Ten most important German car phrases
You may as well learn them!
A lot of you will not know this, but I took German A Level which in turn gave me the chance to learn a few car-related terms in the language. Admittedly, this wasn't what I was suppose to be doing but it was fun nonetheless. I also had to produce a 10 minute speaking piece which I chose to do on the history of the VW Beetle. I used a variety of words, mostly beginning with 'H' and ending in 'itler' as he played a role in the early Beetle. I won't go into that but I will show you ten of the most useful German car phrases I can across.
1. Der Auspuff - Exhaust
This one is very simple as it essentially means to put out air which is more or less what the exhaust is for.
2. Der Blinker - Indicator
Again, this one is very easy to guess as it does what it says on the tin. And don't think German sense of humour isn't any good, because they will tell you to check your blinker fluid...the jokers...
3. Der Kofferraum - Boot/Trunk
I like this one because it just makes sense (like every other German word I guess). It pretty much translates as 'space for your suitcase'. Having said that, I'm not sure what they call a Frunk.
4. Der Nebelscheinwerfer - Fog Lamp
You may notice the words are getting longer, well, you haven't seen the worst of it yet. This sort of translates are 'fog light thrower' which again, explains perfectly what it does but is also a great word to know.
5. Doppelkupplungsgetriebe - Dual Clutch Gearbox
I did warn you. This is one of the longer ones which I believe was discussed on the old Top Gear which Jeremy and Richard found most amusing. It's a good thing James could say it, sort of.
6. Die Kurbelwelle - Crankshaft
If anything ever goes wrong with your crankshaft in Germany, you will have me to thank. This roughly translates as 'Crank wave', possibly because it is shaped like a wave? Who knows.
7. Der Autoschlüssel - Car Key
If you end up hiring a car in a German speaking country and they continuously shout 'Autoschlüssel' at you, then this is probably what they mean. If however, you have lost it, they will shout 'Kartoffelkopf'. Trust me, it hurts.
8. Der Sicherheitsgurt - Seatbelt
Another useful one to know, more for safety reasons than anything else really. A good one to know if you need help with a seatbelt in a taxi with your family.
9. Der Kraftstofftank - Fuel Tank
Blimey, am I being informative today. This could also apply if you have hired a car and need to know whether it runs on petrol or diesel. Petrol is 'Benzin' and Diesel is 'Diesel'. Straightforward but worth getting to grips with.
10. Die Klimaanlage - Air Conditioning
Let's say you have been given the new VW Toureg as a press car to test in the summer months of Germany. Let's also say you know nothing about cars and would quite frankly have to be blind not to know how to use the air con. This is when the phrase 'Wo ist die blutige Klimaanlage?' would come in handy.
Well, there you have it. These are my top 10 useful German car phrases. It was rather exciting digging out my old German books, frightening but informative. Of course, there are lots more useful German car words and phrases to go through.