflammation or an infection of the respiratory tract. This was used as a euphemism for drinking too much. Because the original medical term was misunderstood, people gradually began to use the phrase "having a hangover".
"Coal": This term is a slang term for "money". For example, if a friend suggests that you go shopping for two, but you are pretty broke right now, you might say, “Sorry, I have no money”.
German expressions from the youth language
„What's up?!" This term is the direct translation of the English expression: "What’s up?" Finding the right answer is just as difficult as it is in English. You can either take it as a question and answer, “Not a lot. What's up with you? "Or" A lot! And with you?" Or you can just say "Hello!" answer. However, this expression is very casual and should only be used among young people.
"What's up": This phrase was voted “Youth Word of the Year” in 2014. The expression is synonymous with “You've got it”, meaning “things are going well for you” and you can use this phrase to respond to good news, such as the announcement that someone has just got a new job. Note that this phrase can also be used sarcastically. It's basically the equivalent of "beautiful for you".
"Geil" (super cool): The word is a synonym for “sharp”. However, it is often used figuratively to express that something is fantastic. Young people sometimes also say “Geilo”.
"Age": This expression corresponds to the term “buddy” and is used to get someone's attention - provided both protagonists are good friends! The original form is "Alter" but is sometimes pronounced "Alta" or even "Alda". This diction has its roots in hip-hop.
"Dense": “I'm dense” is a phrase you can use on a night after which you wake up with a “hangover”. It means to be drunk, but is also sometimes used when someone is intoxicated or completely overtired. The literal meaning of this adjective is “close together”, “in close proximity” or “impenetrable”.
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