Scienceblogs is expanding in a new direction — they’ve opened a new counterpart, Scienceblogs — Wissenschaft, Kultur, Politik. Take a look; it’s got the familiar Scienceblogs layout, and it’s got a new collection of bloggers, and it’s all in German. Very cool! I can only stumble through the titles and get the rough gist of what they’re talking about, but I think there are a few readers here who are much more comfortable with the language and can have a grand time over there.

And if you find anything especially good, let me know — I’d like to see some more international cross-linking going on.


  1. zer0 says

    Troll is the same.

    I’m afraid I haven’t spent enough time reading German forums to answer the second part, beyond what you would be able to look up in a German-English dictionary.

    I wonder if Germans scream “MOAR” :D

  2. Christian says

    What do they call the German variety of “Trolls” and “Nitwits”?

    As zero said, ‘troll’ is the same and for ‘nitwits’ klicken Sie bitte hier.

  3. zilch says

    Sehr interessant.

    Yes, “troll” is the same, straight from English, like “downloaden” and “chatten” and most other words in Internetese. As for “nitwit”, I didn’t recognize most of the German translations; here in Austria we would say “Blödian”.

  4. student_b says

    Hmm… in german.

    Nun, wer wird der PZ Myers des deutschsprachigen Raumes sein?

    Mir fällt gerade kein feuerspeiender Atheist ein der Deutsch spricht. Anyone?

  5. says

    Hört sich ja supi an. Da schau ich mal bestimmt vorbei.

    As for vocabs: what zilch said. Blödian would be understood up here among the Piefkes of the far frozen northlands as well, I think. Or you could try Volltrottel or du Saudepp, du damischer instead.

  6. says

    Student @8:

    ‘nen feuerspückenden deutschen Atheisten willst Du? Dein Wunsch sei mir Befehl! You want to make the acquaintance of Karlheinz Deschner. I’m not sure he’s an atheist, actually; the English and German Wikipedia pages disagree as to whether he is technically an atheist or an agnostic. Be that as it may, if it’s firebreathing you want, Deschner is your man. Next to him, PZ could easily be mistaken for a tea-sipping Anglican vicar.

    Deschner is pretty old at this point, but still kicking. He has written too many works to count, but his magnum opus is the massive Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, which stretches to 937 volumes (or maybe it just seems that way). The Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung, an organisation of German freethinkers, not long ago endowed a prize in his honour; the first award went to Dawkins at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair (the major trade fair for the worldwide publishing industry).

  7. Sven DiMIlo says

    Aber Ich weiss nur ein bischen Deutsch, and I probably mucked up even that kleine bischen.

  8. Der Bodenschatz says

    Dann bin ich mal gespannt, was sich auf dieser Seite des Großen Teiches so gut :-)


  9. nn says

    Yes Deschner specializes in everything the old church ever did wrong.
    e.g. he wrote a comprehensive 4 volume critical church history
    and has published 8 volumes of a 10 volume “Criminal history of christianity”

    Unfortunately none of his works have been translated to English,
    otherwise PZ could use it as source.

    I don’t think he will write a blog though.

  10. Billy says

    Too bad about your German, PZ. Check out the 27 Nov. post at Tiefes Leben (“Deep life”). It’s right up your alley, and the title is even in English:

    (It’s a reminescence about working with a an octopus at a biological station on the Mediterranean. The octopus was released into the sea but the author believes that sometime later while snorkeling he encountered the former captive and said hello. He doesn’t say anything about foiling its plot for revenge, so I assume that’s still a go … )

