Last night, something remarkable happened: at the stroke of midnight, my time in Germany reached its half-way point. 149 days gone, 149 to go. I feel sort of obligated to reflect back in some meaningful way… but I’ve been keeping this blog precisely so I wouldn’t have to do that. So instead…
I’m going to take this moment to introduce a few “featurettes” to Denglish: first, Idiomatic Mondays (I thought, very briefly, of calling them “Idiomanic Mondays,” but soon decided that inducing those groans just wasn’t worth the effort), in which I introduce a weekly German idiom/proverb/saying because nothing’s funnier than a direct translation of an idiom from a foreign language; and second, some yet-to-be-named Wednesday night recipe (all I can think of are strained alliterative titles like “Wednesday Whistle Wettin'” and “Hump Day Hash” which I like because it sounds vaguely dirty), because Beth and I have begun to cook together once a week because we’re both beginning to tire of eating rice alone in our rooms, night after night. So, thought I might throw the recipes we try your way. Sorry boys, they’ll be vegetarian.
So, to kick things off, a proverb that bridges the two, and which I like because my brother used to have a novelty tee with this phrase printed on it, it’s just that clever:
Man ist, was man isst.
(Man is what he eats.)
The funny thing here, though, is that the conjugated form to “to eat” (essen) is “isst” and the conjugated form of “to be” (sein) is “ist“, which, conveniently enough, sound identical… the joke, of course, is that when spoken, this proverb is simultaneously “Man is what he is” and “Man is what he eats.” Out-punned, English language.