Seven essential German words to know while residing in Germany that might give you a fright

Seven terrible German words that must be learned living in <a data-ail="3596742" target="_blank" href="" >Germany</a> •

March 17, 2023 / Survival school

Seven scary German words that you must learn living in Germany

The German language itself can be quite scary. As noted in many humorous Youtube videos, it can sound very rude to the untrained ear, and of course it is a notoriously difficult language to learn. Therefore, in this article we will analyze 7 German words that make the blood run cold.

But once you get to know the language a little better, you begin to realize that it has a certain beauty and an extremely useful and unparalleled ability to describe things with absolute precision.

However, there are a few words that, when seen or heard, make you break out in sweat.


Translated into Russian, this word means “notification” or “warning”, the word almost never occurs in a positive context.

It is usually found at the top of a letter, “reminding” (or rather “warning”) the reader that something has been forgotten or not paid for.

Seeing this relatively short word, the Germans themselves often experience fear, as well as irritation towards themselves and their “persecutors”.

But usually, as soon as the fear passes, I understand that it is a simple matter to transfer everything that is due to me so that there will be no new Mahnungen.

enforcement notice

If you ignore or miss a couple of Mahnungen, don’t be surprised if this monster of seven syllables is waiting for you in the mailbox.

Meaning “Notice of Enforcement,” this letter means things are about to get serious—if you don’t hurry up and pay up.

Although the recipients of such a letter, as a rule, temporarily stop the heart, to, the horror passes after a few minutes, when you realize that troubles usually disappear if you just pay right away.

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replacement traffic

Most passengers in Germany are familiar with this word, which is a harbinger of inconvenience and temporary suffering.

Ersatzverkehr, meaning “emergency transport”, appears on notice boards and on train timetables to announce that regular service has been suspended – often during construction work – and you must use the emergency bus during this time. Because it’s always a bus.

Usually it is also a crowded bus. So sometimes Ersatverkehr is really a nightmare.

police operation

In Berlin, these words often appear on station signs and in announcements. Meaning “police operation”, this phrase usually means that the police have been called in to deal with some misbehaving members of the public and that indefinite delays will follow.

Therefore, the initial fear caused by this word is usually replaced by extreme irritation.


This word is intended to inspire fear in the same way as its Russian-language counterpart “forbidden.” This word sounds rude and carries a strong connotation of punishment.


This may seem strange, since Ausweis, meaning “identification,” is actually a rather harmless word.

But for many visitors, it has acquired a more sinister meaning and always causes sweat. When you are asked Ausweis in German, you usually get the feeling that you did something wrong. In general, do not panic.

obligation to report

The word combines the German love for Anmeldung (“registration”) and the heavy burden of Pflicht (“duty”) to produce another dreaded word for the upcoming bureaucratic procedure.

One such famous and feared Meldepflicht is the so-called Anmeldungspflicht, the obligation to register one’s home address with the local district office. This must be done in person and within two weeks of the move. Depending on where you live, the wait for an appointment can be long. But that’s no excuse!

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