Monthly Archives: May 2012

Denglish 60: Why I Cringe When a German Wins a Fight

The Wife and I got into some kind of argument back in February of 2011. I can’t even remember what it was about, but I know it was relatively minor, with only the slightest bit of temper flaring involved. (In all likelihood, we were quarreling over the answer to Bertrand Russell’s Barber paradox using first-order logic… or maybe it was because my wife doesn’t think it’s funny when I hang my dirty undies from the ceiling fan.)

Anyway, when it was over, after we’d both made our points and reached a civil, respectful compromise, I declared our argument a success, explaining, “We were both half right — about 50/50. I made some good points and so did you.”

THE WIFE: “Our fight was 70/30 in my favor plus two fingers up your butt without Vaseline.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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German Prepositions: Far Too Many Ways to be Right

Dear German people of the world,
I would like to speak with you about your prepositions.

Prepositions — those words which describe the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of an object — can be tricky in any language. In the German language, however, prepositions are both predictably and unnecessarily complex. What follows is a story I hope will illustrate my point:

Back in the summer of 2011, during a trip to Germany, The Wife and I drove in a tiny car from Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) to Berlin. I made my wife drive the entire time, and I did this for two reasons:

  1. The car had a manual transmission, and I hadn’t touched a stick shift since 1997. (That sounded naughty, didn’t it.)
  2. I am afraid of driving on the Autobahn because you Germans in your fancy BMWs like to haul ass at like 120 mph. (Or 193.12 km/h, if you want to be an Arschloch about it.)

We had a TomTom navigation system with us, and since my wife was driving, we set its verbal instructions to German. I knew a whole lot less of the language back then, but I did realize we seemed to be taking a lot of right turns after the TomTom said “rechts,” and a lot of left turns after it said “links.” Naturally, I concluded these two words meant “right” and “left,” respectively, and went about the rest of our trip feeling proud as hell of myself for being such a quick study of the German language.

Since returning to the States, I’ve operated under the assumption that I knew how to say “right” and “left” in my wife’s native language. However, thanks to Mango Languages, I just discovered “rechts” and “links” mean, very specifically, “on the right” and “on the left.”

Furthermore, I am now required to learn another kind of “right,” which is “gleich” — a more immediate “right” — as in “right next to it.” And if I want to say “right” in order to describe something that is correct? Oh, for that one I get to learn, “richtig” or “genau.” And what if I just want to affirm something, like, “Learning German sucks, right?” Well, that sort of “right” demands I memorize the words, “nicht wahr,” “korrekt” or “gell.” On top of all this, some of these words are slang, and others are only used in certain regions of the country.

German people of the world — would you like to know exactly how many words we have in English for the word “right?” …ONE. Just one. We have many uses for it and several decent alternatives, but only one we ask you to memorize.

Aww hell, we love you anyway, you Teutonic sons of bitches. Sprechen sie Deutsch, baby.

Click here to read about some other things those wacky Germans are into.

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Denglish 59: Are All German Women Freakishly Strong?

Like many young, amorous couples, my wife and I engage in the occasional tickle fight. You know — a bit of the ol’ “Slap and Tickle” — though, as a German-American couple, we most often refer to these encounters as “World War III.”

Our tickle fights involve a lot of wrist grabs, leg locks and general vying for physical dominance. And, as a man, I naturally expect to triumph over my wife with laughable ease; I should have complete and effortless control over these struggles — using a clearly restrained amount of force to succeed — but this is not the case. I actually have to try to win, and I have to try hard — but not too hard, you see; I would never forgive myself if I accidentally injured my little Frau.

And this is why, during a particularly intense World War III on our couch back in February of 2012, I warned my wife not to struggle too hard. She relaxed, releasing her thighs from the vice-like grip they held around my abdomen, and offered a theatrical sigh:

THE WIFE: “You are right. I should not use all my strength. I don’t want to hurt you.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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Denglish 58: My German Wife and the Freakishly Unsettling Way She Eats Bananas

There are a variety of methods for banana consumption. You can bite off a chunk, chew it and swallow it. You can cut the banana into slices and use a fork to place them in your mouth. Hell, you can even cram that mother down your throat and swallow it whole like Jenna Jameson in one of those stag films I keep hearing so much about. I consider all of these examples perfectly acceptable — especially that last one — but my wife does not eat bananas in any such ways as these; she likes to place the first few inches in her mouth and then shave the underside with her lower teeth as she withdraws the fruit. This shaving action produces pulp — something like a banana mousse — which piles up at the base of her mouth. She then swallows this frothy white load and resumes the process anew. (Again, a lot like Jenna Jameson.)

Now, as a straight male watching a beautiful young woman consume a banana, I cannot help but imagine trading places with said piece of fruit; it’s a guy thing, and I am not ashamed to admit it. However, my wife’s fruit scouring habit not only destroys this fantasy, but leaves me wondering just how much pain and lasting tissue damage it would inflict upon my little German helmet.

But you know what else is a guy thing? One of which we should never, ever, feel ashamed? Ripping ass in front of our wives. Hey, we’re married and everyone farts — it’s okay to fire off a round or two and make no effort whatsoever to conceal it. Why, just the other day, in fact, I broke wind and sat down next to my wife as she was consuming a banana in the disturbingly toothy manner described above. “Awww…” I groaned, “You’re doing it again,” — to which she offered an abundantly dismissive shrug:

THE WIFE: “You farted in front of me. I can scrape my banana.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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