Tedesco Lessons

Topics

Yet More German Pseudo-Anglicisms

There are quite a few English words that have been adopted by the German language but given different meanings or used in different contexts. These are called pseudo-anglicisms, with German speakers sometimes re-importing what they mistakenly think are English words into their non-native English, often with unintentionally humorous or incomprehensible results. This is the third installment in this series.

 

Geh und check sein Handy
Go and check his mobile phone!
Caption 50, Die Pfefferkörner: Eigentor

 

If something is "handy" in English then it is convenient, but German has taken the convenience of the cellular telephone and turned it into the pseudo-anglicism das Handy.

 

Public Viewing oder echte Stadion-Atmosphäre, der Übergang ist fließend.
Outdoor screening or genuine stadium atmosphere, the transition is seamless.
Caption 2, Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft: Deutschland - Portugal 4:0 

 

The English words "public" and "viewing" placed together as "public viewing" make sense as something that is accessible to be viewed by the public, but the German pseudo-anglicism das Public Viewing refers very specifically to a live outdoor screening of a sporting event.

 

Gibt's irgendwelche No-Gos auf dem roten Teppich für Sie?
Are there any taboos on the red carpet for you?
Caption 42, Bambi-Verleihung: Stars auf dem roten Teppich

 

A "no-go" in English is an event that has been cancelled, or in the case of a "no-go area" someplace that is off limits, but in German das No-Go somehow came to mean a taboo.

 

Further Learning
Review earlier Yabla newsletters German Pseudo-Anglicisms and More German Pseudo-Anglicisms and look for more examples on Yabla German to see how these words are used in a real-world context.

You May Also Like