Be Careful With the German Verb “Überhören”

Have you ever misunderstood or mistranslated the German verb ‘überhören‘? Hands up! 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️

No, my dear friends in the battle for correct English, “überhören” does not mean—as one might think at first—“to overhear”.

The English verb “to overhear” actually means “to accidentally hear something”.

Here are some examples:

  • I overheard a conversation between a client and her friend.
  • I accidentally overheard my colleagues arguing.

The German verb “überhören” can be translated into English as “to not hear” or “to ignore.”

  • Ich habe den Wecker überhört. (I didn’t hear the alarm clock.)
  • Lerne das Geräusch zu überhören. (Learn to ignore the noise.)

Complicated? Perhaps a little. But hey, we’re all here to learn and grow, right? 

I hope the English verb ‘to overhear‘ won’t trip you up in the future. And if it does, always remember: We learn from our mistakes!

So now it’s your turn. What were your funniest or most embarrassing language errors? Leave a comment and let’s have a chuckle together! 😄 


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