German is a very useful language to learn, but you might find that you 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’s 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’; definitely 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 that you expect puppy to be on the menu.
There are hundreds of words which can easily be mistaken for one another, some hilarious and some not so bad. To help you along your way, a German tutor in London can guide you so you minimize the mistakes you make! Get in touch.