Finding your footing

austria aperol

I recently had a good friend come to stay for a week and half in our tiny little town. A word for the wise – that is too long for most in our tiny little town. Being autumn and getting colder, although the weather wasn’t terrible, there is still a limit to what we could do. On days where the sun takes until lunchtime to pierce the fog, it still feels dismal and cold and motivation is low.

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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.

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How lucky am I? I can practice German with my husband – well there’s a double-edged sword!

Living in Austria with an Austrian husband leads to people often asking me: “So do you speak German at home?” And if I said no, they say: “You should, it’s the best way to learn.”

And they would be right. We should. And speaking the language to a native is the best way to learn. But it is also a double-edged sword, especially when it involves a loved-one.

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Learning German – a brief but glorious awakening

Listening to Austrian dialectsA few weeks ago my company held a firm-wide meeting discussing our future growth direction. The content is not important, what is important is that the meeting was (obviously) completely in German.

And then the most surprising thing – I actually understood a lot of it!

Ok, the first part anyway – but that was a good hour!

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A German learning update – 2.5 years on, not fluent and not really feeling it

learn_german_if_you_derI’ve been living in Austria now for 2.5 years. Wow! That’s even surprising for me. And I know what you’re thinking… 2.5 years… she’s definitely fluent by now. Well, I have to admit something… I’m definitely not!

Of course it depends on your translation of fluent. Can I read the local newspaper and work out the story? Yes. Can I listen to the traffic/weather/news report and know if there’s an accident ahead? Yes. Can I have a perfectly normal one-on-one conversation with someone about almost anything? Yes.

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Feel like watching a movie in English tonight? Good luck finding it!

During my travels some friends and I found ourselves in Croatia, and on this particular day, unmotivated, we visited the cinema to watch ‘The Very Bad Trip – Part II’ – that is – The Hangover Part II. It puzzled me then and it puzzles me still, who decides on the sometimes very special movie titles when they’re translated into different languages. I’ve come across many more in Austria, so here are some of my favourites – and I’ll translate them literally so you can enjoy them the same way I do.

Back to the future translation
Here’s one where the movie title actually does translate well

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