Compound words

Well… I planned to take a two-week break from the blog over the holidays. Then two weeks turned into five. So, I apologize for the extended absence, and I pledge my best efforts to get back into the technology swing of things. (If anyone’s on Ravelry, you can witness for yourself the knitting frenzy I was up to in the meantime.)

We’ve mostly abandoned hopes of learning German while we are here. We are still practicing occasionally on the Duolingo app, and picking up random words from the German students at school. Yet we still frequently experience embarrassment and confusion when at restaurants, public transport, or shops. The German workers grimace at our lack of comprehension and we just shrug our shoulders and say “Es tut mir leid” [sorry].

But one aspect of the language still makes us chuckle: the loooooooong German compound words. Here’s my favorite example so far:

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It’s difficult to see, but this business sign reads GESCHENKARTIKELVERTRIEBSGESELLSCHAFT. That’s 36 letters long! Google tells me that translates to “Gifts distributor”. Nutty.

Mark Twain once wrote that “Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. … These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions.” I wholeheartedly agree.

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Baby Names in Bavaria

I know this won’t interest everyone (my husband included!). But there’s something about baby names that has always fascinated me.  Our local paper publishes the full names of all the babies born each week along with a few photos. I’ve been copying down the ones that caught my attention for the last few months, and I’ve begun to observe a few trends.

International names: (we’re definitely part of a much more international community than the one in which we used to live). And a caveat — I’m just using my instinct and judgment in categorizing these. I am in no way trying to offend cultural groups and any errors are simply due to my personal lack of knowledge.

MIDDLE EAST/ISLAMIC/HEBREW
Ahmet
Ibrahim
Jael Rebekka
Jakob Nepomuk
Kaan
Kerem Aras
Kerim MIle
Melek Hilal
Seyyid Efe
Yusuf

LATIN (ITALIAN/SPANISH)
Benno
Domenico
Emilio Alessandro
Gianluca Silvano
Pablo Mateo
Paula Beatrice
Pia
Polina Sofia
Rafael Peppe

AFRICA
Ebrar Taha
Ebru Nisa
Muharrem Efe
Yade Ece

RUSSIA
Ekaterini
Fenriz-Victor
Gustavs Andris
Katharina Alexia
Luisa Valentina
Mihail Angelov
Oleg
Saskia Clara
Svea Viktoria
Vincent Theodor

GREEK/ROMAN
Berenike
Domenik
Konstantinos
Maxima
Timo
Titus
Venese

SCANDINAVIAN
Freya
Jan Erik
Jannes
Jorgos
Niclas
Nils
Ronja

There are also several other patterns in baby naming. A lot of the newborns in my part of Bavaria are given names in the following categories:

Flowery, romantic names for girls:
Alara
Alessia
Emilia Marina
Karla Lorena
Kerstin Rose
Lara Solea
Leyla Asiye
Lilia Cäcilie
Lin Asteri
Lina Ferreira
Mariella Sansa
Mila Juna
Nemesia Kittiya
Nora Luisa
Paulina Clara
Ramona Valentina
Rosalinda
Sarai-Yafa Zelda

Names with alliteration or rhyming syllables:
Alicia Belinda
Dilshan Roshan Jathun
Elif-Nilüfer
Emely Emilia
Lennox Lutz
Maxi-Lina Katharina
Miray Meryem
Nayla My-Lan
Simona Sina Sophia

Familiar names, but which are rarely used in the US:
Bastian Jonas
Bruno Ferdinand
Fabian Friedrich
Finn Florian
Julius Timeo
Lennard Sebastian
Luise Nanette
Linus Gabriel
Marius Simon
Mathis Tilman
Melina Romy

Inventive names (new to me, at least):
Arjen
Amina
Burak
Canel
Damla
Eda
Efe
Emre
Folea
Ghasemi
Joscha
Kenay
Kian
Lendita
Levent
Levin
Lian
Lorik
Madi
Melda
Musa
Nisa
Noha
Selin
Semin
Serra
Shown
Suada
Talha
Ujup
Usva
Vahdettin
Yihui

Stereotypical “German” names:
Dieter
Felix
Franz
Frieda
Friederike
Georg
Justus Frederik
Konrad Werner Detlef
Lorenz
Lukas
Marlene
Moritz
Oskar

And my favorite trend, weird twists on “American” names:
La Toya Cayenne
Lovelyn Diamond

Anyone having a baby and looking for a unique name? There are quite a few options in my small Bavarian town.