  11. grasshopper says

    Mark Twain in his essay The Awful German Language had this to say about German

    There are ten parts of speech, and they are all troublesome.
    An average sentence, in a German newspaper, is a sublime
    and impressive curiosity; it occupies a quarter of a column;
    it contains all the ten parts of speech–not in regular order,
    but mixed; it is built mainly of compound words constructed
    by the writer on the spot, and not to be found in any
    dictionary–six or seven words compacted into one,
    without joint or seam–that is, without hyphens;
    it treats of fourteen or fifteen different subjects,
    each enclosed in a parenthesis of its own, with here and
    there extra parentheses, making pens with pens: finally,
    all the parentheses and reparentheses are massed together
    between a couple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed
    in the first line of the majestic sentence and the other
    in the middle of the last line of it–AFTER WHICH COMES
    THE VERB, and you find out for the first time what the man
    has been talking about; and after the verb–merely by way
    of ornament, as far as I can make out–the writer shovels
    or words to that effect, and the monument is finished.
    I suppose that this closing hurrah is in the nature of the
    flourish to a man’s signature–not necessary, but pretty.
    German books are easy enough to read when you hold them
    before the looking-glass or stand on your head–so as
    to reverse the construction–but I think that to learn
    to read and understand a German newspaper is a thing
    which must always remain an impossibility to a foreigner.

  12. Ced says

    Wonderful! Finally I can recommend scienceblogs to people around here who don’t have a good command of the english language, yay!! Thank you, seed!

  13. marko says

    Thanks to grasshopper for the superb Twain quote. I’m German, and many things I had to write in school were of that nature. I really had a faible for this obfuscated kind of writing. “Hey, teacher: It was hard to write, it should be hard to understand!” (not from me, now a wide-spread quote of software engineers).

  14. David Marjanović, OM says

    I wonder if Germans scream “MOAR” :D

    I don’t get it… help me please.

    Yes, “troll” is the same, straight from English

    Or Old Norse or something. :-) (The Internet meaning of course comes from English.)

    like “downloaden”

    What, people really say that? I thought only Microsoft did. I only know the calque (“loan translation”): herunterladen.

  15. David Marjanović, OM says

    I wonder if Germans scream “MOAR” :D

    I don’t get it… help me please.

    Yes, “troll” is the same, straight from English

    Or Old Norse or something. :-) (The Internet meaning of course comes from English.)

    like “downloaden”

    What, people really say that? I thought only Microsoft did. I only know the calque (“loan translation”): herunterladen.

  16. student_b says


    Thx Mrs. Tilton

    Will add some of those to my reading list. Now we just need him online. :)

  17. zilch says

    Mrs. Tilton- yes, Volltrottel and Saudepp are both used here as well. Particularly charming is Vollkoffer, that is “a complete suitcase”, what my daughter calls her Music teacher.

    David- of course “troll” is Scandinavian, but as you say, in German its internet usage is a Fremdwort borrowed from English. Herunterladen is not unknown here, but since English is, as they say in German, cool, such words as downloaden, not to mention fraggen (to frag) and SMSen (to send a voice mail) are au courant.

  18. Umilik says

    I noted that a lot of the blogs listed there are run by journalist types. I’d think that if you had to write for a livng you wouldn’t necessarily want to do it in your spare time…
    I would say that the proper translation for “troll” is “Kobold”.

  19. says

    Further to zilch @24:

    educated German-speakers (whether Germans proper, Austrians or Swiss) usually speak far better English than your typical English-speaker (or even your well-educated English speaker) speaks German. And, at least in Germany, English has enormous cultural cachet. Germans steal words from English (esp. American English) with no shame at all, and when all else fails, native English-speakers will usually succeed by sticking an -en at the end of an English word and pronouncing it in a stage-German accent.

    Germans even use English words that don’t exist in English. The German word for a sweater or jumper is Pullover. Clear enough, I trust. But their word for a sweater-vest — those sleeveless, v-necked things one wears under a sport jacket — is Pullunder. Well; if nothing else, the logic is impeccable.

  20. zilch says

    Mrs. Tilton- thanks for the Pullunder: that’s a new one on me. Here they say Wamst.

    One English word a Viennese friend of mine, an English teacher, regrets not having in German, is “unputdownable”. You can’t have everything.

  21. says

    Hi there,

    I´m one of the german bloggers at Thanks for your warm welcome. Talking about different language, here is an example which I collected, what problems we have with your language. It´s about the spelling/naming of this years Nobel prize in physics. Although it´s a discovery of a german scientist (and a french scientist), the germans don´t know how to translate and write the Giantmagneto Resistance (Riesenmagnetwiederstand) into german:

    Have fun

  22. DwarfPygmy says

    What do they call the German variety of “Trolls” and “Nitwits”?

    I think it’s Blayda-Henna.

    What I want to know is, what’s Deutsch for PYGMIES + DWARFS?