Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wetlands (Feuchtgebiete)

A reader asked about "Wetlands", which is a translation of the German novel Feuchtgebiete, a bestseller in Germany when I was there the last time. I can't really contribute to a discussion as I haven't read the book except for the first few pages (in a bookstore)--so, it's up to readers to take the lead in this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Word of the month: Sachzwang

Here's another something+zwang word without exact English equivalent that I find useful. It's composed of Sach, short for Sache ("thing, object") and Zwang ("compulsion, pressure, constraint"). The term denotes the necessity to do something that is inherent in a situation or, as my dictionary so coyly puts it, a "compulsion by the object in question"--no wonder I'm using the German term even in English!

Examples and pronunciation note in my first comment.