The Germanic Language

There’s a famous joke that says that at the time of the American independence, there was much debate over which of the two – German or English – should be the official language. And that even though it was English that finally won, German did manage to make itself quite well established regardless.

I don’t doubt that for a moment. Here’s a list of normal English words I’ve come across that seem to have been directed infused from German:

kindergarten:
I guess everyone knows that the children’s playschool is actually a German word. ‘Kinder’ is German for children (singular: Kind) and ‘Garten’ is, well, a garden.

Coleslaw:
Thinly sliced cabbage in cold cream is not an American invention either. I’m thinking this was derived from ‘Kohl’ (pronounced almost exactly like ‘cole’) which is German for Cabbage.

Rucksack:
No, those backpacks aren’t American either. This comes from the German ‘Rückpack’ (with a “ü”) where ‘Rück’ means back.

Apothecary table:
This medieval table having the many compartments for storing medicinal items was made popular in Friends, but I’m not too sure how many people noticed the language it came from.
’Apotheke’ is German for a pharmacy.

And I’m sure there’s lots more where that came from, and I just wanna let you know, I’m still not done with German yet.
:)

10 comments:

Shimmer said...

Hmm.. english is a mixture of various languages, its rarely on its own

Ela said...

so u r keeping ur promise... atleast in learning German... will the next post be about about the common root of some words in Arabic and German?!

-=A.R.N.=- said...

@Shimmer
I guess English has more foreign-derived words than native words...hardly anything original in English

@Ela
Yup :)
My Arabic is still a bit 'on hold'.
But I guess such a post IS on the cards

A New Beginning said...

Secrets being revealed..this is gona be interestn:)

Dhanya said...

Interesting :)

-=A.R.N.=- said...

@A new beginning
Say what? What secrets?
I don't get it..
:(

@Dhanya
Yeah, and then you realize, English never really had any words of its own.
:)

Darshan Chande said...

One of the reasons English is the most prominent language is that it has always been open to change. As we all know English is a mixture of so many languages. Majorly Latin and Greek, but today there are quite a many Sanskrit and Hindi word in it too... and that too not only in Indian English, but they are accepted in the Oxford dictionary!

This is the only language which has not resisted changing. And that only shows that what accepts change, alone survives!

-=A.R.N.=- said...

@Darshan
To be fair, I guess german 'adopted' quite a few words too...like "passwort" (from password) and "Activiert" (from activate) and so on.
Mostly just computer jargon which didn't have German equivalents.

issam said...

Good to learn of the German connections :)
You have still not put the rating widget huh?

-=A.R.N.=- said...

@Issam
Hmm, I put it in a long time ago...isn't it visible?
I wonder if anyone else can't see it either - not getting as many ratings as I'd have expected.