A secondary school-leaving certificate

Another difficult word to translate is the German word “Abitur”. Depending on where you went to school or who you’re talking to, you might say that you have your “A levels”, “Higher School Certificate”, “Highers” or whatever. People might not understand what this is.  My suggestion is to say that you have your “Abitur” (use the German word) and to explain that it’s an exam that you took at the end of your secondary education after 12 or 13 years at school. And I’d go on to explain that it’s a qualification that will get you into a German university.

Not a ‘procurer’ please!

One of those difficult words to translate is the German word “Prokurist”. If you look in a dictionary, you’ll probably find something like “authorised signatory of a company”. It’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?

What I would do is to stick to the German word and then explain what it is. So I’d say “He’s a ‘Prokurist’, which means he has authority to sign for the company”.

Another difficult word is “Abitur”, but we’ll be looking at that one next Thursday.

A word with two meanings

The German word “Kater” has two meanings. At first it can mean a “tomcat”, but it also can mean a “hangover”. So watch out when translating a sentence like “Ich hatte einen Kater letzte Woche”. You are probably talking about a hangover, but there’s a slight chance that I might misunderstand you! 😉


Do you ‘celebrate’ in the evening?

We have a word for the time at the end of a work day here in Germany. It’s “Feierabend”. So how can we translate that into English? We don’t have a word for it.

If you want to wish someone “schönen Feierabend”, you’d just say “Enjoy your evening” or “Have a nice evening”. Or if you want to explain what you do “nach Feierabend”, you’d have to say “After work I do ….”.