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"Na? — Na!" And other German gems

Week 8, Episode 16

The most capacious word in German that contains both "Hello" and "How are you?" in just two letters (!) is this one: "Na?" And you answer this just as oddly: "Naaa?" Not as funny as Portuguese dialogue "Pó pô pó? Pó pô!" — yet definitely time-saving (?) :) Of course, it is colloquial, but German languge is full of words with deep meanings and to-the-point descriptions.

Like the one that the Germans have for a song that you heard somewhere and it got stuck in your head (or ears?)—"Ohrwur" (ohr-voorm), or literally "ear worm". Or another word that describes the inexplicable state of wanting to push people away from you, even those whom you usual hold close—"Mauerbauertraurigkeit" (mawa-bawa-trah-ooh-reehh-kite).

How is it possible that people who feel the pain of the world, thus have a word in their language to explain vague depression one feels about the state of the world—"Weltschmertz" (velt-sh-mehr-ts)—, we perceive as cold?

Is it because the gift a German man would bring to his lady in order to woo her forgiveness for something wrong he had done is called "Drachenfutter" (drah-hen-foot-ah), direct translation of which is "dragon food"?

One of the things that amused me in German is that it has a word for a day that precedes the day before yesterday—"überübermorgen" (oobah-oobah-mor-geh-n)—and for a day that follows the day after tomorrow—"vorvorgestern" (for-for-geh-steh-rn). I mean, not that a wildly often used word but good to have, isn't it?

What if words like these exist in German exactly for a reason that these precise and efficient people just couldn't stand having something undescribed, uncaptured in one word only?

Langventuring into German turned to be quite a journey and left me wondering what its other mysteries are. I found that the language is easier to learn if you have English in your pocket and that it also has something common with Russian!

My perception of German has definitely shifted after this "trip". And what about yours?

Alles Gute! (All the best!)

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