Mark Twain

The Awful German Language

    Alla Nabatovahas quoted7 years ago
    In the hospital yesterday, a word of thirteen syllables was
    successfully removed from a patient
    rootarthas quoted6 years ago
    the German it is true that by some oversight of the inventor of the
    language, a Woman is a female; but a Wife (Weib) is not – which is
    unfortunate. A Wife, here, has no sex; she is neuter; so, according to the
    grammar, a fish is HE, his scales are SHE, but a fishwife is neither.
    rootarthas quoted6 years ago
    For instance, the same sound, SIE, means YOU,
    and it means SHE, and it means HER, and it means IT, and it means THEY, and
    it means THEM.
    Nika Kovachhas quoted7 years ago
    Just the same with ZUG. Strictly speaking, ZUG means Pull, Tug, Draught, Procession, March, Progress, Flight, Direction, Expedition, Train, Caravan, Passage, Stroke, Touch, Line, Flourish, Trait of Character, Feature, Lineament, Chess-move, Organ-stop, Team, Whiff, Bias, Drawer, Propensity, Inhalation, Disposition: but that thing which it does NOT mean – when all its legitimate pennants have been hung on, has not been discovered yet.
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry. That shows that the SOUND of the words is correct – it interprets the meanings with truth and with exactness; and so the ear is informed, and through the ear, the heart.
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    The German word for hell – Hoelle – sounds more like HELLY than anything else; therefore, how necessary chipper, frivolous, and unimpressive it is. If a man were told in German to go there, could he really rise to thee dignity of feeling insulted?
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years.
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    (I don't know what wollen haben werden sollen sein haette means, but I notice they always put it at the end of a German sentence – merely for general literary gorgeousness, I suppose.
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.
    Irina Shustovahas quoted8 months ago
    German can form no idea of what a perplexing language it is.
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