Berlin Vocabulary List, Part I

Berlin, language

On Monday, I started formally studying German at the Volchshochschule in Mitte. I’m enjoying the class so far (both days) even though it starts at the ungodly hour of 8:30AM and requires a 20 minute commute on the S-Bahn. But hey. Deutsch ist Schwer.

There are still a couple of words I learned outside of class that I think anyone planning on heading to Berlin should study up on…

Club Mate—Most of the coffee in Berlin is not worth drinking. Luckily, there is a passable substitute that boasts as much caffeine as a Redbull and less than half of the sugar. Club Mate is this carbonated iced tea-type drink that comes in glass bottles and is served all over the city. It runs about 3 euros in a club or bar, 1,80-2 in shops and restaurants, and just 75 cents at the grocery store. Add a shot of vodka for a Disco Mate. 

der Feierabend—Friday night, or whenever you finish work. The direct translation is something like “party-evening.”

Disco Nap—Berliners do not really go out until 4 or 5 in the morning. That’s when all the best dj’s come on. If you hit the clubs around midnight or 2, everyone you meet will be a tourist. To party like a local, take a disco nap between about midnight and 3. Then hit the club refreshed and have the energy to party til noon.

Doner Kebap—Breakfast, lunch and dinner for around 3 euros.

genau—“exactly.” Germans use this all the time. When someone is talking at me very fast and I don’t understand what they’re saying, I just nod and smile and say with confidence, “Ja, genau!”

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