Tedesco Lessons

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Fun with Idioms

Although languages are always changing due to influences of society, forms of government, and historical events, some elements of language, such as idiomatic phrases, have been preserved in languages for centuries. They come in handy in every context, for example, in the lyrics of Berlin hip hop/reggae band Culcha Candela.

Alles im Eimer...
Everything's down the drain [in the bucket]...
Caption 2, Culcha Candela: Schöne Neue Welt

Let's look at something else that can be im Eimer (ruined; done for; broken).

Nachdem er das Auto gegen die Wand gefahren hatte, war es im Eimer.
After he had driven the car against the wall, it was broken.

You are probably familiar with the sensation of having a dry mouth. Well, Thomas Raudnitzky was experiencing just that while being awarded the Metropolitan Prize for hosting the trendy magazine RheinMain Szene.

... mir blieb auch irgendwie die Spucke weg.
... somehow the spit stayed away from me [idiom: at a loss for words].
Caption 4, Preisverleihung: Bestes Magazin

Now take a look at Lucas' "dry mouth" experience while test-riding a crazy new roller coaster in our video about Lucas' not so run-of-the-mill hobbies.

Da bleibt einem wirklich kurz die Spucke im Hals stecken.
For a moment, the spit really gets stuck in your throat [it's really jaw-dropping].
Caption 24, Lucas' Hobbys: Achterbahn und Bungee

Figuratively, this expression means to be utterly surprised, stunned or at a loss for words. In biblical times already, it was observed that someone salivates less when afraid. This was interpreted as a sign of God that the accused was guilty, who, out of fear, was unable to say anything that could have saved him.

Use these sites to find more examples of idiomatic phrases: phrasen.com, German proverbs

Learning Tip
A great way to improve your listening skills is watching the clips first once without captions. This will help you to focus more on the audio. Then watch them again, this time with captions. Repeat these two steps a couple of times. Do you notice an improvement? Keep practicing!

Expressions

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