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Monday, April 27, 2015

Yo, Digga! | Mistranslation Monday

Today's mistranslation comes from a few years back, but I have been weary of writing it due to its not-so-appropriate content. But since I am still reminded of this one years later, I feel like I just have to share.

There are some particular slang words that people up here in Northern Germany use -- words that are not taught in the classroom. One of these I encountered at a bar one night, when I heard a group of friends repeatedly calling each other Digga.

Digga


I think you can all guess what word came to my mind when I heard them saying this. Since this word obviously began with a "D," however, my logical assumption was that it was a combination of two words:

Deutsch (German) + n*gga = Digga

When talking about it with my fellow America friends, we all agreed on the fact that this is the only logical explanation of what Digga could mean. So, we all continued to be appalled whenever we heard it used.

Then, I finally mentioned my interpretation of the word Digga to a German friend.

After they finally stopped crying with laughter, they explained to me that although Digga does have a similar meaning to what I was already thinking, the origin is much different.

Simply put, Digga is the Northern German way to say bro. The word is derived from the German word Dicker, which, in this context, means close friend.

Needless to say, I am very happy to know that the Germans are not running around the streets calling each other Deutsch N... well, you know.

16 comments:

  1. Hilarious! It's so funny what we hear sometimes and see in our minds compared to what the Germans are actually saying, especially in dialect. I always enjoy your Mistranslation Mondays. :-)

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  2. Haha that is great, I would of been thinking the same thing too!

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  3. I haven't come across this term (yet)!

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  4. You need to listen to more German rap :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBRArNTRh0A

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  5. Glad that other people thought the same thing. I kind of felt bad that that is where my mind went to (although the Germans will say the real N word like it's no big deal).

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  6. I couldn't imagine having to actually live in a place where the people speak dialect! Vacations to Schwabenland and listening to Marco talk to his family on the phone are enough for me to get my dialect fill.

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  7. Haha, that gave me a good chuckle this morning.... it's definitely a term that is used locally (in the north more than anywhere else).

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  8. Bahahaha! Ok, I totally would've thought the same thing you did. Glad you were able to get the real translation. :)

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  9. Well the German rap video is pretty funny too! I had no idea that the Germans knew how to let loose like that! ;-)

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  10. I am glad to hear other people say that they would have thought the same thing!

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  11. Yeah, Marco (who is from the South) is much more likely to use "Alter." :)

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  12. OH MY GOSH, This is EXACTLY what I first thought, too!!! You're not alone!

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  13. In fact, I feel really encouraged that I wasn't the only one to see it this way! Haha!

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  14. "Digga" definitely lends itself to misinterpretation by English speakers, but can you imagine the reaction if Germans pronounced "dicker" correctly? After five years in Hamburg I'm still not sure whether I prefer to be called "dicker" (literally "fat boy") or "alter" ("old man") in the company of friends. On the other hand, I don't understand how people feel hurt after being called "Schwein" (one of the worst things a German can call you) when all it does for me is bring this cute little guy to mind...

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  15. But if you think of it as "Dicker Freund," then it is actually quite sweet, as dick would mean "close" rather than "fat." "Alter" is also funny. I often see kids/teens saying "alter," then parents or adults always reply "I am not old." Parents totally hate that one.


    Hahah, but Piglet would be like "Schweinchen," and I am not sure that Germans would consider that to be an insult anymore. Or maybe it would be even worse than being called a Schwein... Hmmmm.

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