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Ask the Dust

The title of this week's mini-lesson is from an American depression-era novel of the same title by John Fante, and is an allusion that can be taken both literally and figuratively. In most contexts, however, words take on their literal original meaning, as in the use of the word "dust" (German: der Staub) here:

Die Mischung aus Staub und Sonnenstrahlen

The mixture of dust and sunbeams

ließ das gleißende Licht entstehen,

gave rise to the glistening light,

das die tödliche Hitze im Film so glaubhaft macht.

that makes the deadly heat in the film so believable.

Captions 28-30, Hell - Science-Fiction-Kinotipp

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This week’s video release, Alpenseen, however, uses the word “dust” in an idiomatic sense meaning “to leave.” The English idiom “to dust out” and the 1920s-era slang "to take a powder" have similar meanings.

...und macht sich aus dem Staub.

...and makes herself out of the dust [idiom, absconds].

Caption 45, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten

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Further Learning
Take a look at this German Wikipedia list of German sayings  and do a search on German Yabla  to see if you can find some of the sayings used in context in a video.


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