Funny things Austrians say in English

German is not an easy language, but then neither is English. And kudos for everyone who didn’t grow up in an English-speaking country, because that means they probably handle multiple languages on a daily basis.

Read on for some of my favourite, commonly used mis-translations that Austrians often say in English.

  1. Sportive

Instead of saying someone is ‘sporty’ they will use ‘sportive’. Personally, I think it’s super cute and I have adopted it.

  1. Ski driving

    Skiing Austria
    A pretty good skiier… for an Aussie

In German, skiing is skifahren… and fahren translates to ‘driving’ or ‘moving along’. So when I went skiing the first time, I got told I: “drove very well… for an Australian.”

  1. Too less

This is a tricky part of the English language. When to use ‘less’, when to use ‘few’ and when you actually have to say ‘not enough’. As a result, Austrians are always saying they have too less socks, too less motivation, too less work etc.

  1. Pissy

Oh it makes me laugh. When they say they are busy… it sounds like ‘pissy’. At work everyone is pissy… it’s hilarious

  1. Get a baby

Because Austrians often say, ein Baby bekommen, when referring to someone having a baby, and bekommen translates loosely to ‘get’, in English, they often say things like: “My sister got a baby on the weekend.” It makes it sound more like the baby was delivered to the house than someone actually gave birth to it.

Look at all those fruits!
  1. Seafruits

That’s seafood, actually. The German word for seafood is Meeresfrüchte. So I guess it is not surprising that they translate it literally and say Sea (Meer) Fruit (Frucht).

  1. Unresty

They are not restless, they are ‘unresty’. I have even started using this now because I hear it so often.

  1. Analysis

Even native English speakers get this one wrong. The German translation is similar, but different, which makes it tricky. They say (spelt phonetically) ana-loo-say. So it’s no wonder they keep getting it wrong. And don’t even think about the plural!

  1. Easy cheesy

    Mac and cheese
    This is literally easy cheesy!

WTF? Where did this come from? When something is going smoothly and easily, they always saying it is “Easy Cheesy”. And then proceed to ask me if this is a common term in Australia. No, I think not. Not unless you’re making mac and cheese!

  1. Making a photo

In German, you don’t ‘take’ a photo (Foto nehmen) you ‘make’ a photo: Ich mache ein Foto. Therefore, Austrian are often asking you to make a photo, instead of taking one.

  1. Creaming yourself

Get your mind out of the gutter! They merely mean they are putting sunscreen on… but it cracks me up when I hear it.


3 thoughts on “Funny things Austrians say in English

  1. flrpwll September 17, 2016 / 6:55 am

    I’ve noticed “I am very boring”, when they’re wanting to say they are bored.

    • debbiekaye1980 September 17, 2016 / 7:06 am

      Another good one! I can’t remember hearing that one. Thanks for the addition! 🙂

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