Mark Twain and his quotes about German

In the stream “Zeitzitate”, @MaxBex mentioned a wonderful quote from Mark Twain about time. Mark Twain also said many funny (and sarcastic) things about the German language.

Here are some of his quotes:

  • "Einige deutsche Wörter sind so lang, dass sie eine Perspektive haben." (“Some German words are so long that they have a perspective.”)

  • "Ich ging oft ins Heidelberger Schloss, um mir das Raritätenkabinett anzusehen, und eines Tages überraschte ich den Leiter mit meinem Deutsch, und zwar redete ich ausschließlich in dieser Sprache. Er zeigte großes Interesse; und nachdem ich eine Weile geredet hatte, sagte er, mein Deutsch sei sehr selten, möglicherweise ein »Unikat«; er wolle es in sein Museum aufnehmen." (“I went often to look at the collection of curiosities in Heidelberg Castle, and one day I surprised the keeper of it with my German. I spoke entirely in that language. He was greatly interested; and after I had talked a while he said my German was very rare, possibly a »unique«; and wanted to add it to his museum.”)

  • "Wenn der deutsche Schriftsteller in einen Satz taucht, hat man ihn die längste Zeit gesehen; bis er auf der anderen Seite seines Atlantiks wieder hervorkommt mit seinem Verbum im Mund." (“Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.”)

What do you think about Mark Twains’ quotes? :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :grinning:
Do you know other quotes about German or about the language you learn?


I really like Mark Twain and I find these quotes very funny @SKrausser !
I’ve been looking for some about the French and he’s really not soft on us haha! :sweat_smile:
Here are the less mean ones I found :

  • France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.
  • In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.

I love the first and the last one :sweat_smile:… Definitely very true :innocent: :rofl:! And as we say in French: “Qui aime bien châtie bien” which could be translated by “tough love approach” :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:!


Love this! Thanks so much for this contribution!


Dans la deuxième citation, Twain se moque de son mauvais français.

I came across another funny Mark Twain quote about the German language over the weekend:

"Wenn einem Deutschen ein Adjektiv in die Finger fällt, dekliniert und dekli- niert und dekliniert er es, bis aller ge- sunde Menschenverstand herausde- kliniert ist."

(When a German gets his hands on an adjective, he declines it, and keeps on declining it until the common sense is all declined out of it.)

Mark Twain