Generally, I complain a lot about learning German, as the women here who commiserate with me can attest to. But once in a while, the language makes me smile. Here’s a great sentence from the second Harry Potter book.
Er hat “grosse, fledermausauhnliche Ohren und hervorquellende gruene Augaupfel, so gross wie Tennisbaelle.” (As some of you may have guessed, Harry just met Dobby)
I think this means, “He had bat-like ears and sticky-outy green apple-eyes as big as tennis balls.” I think the funniest word here is Fledermaus = bat. I can’t figure out what fleder means, but Maus = mouse. So, in my mind, Fledermaus means flying or flapping or leathery mouse. What a great description of a bat! Granted, that may not be the right translation, but half of my German is made up anyway. I sometimes have conversations with strangers, and I only understand the general idea of what was said; the rest is created with a little imagination and wishful thinking. I find I enjoy life as an illiterate forgeiner better that way.
The bat reminds me of the word for slug which translates to NAKED SNAIL (Sarah tipped me off to that one). That’s another awesome one. It seems that only these useless, funny words and sentences stick in my head.
Here’s another keeper from the same chapter: “Boeser Dobby!” It means ‘Bad Dobby,’ and I already new that boese = bad. The thing I learned from this little gem is that boese becomes boeser when you call someone bad. It’s one of the many German grammatical things I don’t ever expect to understand (as I never actually learned English grammer properly), but at least when Matthias annoys me now, I can say “Boeser Matthias!” and be grammatically correct. He seems to enjoy it when I find stupid little German sentences like that and use them appropriately.