German words that are impossible to translate!

The German language is weird yet fascinating, tough yet easy, classic yet modern. Friendly and contemporary as it is, the German language has some special features that make it different. In addition to its compound nouns, which have the ability to form new words, the German language has certain powerful German words in its dictionary, to which no English translation is possible. Yes, there are some untranslatable German words that are sure to have your eyebrows raised. Have a look at the two main German words that have no English translation before you enroll for German Language Courses in Delhi:

    1. Nichtskönner


The German language is known for its precision, and the word Nichtskönner is an example. The literal translation of the word Nichtskönner means “someone who is unable to do anything”. It is an exaggeration in the English context but makes sense to Germans. It is usually used to express anger or sarcasm. When you’re angry at someone or want to hit them with a wave of sarcasm, use this word in a sentence.

Sentence usage of the word Nichtskönner:

“You bungler!” can be translated as “du Nichtskönner” when one is angry over a person who is unable to perform it correctly.

The nearest equivalent English word that can be used in place of Nichtskönner to explain the word to a non-German is “incompetent”.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t speak German fluently, make sure you pronounce the German words correctly, or you could land in trouble. Let’s move on to the second word that has no English roots:

  1. Feierabend


The term Feierabend has roots dating back to the 16th century which means “celebration evening”. German has a different work culture in sharp contrast to that of North Europeans, where Germans call it a day off, after 5 p.m.

The Germans consider this right as ancient and thus do not have an apologetic tone while saying “Ich Mach Feierabend”, meaning “I’m calling it a day”. This means that they stop talking calls the minute they realize that it’s five in the evening.

For them, the time between leaving office and going to bed is not working out or partying, but doing absolutely nothing. The word, however, has no English translation, making it one of a kind. No wonder the productivity levels of Germany are one of the highest among all of Europe.


These untranslatable German words have been the highlights of German as an independent language, and are definitely a crowd puller. Did these words excite you and tempt you to dig into the language? Well, worry not because you can learn the German language from the Best German Language Institute in Delhi. Remember that you are not Nichtskönner and can learn the language with utmost ease. While you learn the language, we’ll call it a day!

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