Word of the Week

Every Friday, Germany.info and The Week in Germany highlight a different "Word of the Week" in the German language that may serve to surprise, delight or just plain perplex native English speakers.

Word of the Week: Zwangsumtausch

Sep 19, 2014 | Germany.info
Deutsche Mark

No one likes to be forced to do anything, especially when it comes to spending money. But in 1964, the East German government began a policy known colloquially as the Zwangsumtausch ("forceful exchange of money").

Word of the Week: Geisterbahnhof

Sep 12, 2014 | Germany.info
dpa

The word Geisterbahnhof means "ghost train station" - and as its translation implies, it signifies an empty or out-of-service station that gives off a ghostly vibe. This word originated during the Cold War, when so-called "ghost stations" arose in Berlin's public transportation system.

Word of the Week: Stacheldrahtsonntag

Sep 5, 2014 | Germany.info
Stacheldraht

The events of August 13, 1961 brought a new word into the German language: Stacheldrahtsonntag, which means "Barbed Wire Sunday".

Word of the Week: Eselsbrücke

Aug 29, 2014 | Germany.info
Eselsbrücke

Do you have a hard time remembering information, whether you're studying for a biology test or trying to remember an address? In German, a trick that helps you retain information is called an Eselsbrücke - which literally translates to "donkey bridge."

Word of the Week: Blaumachen

Aug 22, 2014 | Germany.info
blaumachen

Do you ever wake up and feel a little blue? Maybe you're tempted to skip work or school. Well, Germans have a unique word for doing so: blaumachen ("to make blue"). If you've ever called in sick when...

Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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