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German words from The Book Thief

Discussion in 'Pool Room Archive' started by TheFifthMan, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. TheFifthMan

    TheFifthMan Smash Journeyman

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    I am currently studying The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and there are two German words that are constantly repeated: Saumensch and Saukerl. What do they mean? I tried free translation and I got "sow person" and "sow fellow" from them.

    oh btw you should read the book. it's goooood.
  2. Crimson King

    Crimson King I am become death

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    In German compound words are quite common. Mensch means "Human being" and Kerl means "guy." Haven't a clue what Sau means, but "Sow" sounds right.
  3. commonyoshi

    commonyoshi Smash Hero

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    The two probably mean something along the lines of a farmer or workhand.

    And thanks for the recommendation. I've been looking for a book to read, and the Wiki synopsis sounds great.
  4. TheFifthMan

    TheFifthMan Smash Journeyman

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    I'm pretty sure they're expletives.
  5. Crystallion

    Crystallion Smash Ace

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    Can tell ya, these are bad words. Sow is an accurate translation of "Sau", while it's not really fitting here. Saumensch/Saukerl just means how much of a pig the guy is. There is no English word for it (there's no way that "pig guy" is an English expression o_O), which is pretty funny considering there are lots of swear words in English language ^^;

    So yeah, anything Crimson King already said, but I wanted to point that out.
  6. TheFifthMan

    TheFifthMan Smash Journeyman

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    Hmm... so akin to calling someone a b**** then? Worse? Or slightly better?
  7. Crystallion

    Crystallion Smash Ace

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    Not really, well the term Saukerl is more like "a**" or something to that extent. For a woman, it is somewhat equivalent to calling her a b**** (but it's less worse than the latter in any case). The term Saukerl is commonly said to only men (Kerl means "guy" like said before), both man and woman can be called Saumensch as this term doesn't determine a gender in this case since Mensch means "human"

    Both terms are insulting, but not as insulting as many other words that are commonly used such as b**** or d**k.

    I know, very confusing as it's hard to describe when you can't properly translate it, but it's still not a nice word in any way ;)
  8. TheFifthMan

    TheFifthMan Smash Journeyman

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    Hmm... then the main character's mother really is pretty abusive, especially when the mother doesn't call the daughter by name, just by Saumensch. Thanks for the translations, Crystallion ^_^
  9. Crystallion

    Crystallion Smash Ace

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    Don't worry, a lot of people say it jokingly or they don't mean it. The words can also be used to people who are untidy and unorganized ^_^
    Well, I'm glad this was of help to you ;)
  10. Keku

    Keku Smash Apprentice

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    Atleast the verb 'saufen' is to drink alcohol, in the purpose of getting drunk. So err, drunkard? We also have practical German words such as "der Kirschkernweitspucker", which is a male person who spits cherry seeds as far as he can. Yeah... don't ask.
  11. Jammer

    Jammer Smash Lord

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    Aw man, I got all excited when I saw this because I was like "I know what that means!" but then Crystallion, the native German speaker here, comes in to steal my bilingual thunder.

    Du Saumensch. Du Hündin!

    Only fluent German speakers will get that joke.

    Deine Freude möge vergehen und Übel möge Dich ereilen.

    Oh man, I'm totally joking if you're a German speaker. If you don't speak German, then I'm totally serious.
  12. Kayla-Jade Taylor

    Kayla-Jade Taylor Smash Rookie

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    Saukerl means ******* in German

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