German Words that have no English Translation

German Words that have no English Translation

German language is a very amusing language. It not just has three genders but it also has so many words in its dictionary which cannot be translated in the English language in just one word. If you are taking German language classes at the present time, you might or might not have an idea about the same.

So here, we are about to shed some light on few of the many German words that have no translation in English.

  1. Sturmfrei

Meaning–“When you have whole house to yourself while your parents are away”

It is a fact that in English, there is no single word to describe the true meaning of ‘sturmfrei’. The term “home alone” might get sued instead of sturmfrei, but it cannot express the true feelings that sturmfrei expresses so easily. However, sturmfrei is close to the English saying “when the cat’s away, the mice will play”.

  1. Ohrwurm

Meaning – “Earworm”

At first, it might seem like to have a worm in the ear, but in reality, it’snot. The real meaning of ‘Ohrwurm’ is “when a song is stuck in your head”. In such situation, you cannot get the song out of your head and the song keeps playing in the back of your mind.

  1. Backpfeifengesicht

Meaning–“A face that is begging to get slapped”

This is of course self-explanatory, yet to make it simple, ‘Backpfeifengesicht’ refers to someone who is behaving in a bad manner which calls for a slap or a beating.It would have been great if Backpfeifengesicht had its own English word.

  1. Erbsenzähler

Meaning –“Somebody who wants to know every detail and is a control freak”

It refers to the one and only people who are always on the lookout of making everything perfect and according to their wish. Another meaning of ‘Erbsenzähler’ signifies the ones who are very penny-pinching and do not like to spend money on anything.

  1. Verschlimmbessern

Meaning–“To make something worse while trying to improve it”

Certainly this has happened to every person in the world. Many a times, when something gets wrong, you try to improve it but end up making it even worse.

  1. Schadenfreude

Meaning – “When one feels happy by seeing another person’s misfortune”

This is quite mean but human as well. People more often than not feel happy when they see their enemy is suffering from unpleasant situation.

  1. Zugzwang

Meaning–“To forcefully make a decision”

When someone is too stressed and is pressurized to make a decision, that particular situation is known as ‘Zugzwang’. It was earlier used in the game of chess where the players needed to make a move but at the present time, this word is used for when someone is forced to make a decision.

  1. Kummerspeck

Meaning–“Gaining extra weight due to emotional eating”

This particular word is basically used when you are going through an emotionally low phase and to cope up with the situation, you start eating too much and gain extra weight. The act of gaining weight through emotional eating is also known as “sorrow bacon”.


So, these are the few German words that cannot be translated into English. Now, enroll in the best German language institute and learn more about such German words while learning the German language.

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