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Irritated or Just Confused?

If you've followed our lessons, you have likely already heard about "false friends." These are words that sound similar in German and English, but do not have the same meaning. One example of verb that is a false friend is irritieren, which despite sounding very similar to the verb "to irritate," actually means "to confuse." The German adjective irritiert therefore is translated as "confused."



Deine Eltern waren irritiert

Your parents were confused

dass Fußball dich so interessiert

that football interests you so much

Captions 5-6, Olli Schulz - Spielerfrau

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Wenn ich das erste Mal in dieser Figur auftrete,

When I appear for the first time in the role of this character,

ist das, äh, Publikum immer erst mal so 'n bisschen irritiert.

the audience, uh, is always a little confused at first.

Captions 26-27, Theater - Rain Man

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For "to irritate" or "to annoy," the verb ärgern is a common choice. 


Bleib höflich und sag nichts, das ärgert sie am meisten.

Remain polite and don't say anything, that irritates them the most.

Caption 39, Die Ärzte - Lasse redn

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Another similar case is with the verb sich wundern. This means "to marvel" at something and is often used to express surprise, however, it does not share the other meaning of "to wonder." "To wonder" in the sense of contemplating or wondering about a topic is simply sich fragen.


Es wundert mich überhaupt nicht, dass dein Kind

I'm not at all surprised that your child

so richtig einen an der Waffel hat.

really has one on his waffle [idiom, is crazy].

Captions 26-27, Filmtrailer - Frau Müller muss weg

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Und ich frage mich: Wann werd ich berühmt sein?

And I wonder when will I be famous?

Captions 23-24, Adel Tawil - Lieder

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Further Learning
Take a look at these examples in context on Yabla German and practice conjugating irritieren, ärgern, sich wundern, and sich fragen taking into account the reflexive verbs. Or take at this list of false friends and find other verbs to look out for. 

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