Anyway here's a thread of German phrases and their literal translations for your pandemic entertainment:

1. Jetzt geht's um die Wurst = Now it's about the sausage

Germans say this when things are about to get serious
2. Fünf Minuten vor der Zeit ist des Deutschen Pünktlichkeit = Five minutes before the time is the German's punctuality

German grandmothers say this to remind you that being on time means being late
3. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof = I only understand train station

Germans say this when they are confused which is a bit confusing because train stations really aren't that complicated
4. Jetzt mal Butter bei die Fische = Now butter by the fish

Germans say this when they want you to get to the point. Stop talking, get on with it and put that butter on the fish
5. Das ist nicht das Gelbe vom Ei = This is not the yellow of the egg

If Günther, Werner or Wolfgang tell you that your work isn't the yellow of the egg you're in trouble. The yellow is the best part of the egg so if your work isn't it you need to step up your game
6. Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen = With him is not good cherry eating

You might hear this if Germans dislike someone. Cherries were a luxury in the Middle Ages so if uninvited guests came over to eat someone's cherries, Germans would spit at them until they left
7. Jetzt haben wir den Salat = Now we have the salad

Having the salad means something bad has happened. I don't know why salads are so upsetting to Germans but it is what it is
8. Mein lieber Herr Gesangsverein! = My dear Mr. Singing Club!

Germans say this when something impressive happens. This appears to be derived from the Bible. Herr can mean Mr. or Lord and you're not supposed to use the Lord's name in vain so Germans added the Singing Club
9. Die können euch nicht das Wasser reichen = They can't bring you the water

People in the Middle Ages used to eat with their fingers and rich people had servants bring them water after dinner to wash their hands. Not all servants were allowed to bring the water.
So now Germans say they can't bring you the water to imply that someone is worse than you because only "privileged" servants were allowed to bring water during the Middle Ages. Humans are wild.
10. Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her = The fish smells from the head

Some big corporation or the government messed up and now the people at the top want to blame some mid-level worker who hasn't really done anything wrong? That's not how it works, the fish smells from the head
11. Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei = Everything has an end, only the sausage has two

Sausages are magical and unlike everything else, they have two ends
That's the end of weird German phrases 101. I'll see you during the next lockdown when we'll get started with "Introduction to Beamtendeutsch: How to Communicate with the Government in 3822 Easy Steps." Hope you have a great day and be safe.

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More from @marceldirsus

23 Jan
What would the Kremlin have to do for Germany to say we're stopping Nord Stream 2? Genuine question. I've been asking myself this over and over again over the last couple of months
They've assassinated someone in Berlin, they've attacked the Bundestag, they've used military force to change borders in Europe, they constantly threaten our closest allies and they treat their own people like dirt
They've deliberately bombed hospitals and hundreds of thousands of Syrians were forced to flee to Europe because of their indiscriminate violence. Plenty of our fellow Europeans are opposed to Nord Stream 2 and the Americans hate it
Read 5 tweets
22 Jan
One thing that's so striking about opposition to Nord Stream 2 in Germany are the unusual coalitions it creates. Much of the foreign policy blob has long been critical of the project but that doesn't matter because nobody really listens to them
But now you have the environmentalists opposing Nord Stream 2 because it's a gas pipeline and that's infinitely more worrying to politicians. You can easily ignore 11 transatlanticists in Berlin but you don't want to mess with Fridays for Future
Memes aside, this is especially dangerous for politicians on the left. Social Democrats are already seen as having a weakness on the climate issue and this makes things worse. And unlike the Berlin think-tank vote, this is a constituency that can actually swing elections
Read 5 tweets
21 Jan
I wish I could retweet this 1000x because I'm so tired of the excuses. We should be vaccinating people faster than anyone else on earth and if we aren't we need to learn from countries that are doing a better job than us…
I've heard it all: "It can't be done, Israel is unique. We ordered enough vaccines, we just don't have them. Other countries are smaller so it's easier. We shouldn't actually aim to get vaccines first because everyone needs vaccines." Bullshit.
This is precisely the kind of thing the European Union should be good at. We're rich, we have excellent health care systems, a lot of these vaccines come from Europe. If the European Union and national governments can't deliver on something like this, people will lose faith
Read 7 tweets
21 Jan
I just saw a clip of a crazy Trump conspiracy theorist having an absolute meltdown because Biden was inaugurated and it was genuinely sad and disturbing. I know these people have inflicted a lot of suffering but their pain is real and in a way they are victims too
I can imagine that a lot of people who now believe that evil lizard people eat children in the Capitol were normal people like you and me just a few years ago. Perhaps they had loving friends and family until they fell into this tornado of madness
I don't want to absolve the crazies of responsibility but I do believe it's much easier to get sucked into one of these conspiracy universes than we commonly think. These people could be your mom or dad or brother or aunt
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
Now for something other than the United States: Germany's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) are choosing their new leader next week. The winner has a very good chance of succeeding Angela Merkel as Chancellor of Germany. Here's what you need to know:
First, a little context. Merkel became leader of the CDU in 2000. After she stepped down in 2018, the party held a leadership contest in which Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), Jens Spahn and Friedrich Merz fought to succeed her. AKK won.
AKK, who is Germany's Minister of Defence in addition to leading the CDU, really struggled to bring the party together. I don't want this thread to run to 400 tweets so I won't go into detail here but it's fair to say that some of the losers never accepted defeat
Read 20 tweets
7 Jan
Since some people have asked me: I don't think it's accurate to describe this as a coup attempt and media outlets aren't doing their readers any favours by describing it that way
I get why people make fun of political scientists who argue about definitions while the world burns. But differentiating between coups and terrorism and insurrections and civil wars matters. It's all bad but it's not the same. The mechanisms differ, the threats differ.
Lastly, it's been disheartening to see people attack academics for "supporting Trump" because they refuse to call this a coup. To me, that's Twitter at its most ridiculous. Nobody is trying to downplay this. On the contrary: If you want to prevent it you have to understand it
Read 4 tweets

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