Monday, December 14, 2009

10 Random Facts about Germany and Switzerland

In this section, I rattle off a list of 10 random thoughts.

Recently I’ve been travelling with some pretty cool Europeans – two guys, one from Germany and the other from Switzerland – and have been learning so much from them! For a change of pace, I've taken a break from the New Zealand stuff and come up with 10 German or Swiss facts that I've learned from these guys.

  1. Germans don’t know that Gesundheit has become a common word to use in English. Say it to a German after they sneeze and watch them be impressed!
  2. An official Swiss Army knife (one that is issued by the Swiss Army) has only four things: a knife, a pointed needle, a can opener, and a bottle opener.

  1. The word ‘cup’ (the one you wear in sports) is translated to German literally as ‘balls protecting device’.
  2. Swiss German is almost an entirely different dialect than the German they speak in Germany. In fact, if you’re from the wrong part of Germany, chances are you won’t even understand Swiss German!
  3. Black forest ham and black forest cake actually come from a German place where (presumably) there is a black forest.

  1. Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch (a derivative of latin that almost no one speaks). [Note: Roger Federer speaks English, French and Swiss German]
  2. ‘Kindergarten’ is a German word, so I have no idea what it’s doing in English. ‘Kind’ means child.

  1. Bratwurst is a German compound word: ‘brat’ means pan-fried and ‘wurst’ is sausage.
  2. Bayern Munich (the football club in Germany) is actually a half-translated name. The team is located in the German city of Munich in the province of Bavaria (think Bavarian Cream pies or Bavarian Motor Works – BMW), so if it were fully translated it would be FC Bavaria Munich. The name in German is FC Bayern München. As it stands, the name it’s most known as in English, Bayern Munich, is half German and half-English.
  3. There is this wicked German drinking game with dice called Mäxle where you roll a dice (keep it hidden), say a number, and then pass it to the next person. He has to either say a bigger number, or call the bluff of the previous person. If the dice value is higher, then the first person drinks; otherwise the person who called drinks. If the second person says a bigger number, the game continues around the circle until someone calls. OK I didn’t really explain that really well, so if we’re drinking together sometime, ask me and we’ll play it. I really just like shouting MÄXLE when someone drinks.


  1. cool
    loser nobody is retarted

  2. that helped thanks :D

  3. Weird... but kinda cool...:):):):):)

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