German is a very useful language to learn, but you might confuse some words for others, especially when they sound very similar, or if there’s only an umlaut’s worth of difference between them!
Here are a few examples where German words get a little confusing:
‘Gift’ and ‘Geschenk’ – Your German friends might be a little shocked if you tell them your husband bought you a gift; in German, this means poison! Geschenk is the correct word to use. This we call a false friend in linguistics.
You’ll want to make sure you give your condolences, ‘Trost’; not ‘Prost’, which translates as ‘Bottom’s up!’
Drucken and drücken – one means print, the other push, respectively.
Schwül would be used to describe the day as humid, but schwul means something very different – gay!
Be sure to ask for ‘Hühnchen’ with your salad and not ‘Hündchen’. Your waiter will look very confused if he thinks you expect a puppy to be on the menu.
Hundreds of words can easily be mistaken for one another, some hilarious and some not so bad. To help you along the way, a German tutor in London can guide you, so you minimize your mistakes! Get in touch.