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. Access our archive here!

Word of the Week: Affentheater

Jul 14, 2011 | Germany.info
White-throated Capuchins, female with young, Honduras

Literally translated Affentheater means "ape theater" (or monkey theater) but a "complete farce" probably describes its meaning most accurately.

Word of the Week: 08/15

Jul 8, 2011 | Germany.info
Not enthused: Another "08/15" moment? (c) picture-alliance/Zoonar

The popular expression "08/15" (Nullachtfünfzehn) is used in German to describe something ordinary or common. Its origins, which date back to the early 20th century, are however less familiar to most Germans.

Word of the Week: Ohrwurm

Jul 1, 2011 | Germany.info
Pop Music Made in Germany

Have you ever had trouble getting a song or a specific lyric or melody out of your head? Then you may have experienced the not altogether unpleasant sensation of suffering from an "Ohrwurm". The best pop artists in the music industry know how to infect you with them.

Word of the Week: Fernweh

Jun 24, 2011 | Germany.info
Thai paradise

Germans - who take both their vacation and their work time very seriously - are world champions in traveling, logging some 72.6 million trips abroad in 2010. Their globetrotting "wanderlust" is best explained by the German expression "Fernweh".

Word of the Week: Tollpatsch

Jun 17, 2011 | Germany.info
"Horst", a fictional character created by Munich-based "Infoscreen", was a "Tollpatsch" (Klutz).

The German language mirrors the multicultural mix of German society. Hence the word "Tollpatsch" (schlub, klutz, clumsy person) has wended its way via an original Hungarian reference regarding shoes into common usage as a tongue-in-cheek German noun.

Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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With 100 million native speakers, German is the most commonly-spoken language in Europe. Around the world, 15.4 million people are learning German as a foreign language today. There are many good reasons for studying German, and a large number of resources, online and offline, to help you gain fluency in the language of Goethe, Gauß, and Grönemeyer.