Zoë Stagg

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Some days it takes a whole page of Google Translate to figure out if you bought detergent or fabric softener.
It doesn’t matter that English is German’s cousin, it’s an impossible familial relationship to parse. Excuse me, parße. At least in the US, you’re exposed to Spanish, which is only a tiny leap to Italian. You can kind of puzzle out your near cognates with a little imagination. Not so, German.
All nouns start with a majuscule, that’s helpful to know. But then words can be compounded nearly indefinitely, collecting 80 or 90 letters. It’s enough to give you:

Schilderwald


Said when a place or street is crowded with so many unnecessary road signs that you don’t know how to behave, or simply become lost.

There’s a word for that, and not “detergent?” It would be enough to give up, except there’s also gems like: ‘

Verschlimmbesserung 


A supposed improvement that makes things worse.

Okay, then. Take me to your ümlauts.

Some days it takes a whole page of Google Translate to figure out if you bought detergent or fabric softener.

It doesn’t matter that English is German’s cousin, it’s an impossible familial relationship to parse. Excuse me, parße. At least in the US, you’re exposed to Spanish, which is only a tiny leap to Italian. You can kind of puzzle out your near cognates with a little imagination. Not so, German.

All nouns start with a majuscule, that’s helpful to know. But then words can be compounded nearly indefinitely, collecting 80 or 90 letters. It’s enough to give you:

Said when a place or street is crowded with so many unnecessary road signs that you don’t know how to behave, or simply become lost.

There’s a word for that, and not “detergent?” It would be enough to give up, except there’s also gems like: ‘

A supposed improvement that makes things worse.

Okay, then. Take me to your ümlauts.

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