A breathy German voice?

I like the German language. People say it’s guttural, but for me, nothing sounds as sexy as the voice of a breathy German woman singing (or talking to me on my German rental car’s GPS system…leeeenx, rrrrechts, garrrrrada-aussss). And speaking of Nena…I just saw a billboard in the Munich airport with Ms. “99 Luftballons” all excited to have a photo of English heartthrob Robbie Williams on her cell phone.

Our word “cranky” must come from the German word for “sick,” krank. Someone just told me that in many countries with sweeter-sounding languages, German is used in dog obedience schools. Try it on your dog: sitz means “sit,” fuss is “heel,” platz is “lie down,” and schnell is “fast.”

Comments

17 Replies to “A breathy German voice?”

  1. Did you get to go to Lienz when you were in Austria? I liked that and Z’ell Am See (actually a large dam near there). I finally found a good quality cheese grater in Lienz of all places. I was working in Vienna for about 6 months so got familiar with many aspects of Austrian life, plus weekend trips to Eastern Europe, Italy, Germany… It was great. We just got back from a 3 week Great Britian/London trip. Your books were packed with great trips and my wife was able to actually fit everything in one carry on! OK, my carry on was also stuffed with her things. Did you know you can get your oyster card “updated”? Use your card in zones 1-2 for the week and then on the last day in London, go to the ticket office at any tube station (timed for short lines) and say you’d like to go to Heathrow today (for example). They take your oyster card, do some magic, and charge you 1 pound. Pretty cheap.

  2. Having studied Latin, I found it easy to “try to” communicate in Italian, French, and Spanish, but totally lost when it came to German language.

    Speaking of Robbie Williams who is very successful in Europe is virtually unknown here, yet I understand he live in Los Angeles CA, my European friends swoon over him, go to every concert.

    Most of my German derives from Christmas Hymns, Food+Candy and of course BEER, knockwurst, pretzels, wiener schnitzel, apple strudel and Christmas Ornaments and OKTOBERFEST certainly ! While in Munich we had the best sweet mustard with a type of balony sliced on dark bread, yum.

    The police dog training in our town is all German trained, all commands are in German, you are right !

  3. Could the German language connection with dog training have anything to do with many of the top police dogs being Alsatians or German Shepards? Many of these top dogs are still imported from Germany and the Alsace; perhaps they learn the rudiments of German as pups and it is thought that it would be simpler to keep training them in the same language.

    Just a thought. . .

  4. I had heard that police dogs are trained in foreign languages so that they would only respond to their specially trained handlers. I have read about one that was trained to obey only Polish commands.

    Really enjoying the blog.

  5. My husband and I found German to be a very authoritative language. On the plane the flight attendant said something in a very sharp, gutteral fashion. My husband and I shot up in our seats, checked our seat belts, made sure our trays were in their upright fashion (not really sure what we had done wrong). Turns out, she just wanted another bottle of soda passed to her from another attendant. My husband leans over and says “German is a very angry language”. I don’t know about sexy, but we sure respect it.

  6. I thought you were headed to Spain! ;-) I studied German for a year in college; a language that we must work at to learn. I did remember enough to ask for separate checks in Germany a few years later.

  7. Isn’t Germany awesome! There language is so great! I like to learning it. it is very interesting. I will someday get to Germany. Many english words are like german….and the sounds are the same. except some lettters…..’w’ s always ‘v’ sound. i cannot stand it when people say german words with a ‘w’ sound instead of ‘v’. Like Weiner Schnitzel. ‘veener shnitsel’

    well the German language and the Country and the people are awesome!!

  8. Ever think about why the Reformation in Germany was so successful? –the printing press, the personality of Martin Luther and power of the German language!

  9. I absolutely agree with Rick…the German language is the sexiest in Europe. Forget Italian–too fancy and sing songy. German is hot!

  10. Ha! I loved the one on the airplane from the other Amy! I went on a Rick Steves tour last summer with Daniella, one of Rick’s amazing tour guides,and here I am in my 50’s a year later living in my own little flat in Leipzig, Germany! Living in a gorgeous town that is one-third green forests and parks, owning a bicycle, and riding public transportation to my new teaching job as been like starting all over! The language is complex, I agree. I have a background in Spanish and French and no experience in German! Everyday I learn new words….just buying detergent instead of fabric softener takes a half hour! Hanging my clothes out to dry and working aound the rain is something that reminds me of simpler days gone by. The language is wonderful. The people I have met are usually trying to help me and that is their language. It’s beginning to sound like home to me!

  11. You know a language is like people, it is different but with a little practice you can get it. I spent six years overseas all in Germany with my boys. The best six years I ever had. The German people are friendly and serious. Love the time there. Forget the language and its differences learn to love the people and culture. Any experienced travelor will tell you to just learn the basics. I really feel it’s the effort that will set you apart. What a TRIP you will have.

  12. If I go on a multi-country trip which includes Germany, it will be the high-light of that trip. If I go only to Germany, with little side-trips to, say, Denmark or France, I am anxious to get back to Germany. I love Germany – it’s my favorite country! I study the language year round and like to think I’m pretty good with it, but then I get there, and I’m tongue-tied!! I traveled with my dog, a miniature dachshund, all over Germany this year and we had such a marvelous trip.The germans treat their animals very well, and German dog breeds are known to be the most highly intelligent because they breed them for intelligence so that the dogs will work well and co-operate with people as a team. My dog and I were welcomed everywhere and treated royally. Did I mention…I love Germany!!

  13. Hey, this is Amy – the one that got yelled at on the plane (well not really, but it makes for a fun story). Karen, I have a question for you. You mentioned traveling with your dog…..my husband has the potential to have his job move him to Amsterdam. We are excited about the thought of moving to Europe for a couple years, but the thing that holds us back is that we have two dogs we adore. If we move – they move. Can you tell me anything about how you travel with your dog? Customs, traveling on a plane with your dog…so on and so on. Anything you can tell me would be appreciated! By the way – they are both 6 lb Yorkies. Thanks!

  14. My boyfriend lives in Munich and I’m planning on relocating there to be together. I’m a dog trainer and behaviorist. Does anyone have input about the need for trainers there? (reward-based, not police type)

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