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Prior to embarking on a relationship with the Prince (he’s a cutie, isn’t he?!), I never even took into account the amount of mistranslations in a multicultural relationship! In all honesty, we speak English at least 90-95% of the time. Occasionally he’ll speak German to me (which I can understand fast alles) but then I get too lazy and reply back in English. I’m seriously amazed that the Prince last took a formal lesson of English 7 years ago and speaks perfect English…on top of knowing French and Dutch (although not fluently, he’s much better in both languages than he admits!). Did I mention how incredibly smart he is? Jaaa, just a bit of an underachiever ;)

I’ve been keeping a list of some of the funnier mistranslations between the two of us. Mainly, they are obscure phrases or slang words and we always get a good laugh trying to figure out what’s being said! Enjoy these :)

+ “Brain frost” – he meant to say he had a “brain freeze”

+ Backstory to this mistranslation: Chocolate is probably my favorite food group and before I visited the Prince in Hamburg, he stocked up on German chocolate for me. About a month later, I jokingly sent him a bitmoji (kind of obsessed with bitmojis) of lots of kisses with the phrase “Give me sugar.” He replied back, “But I gave you all my chocolate in Hamburg!” I think I laughed for a good 10 minutes.

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+ We were talking about swimming this upcoming summer and I noted that I wasn’t a good swimmer. He replied, “I can give you re-animation!” I stared at him for at least 2 minutes before we figured out that he meant “resuscitation.” In German, they say “reanimation” and he figured the word carried over into English.

+ He calls his belly button his “button belly.” That word is officially a new word that we use in our vocabulary because I found it so adorable.

+ He constantly says “I’m flashed” for “I’m shocked” or “I’m surprised.” This is another case of a literal translation from German to English. Too funny!

+ He wanted to know the difference between snuggle versus cuddle. I said that all cuddles are snuggles but not all snuggles are cuddles. That makes sense, right?

Relationship Mistranslations via Wayfaring With Wagner+ The word sympathize is used differently in German. For the longest time he kept saying, “they have my commiserations.” It wasn’t necessarily wrong but it just sounded so weird to me. After about a month, I realized he meant to say “sympathies.” Also, a “sympathisch” person in German is someone who is “very likable, nice, friendly” so the Prince is always calling people “sympathetic people” when he means to say “nice people.”

+ To go with the above mistranslation, the Prince gets his adjectives confused all the time. He recently said, “I’m so bummed” after spending the entire day walking around and exploring Edinburgh with me! He meant to say he had a great time ;) It is really adorable when he uses the wrong adjective, especially when the adjective he uses has the total opposite/wrong meaning!

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+ For some reason, he thinks that “flesh” (the English word) means “fleisch” (the German word for “meat”). And honestly, that just disturbs me every time he says, “Are we having flesh for dinner tonight?” I’m not sure why he does it :)

+ The German word for cell phone is “Handy.” The Prince will say, “Have you seen my Handy? Or let me just look it up on my Handy!” But he never says cell phone. Honestly, Handy just sounds like some sexual act to me and I really can’t take it seriously ;) haha

+ The word “Liebe” in German encompasses a wider range of emotions towards someone. While the literal translation is “love,” it can also mean to really like someone in German. The lines are a lot more blurred in German whereas we have distinct words for “crush,” “like,” and “love” in English. I still have trouble explaining the difference between “crush” versus “like” versus “love” to him…haha!

+ The Prince taught me to drive manual a few weeks ago. He had absolutely no idea for the word “clutch” in English and I had no idea what the word was in English because I’ve never driven manual before. We spent the entire lesson calling it by the German word, “Kupplung.” I was trying to later explain to my parents what I learned and was like, “the Kupplung…errrr…thing you press down with your left foot!?” I finally looked up the English word so I could discuss it in the future. So much confusion between the two languages, especially for technical terms!

+ My sister is really sassy (maybe even sassier than me) and has decided to start making up English words to trick the Prince. Her latest word was “Quanaquanon”…which is entirely a made-up word! It was so hilarious watching the Prince try to spell it and figure out the meaning!

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In case you were wondering, the Prince gave me full permission to disclose all these funny mistranslations! And let’s be honest, the person we should be making fun of/laughing at is me and my lack of fluency in Germany! I’m working on it!!! :)

19 Comments

  1. This is so fun! Haha I can only imagine what it’s like all the time. You guys are adorable!!

  2. Oh, so adorable! But handy sounds sexual to you?! So weird haha

  3. I totally feel for the prince. I live in the US and even though I’m fluent in English, weird direct translations occasionally sneak by (especially when I’m tired or drunk). Also, I learned to drive in the US but once when I was home visiting, my dad took me practice driving to learn to drive manual. He kept talking about the clutch but I had no idea what the Swedish word (koppling) meant and was utterly confused and frustrated.

  4. Curiously, “snuggle” and “cuddle” don’t appear to have quite the same range in British English as they do in American English — and “cuddle” is more often used as a noun than a verb, as a synonym for hug!

  5. The sympatisch/sympaticky (in Czech) drives me crazy! If one more person here uses sympathetic as nice, I’ll eat me ‘ead! Brain frost is a pretty cute one.

  6. Alexandria Reply

    Let me just say the fact that you adore his shows in the way you write about him! So glad you’re happy! I will say I am quite a bit jealous of his language abilities. The “brain frost” story was the best! It made me laugh so much. However, I can;t back you up on your snuggle/cuddle theory. They are both the same.. to me. Last but not least.. you have to make him stop saying flesh. It would give me Hannibal flashbacks and I would never be able to eat.

  7. This is too cute! My boyfriend is from New Hampshire and I’m from Georhia. He thinks my southern-isms are pretty funny.

    You and your Prince are pretty adorable!

  8. “I said that all cuddles are snuggles but not all snuggles are cuddles.” omg you’re the cutest in the world, but we all knew that already!

    SO happy that YOU are SO happy!! xoxo

  9. I am laughing so much. I would have done the same as your sister! But again, that is probably why Miha doesnt trust me so much. I laughed soooooo much with the flesh misinterpretation, so funny!

  10. bhahaha i’m cracking up that you call him the prince….i wish i would have known that when y’all were here!! i totally agree with you on ‘flesh’….i just got chills thinking about it! and ‘handy’! that one is genius because….cell phones are so handy AND they’re for your hands. OHMIGOSH.

  11. Pingback: Relationship Mistranslations // Part 2 - Wayfaring With Wagner

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