Thursday, April 21, 2005

My favorite German word

One of the important things about living in a foreign country is learning the vocabulary that you don't learn in school. (And I don't mean swearing.) I mean the slang words, the ones that are prevalent in everyday speech and children say them and you're still kind of "okay, but what does that mean?"

My favorite German word is one of these. Doch. I'm sure I learned this word in high school, but without a proper context in which to use it, it's been forgotten. Now, in Germany, everyone says it, and although I learned pretty quickly what it means, it took me a long time actually be able to use it. And now it's one of my favorite words ever!

Uh, that's all well and good for YOU, Heather, but we don't live in Germany and we don't speak German... what does it mean?

Oh! Sorry, Dear Readers, I forgot that I wasn't talking to myself. "Doch" is a word that negates a negative sentence. (Huh?) For example, let's pretend that I'm looking through my bag for spare change to get a Coke from the vending machine (a purely hypothetical situation). I check my wallet and think, "man, I really don't have the money to get one today. All I have is seventy cents!" (negative statement) Then, I reach into the pocket of my bag and find another fifty cents. "Doch! I really DO have enough money! Caffeine rush, here I come!" See, the "doch" negated the negative!

(Okay, so that isn't the best example with which to illustrate my Favorite German Word Ever, but give me some credit, I was working off the top of my head! I challenge you, Reader, to come up with some negative-statement-negating examples!)

In other words, it's the equivalent of "yuh-huh!" The Germans actually have a real word - a grown up word! - for that! That's why I love this country. As Dr. Bennett always said, "Deutsch ist logisch!" And I must agree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hehe...I must also admit that I'm quite attached to the word doch, esp. after this past weekend. I might also add that some of my favorite words are german fill words plus stimmt :)

As a side note, completly unrelated, I finally gave acess to my luxembourg pictures, hope to get up the dinosaur pictures later on today! Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)