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Learning German: Proverbs and Sayings Related to Love, Minne and Romance

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 6/23/2015

Learn German vocabulary by memorizing some proverbs, endearments and other expressions and get your feelings across without a hitch.

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    Endearments

    Contrary to common belief, Germans are quite romantic and sentimental. Learn endearments for both genders.Look for the Heart 

    The most common words are:

    Schatz (m)- treasure

    Liebling (m)- darling

    Puppi (f)- doll

    Herzchen (n)- sweetheart

    Suesse (f) - my sweet

    meine Liebe - my dear (fem)

    mein Lieber - my dear (male)

    Schnucki (n)- cannot be translated but is quite intimate

    Very important:

    Ich liebe Dich - I love you

    Liebesbrief (m) - love letter

    Liebeskummer (m) - heartbreak

    Liebe auf den ersten Blick - love at first sight

    Liebe (f) - love

    Sehnsucht (f) - longing

    lieben - to love

    flirten - to flirt

    streicheln - to touch

    Herz (n) - heart

    Kuss (m) - kiss

    kuessen - to kiss

    Zaertlichkeit (f) - tenderness

    Freundschaft (f) - friendship

    Here are two sayings you can master:

    Liebe macht blind - love renders blind

    Zaertlichkeit ist die Blume der Liebe - tenderness is the flower of love

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    Traditions of Minne and St. Valentine

    Song and culture in Germany in the Middle Ages was dominated by the concept of Minne. Minne refers to passionate but platonic love Minnesaenger which the knights felt for a noble lady and a Minnesaenger, who travelled from castle to castle, praised the virtues of the ladies. The most famous Minnesaenger was Walther von der Vogelweide. More than 80 of his songs survive.

    Minnegesang - minnesong

    Minnesaenger - minne singers

    Burgfraeulein - Lady of the castle

    Tugend - virtue

    Leidenschaft - passion

    Valentine's Day on the 14th of February does not have a long tradition in Germany. It has only been celebrated since about World War II. Although the Anglo/Saxon tradition of cards, flowers and sweets has found its way into German custom, Valentine is restricted to adults. No kids exchange cards; it is an exclusively mature affair.

    Valentin Karte (f) - valentine card

    Here are a few sayings related to Valentine; oddly all refer to weather predictions.

    Kalter Valentin - frueher Lenzbeginn = if it's cold on Valentine, spring will come early. (Note: Lenz (m) is the poetic word for spring = Fruehling (m)

    Ist's am Valentin noch weiss, blueht zu Ostern schon das Reis = if there is still snow on valentine, trees will bloom on Easter (again, Reis (n) is a poetic name for branches = Zweige)

    Liegt am Valentin die Katz in der Sonne, kriecht sie im Maerz intern Ofen voll Wonne = if the cat is sunning itself on Valentine, it will happily crawl behind a warm stove in March

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    A poem - ein Gedicht

    Die Zeit verfliegt, die Liebe bleibt

    mein Herz dir diese Zeilen schreibt,Gingerbread Hearts 

    die Liebe keine Grenzen kennt

    Dein Kuss mir Deinen Namen nennt

    St. Valentin komm steh uns bei

    aus eins und eins mach heute zwei

    die lieben sich fuer immer

    schreibt dir: Dein Gerhard Zimmer Pink Piglets 

    Written by lilypond as a poem which might be put into a Valentine card.

    Time flies by but love remains

    my heart writes these lines

    love knows no borders

    your kiss calls my name

    St. Valentine come help us

    from one and one make two today

    in love forever

    writes today

    -G.Z.

    Of course, it doesn't rhyme in the translation.

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    Two typically German traditons on Valentine's Day are:

    Lebkuchenherzen (f) - Gingerbread hearts, also very typical for the famous Oktoberfest

    Herz (n) - heart

    Rosa Schweinchen (f) - pink piglets

    Schweinchen (n) - piglet

    In Germany, the pink pig is a symbol for good luck, hence many cards are adorned with them and sweets come in the shape of marzipan pigs.

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    Pronunciation

    For online help pronouncing German words, try LEO, a German translator with pronunciation. Just type in the word you want to hear, and click on the speaker.

References