German Lessons


Wake Up and Smell the Roses

In last week's lesson, we discussed how translating animal names directly may not be wise, and the same applies to flora as well. If you were to directly translate the German word for "dandelion" into English, for example, you would wind up with "lion's tooth" (der Löwenzahn). You may be relieved, however, to recall that, as poet Gertrud Stein once famously wrote: "A rose is a rose is a rose." Or as the case may be, eine Rose


With spring hopefully just around the corner, let's take a look at some flower names as they appear in some Yabla German videos. 


Eine Kornblume mit vielen Blütengeschwistern.
A cornflower with many sibling blossoms.
Caption 30, Piggeldy und Frederick: Unkraut


Das Stoppelfeld, die Sonnenblume, schläfrig am Zaun…
The stubbled field, the sunflower, sleepy against the fence…
Captions 8-9, Sabine und Ivana: Gedichte im Bus


Er hat sich die Tulpen überallher bringen lassen. 
He had tulips brought in from all over the world. 
Caption 52, Karlsruher Stadtgeburtstag: die Majolika-Manufaktur


The above are quite easy examples, in that they are either coincidentally correct as direct English translations or, in the case of "tulips," are very similar words. 


Further Learning
Take a look at this list of German flower names and see how many you can guess correctly without having to look them up. Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for the first flower of spring...

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