The German language is known for its long words. Without even going into the ridiculously long words (which to be honest nobody uses anymore anyway) try Entschuldigung instead of simply saying ‘sorry’ or Kniebeuge for ‘squat’. Though in all honesty, part of the problem is that the German words just don’t fit well in our English-speaking mouths – they come out all clumsy and end up sounding a lot longer than they do when spoken by a native speaker.
But there are exceptions. So I’ve made a list of 10 words that are actually shorter in German:
- Eleven = Elf
No, you don’t have to get your tongue all twisted to say ‘eleven’ – just use the power of fairies.
- Lehre = Apprenticeship
Well, that’s easier, isn’t it?
- Ei = Egg
Now ‘egg’ is a pretty short word anyway… but the Germans made it shorter!
- Gelb = Yellow
No need to trip over two l’s in German!
- Tier = Animal
It’s not that much shorter but in syllables it’s 1 vs 3. And if you want to talk about a veterinarian, it’s simply ‘Tierarzt’ = animal doctor
- Specht = Woodpecker
I know he is a guy that pecks wood, and that makes sense. It’s surprising the Germans didn’t do the same… but they didn’t.
- Pass = Passport
Why not shorten it if you can!
- Echt = Really
Again, it’s just the double l’s… 1 syllable comes out so much easier
- Stau = Traffic Jam
2 words in English – only 1 in German!
- Bild = Picture
And finally… one syllable… easy cheesy!