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Monday, April 8, 2013

Mistranslation Monday: Geil!

Marco drinking wine by the river Weser in Bremen
I was on a day trip to Bremen in the Fall of 2011 that I heard the word "geil" used for the first time by a native German.  That German was none other than (my now boyfriend, but he wasn't at the time) Marco. We had just bought a bottle of wine and some Kinder Überraschungseier to enjoy next to the river Weser. 

We were eating the Kinder Surprises as we walked to find a place to sit next to the river when a guy we walked by said, "Kinder Überraschungen!" Marco immediatley replied, "Ja, Kinder Überraschungen sind geil!"

I had only ever known the word from my German-English dictionary that I had in high school, when me and my classmates thought it was funny to use the word in class exercises.

"Wie heißen Sie?" "Ich heiße Courtney." "Wie geht es Ihnen?" "Ich bin heiss!" "Ja, ich bin geil auch!"

I had no clue that this word meant anything other than "horny." So when my friend was suddenly calling a children's candy horny, I was incredibly confused. In today's German slang, however, geil has come to simply mean "cool" or "great," which is a great thing to know when listening to Germans speak everyday, otherwise you'd probably go around thinking everyone and everything is horny all the time.

So now I will leave you with a great new song, titled Supergeil by Der Tourist feat. Friedrich Liechtenstein-- Enjoy!


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