Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Humor from Cologne

My father is "Kölsch" -- which means from the city of Köln am Rhein (Cologne/Rhine). He is a very serious German and speaks standard or "High" German, but once you get a few glasses of wine into him, his more light-hearted side and the Kölsch dialect from his childhood start to emerge.

I too was born in Köln, but moved away as a wee little lassie. Perhaps I'm so serious (straight-laced) because I did not spend enough time in Köln or the Rhineland...?

Next to my father's computer, there are some "Ground Rules for Life" consisting of expressions in the Kölsch dialect, in red following the "Hochdeutsch" or High German, then my English translation below. Part of what makes this funny is the contract between the high-fallooting (sp?) High German and the simple Kölsch expressions.

Artikel 1: Sieh den Tatsachen ins Auge. Et es wie et es!
Look facts in the eye. Kölsch literally: It is what it is! /Things are what they are!

Artikel 2: Habe keine Angst vor der Zukunft. Et kütt wie es kütt!
Don't be afraid of the future. Kölsch literally: It comes as it comes!

Artikel 3: Lerne aus der Vergangenheit. Et hätt noch immer jot jejange!
Learn from the past. Kölsch literally: It went well -- barely!

Artikel 4: Jemmere den Dingen nicht nach. Wat fott es, es fott!
Don't mourn for things that are gone. What is gone, is gone!

Artikel 5: Sei offen fuer Neuerungen. Et bliev nix wie es wor!
Be open to new things. Nothing stays as it was!

Artikel 6: Sei kritisch, wenn Neuerungen überhand nehmen.
Kenne mer nit, bruche mer nit, fott domet!
Be critical of new things. Don't know it, we don't need it, get rid of it!

Artikel 7: Füge Dich in dein Schicksal. Wat wellste maache!
Accept your fate. Whatcha gonna do!

Artikel 8: Achte auf deine Gesundheit. Maach et jot, ävver nit ze of!
Take care of your health. Do the right thing, but not too often!

Artikel 9: Stelle immer zuerst die Universalfrage. Wat sull dä Quatsch!
First ask the universal question. What is this nonsense!

Artikel 10: Komm dem Gebot der Gastfreundschaft nach. Drinkste ene met!
Follow the rule of hospitality. Have a drink with us!

Artikel 11: Beware dir eine gesunde Einstellung zum Humor. Do laachs de dich kapott!
Keep a good sense of humor. Laugh till you break!


The Solipsist said...

Well, of course, no one is funnier than Germans! :-)

Miguel said...

Haha! Love Kölsch Platt!

Although I'm Dutch I think Germans CAN be verry funny indeed. Dutch can be to, but more in a rude of blunt way.

BTW: hou should Google for 'pulpfiction auf Kölsch! Hillareous!