Thursday, 23 November 2017

Perils of written German

Today I am trying to row-back on a business letter I sent yesterday. 

I intended to type "Sehr geehrte Herren" - Dear Sirs. What I actually sent them was "Sehr geehtrer Herren" - Very Horny Gentlemen.

It's genuinely excuciatingly embarrassing. They have absolutely no sense of humour. 

Oh well. 


13 comments:

Gardener Fisher said...

I thought the Swiss were Germans without the sense of humour? Probably about the same sense of ethics though....

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I once did something similar when I worked in Germany, flexing my (then very poor) language skills. Remarking on the inefficient air conditioning I managed to say “ich bin warm” (basically ‘I’m gay’) instead of “Mir ist warm”. I thought my workmates would asphyxiate from laughter.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Serves the feckers right - you should write to them in English!

Budgie said...

When I sold (very small amounts) into the EU, the Germans were good to deal with (two different sites), but the Belgians (one site) were amazingly prickly. Of course I cannot go from the particular to the general (or national), but the difference was marked and interesting.

jack ketch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jack ketch said...

" "Sehr geehtrer Herren" - Very Horny Gentlemen."

Uhm I've only spoken German everyday for the last 30 years, and The Bestes Frau In The Entire World all her fucking 49 years but neither of us know that one! Had a quick Dudening and am still none the wiser. Ehtren? Is it some Schluchtenpisser (Austrian) word?!

(reposted for spelling mistake)

Raedwald said...

jk - unknown to me until I checked the google translate speller - which gives it the same meaning as Sehr geile Herren or Sehr geile Männer ...

Anonymous said...

I learnt all my German from reading the Valiant - said the Jerry, as Captain Hurricane ripped the track off his tank with his bare hands. No tablets or iPhones back then. A comic, from money I earned cleaning Dad's car, plus my imagination and I could be anywhere or anytime.

That is all.

Steve

jack ketch said...

I too have just run it through the dreaded Google Translate and it came up with "very nice Gentlemen" ....no doubt autocorrecting for my apparent spelling 'mistake'.

I very much doubt any of your Geschäftspartnern will even notice your Zwiebelfisch (yes, for those who don't speak German , the word for a 'typo' is 'Onion Fish') , I doubt anyone ever consciously reads the SgH or even the mfG. And even if they do I really don't think it is a German word.

But perhaps this will amuse you: I have a trapped nerve at c2 and suffer from 'drop you to your knees' headaches. For years whilst I lived in Germany I would use the phrase 'aa Bredd vorm Kopp' ("ein Brett vor dem Kopf") whenever I went to the doctor about those headaches or spoke to anyone -like my employer- about them.

Oh how I laughed when finally someone told me that that phrase doesn't mean 'a bad migraine'....Not!

Or the time , aged 17 or so, in a bar in HH and not speaking German, I misheard the name of the woman ("Uschi") behind the bar and shouted out my order across the room : "Oi Muschi". And it wasn't THAT sort of bar...

See how your laughable typo pails in the presence of a true master of the "embarrassing himself in a foreign language" ?

BillyMarlene said...

My one time German girlfriend was shopping in Selfridges. She went to pay and saw a queue. She wanted to say that she was a foreigner and should she queue to pay.

In German this was something like “Ich kenne mich aus hier, muss ich schlang stehen?”

Her literal translation came out as “I know me not out here - must I stand snake?”

Anonymous said...

Have heard it said more than a few times by people of my dads generation that if we had lost the war we would all be speaking German now. Well they lost and they've had 70+ years to learn English, **** em.

jack ketch said...

" if we had lost the war we would all be speaking German now."
Whenever someone says that to me- usually some poppy clad fool, armchair xenophobe & Little Britisher- they got told in German to go read up on the history of the English language , on how it has always beaten allcomers. "Bothe lered and lewed, olde and yonge,
Alle vnderstonden english tonge."

Cascadian said...

Pfft......embarrassed, so what!

Use the wrong pronoun for the gender-confused in Canaduh you just may end up in court. I kid you not.

Which will just promote the complete isolation of our gender-confused (that would seem to be a fair proportion of everybody involved with edjoocayshun), why take the chance of conversing with them?