I’ve moved to Basel with only a few, yet what I consider essential words of German. For instance “Achtung Baby“ is an obvious one which could be used in all manner of exchanges. Similarily shouting “Schnell Schnell” at the top of my voice (from my World War II film vocabulary) would also elicit a response. A wealth of knowledge was gleaned from the many episodes of “Allo, Allo” I watched as a kid. Who could ever forget the “Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies”, the sultry Yvette Carte-Blanche or the brilliance of Herr Flick. While not altogether educational it was immensely funny.
In everyday life I have learnt that “verboten” means fobidden and I now understand that “geschlossen” means closed. I found that out the hard way. I have translated the large sign outside the local hospital that simply reads “notfall” as meaning emergency. It could equally mean “no parking!”.
When it comes to football I’m also very well adapted. I made sure to catch as many of the games in this years World Cup simply from an educational point of view. I now know that Bastian Schweinsteiger’s surname translates into “Pig Climber”. I’m hoping I’ll never have to use this phrase in everyday conversation. But it has helped, for instance I had “schweineschnitzel“ for lunch the other day and drawing on my deep knowledge of all things “Schwein” in German I deduced that this referred to breaded pig. Which it turned out to be!
“Gasse” means lane I think and “strasse” is obviously street. “Wilkommen” is welcome and the rest you can guess. So I think after ten days in Basel I’m up to speed on the German language! Until I came upon this sign in my hostel. I’m flummoxed and would like some help.
So apart from hygenic birds I’m starting to grasp the old German and finally communicate with some of the locals!