2 English Words That Defy Translation

Have you ever stumbled upon an English word and racked your brain for the perfect German match, but couldn’t find a suitable German equivalent?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. 

Let’s chat about two of them: “cheesy” and “binge-watch.”

Starting with “cheesy.”

When you hear it, you might dream of melting mozzarella or a gooey grilled cheese. But when Brits or Americans refer to something as “cheesy,” they don’t necessarily mean something that’s tasty. It’s more of a way of saying that something is kitschy or overly sentimental. 

Think about it. Was the last time you watched that romantic movie really heart-wrenching, or was it just “cheesy”?

Now, let’s look at “binge-watch.”

You’ve probably had this experience. Your new favourite show comes out on Netflix and before you know it, you’ve stayed up all night and watched two seasons in one go.

Congratulations! You’re officially a binge-watcher! Yes, that’s right: we don’t have an exact German word for that either.

Well, that wraps up our mini trek through translation tricky spots! 

Which other English expressions do you think are untranslatable? 



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Foto Christine Sparks

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