Tag Archives: cross-language confusion

The American Hedgehog?

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, a group of us decided to have a “BBQ” (or “barbecue” or “barbeque” or “B-B-Q” or “barbie” or “cookout” or with a different sentence structure “to grill”) – die Grillparty – in Stadtpark which happily for me is very close to where I live. This is very popular in Stadtpark and as a result there are Grillzone – “grilling areas” and Grilltonne – “large metal rubbish containers for coals.”

At the end of the evening when we were trying to find all of our things in the dark, we ran across a hedgehog – der Igel – which is pronounced like the English word “eagle” – [ˈi:gl̩] (which is der Adler in German). Between the eagle being the national bird of the US and the word Igel starting with a capital “I” which as an English word is pronounced [aɪ] rather than [ˈi:], I fear that this is a word that will always mark me as a non-native speaker. A thought which makes me think »I, wie ekelig« – “Ugh, that’s horrible” – and »I wo« -“No way!” – although it seems highly likely that I will need to forget how these phrases are spelled if I want to use them properly!

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