10 one-of-a-kind German words that we should definitely have in English

German is an extremely rich language, especially in terms of vocabulary. Its word creation process, based on the addition of prefixes and suffixes to add meaning, has resulted, over the years, in the creation of a wide variety of terms. It is not surprising, then, that many of the words in its vocabulary do not have equivalents in other European languages. One thing is clear, these terms sure are difficult to translate.

We have already talked about expressions that become nonsensical if translated literally and foreign words that we often use in English. Today, we introduce a new thematic section: foreign words with no English equivalents.
Here is a list of German terms. We hope you enjoy it. 😉

1. Erklärungsnot

The state of having to quickly explain yourself.

2. Fernweh

A strong longing for remote places.

3. Doppelgänger

Accepted by the Oxford dictionary as part of the English language.
Nowadays it is used to refer to the double a person.

4. Schattenparker

He who parks his car in the shade.

5. Rabenmutter

A bad mother.

6. Fingerspitzengefühl

To have a sensitive and intuitive side, to be prepared for what comes.
It is often used to refer to a leader.

7. Schnapsidee

Originally an idea you have when you are drunk.
Nowadays it is used to refer to a very bad idea.

8. Kopfkino

To imagine, make up a whole situation in your head.

9. Schadenfreude

Happiness that results from other people’s discomfort.

10. Zugzwang

Feeling the pressure to do something when you really don’t want to do anything.



Of course, nothing is untranslatable. These words, however, are definitely challenging for most translators.
At Eazylang, we have a database of qualified and experienced translators, all of them able to handle this type of translation.

Do you know any other example of such words? If so, you can write it in the comments section. 😉

3 Responses to “10 one-of-a-kind German words that we should definitely have in English

  • Kamila
    1 year ago

    TORSCHLUSSPANIK – a fear of being left on the shelf (especially when everybody around you is getting married etc)

  • Sabrina
    1 year ago

    Schattenparker = Warmduscher – a person who is weak, tries to avoid problems, chooses always the easiest way, a bit of a wimp

  • Alessandra
    1 year ago

    Wanderlust > the joy of traveling

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